How To Install WordPress Themes | Easy 8-Step Action Guide

If you’re wondering how to install WordPress themes on your website, you’re in luck.

Whether you own a blog or an eCommerce website, choosing the right theme is paramount to your website’s success.

And in this how-to article, I will take you step-by-step through the process of choosing a theme for your website.

Next, I’ll show you how to download and install it on your WordPress website.

Here is a quick summary of the steps to take.

How To Install A Theme On WordPress – Summary

  • First, make sure you backup your website’s files using a plugin like UpdraftPlus
  • Then, on the WordPress dashboard go to the left-side menu and click Appearance > Themes
  • Next, at the top of the Apperances’s Page, click the Add New button
  • Choose the theme that best suits the style and features needed for your website
  • Once a theme is chosen, hover over the theme image and click the Install button
  • Then, click the Activate button
  • Your new WordPress theme is now installed and active
  • Customize your theme’s settings and features to your liking

What Is A WordPress Website Theme?

If WordPress is the frame of a house, then a WordPress theme would be the siding.

Not only does siding add visual appeal to your home, but it also serves the purpose of protecting your home from the elements.

I know this analogy is kind of far-reaching, but it still stands as a good example of the importance of choosing a high-quality theme.

Your theme determines how your website looks to the world at large. It also decides what functionality and features you will have out of the box.

For example, your theme may allow for a sidebar element or a local map location to be displayed.

The theme you choose may or may not have the option to disable these features.

It comes down to what services or products your website will be offering the public.

Is your site promoting your dental practice, or are you selling coffee mugs?

Most themes will allow you to change the most basic settings and functions such as display colors, fonts, and footer options.

Installing A Theme On WordPress – Step-By-Step

How to install WordPress themes article Image

Back-Up Your Website Data

First off, if you are creating a brand new website from scratch and it’s your first time installing a theme.

Then you can skip the backup process until you have finished creating your website.

However, if you already have an established site and you want to install a new theme to replace your old one.

Then I highly recommend you backup your website first.

Especially if you have created written content or added pictures on your website.

This is because while your site content should be safe during a theme install, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I like to use the UpdraftPlus plugin for my backups.

I can schedule regular daily backups to Google Drive for safekeeping.

Best of all there is a free version. This is the one I use for my site.

Deciding On The Look and Functionality Of Your Website

One of the best features of the WordPress theme repository is the ability to search for a theme that matches your business type.

Before you download and install your new theme, you’ll need to write down what you want out of your website.

Do you need a blog section?

How about a contact form or maybe you need to have a built-in interest calculator for your mortgage company website.

The sky is the limit, just make sure you know how you want your website structured and you can find a theme that offers the features you need.

And if your theme is missing features, chances are there is a plugin to fill the void.

The WordPress theme search function is your best friend. Make sure you use it, it’s there for a reason.

For Instance, say that you are a plumber that needs a website.

You would simply search the WordPress theme repository for “plumber” to find a matching prebuilt theme.

So how exactly do you search for a WordPress theme?

Downloading A Theme From The WordPress Repository

Image of WordPress appearance themes menu

First, from your WordPress dashboard, on the main menu on the left, go to Appearances.

And when the menu expands further, click on Themes.

Image of WordPress Add New Theme Button

On your themes page, you’ll notice that the first theme shown is your main theme that is currently active.

Click the Add New button in the top left corner.

You can also click the + Box to add a new theme as well.

Image of WordPress theme search box

Type a keyword that best describes your website topic or business type. In this example, I will type in “Dentist”.

A collection of all of the themes that match your search result will appear.

Installing Your Theme To WordPress

Image of WordPress install theme button

Once the search results have loaded, Hover over the theme that you want to install and click the Install button.

Image of WordPress activate theme button

Once your theme is installed, click the Activate button to finalize the installation process.

Image of WordPress themes installed page

You will then be redirected back to your Themes page.

Image of WordPress customize theme button

Click the Customize button to change the settings for your theme.

Image of WordPress theme customizer menu

This is the theme customizer menu.

I am not going to go into too much detail on how to change the settings of your theme in this particular article.

Just know that each theme will have a different set of options and features to change and choose from.

One of the best ways to learn is to play around with the settings.

This is a visual editor and you will see changes updated as you change settings.

However, I will be writing an article shortly that goes in-depth on how to change WordPress theme settings.

So stay tuned for that.

Some Bonus Steps – Install WordPress Plugins

The next step after your theme is installed is to install some plugins.

Plugins are an important component of any WordPress website.

I wrote an article on Installing WordPress plugins which you can visit by clicking here.

If you would like the links to all of the plugins I recommend you can visit that section of my article by clicking right here.

Downloading A Theme From A Third-Party Website

If you are struggling to find that perfect theme on the WordPress theme page, then you might have to search elsewhere.

There are many 3rd party theme websites where you can download and install the theme that best fits your style.

Websites like Theme Forest and My Theme Shop offer up thousands of WordPress themes for you to choose from.

So, the following tutorial will teach you how to manually download a theme from My Theme Shop and then upload it as a ZIP file directly into WordPress.

Downloading Your Theme Directly

Image of My Theme Shop Homepage

To follow along with this tutorial, the first step is to go to

This will send you to the My Theme Shop homepage.

You will need to signup for a free account to download WordPress themes.

Once you have signed up you can continue with the tutorial down below.

Image of My Theme Shop themes tab

This will take you to the themes page. As you can see they currently offer 113 WordPress themes.

Image of My Theme Shop themes page

Choose a theme that you like the best by hovering over the theme image and clicking the blue Details button in the bottom left-hand corner.

Image of My Theme Shop Schema Plugin

For this tutorial, I will use the most popular theme currently on the website as an example.

This is the Schema theme.

And best of all, there is a free version called Schema Lite.

To continue, I click the green More Details button to go to the sales page.

Image of My Theme Shop Schema Free plugin details

Click the Dropdown menu under the bulleted features list to choose your licensing options.

This step is also important because you’ll be able to check and see if there is a free version available.

Image of My Theme Shop download theme button

Click the Download button

Image of My Theme Shop automatic download popup box

The download will begin automatically and is saved in your Downloads folder on your computer.

Image of WordPress Appearance and themes menu

Next, go to your WordPress dashboard and on the main menu on the left.

Then, hover over Appearance, and then click Themes.

Image of WordPress add new theme button

Click the Add New button in the top-left corner of the page.

Image of WordPress upload theme button

Next, click the Upload Theme button.

Image of WordPress choose theme button

Click the Choose File button.

Image of WordPress open plugin file

In your Downloads folder, click on the Plugin File. It will be in the ZIP file format.

Then, click the Open button.

Image of WordPress manual install theme now button

Next, click the Install Now button.

Image of WordPress activate theme button

Click, the Activate button.

Image of WordPress your new theme is active page

And that is it, your new theme has been manually downloaded, installed, and is active.

You can now go back to your dashboard or begin to play around with the settings of your theme and customize it.

How To Install WordPress Themes – Conclusion

Installing a new WordPress theme is one of the fastest and easiest ways to change up your website’s look and functionality.

And with so many to choose from, you can be sure there is a theme out there that matches any taste and style.

If you’re in the market for a new website and want to learn more, then visit my article on how to start a profitable blog by clicking here.

With that said, I wish you the best of luck in building out your WordPress website and I hope this tutorial will prove helpful for you.

Thank you for visiting my article on how to install a theme on WordPress.

Please take care and have a great day.

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