As the word ‘theme’ is brought up, one might think of a movie, book, or TV show and what the overall theme or message is trying to convey. Another way to look at the word ‘theme’ is by thinking of a social event. Will this social event be costume-themed or perhaps this dance party will be 70’s themed?
When it comes to WordPress, themes are the personality that give and bring your site life. With over 7,000+ themes on WordPress’ platform alone as well as third-party themes on ThemeForest, there is bound to be a theme that captivates the audience you are reaching for.
In this tutorial, we will be going over how to install and activate a WordPress theme.
Once you have logged in to your WordPress account, go to the left-hand navigation, hover over Appearance, and click on Themes. This will take you to the themes page where you can do one of the following:
With this method you can upload any zipped theme folder that is on your computer without having to go through WordPress itself.
Click on the Add New button at the top-left corner.
Click on the Upload Theme button.
Click on the Choose File button.
Locate the zipped theme folder and select Open.
Click on the Install Now button.
A theme that is installed on your website is a theme that has been uploaded on to your website, but is dormant. Click on the blue Activate button to enable the theme.
This method is a little more conventional as the search only looks for themes that are hosted through WordPress. The benefit of these themes are that they are free to install and activate.
Search for any theme within the Search themes… field.
The page will dynamically alter its display to show you the related themes based on the keywords you have entered.
Do not hastily install a theme you know nothing about. Treat this process as if you were shopping for a new washer/dryer. Research the theme by checking its description, development, support, reviews, FAQs, demos, and screenshots (if screenshots were provided).
Just because these are free themes hosted on WordPress, does not give them a free pass in terms of what the theme offers.
Once you have come to a decision on a theme that you want to define your website, hover over the theme itself and click on Install.
WordPress will begin the installing process by importing a copy of said theme from WordPress.org over to your website.
Once the theme installs, click on Activate. The theme will become enabled on your site and you will be redirected back to the overall Themes landing page.
Just as a side note: Even though these WordPress themes are free, some developers might have set up their theme as a freemium service where certain features within the theme are free while other settings can be unlocked if you purchase the “Pro” or “Premium” version from their website.
Congratulations! You have successfully uploaded, installed, and activated a WordPress theme. Pretty neat, right?
The themes you installed and activated on your website are not permanent, so do not think you are stuck with the theme once it is on your site. In our next tutorial, we will go over how to properly deactivate and uninstall a WordPress theme.
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