How to install WordPress themes

WordPress includes thousands of free themes that you can use to customize your web site's appearance. This article describes how to install and activate WordPress themes.

The most common way to install a theme is by using the WordPress administration interface. However, if you already have a .zip file that contains a WordPress theme, you can also install it manually.

Installing a theme using the administration interface

To install and activate a new WordPress theme using the WordPress administration interface, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to WordPress as the administrator.
  2. Under Dashboard, click Appearance, and then click Themes.
  3. Click Add New, and then do one of the following:
    • To search for a new theme by name, type the name or keyword in the Search themes text box, and then press Enter. When you find a theme you want to install, click Install.
      • You can also search for themes using the Feature Filter. Select the check boxes for the theme features you want, and then click Apply Filters. For example, you can search for themes by color, number of columns, layout type, specific features, and more.
      • You can preview a theme's appearance without installing it. To do this, click Preview.
    • Alternatively, if you already have a theme .zip file (for example, you purchased a theme), click Upload Theme, select the .zip file on your local computer, and then click Install Now.
  4. To activate the new theme, click Activate. The new theme is now active.

Installing a theme manually

If you have a .zip file that contains a WordPress theme, you can also upload it to your site and install the theme manually. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your site using FTP.
  2. Navigate to the directory where you installed WordPress.
    If you installed WordPress in the document root directory, navigate to the public_html directory. If you installed WordPress in a subdirectory beneath the public_html directory, go to that directory instead.
  3. Transfer the .zip file to the wp-content/themes directory.
  4. Log in to your site using SSH.
  5. Type the following command:
    cd ~/public_html/wp-content/themes
    If you uploaded the .zip file to a different directory, type that path instead.
  6. Type the following command, replacing filename.zip with the name of the file you uploaded:

    unzip filename.zip
  7. Log in to WordPress as the administrator.
  8. Under Dashboard, click Appearance, and then click Themes.
  9. Locate the theme, and then click Activate. The new theme is now active.

More Information

For more information about WordPress themes, please visit http://wordpress.org/themes.

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