How to Install a WordPress Theme
One of the cool features of using a self-hosted WordPress website is the ability to very quickly and easily change the layout of your site. There are tens of thousands of free WordPress themes available to choose from. Many can be found on the WordPress website in the Theme Directory and many more can be found on various WordPress related sites as well. A quick Google for “”free WordPress themes”” will present you with all the themes you could possible want to choose from. In addition there are thousands of Premium (aka you pay for them) as well that offer even more advanced functionality and layouts for specific website types.
Installing a new theme is amazingly easy. From within your WordPress Administrative Dashboard, on the left hand side, click on “”Appearance”” and then on “”Themes.”” On this page you’ll see the current theme you have installed. If you are looking at a brand new WordPress install you’ll probably just see the standard default theme. At the top of this page you’ll see two tabs; one for “”Manage Themes”” and another for “”Install Themes.”” You guessed it – click on the “”Install Themes”” tab.
What you’ll see is a search page that lets you quickly search through all the free WordPress themes currently on the WordPress website. Choose a few parameters, such as color, width, number of columns or click on one of the quick tags like Featured or Newest. You’ll see the themes that match your search displayed for you with links for “”Install”” and “”Preview”” at the bottom of each thumbnail.
The Preview feature is pretty neat as it allows you to see how the new theme will look on your website. Keep in mind, however, that once in a while things will look a bit messed up. The new theme your are previewing many have different settings and parameters than you current theme so some things may look a bit out of place at first and require a bit of massaging.
Once you’ve found a theme you like simply click on the “”Install”” link and the theme will be installed into your site. You can then activate the theme to make it live online. Easy, right?
In the case you find a theme on a 3rd party website, not on the WordPress Theme Directory, you will simply need to download the file. Typically you’ll download the file in.zip format and need to extract it (right click, extract all). Once it’s extracted use a FTP program like Filezilla to upload the new theme files to your website. You’ll need to place the folder containing the new files into the wp-content/theme folder. Then visit your admin panel and activate the theme. Easy enough!