Basic Tutorial #5:

How to Install a WordPress Theme

WordPress Tutorial #5

After you’ve registered a domain name, set up a hosting service and installed WordPress, your next step is to choose and install a WordPress theme.

If you’re creating a business site, you’ll be working with a premium theme. (If you’re installing a free theme that’s available through, the process is a bit different.)

#1. Choose and Download Your Theme

Once you’ve purchased your premium theme — our recommended WordPress theme designers are StudioPress and Astra Themes — they’ll provide a download link.

Download the theme. It will be in the form of a zip file. If you know what that is, great. If not, don’t sweat it because you don’t need to do anything to the file. Just save it to your hard drive.

#2. Log Into WordPress

Once you’ve saved the zip file on your hard drive, go ahead and log in to your WordPress dashboard.

#3. Click Appearance/Themes

first step in installing a new WordPress theme

#4. Click “Add New”

click the ADD NEW button

#5. Select “Upload”

Click the Upload Theme button

#6. Choose the File to Upload

Click the “Choose File” button. Navigate to the folder where you saved the theme file you downloaded in Step 1.

Highlight the file name, and you’ll see it inserted into the appropriate spot. 

you'll see the name of the theme you selected

#7. Click “Install Now”

WordPress will show the progress of your theme’s installation.

theme installation progress

#8. Check the Live Preview, and Activate

Click Live Preview to see a preview of your new theme with your existing content. WordPress will show you a preview of your new theme. When you’re ready, click the Activate and Publish button. Or, click the Activate link shown above.

activate and publish

Don’t be concerned if the page doesn’t look just like what you had in mind. There are lots of easy tweaks you can make later. 

#9. Manage Themes

Any time you want to change themes, or add or delete a theme, go back and click the Appearance / Themes link. You’ll see the active theme first, followed by the other themes that are installed and available to you. If you want to switch to a different theme, just click its “activate” link.

But those are topics for another day. . .

manage your themes from Appearance / Themes

Click here to review Tutorial #6: Protect Against Comment Spam.

This post was updated on June 5, 2019.

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