Methods to Set up a WordPress Theme: A Information for Inexperienced persons


You’ll see a number of totally different components to the web page right here:

  • There's (after all) a gallery of thumbnails for every theme within the listing.
  • The themes you have already got obtainable to you'll present the inexperienced “Put in” bar.
  • There’s a header bar on the prime that allows you to filter the listing of themes to slim down your choice.

The latter warrants a fast dialogue.

Filtering the themes listing

For those who have a look, you’ll see quite a lot of alternative ways to filter the theme listing. For those who already know which theme you need, you may seek for it by identify. In any other case, you should utilize the filters that will help you browse the 4,700+ themes which can be obtainable at

The dedicated themes filter bar within WordPress.

You’ll see a determine for what number of themes the filter consists of, and tabs for the most well-liked themes, the most recent additions to the listing, and a listing of your favorites. For the latter, you may solely designate favorites from the browser model of the Theme Listing.

For the final two choices, you might have a search bar – which is self-explanatory – and a characteristic filter menu. This offers you a number of totally different checkboxes primarily based on the incorporates a theme can have. This fashion, you may slim down your search primarily based on (for instance) whether or not it fits eCommerce functions or makes use of a three-column format:

WordPress' feature filter, showing all of the attributes you can filter for.WordPress' feature filter, showing all of the attributes you can filter for.

You'll find your chosen theme utilizing these totally different filters. To put in one, hover over the thumbnail and click on the blue Set up button:

A theme thumbnail, showing Install and Preview buttons.A theme thumbnail, showing Install and Preview buttons.

👉 Observe which you could additionally preview the theme too, utilizing the Preview button or just clicking the thumbnail. This may carry up a number of extra particulars concerning the theme, together with how it will look on a typical web site:

A preview screen for a dedicated theme.A preview screen for a dedicated theme.

From right here, you may set up your chosen theme.

Putting in your theme

When you click on the Set up button, WordPress will do its factor and the button will change to learn, “Activate“. You’ll additionally discover that the thumbnail beneficial properties the inexperienced “Put in” bar. For those who click on Activate, WordPress will make this your present main theme:

A theme thumbnail showing an Activate button in place of Install.A theme thumbnail showing an Activate button in place of Install.

From right here, WordPress will ship you again to the principle Themes web page, and also you’ll see a affirmation that your new theme is stay:

A confirmation notice for an installed theme.A confirmation notice for an installed theme.

For those who browse to your website’s preview, you’ll see that it now makes use of your new theme.

2. Methods to set up WordPress theme from ZIP file

The WordPress Theme Listing solely handles free themes that the Theme Overview crew vets and approves. Nonetheless, in lots of circumstances, you’ll wish to select a premium theme. In these circumstances, you may’t use the WordPress interface since you’ll obtain a ZIP file from the developer. As such, you should utilize one other easy technique to set up your WordPress theme.

For this, you’ll return to Look Themes web page and click on the Add New button. Nonetheless, this time, you’ll forgo the listing of free themes and click on the Add Theme button on the prime of the display:

The Upload Theme button within WordPress.The Upload Theme button within WordPress.

This may open a devoted uploader, which can allow you to set up a WordPress theme from ZIP file. That is the format most premium themes will are available. The truth is, free themes come on this format too, however the built-in interface handles the method for the Theme Listing.

For those who bought a premium theme, it is best to be capable of obtain the ZIP file from the place the place you bought the theme. For those who can’t discover it, you may attain out to the corporate or market from which you bought the theme or seek the advice of their assist documentation.

The Theme Uploader within WordPress.The Theme Uploader within WordPress.

From right here, you’ll wish to click on the button to find the ZIP file in your laptop, then click on the Set up Now button:

A ZIP file ready to install, with a displayed Install Now button.A ZIP file ready to install, with a displayed Install Now button.

You’ll subsequent see a rundown of what WordPress does to put in a theme, at which level, you’ll wish to click on the Activate hyperlink:

A success confirmation for a ZIP install.A success confirmation for a ZIP install.

This may once more take you again to the principle Themes display, and also you’ll see your present theme change accordingly.

3. Methods to set up WordPress theme through SFTP

On uncommon events, you received’t be capable of use the dashboard interface or the theme uploader dialog. That is typically on account of a problem along with your WordPress set up, the place you may’t entry your website in any respect. Relying on the error, it might imply that you simply’ll want to put in a theme with out utilizing the traditional channels.

Fortuitously, there’s a 3rd technique to set up a WordPress theme – utilizing Safe File Switch Protocol (SFTP). This can be a method to connect with on-line servers and transfer recordsdata round utilizing a devoted app.

What you will want to make use of SFTP:

There are a number of facets you’ll must know and have in place earlier than you start right here:

  • You’ll want information of SFTP. We cowl the fundamentals in our article, how you can transfer an internet site to a brand new host, and our sister website Themeisle supplies an in-depth have a look at SFTP and how you can use it.
  • With a purpose to log into your server, you’ll want the proper credentials. You'll find these inside your internet hosting management panel.
  • You must also discover a appropriate SFTP shopper. Many customers go for FileZilla, however Cyberduck, Transmit, and plenty of extra exist too.

After you have the whole lot in place, you can begin to put in your WordPress theme.

The set up course of:

The overall method is to first log into your server utilizing SFTP. As soon as it hundreds, you’ll see a minimum of a listing of your server’s recordsdata. In some circumstances, you’ll additionally see the recordsdata in your laptop, too.

The Cyberduck SFTP client showing WordPress files on the server.The Cyberduck SFTP client showing WordPress files on the server.

From right here, perform the next:

  • Extract your theme’s recordsdata from the ZIP file.
  • Inside the SFTP shopper, navigate to your website on the server. Generally, it’s going to be within the prime stage listing. Nonetheless, it may be in a folder along with your website’s identify.

Inside this listing, search for wp-content and enter it. You’ll see quite a lot of different folders right here – we wish to head into themes:

An expanded wp-content directory.An expanded wp-content directory.

The following step is to drop the extracted folder into the themes listing. The SFTP shopper will add the recordsdata:

Uploading a theme directory to the server.Uploading a theme directory to the server.

From there, you may head into your WordPress dashboard, to the Themes web page once more. You need to see the theme on the listing, however you’ll must activate it with the intention to use it as your website’s main theme.

How WordPress themes provide help to with setup

As soon as you put in your theme, you’ll be able to customise it. Nonetheless, this could typically be an amazing step if it’s new to you, otherwise you don’t perceive what a theme will supply within the field.

To assist with this, many builders present setup wizards or screens that will help you. There are sometimes quite a lot of factors to examine off, ensuring you might have optimized the theme for long-term use. For instance, Neve consists of its personal Welcome display:

Neve's welcome screen.Neve's welcome screen.

You’ll see varied totally different implementations relying on the theme you select. Nonetheless, it’s a good suggestion to run by means of these steps as a result of that method you received’t miss out on optimizing some important functionalities your theme presents.

Two fast notes about WordPress themes

Earlier than we wrap up, let’s shortly contact on two different key particulars for working with WordPress themes. 👇

Some themes use plugins for premium options

These days, many theme builders use an method the place they provide a free model of the theme at after which promote a premium model with extra options.

Nonetheless, the way in which that many builders do that is usually a little tough as a result of the premium options normally come within the type of a plugin, not a theme.

For instance, take into account the Neve theme. The free model of the Neve theme is listed at If you buy Neve PRO, you’ll get entry to a plugin which you could set up alongside that free theme so as to add the brand new options.


So – for those who’re having points putting in a premium theme that you simply bought, just be sure you aren’t attempting to put in the premium add-on plugin like a standard theme.

Baby themes are vital for customized code edits

This final one received’t apply to most WordPress customers, so most individuals received’t should observe this.

Nonetheless, for those who ever plan to make edits on to the code of your theme, you’ll wish to create a toddler theme earlier than making these modifications to the theme’s recordsdata.

A baby theme is actually a foolproof clone of your theme, one which you could make modifications to as a lot as you want with out concern. The implementation has some technical components to it with the intention to perceive the way it works. Nonetheless, in your sanity, take into account it one thing you may construct on prime of, whereas the theme itself doesn’t change.

⌛ We cowl this matter in-depth throughout on the Themeisle weblog, so have a look and just be sure you create your personal baby theme for those who ever plan to edit your theme’s code.

Set up your WordPress theme immediately

With out site visitors, your WordPress web site received’t have a lot objective. One technique to appeal to new site visitors is with a professional-looking format and design. Subsequently, WordPress theme is essential, and there are 1000's to select from. Each free and premium choices exist – generally a theme will cowl each, comparable to Neve.

Given the significance of how your website appears, the platform supplies flexibility in the case of how you can set up a WordPress theme.

For most individuals, you may set up your theme immediately from the WordPress dashboard:

  • If the theme is listed at, you may set up it by trying to find its identify and clicking the set up button.
  • For those who bought a premium theme, you may set up it by importing the zip file to the theme installer.

ℹ️ Nonetheless, if that you must head across the again technique to set up a theme for no matter cause, you are able to do so utilizing SFTP. From there, you may run by means of your theme’s setup process, however bear in mind to create a toddler theme for those who’re going to edit your theme’s code immediately.

You may additionally be taken with:

Do you might have any questions on how you can set up a WordPress theme? Ask away within the feedback part beneath!

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