How to install a WordPress theme

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How to install a WordPress theme
how to install wordpress theme

Are you a beginner or an expert worried about how to install WordPress theme. maybe this is your first time installing a theme on your website. In this article, I am going to show you how to install a WordPress theme.

There are thousands, if not millions of WordPress themes available for you to install on your website. Installing a WordPress theme is easy but keep in mind that if you activate a new theme, then it will change how your website looks and functions.

If you have used WordPress, then you have probably switched themes at least once in your life. If you haven’t, and this is your first time, then it is even better.

The beauty of WordPress is that it makes it very easy for users to change themes. It is literally few clicks away. But changing themes is much more than simply clicking activate.

Here are few things to take note of when installing a WordPress theme on an existing website.

Before Installing WordPress theme

Take Notes on Your Current Theme

Many WordPress users search the web looking for information to solve their problems. Often they find those solutions in form of snippets that they add manually in their themes such as the functions.php or another file.
Because these changes were made once, people have a tendency of not remembering them.

Go through your theme files and note down all additional code that you added. You also want to check your current theme’s load time because this way you can compare the two.

Be cautious of the Sidebars

You must make sure that your new theme is widget-ready.


As a precautionary measure, you should back up all of your theme files, plugins, and database. Although nothing should happen, you can never be too safe. You can use All-in-One WP Migration to create a full-site Backup for you.

Maintenance Mode

Activating the maintenance mode on your website is required when changing your theme. doing that will make your users not to see any broken site until you are done with the changes on your website.

It is best to turn on Maintenance mode for 15 – 20 minutes that it may take you to make sure that everything is working properly. Once you have setup Maintenance mode, you are good to go ahead and activate the new theme

Let your users know

It’s Important you let your users know that you are going to make changes to your website. you can contact them via email, or put it up on the header of your website for some days or a week. inform them ahead.

Include the date and time, and do it when you say you are going to do it. when you say you are making changes at 7:15 pm do it when it’s 7:15 pm don’t wait till when it’s 7:45 pm. or earlier than 7:15 pm.

doing this will alert your users to expect the maintenance mode at that specific date and time.

After Installing WordPress theme

Don’t lose tracking

Most bloggers use some sort of analytics whether it be Google Analytics or one of the other services. A lot of us don’t use plugins to add the tracking codes. Some of us open the footer.php file and modify the codes.

Some of our themes have a spot to place the AdSense code. Whichever one is your case, you want to make sure that you copy and paste your tracking code to your new theme. This is one of the things that is very commonly overlooked by users. Because it is so simple, most of us forget about it.

Testing all functionality and plugins

Once you have the new theme activated, you need to make sure that you retain all the functionality and plugins still work.

Add any and all functionality that you want to bring from the old theme into the new theme if you haven’t done so already. make sure all of your widgets are still there and are working.

Internet Browsers

Figure out the browser most of your users use to access your website, then make sure that it is still accessible to them. Browsers have a tendency of rendering things differently. Especially Internet Explorer. You want to make sure that your design looks good in major browsers.

Test Loading Speed

Test the loading speed of your new WordPress theme and compare it with the previous WordPress theme.

Get Feedbacks

Not all your users might like the new theme. if your users are not comfortable with the new WordPress theme, consider making another change.

Get feedback from your users seeking their opinions concerning the new WordPress theme. get their feedback and improve your website.

If you are installing a WordPress theme on a new site, then you are good to go.

Here is how you install a WordPress theme

If you’re looking to install a free WordPress theme from the themes directory, then the easiest way is by using the built-in theme search functionality.

The first thing you need to do is log in to your WordPress admin area. Next, go to the Appearance » Themes page and click on the Add New button.

how to install wordpress theme

On the next screen, you will have the ability to select from: Featured WordPress themes, Popular WordPress themes, Latest WordPress themes, search for a specific theme, or search for themes with specific features.

Clicking on the ‘Feature Filter’ button will allow you to sort themes based on features. For instance, you can sort themes by subject, specific features, and layout.

how to install wordpress theme

Based on your search, you will see a list of themes that met your criteria. In our case, we searched for the popular OceanWp theme.

When you see the theme that you want to install, simply bring your mouse on top of the image. This will reveal the install button, preview button, and details button.

Go ahead and click on the install button.

WordPress will now install your theme and show you a success message along with ‘Activate’ or ‘Live preview’ buttons.

Click on the activate button, and you’ve successfully installed and activated your WordPress theme.

Depending on the theme, it may add additional settings options that you may need to configure.

For instance, your theme may ask you to install the recommended plugins, download demo data, or review settings.

You can follow the on-screen instructions, or click on the customize button to start setting up your theme.

how to install wordpress theme

How to Install WordPress theme with upload method

The first method that we covered only allows you to install free themes that are available in the theme’s directory.

What if you want to install a premium WordPress theme by uploading the theme.

Here is how you do that

The first thing you need to do is log in to your WordPress admin area. Next, go to the Appearance » Themes page and click on the Add New button.

This will take you to the add new theme page showing featured free themes. Since you already have the theme you want to install, go ahead and click on the ‘Upload Theme’ button at the top.

how to install wordpress theme

Once your theme is installed, you will see a success message along with the link to activate and preview the theme.

Click on the ‘Activate’ link, and you’ve successfully installed and activated your WordPress theme.

Depending on the theme, it may add additional settings options that you may need to configure either through the theme customizer or through a separate options panel.

This is how you easily install WordPress theme to your website.

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