Back to WordPress Support & Help Center

How to Install a WordPress Theme in 2021

In this tutorial I will show you 3 different ways to install a new WordPress Theme.

Video Transcript:

The first and the easiest method is to install a WordPress theme that is available for free in the theme repository.
To do that, go to the Dashboard and open the Themes page in the Appearance section.

Click on the Add New button. This page will automatically load some random themes from the repository.
You can search the repository directly from this page.
Once you find a theme that you like, click on the Install button and wait for the process to finish.
Click on the Activate link to activate the theme.

Now let’s install a custom theme, for example a premium theme that you have purchased from an independent theme developer.
I will assume that you have already downloaded a .zip file that contains all of the theme’s files. There is no need to manually unpack it.

Now go to the Dashboard of your WordPress website.
Open the Themes page in the Appearance section.
Click on the Add New button and then on the Upload Theme button.
Select the .zip file with the theme and click Install Now.
It takes a few seconds for the theme to be uploaded to your website. The time it will take depends on the file size and your Internet connection speed.
Click on the Activate link to activate the theme.

If for some reason you can’t upload the theme directly from the Dashboard, you can try doing it using a FTP client software. A good option is FileZilla, it is free and open source software.

Open FileZilla and paste your website host and the FTP username and password. These are provided by your hosting provider and can usually be created and changed from the cPanel.

Once you have successfully connected to your website, go to the /wp-content/ folder and then the themes folder. This is where you should copy the contents of the .zip file, not the file itself.
After you have uploaded all files, the theme will become available on the Themes page in the Appearance section.

Congratulations! You can now start using your new WordPress theme.