How to install a WordPress theme: Step-by-step for Beginners

After you buy a domain and hosting from better WordPress hosting providers. We need to install a WordPress theme on our website.

There are over thousands of WordPress themes available online. It has a combination of both free and premium WordPress themes

How to install a WordPress theme

As a better part, most of the famous themes are freemium. In which you will get a premium theme for free, without some important features.

But getting SEO-friendly themes for your WordPress is important. The SEO-friendly themes are much better for website architecture and also load faster.

If you are new to WordPress and started a website, then you may be confused to choose themes. Sometimes choosing a better for your site takes time.

So before confirming the themes for your website, you can try dozens of WordPress themes. 

If you are just creating a professional blogging website, then Astra and GeneratePress themes are much better and trusted by millions of WordPress users. 

The themes like DIVI will work as multipurpose themes. It helps you to create every type of website. Moreover, you can also choose themes based on your particular niche and focused websites.

If you are creating a news website, then you can go with Newspaper themes. Similarly for high conversion-focused websites for creating more landing pages Thrive themes can be better, which comes with Thrive architect. Thrive Architect and Elementor are well-known and powerful landing page builders.

As a beginner, you can try out as many as themes you want. It’s because, once have more content on your website, regular changing of themes will affect your content formatting and SEO.

Okay, let’s start to install your WordPress theme.

How to install a WordPress theme

There are three ways to install and activate your WordPress theme on the website. Likewise installing a WP plugin only two methods are beginner-friendly. We will see those 2 methods to install a plugin on the WordPress dashboard. 

You will find thousands of free themes on the WordPress themes directory.

Method 1: How to install a WordPress plugin Manually

Initially, you should head over to the WordPress dashboard.

Wordpress dashboard

On the WordPress dashboard, you will find the Themes option under Appearance.

WordPress Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes

Navigate to install a WordPress theme

Then click the Add new button on the top.

Add new WP themes to install

You will be taken to the collection of WordPress themes. There you can use the search themes option to search for your themes.

Search for WordPress themes

I’m entering a theme name to find the theme. Here I have searched for the GeneratePress theme. It is shown at the top. You can search your selected theme,

List of available WordPress themes to install

Now you can click the Install button to install, then Activate it.

Click to install WordPress theme

If you are not sure about, what themes to choose. Then you can use the feature filter to filter out the themes based on your needs. It comes with many filters, which allow you to find themes related to your subject, features, and layout.

Use filter to find the themes on WordPress directory

Based on your filters, you will be shown up with hundreds of themes. I’m personally using the Astra theme for my website and I will highly recommend it to everyone. Astra is the only theme, which has over 1 million active downloads.

Once you installed and activated your theme, now you can customize it. You will get customizable functions based on your theme.

Install, Activate and customize your themes

Sometimes, the themes will suggest you install some recommended plugins. These plugins will add up more flexibilities and features to your WordPress.

Astra also has a group of their plugins to maximize the features of the theme. It includes Astra starter sites and Gutenburg blocks for more blocks.

Method 2: How to Upload and Install WordPress theme Manually from .Zip

This method is for premium themes. The premium themes like DIVI and Themify are not available on the WordPress themes directory. So you have to download and install those themes to your WordPress.

You have to download themes from the official website of that particular premium theme.

Okay, let’s look at the methods to upload and install a WordPress theme manually.

Navigate to the Appearance and Themes on your WordPress dashboard. As we have seen earlier, it will take you to the themes directory. At the top, you will find the Upload theme option.

Upload and install WordPress themes manually

After selecting the upload theme option, you will be allowed to upload a file.

Upload the theme file

Select the file and upload it. After uploading, you will be shown up with Activate button. Then Activate it. The theme files will be usually in .Zip format.

This is the simple method to upload and install the WordPress theme manually from .Zip.

Common things to know when installing a WordPress theme

If you are using a theme already and activating a new theme will deactivate your previous theme. So your previous theme customizations will be changed.

If it was a new website, then it doesn’t a problem. But if it was an established site with hundreds of blogs, then you should need to take care when installing a new WordPress theme. The newly activated theme may change your content formatting, image sizes, landing page layouts, and sidebars.

Use widget options to customize your widgets in any theme.

So don’t often change your themes. Initially, it takes a month or two, to finalize your theme, but don’t change it often.

Before changing themes, have a backup of your site. The plugins like UpdraftPlus provide you, one-click backup and restore. The site’s backup is very important.

You can upload themes only on the self-hosted WordPress, which is If you are using free, then theme uploading options will not be available to you.

Get the cheap and best wordpress hosting from premium hosting companies to host your website.

There is another method to upload a theme to your wordpress. It is done by accessing your WordPress hosting account with FTP. By accessing /wp-content/themes/folder to upload your theme file.

But this method is not beginner-friendly and not advisable for beginners. Unknowingly accessing your files will cause you big problems. So follow only the above-mentioned two methods to install a plugin on WordPress.

Some best Multipurpose themes for every WordPress website

  1. Astra theme
  2. Divi theme
  3. Thrive themes
  4. GenaratePress
  5. Ultra theme
  6. Sydney Pro
  7. CSS igniter themes

>> Read – List of Best SEO-friendly WordPress themes

FAQ on Installing WordPress themes

1. Free or Premium themes – Which is best

If you are a beginner and want to try different themes, then go with any freemium themes that are available. Astra and Generatepress are famous free themes to try.
But if you want to create a professional website and have a budget to spend, then get a premium theme. Premium themes are SEO-friendly and come with better functionalities and support.

2. How many themes I can install on my WordPress?

There is no limit to installing your WordPress themes. But you can activate only one theme at a time. Once you activate a new theme, WordPress automatically deactivates your previous theme.
So only install the theme you are using. Delete other themes, which is better for your website.

3. How to choose the best WordPress themes

With thousands of free and premium themes online, only a few dozens of themes are more popular in each niche. If you are a beginner, then you should not consider more about the theme.
Choose a simple design theme, that suits your niche and the needs of the site. Once your site grows, then you can also design your custom theme using the developers.
Having a proper SEO and a speed-optimized theme is more than enough to choose as best.


These are the best beginner-friendly method to install a WordPress theme. 

I hope this article helps you to install and activate a theme on WordPress. If you find this useful, kindly share it.

If you have any problem installing a WordPress theme, then Comment below. I can help you to solve it.

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