Install WordPress theme

Banner for article about how to install WordPress theme

The WordPress community offers free and premium themes, which need to be installed and activated before use.

There are several ways to install a theme: either use WordPress dashboard or FTP client.

Use WordPress dashboard

To install a WordPress theme, login to a WordPress dashboard:

  1. Navigate to Appearance → Themes to view all the themes currently installed on a WordPress website.
  2. To add another theme, click on Add New button at the top of the themes screen.

The Add Themes page provides (2) two options to add a new theme to a WordPress website:

  • Use the search field to install the theme from the theme directory.
  • Upload the theme’s files from a computer.

Upload method

This method is required for premium themes hosted on vendors website.

Before the upload, make sure you have a .zip file of the theme.

When using a purchased from Themes Harbor, there several ways to download the theme files.

On the Add Themes page:

  1. Click Upload Theme button at the top of the screen.
  2. Click the Choose File button.
  3. Select .zip file downloaded earlier.
  4. Click the Install Now button.
Preview of page which allows to upload the theme .zip file.

To activate the theme after install:

  1. Click Activate link.
  2. On Themes Info page, enter license key to keep the theme secure and performant.
  3. Enjoy new WordPress theme.
Preview of page which allows to active theme after installing it.

Now, the theme should be listed as a current active theme in WordPress.

Official WordPress theme directory

This method is common for free themes from theme directory.

On the Add Themes page:

  1. Use either the Search or Filter options to find a theme to have on a WordPress website.
  2. Press Install button.
Preview of Add Themes page, with selected theme from

Then WordPress will download and install the theme.

After a successful installation, you will be able to activate the theme.

Use FTP client

This method is a bit more advanced compare to the previous one. It requires to have FTP credentials to upload the theme’s files. You can get this information from your hosting provider.

Also, remember to unzip the theme’s file before uploading them.

Once have FTP credentials:

  1. Login to your server using a FTP client
  2. Upload the non-zipped theme folder into /wp-content/themes/ folder.
  3. Active the theme in Appearance → Themes.