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How To Install WordPress Theme

Before We Start: Please keep in your mind that you’re NOT allowed to install a Premium theme to your WordPress.com account which hosts your website for free. This option is only available if you use WordPress.org, where you have to host your own WordPress environment.

If this sounds confusing to you you may consider to have a look on the articles below:

  1. The differences between WP.ORG and WP.COM
  2. How To Have Your Own Website

It is a very easy process:You were thinking about to have your own website for a long time and now the time has come. You’ve finally bought the premium theme of your dreams, or discovered a free jewel that satisfies anything you need. Now you’re only few minutes away from a fully configured dynamic website.

Using WordPress Admin Dashboard:

You can use WP Dashboard to upload (install) both Free and Premium themes. You should first take the route you see at the image below, once you’ve logged in to your Admin Panel.

WordPress Dashboard Install

And then, please click on the shiny button that reads “ADD NEW”:

Installing via admin wordpress dashboard

1) Installing a Free Theme

If you’re willing to use a free option from the WordPress repository, all you have to do is to find an option that satisfies your requirements by filtering some features. Do not ever hesitate to try any theme that looks satisfactory, as you don’t have anything to loose here.

Installing Free Alternative To WordPress

Clicking the “Install” button will be enough to serve the purpose.

2) Installing a Premium Theme

If the free options WordPress offers do not seem enough to fulfill your dreams, searching for a paid one would be the next option. A premium alternative usually costs between $30-$80, so please do not hurry and take your time; examine Live Previews and demos, get in contact with the developers of the product, ask detailed questions, read users’ comments and then decide. Examining user comments and the author’s (developer’s) responses to their customers would give you very useful hints about the support you’re going to receive for the theme you’re willing to purchase.

Important!: Installing a Premium alternative by using the WordPress dashboard is a process which involves uploading a ZIP file. When you purchase a “Theme” from a marketplace, you basically download a ZIP folder to your computer’s desktop, but please keep in your mind that this file is not the ZIP file you should be uploading to your WordPress CMS. This is a common mistake , and causes the error you see below:

“Broken theme/stylesheet missing WordPress”

Actually it’s not broken, and the stylesheet is not missing. To prevent this from happening, please follow the steps you see below:

  • UNZIP (right-click > extract here) the ZIP file you’ve downloaded.
  • When UNzipping process is completed, you’ll still see another ZIP File among the folders. This is the ZIP file you should install to WordPress.

We will take the same route as we did previously, but things will differ in step 3:

Once again, we're taking the classic route

Click on Add New

Uploading ZIP file to WordPress

Once you’ve clicked the button you see above, you’ll be greeted with the screen below:

Choose Your ZIP File to upload

Just browse the required ZIP file, and that’s it (don’t forget to click “Install Now” once you’ve chosen the “ZIP” that represents your theme). Now you are free to “activate” your theme by hovering your mouse over the preview of it and clicking on the button “activate”.

Using AN FTP Client:

If you’re familiar with how to upload files to your server, you can also use an FTP to install themes.

First login to your FTP account (As we’ve discussed in our WP Security post, it’s always better to use SFTP, instead of FTP) and then locate the folder which contains your installed themes. Please examine the image below:

Installing a Premium, paid alternative

You should drag and drop the new theme’s folder (NOT the ZIP file; its folder) from your computer into the directory described on the image above, which represents the inside of the folder named “themes“. It may take several minutes according to the size of the folder. Please be patient.

Now you should be able to see it among your other themes when you explore them in your dashboard, by following the route “Appearance > Themes”.

We hope this article helps you in the beginning phase of your journey.

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