How to add theme

Adding New Themes

Appearance Panel

There are many Themes available for download that will work with your WordPress installation.

If the Theme that you are installing provides instructions, be sure to read through and follow those instructions for the successful installation of the Theme. It is recommended that Theme developers provide installation instructions for their own Themes, because Themes can provide special optional functionality that may require more steps than the basic installation steps covered here. If your Theme does not work after following any provided instructions, please contact the Theme author for help.

To add a new Theme to your WordPress installation, follow these basic steps:

  1. Download the Theme archive and extract the files it contains. You may need to preserve the directory structure in the archive when extracting these files. Follow the guidelines provided by your Theme author.
  2. Using an FTP client to access your host web server, create a directory to save your Theme in the wp-content/themesdirectory provided by WordPress. For example, a Theme named Test should be in wp-content/themes/test. Your Theme may provide this directory as part of the archive.
  3. Upload the Theme files to the new directory on your host server.
  4. Follow the instructions below for selecting the new Theme.

Adding New Themes by using cPanel

If your host offers the cPanel control panel, and the Theme files are in a .zip or .gz archive follow these instructions. Note: This assumes the Theme you download is a compressed (zip) file and the files in the zip file are in their ‘named’ folder.

  1. Download the Theme zip file to your local machine.
  2. In cPanel File Manager, navigate to your Themes folder. If you have WordPress installed in it’s own folder called wordpress, you would navigate to “public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes” and if WordPress is installed in your web-root folder you would navigate to “public_html/wp-content/themes”.
  3. Once you’ve navigated to the Themes folder in cPanel File Manager, click on Upload file(s) and upload that zip file you saved in Step 1.
  4. Once the zip file is uploaded, click on the zip file name in cPanel, then in the panel to the right, click on Extract File Contents, and that zip file will be uncompressed.
  5. Follow the instructions below for selecting the new Theme.

Adding New Themes using the Administration Panel

You can download Themes directly to your blog by using the Add New Themes option in the Appearance sub-menu.

  1. Log in to the WordPress Administration Panel.
  2. Select the Appearance panel, then Themes.
  3. Select Install Themes
  4. Use the sub-menu or the Search or Filter options to locate a Theme you would like to use.
  5. Click on the Preview link to preview the Theme or the Install link to upload the Theme to your blog.
  6. Use the Upload link in the top sub-menu to upload a zipped copy of a Theme that you have previously downloaded to your machine.

Selecting the Active Theme

To select a Theme for your site:

  1. Log in to the WordPress Administration Panel.
  2. Select the Appearance panel, then Themes.
  3. From the Available Themes section, click on the Theme title (or Theme screenshot) for the Theme you wish to activate.
  4. A preview of the Theme will be shown.
  5. To activate the Theme click the Activate “Theme Name” link in the top right.

Your selection should immediately become active.

Note: If the Theme preview is blank, do not activate the new Theme without investigating further. Your site may not be displayed correctly, otherwise.

Creating Themes

If you are interested in creating your own Theme for distribution, or learning more about the architecture of Themes, please review the documentation regarding Theme Development.

If you simply want to customize your current Theme for your own use, consider creating a Child Theme.


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