WordPress 101: How To Install A WordPress Theme

This guide cover how to manually install a WordPress theme via FTP and we also cover how to install them automatically as well.

Step 1: Download your theme of choice

When you download your theme, you will need to extract your theme from it’s archive folder aka a .zip file. Themes usually come in a .zip file but in rare cases you might get a .rar file but either way the same rules apply.  Most computers today can automatically extract .zip files but if you can’t you can use AlZip. For this tutorial we are going to use the P2 theme created by the creators of WordPress itself. Download AlZip and then download the P2 theme.

Once you’ve downloaded the theme .zip file, find the location where the file was downloaded and open it with the AlZip.

Step 2: Upload the theme directory to WordPress

To upload your WordPress theme, you will need a FTP client to communicate with your website. I recommend FileZilla to connect to your hosting account, navigate to where WordPress is installed and locate the /wp-content/themes/ directory. Upload the /p2/ directory it. After you’re done, it should look something like this.

Step 3: Activate the theme within your WordPress admin panel

Login to your WordPress admin panel, and navigate to the Presentation tab. You should now be at a screen that looks like this.

If your theme was installed correctly you should see a screenshot in the theme section of your WordPress admin area located yoursite.com/wp-admin/themes.php. Once you’ve confirmed that just activate the theme and your all set.

That’s all there is to it.

There is also 2 other ways to install a WordPress theme you can simply navigate to yoursite.com/wp-admin/theme-install.php and search for a theme from right within WorsPress and install it from there or you can go yoursite.com/wp-admin/theme-install.php?tab=upload and upload the theme from the desktop of your computer and WordPress will take care of the rest.