I love WordPress: it’s free, easy to use and very easy to modify and enhance. One of the greatest features is the ability to very quickly change the way a WordPress site looks without having to change the content at all. In WordPress, content and presentation are completely separate. Until I experienced this first hand, I had difficultly appreciating what this really met. Not sure how to install a new theme? No problem, we’ll walk you through exactly how to install a wordpress theme to your blog.
Even if you’re happy with your current theme, I’d recommend you install a new theme and activate it just to appreciate how slick this capability really is.
How to install a WordPress theme
Until recently, installing a new WordPress theme was tedious. Doing so involved downloading the theme files, extracting them, uploading the files to your server using FTP, etc. With the 3.1 version of WordPress, installing new WordPress themes is easy. If the theme you want to use is in the WordPress themes directory, do the following:
- Login to your WordPress administrative console. This is done by navigating to: http://yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin. Of course, replace “yourwebsitename” with the actual domain name for your website.
- Using the administrative menu, navigate to Appearance>>Themes and select Themes.
- At the top of the right-hand section are two tabs. The first (which is selected) is Manage Themes. The second is Install Themes. Select the Install Themes tab.
- This is the screen you will use to select the theme to install. If you’ve already identified a theme you would like to use, just enter it’s name in the Search entry field. Otherwise type the terms you would like to search for to find your theme. There are many other options as well:
- Below the search field are a number of options you can use to find your theme, including colors, number of columns, subject, etc.
- Along the top, above the search entry screen, are a number of options for browsing themes as well that you can select. These include: Featured, Newest, and Recently Updated.
- After entering your search or browse option, you’ll be presented with a screen that lists the themes matching your criteria. The listing will have a thumbnail of the theme along with a brief description. Below each listing will be a preview option and an install option. I always recommend doing a preview before installing.
- To install your theme, select the install option. You’ll be presented with a pop-up confirmation window. To proceed with the install, click on the Install Now button.
- Depending on your hosting company and the security permissions of your site, the install will either complete or you will be promoted to enter FTP information. If promoted, enter your sites FTP credentials and press the Proceed button. If you don’t know your FTP credentials, contacting your hosting company and they can provide them for you.
- That’s pretty much it, your theme is now installed. If you click on the Manage Tab, you’ll see the new theme listed.
- The only remaining step is to activate it. This is done by clicking on the Activate button below the theme’s thumbnail.
- Now, finally visit your sites main domain name and you’ll see your new Theme! How easy is that huh?
If the theme you want to use isn’t there, then you’ll need to download the zipped theme file to your local computer, and do the following:. Assuming it is, here’s how to install a new theme:
- Follow steps 1-3 above.
- Just under the “Install Themes” tab, select the upload option.
- Press the Choose File button and select the zipped them file you downloaded and press the Open button.
- Make sure the correct zip file is shown, and press the Install Now button.Depending on your hosting company and the security permissions of your site, the install will either complete or you will be promoted to enter FTP information. If promoted, enter your sites FTP credentials and press the Proceed button. If you don’t know your FTP credentials, contacting your hosting company and they can provide them for you.
- You will then see a screen showing the installation status and if all goes well a completed message.
- Follow steps 8-10 above to finish up.
While looks aren’t everything, having a nicely laid out and clean website for visitors to read your content can make a big difference in the popularity of your blog or website. A high quality and well designed theme gives your site a professional look, adds credibility to your site, and can influence how much search engine traffic you get based on how SEO optimized the theme is and how quickly it performs.
Photo by: wovox