How to install a WordPress theme

install a wordpress theme

WordPress is one of the most popular and efficient website creation tools on the internet today. The process for choosing and setting up a WordPress theme may seem complex on the surface, but the process is quite simple. Here’s how to install a WordPress theme.

Before you install a WordPress theme

Before you begin to install a WordPress theme, you’ll need to choose the proper theme for you. Although the installation process is simple, it can be time consuming, so make sure you’ve chosen the theme that works best for your specific purpose. Different themes will also be installed in different ways depending on where they originate. There are three types of WordPress themes:

  • Free themes from the WordPress.org theme repository
  • Free themes from an external website
  • Premium themes from an external website such as themeforest

You’ll want to keep in mind the type of theme you’ve chosen, as the installation process will be different for each type. The next steps will cover how to install a WordPress theme.

Installing from the WordPress repository

Installing from the WordPress repository takes little effort. Simply jot down your theme’s name, go to your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Appearance, then Themes, and click Add New. Search for the name of your theme with the search bar and press install. After the loading time, you’ll have a brand-new theme. Simple as that if you would like to install a WordPress theme from the repository.

Install a WordPress theme manually

If you want to Install a WordPress theme from an external site will need a different process, though the process is the same whether the Theme is free or premium. This is a manual process so it will be slightly more complicated, but it’s still quick and painless. First, make a note of the zip file you receive from the developer’s site. 

You won’t need to “unzip” it or access the data inside, but you will need to know where it’s stored on your computer. Head to your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance, then Themes. Click Add New then Upload Theme. Select the zip file from the location you’ve made note of, then press Install Now. WordPress will automatically add the theme to your site, and, once that’s done, just press Activate to run the theme. This is the initial process and you’re now ready for the rest of the work.

Additional setup

When you install a WordPress theme and it doesn’t look like what you would expect, there’s some extra steps to be taken. First, you should check your theme’s documentation, available from the developer’s site and embedded in the theme. Many themes today have adequate documentation, and some even come with video tutorials, but in the event that the documentation isn’t enough, keep following this guide to help you through the installation.

Install plugins

Plugins modify your theme to enhance function, but many themes require certain plugins to function from the start. If your theme requires a plugin to run efficiently, you’ll be notified in your WordPress dashboard after you’ve installed the theme. Details of required plugins will also be available in the theme’s documentation. We recommend that you install a WordPress theme first for new sites.

If the WordPress dashboard notifies you of any plugins which need installing, simply click through the prompts and WordPress will install all of the needed plugins automatically. If the plugin names are only found in the documentation, a manual process will be needed for installation. This is still easy, as you’ll navigate to Plugins, then Add New on the WordPress dashboard, search for the plugin names, and then install them individually from this page.

Understanding theme options

You may also have a Theme Options Page at your disposal, found under Appearance, then Theme Options. This page allows you to control other elements of your theme such as layout options, custom colors and schemes, adding social media links, and a general homepage setup. You would follow this step after you install a WordPress theme. Each of these additional options is simple to set up. Experiment with them to find out which options work for you and create a totally custom theme based on what you’ve already chosen.

Using the customizer

The default WordPress homepage is based on its history as a blog publishing site. To alter your homepage, simply add a new page with the title “Home” then select Homepage from the Page Templates dropdown menu, then Publish. You can add any page as your homepage, simply create the content and publish the page, then head to Settings, Reading, Front Page Displays. Select the page you want as your homepage and save it and it will become your default homepage.

The WordPress Customizer offers a plethora of features, like changing site info, headers, and background images to your liking. Though the Customizer is expansive, only certain themes support certain functions. To check which functions your theme will support, head to Appearance, then Customize. This loads up the Customizer, which will give you a two-pane view; what can be changed will be on the left and a live preview of the site can be seen on the right. The remaining process is simple; just click on what you want changed and change it with the various tools found within the Customizer.

Adding widgets

Widgets are designed to help organize the space of your site. Widgets allow specific content to be placed in specific areas of the site, such as blog content, popular posts, and e-mail forms. Their drag-and-drop interface is incredibly simple to use. To utilize widgets, head to Appearance, then Widgets. The widgets you can use will show up on the left, and their viable space will be shown to the right. Each area has a description of use and location for your convenience.

The rest is simple – drag and drop your desired widgets to the space where you want that specific content to show up. You can also set the options of the widgets by expanding each widget. Save the changes when you finish and admire your new content areas.

Using menus

The final step in setting up the perfect site is menu creation after you install a WordPress theme. Menu setup is as user friendly as anything on WordPress; the menu editor allows for navigational setup and can be found in the Appearance tab, under Menus. Similar to widgets, your available options will be shown to the left and the structure of the menu will be shown on the right.

Decide where you want each menu to be placed and give them names, then add the content. You can even indent menu content to transform it into a submenu. Once you’re finished, indicate where your menu will display under Menu Settings. Usually, this will be called Main Menu or something general, but there’s no set rules for your menu titles. Save the menu and repeat the process for as many locations as you like.

And there it is, your new WordPress site with your chosen Theme and other accessories! If you have a problem with the site, check for plugin conflicts or seek help from the Theme developer. Significant problems are rare in WordPress but there’s always outside help to assist you if the problem can’t be solved on your own. Now that you’re done designing your website, sit back and enjoy the flow of traffic from those as impressed with it as you are.If you are looking for the perfect theme, we would recommend that you start out with themeforest. They have premium themes that are ideal for most situations. Explore other tips and tricks with techdescribed.com.

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