How to Install a WordPress Theme

WordPress allows the use of custom themes for a blog. There are a couple of options for obtaining custom themes to use on your WordPress site:

  • Download a theme from the internet onto your local computer; then upload it via the WordPress Dashboard.
  • Search for a theme via the WordPress Dashboard Themes section.

Search for a Theme via WordPress Dashboard

WordPress allows you to search for themes based on specific keywords and/or features. To begin searching from your WordPress Dashboard:

  1. In the left-side navigation menu, click Appearance > Themes.
  2. Along the top of the screen, click on Install Themes.

From here, you can browse all available WordPress themes or search by a specific keyword, author or tag.

Downloading and Installing a Theme

After downloading a theme through your preferred method, there are two possible ways to install the theme on your WordPress site.

Note: Not all WordPress themes are compatible with the latest version of WordPress.  Be sure the theme being installed is compatible with the version of WordPress installed.

WordPress Theme Installer

To install a downloaded WordPress theme with the WordPress installer:

  1. Log into the WordPress Dashboard via or Replace with your actual domain.
  2. From the left-side navigation menu, click Appearance > Themes.
  3. Along the top of the screen click the Install Themes tab.
  4. Click Upload, select Browse and navigate to the appropriate file on your computer.
    Be sure the files are compressed in a .zip format.
  5. Click Install Now.
  6. Click Activate.

Manual Install

If the WordPress theme install experiences issues, it is possible to manually install a theme by uploading it directly to your server.

To manually install a WordPress theme, you simply need to upload your theme directory to your WordPress themes directory:

  1. Open File Manager in cPanel or connect to your server with an FTP client.
  2. Navigate to the themes directory inside of the wp-content directory in your WordPress document root:

    Location for WordPress theme directory.
  3. Upload your compressed theme file:
  4. Uncompress your theme file to this directory:

    Extract compressed file.

After successfully uncompressing your theme into the WordPress themes folder, you can activate it using the following steps:

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Select Appearance -> Themes from the left hand side menu.
  3. Click the Activate button under the theme you wish to use:

    WordPress themes menu.


If blank pages are encountered after installing a new theme, please refer to the following article for additional information: