WordPress Theme: How to Download and Install

Downloading a WordPress theme and installing it, is basic but very essential. There are different paths to do the task and I go through one, step by step.

Table of Contents

Download a WordPress Theme

You can use a free theme, a theme that offers parts of it for free (and pay for more features), and a premium (or paid) theme.

Free WordPress Theme

The first place to download a theme is the WordPress Themes Directory. Until today, you can find 10,051 free themes and filter them by popularity, latest ones, block themes, and features like one column, two columns, etc.

I go to the provided link and see the Astra theme and like it because It looks nice. When I hover over it, I see the download button and more info link. I can either click on download or on more info to see the description, preview, rating, and more details.

I can go through the information and decide whether to download it or not on the detail page of the theme.

After you decide which theme aligns with your goals, download it and go to the next step. It is worth mentioning that the above website is just one of the websites that you can download a theme from.

Premium WordPress Theme

it is better to pay for more featured customizable themes and get professional support after downloading and using them sometimes. If you doubt to use a free or premium theme, see this article: Premium vs. Free WordPress Themes: Make the Right Choice

If you have decided to purchase a theme, I recommend reading this article: A Look at Top Premium WordPress Themes to Buy. You can also search for “buy WordPress themes” on Google to see more.

After all, you will download a .zip file and you can install it next.

Install a WordPress Theme

Login to your WordPress website.

Then go to the Appearance menu and click on Themes.

After that click on Add New.

Next, click on Upload Theme.

Now, Click Choose File, navigate to the .zip file of the theme you have downloaded in the previous section, select it, and click Open.

At this time, click on Install Now and wait until you see a new page with the text “Theme installed successfully” (if everything is OK, you will see this message).

If you click on Activate on the next page, your theme will change to the theme that was just uploaded and installed.


Be careful if you want to activate the theme on your production website. Sometimes you see unexpected results (especially if you have a lot of content and plugins). It is better to use a staging version of your website, do the necessary settings, and push it to the live website later. Or you can make changes on your local machine, backup from, and use the backup file to leverage changes to your production website. It is also possible to click on Live Preview and see the results before activating the theme.

I am in a testing environment so I activated the theme. Now, I am redirected to the themes section of my WordPress admin area again. Here I can see all of my installed themes and hover over them for a live preview and activate them.

You can always go to the Appearance menu Themes section to choose and activate a theme.

Now I see the website with a new look. In this case, it is simple because my testing website does not have much content and I should add more theme features to see them on the front end.


I hope you enjoyed this post and it helped you do what you wanted. You might like to look at this post: Unveiling Magic of the WordPress Theme Repository. There I explained how to use the repository inside WordPress admin area.

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  1. arleenlebron Avatar

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    1. Mohammad Ahmadian Avatar
      Mohammad Ahmadian

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