In my post, I show you how to change a WordPress theme on a live site, step by step.
In your WordPress editor, you can install and activate themes with just a few clicks. There is an option to live preview your site before you make it live. Changing a WordPress theme takes just a few moments.
I have worked on WordPress sites for a few years. I have changed the theme on some of my sites. The process to change a WordPress theme on a live site is as follows.
- Backup your site
- Install the WordPress theme
- Live preview the theme
- Customise the theme
- Activate the theme
Let’s do that step by step.
Step one – Backup your website
Changing your WordPress theme alters how your website looks. As a precaution, I recommend you backup your site before you start.
Should you not like the new look, you can restore your site to the original theme settings from your backup.
I use the free plugin UpdraftPlus to backup my sites. To learn how to use UpdraftPlus, please check out my ‘How to backup your site.‘ post.
Step two – Install your WordPress theme.
There are two ways to install a new theme. The first method is to use a WordPress theme from the WordPress theme library. The second method is to upload a WordPress theme.
How to install a theme from the WordPress library
First, hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’ on the left, then select ‘Themes’.
On the next page is a list of themes installed on your site. To install a new WordPress theme, select ‘Add New’.
Use the menu, feature filter, or search function to find a new theme for your blog.
When you see one you like, move your mouse over the theme. An option to view details and preview appears.
Click ‘Install’ to install this theme to your WordPress admin.
How to upload a WordPress theme file
To upload a WordPress theme file, go to ‘Themes’ from the main menu.
Next, select ‘Add new’.
Then, select ‘Upload theme’.
Find the file on your computer and select ‘Open’.
Finally, select ‘Install Now.’
Step three – Live preview your new theme
The live preview feature allows you to see how your website content looks on the new theme without activating it.
Hover your mouse over the new theme, then select ‘Live Preview’.
You can navigate around your website as a visitor would.
Step four – Customise the theme.
In the live preview feature, you can customise the theme before you activate it.
Use the menu on the left to make your changes.
With each edit, the preview window on the right-hand side updates. So you always know how your changes will look once the theme is activated.
Step five – Activate and publish
Finally, to change your WordPress theme, select ‘Activate and Publish’.
You have just changed a WordPress theme on a live site.
In ‘Themes’, the top-left space confirms the active theme for your site.
Check your blog after changing themes.
After you activate your new theme, I recommend you visit your site to check everything is okay.
How to change a WordPress theme video tutorial
Follow my video tutorial on how to change your WordPress theme.
Premium WordPress themes
There are thousands of free themes available on WordPress, but the customisation options are limited. For 100% control over how your theme looks. You need to purchase a premium theme.
Envato.com (*Paid link) have an excellent selection of premium WordPress themes.
Use the filter on the left to find premium themes that are on sale.
Now you can change your WordPress theme. I recommend choosing a theme you like early on your blogging journey, so you can concentrate on publishing excellent content.
When I started blogging, I wasted many hours tweaking different themes. Your visitors come to your site for your helpful blog posts. Chose a clean and light theme so that your website loads fast. Your visitors don’t wait around for slow sites.
I use the free Kadence theme for my site. There are hundreds of popular free WordPress themes, but for 100% control on your site’s appearance. You need to buy a premium theme.
Before you return to your blog, would you kindly spare one moment to leave a comment? Did you find my guide helpful? Do you have any questions? I appreciate all feedback. It helps me improve my blog content.