How To Install WordPress Themes – Step By Step Guide

In my post, I show you how to install a WordPress theme. You can upload WordPress themes manually from a zip file directly to WordPress. You can also use an FTP client, such as Filezilla.

When I started blogging, I felt there was much to learn about WordPress. The learning curve is tough, but once you start, it becomes easier.

By the end of my post, you will be able to install WordPress themes.

Let’s get started.

Download Your WordPress Theme File

As an example, I upload the OceanWP theme to my blog. Head over to the theme’s homepage and download the zip file.

Here is the download page for the OceanWP theme.

OceanWP theme download

Click on the ‘Free Download’ link to get the file.

You get the theme download link via email after entering your details.

Download link

Go to your email, and download the theme using the link in the email message.

Download OceanWP

The theme is a zip file.

Theme zip file

How To Install Themes From Zip Files

On your WordPress admin, hover your mouse over “Appearance’, then select ‘Themes’ from the menu.

Select themes from your WordPress dashboard

On the next page, click on the ‘Add New’ link.

Select add new

Then select ‘Upload Themes’.

Upload theme

Next, select browse to search for your downloaded theme file.

The file must be in zip format. Once you select your theme zip file, the file name will appear on the upload page.

Theme zip file name

To install the theme, click on the ‘Install Now’ link. Once it is uploaded, you get this confirmation message.

Theme installed successfully

You can preview the theme without activating, activate it, or return to your installed themes page.

When I go back to my installed WordPress themes page, the OceanWP theme is on my list.

WordPress theme installed

It is good practice to delete unused themes. Check out my ‘How to delete WordPress themes completely‘ post to learn more.

Here is a video tutorial on uploading a theme zip file to WordPress.

How To Install WordPress Themes From Zip Files Video Tutorial

How To Upload WordPress Themes Using Filezilla

Filezilla is an FTP client. To download the Filezilla FTP client, check out my ‘How to download and install Filezilla’ post.

To start, log in to your website using the ‘Site Manager’ from the ‘File’ tab. Once you have logged in, you will see your website files and folders on the right and your computer files and folders on the left.

On the right, open the ‘public_html’ folder.

Filezilla FTP client

Next, open ‘WP-Content’ and then ‘themes’. In this folder are the themes currently installed on your WordPress blog.

Installed themes folder

When you upload your themes through the WordPress admin, the file must be in zip format. With an FTP, it has to be a regular file. Therefore, we need to extract our downloaded theme first before we can upload it using Filezilla.

How to extract WordPress theme zip files

Find your downloaded theme zip file on your computer, and right-click to extract the files. Once completed, you will have one zip folder and one extracted folder.

Extracted theme file

Next, return to Filezilla and open the folder you saved your theme to. I saved OceanWP to my downloads folder.

Find your downloaded theme folder

To upload OceanWP, right-click on the theme folder and select ‘Upload’. Using Filezilla to upload themes is much slower than using WordPress.

After you click on ‘Upload’, the file transfer starts. The process of the upload is at the bottom of Filezilla.

Progress of theme upload

Twelve files have transferred successfully, and another 529 queued.

Transfer status

Once the transfer is complete, return to installed WordPress themes in your WordPress admin dashboard. OceanWP is ready to use.

The theme is now installed on WordPress

How to upload a theme to WordPress using Filezilla video tutorial

Premium WordPress themes

Are you looking for a premium WordPress theme to make your blog stand out? Envato has an excellent selection of WordPress themes. They also have many premium themes on sale. To check out the latest offers, head over to (*Paid link)

Premium WordPress theme on sale


With my tutorial, you can upload themes to WordPress. I recommend using WordPress to upload files. It is easier and faster than using an FTP client.

I also recommend you only have your current live theme plus the WordPress default theme installed on your blog. Delete unused themes.

Removing unused WordPress themes can be done with just a couple of clicks. For a tutorial on deleting WordPress themes, check out my Step by step guide on deleting them.

Before you return to your WordPress blog to upload a theme, would you kindly spare one minute to leave me a comment?

Let me know if my post helped you, or drop me a comment to ask a question. I look forward to reading your comments.

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