Install Wordpress theme from zip file guide

In my post, I show you how to install a WordPress theme from a zip file, step by step.

When you purchase a premium WordPress theme, you get all the installation folders and files sent to you in a zip file. It is this zip file that you need to upload to your WordPress blog.

You do not have to do anything with the zip file before uploading. WordPress does all the extracting work for you.

My guide takes you from getting the zip file to activating the WordPress theme on your blog.

Let’s get started.

Step One – Download The Zip File

You have found the perfect premium theme for your new WordPress blog. After you complete your purchase, you download the installation files to your computer in a zip file.

Ensure your downloaded file is in the zip format. If it isn’t, you can’t upload it to WordPress.

My browser lets me know the file format.

Download complete

To check the file format after the download is complete, go to the download destination on your computer and check the file type.

File type

Step Two – Upload The Zip File To WordPress

You have your theme installation file saved to your computer. It is time to upload the zip file to WordPress.

Return to your WordPress admin and hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’. Select ‘Themes’ from the menu.

Select themes

On the next page, select ‘Add New’.

Add new

Next, click on the ‘Upload Theme’ link.

Upload theme

To upload your zip file, you have two options. You can click on the ‘Choose File’ link, or you can drag the file and drop it directly on the ‘Choose File’ text.


Once selected, the file name appears next to the link.

File name

To start uploading, click on the ‘Install Now’ link.

Install now

WordPress starts to extract the file and install the theme to your WordPress blog.

Once completed, you have three options.

Installing theme

You can ‘Live Preview’ the theme. You can see how your content looks without making it live. You can also customize it here.

Visit my customization guide for the free Astra theme at

Live preview

The second option is to ‘Activate’. This option makes the theme live on your blog immediately. I recommend you customize your website first before activating it.

The third option is to ‘Go To Themes Page’. This option takes you back to the page listing all your WordPress theme installations.

Installed themes list

Step Three – Customize Your WordPress Theme

Before activating your new WordPress, I recommend you customize the theme first. You can do this by hovering your mouse over the theme image and selecting ‘Live Preview’.

Live preview

The live preview shows you your website content in the new theme. You can customize the appearance using the options on the left.


For a tutorial on customizing the Astra theme, check out my blog post at

Step Four – Activate Your WordPress Theme

Once you have completed your customizations, make the theme live on your website by selecting the ‘Activate & Publish’ link.

Activate and publish

Once you select this link, your visitors see your new theme.

On your installed WordPress themes page, you can see your active WordPress theme.

Active theme

You can continue to customize your theme using the ‘Customize’ link on the left under ‘Appearance’ or by clicking on the ‘Customize’ link on the theme image.


How To Install A WordPress Theme From A Zip File Video Tutorial


When you purchase your WordPress theme, ensure your installation file is in the zip format. A zip file is the only file format you can upload to WordPress.

Once you have your theme’s zip file saved to your computer, go to your WordPress admin, hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’ on the left, and select ‘Themes’ from the menu.

At the top of the page, select ‘Add New’. On the next page, click on ‘Add New’ and select the zip file from your computer by clicking on ‘Choose File’.

Once installation is complete, you have three options. You can activate the theme immediately on your website, customize the WordPress theme before making it live, or return to your installed WordPress themes page.

I recommend customizing your theme before activating it. Get the appearance of your blog the way you want it before you show it to your visitors.

Once your theme is live, you can continue to make customizations.

What WordPress theme are you using for your blog? Let me know in the comments below.

I have a YouTube playlist on how to customize the Astra theme at https://Customizeastra.

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