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How to Install WordPress Themes (5 Ways)

Theme is one of the most important and necessary part of a wordpress theme, it will install three default themes when you install wordpress, however, the functionality or features for the defualt themes is not enough or meet most of website’s requirements. so the site owners may need to install wordpress themes from the 3rd-party agency or companies.

A theme is actually a template that presents the appearance of your website. You can easily use it to design your website and make your website more beautiful and friendly to visitors and search engines. I am going to show you where to find some good themes and how to install wordpress themes.

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Where can I get or buy a WordPress Theme?

There are a lot of resources for wordpress themes on the internet, for beginners, it is hard to choose where or which website to find or get a good theme, we will show you 3 most popular marketplace for download or buy themes.

1. WordPress.org (Official theme marketplace of WordPress)

The first place to get and download wordpress theme is definitely from the official marketplace, there are thousands of themes listed in their repository that created by global community of independent web designers and developers. and most of the themes are free or freemium, this is really fit for the people who want to try something on wordpress or with tight budget.

With so many themes, you may be picky, and the theme you selected may not be suitable for you, which is really annoying, don’t be, we picked and reviewed the best free and freemium themes here, which can save you much time, I think.

install wordpress theme

You can check the themes of wordpress.org from your website admin, that’s one method for how to install wordpress theme, I will show you later.

The free themes or the free versions of freemium themes may not have more premium features once your website growing with higher traffic or your business is increased, so you need some premium themes, most of the freemium themes offer premium version, of course you can upgrade your free theme to premium one directly. However there are some other best choices for you to choose a paid premium theme for your website.

2. Themeforest from Envato Market (the biggest marketplace)

In order to avoid the trouble of changing themes in the future, you can purchase a theme directly on themeforest. Those paid themes contain a lot of value-added or premium features, one-time purchase for lifetime use, and exclusive technical support from the theme designer or developer, the price for most of themes on themeforest is from $19 to $59 lifetime, it is afforable to anyone.

2020 s Newest Premium WordPress themes from ThemeForest

Envato Elements

Themeforest is one service of Envato Market, it belongs to Envato company for selling one-time items. There is another service for assets including themes selling service on Envato that called Envato Elemenets, the service allows users subscribe to their packages that provides unlimited downloads of hundreds of thousands of digital assets.

What the advantage of Envato Elements is that is an unlimited download subscription, meaning that you are free to download as many items as you like. even if you unsubscribe in future, you can’t download items from Envato Elements any more. But any existing uses that you registered are still covered. you can start Envato Elements From $16.50/m, actually, I think it is more valuable than one-time themes on themeforest, anyway, it depends on you.

Pricing — Envato Elements

3. TemplateMonster

TemplateMonster is very similar like Envato, it is also one of the world-leading online community for creative assets, tools and talent, you can also find a lot of wordpress themes and templates and buy theme with one-time payment but lifetime use.

WordPress Design and Software Products at TemplateMonster

ONE Membership

Templatemonster also offers service like Envato Elementor, subcription for unlimited downloads, that is ONE Membership.

5 methods to Install WordPress Themes?

To install wordpress themes, there is not only one methods, as I know, there are many methods, some of ways is very easy, and some ways may need coding, You can choose the one that is easiest and suitable for you, see 5 methods firstly as below details.

1. Appearance – Themes – Add New

Step 1. The first and the most easy way is go to the appearance of your wordpress admin dashboard, choose option of Themes, then click on Add New, in the new section you will see a lot of themes, if you know some names of theme, you can search them, or you can choose anyone from the lists.


For example, you can choose the theme “YITH Proteo”, it is a completely free theme for e-commerce store.

Step 2. Hover your mouse on the theme, you will see 2 options “Install” and “Preview”, just click on Install, the theme will be installed within 1 mintues, you don’t need to check preview, it is meaningless,since it is not a real preview before installed, you can just see a default simple layout of wordpress not real layout of the theme.

Add Themes proteo WordPress

Step 3. After installed the theme, there are also 2 options “Activate” and “Live Preview”, you can check the live preview, this preview will show the real layout of and design of the theme, and you can try to customize your website on the left sidebar. Or you just click on Activate to active the theme, then go to Appearence > Customize to design and customize your website with the installed theme.

2. Appearance – Themes – Add New – Upload

This method is also install wordpress theme from your admin dashboard.

Step 1. Download or purchase a theme from wordpress.org or other marketplaces that we menetioned previously, the theme file should be in .zip format.

Step 2. Go to your admin dashboard, Appearance > Themes > Add New, you should see a button “Upload Theme”, click on it, in the next page, click choose a file from your local disk or drag the theme file to the box directly, wait for the installing theme in a few mintues.

Add Themes ‹ uplpoad WordPress

*The size of the theme file can’t exceed the limit of max upload size, most of the time, the theme file is very small, if you really encounter the problem, you can contact your hosting provider to increase the max upload size.

Step 3. Once the theme installed, you can activate it or check the live preview.

3. Install wordpress themes with cPanel/FTP

Most of the time, you can install themes sucessed with the first 2 methods, to install wordpress themes with file manager in cPanel or FTP just in case that installing WordPress theme through the WordPress dashboard may fail for a number of reasons. 

Step 1. Navigate to Themes Fold – It is different for cPanel and FTP to navigate to theme fold in this step.


If your hosting are using cPanel as control panel, you can follow this, login to cPanel, click on File Manager in FILES tab, it will redirect to the home fold of your hosting user, find the wordpress root dirctory, it is always named “public_html” for the primary website and “domain name” for other websites.

Open file public_html, the themes fold is in the wp-content as you can see in the screenshot

cPanel File Manager v3

There are many FTP tools on internet, for example FileZilla, this is one of most popular FTP.

Before you start, you need this information:

  • The IP address for your website, or its domain name.
  • Your FTP username (same as your cPanel login name).
  • Your FTP password. if you forget this, you can rest through your the client area/dashboard of your hosting or contact your hosting provider.
  • Port is 21 noramlly, if it is not correct, contact your hosting provider too.

you just enter the above information on the FileZilla, Click Quickconnect. FileZilla connects to your hosting account, in the Remote Site section, you will see the public_html folder or other sites with their domain name, the themes fold is in the wp-content.

Step 2. Upload and Unzip Your theme File – Upload Your theme, the .zip file into Themes folder, then right click the zip file to unzip/extract the file.

If you use FTP, it may not have option for unzipping the .zip file. You will need to unzip the file on your local computer, and then upload the unzipped folder of files to the themes fold.

Step 3. Activate Theme in Admin dashboard – A new theme will appear in wordpress admin once you complted to uploade the files, you just activated it on click the activate button, then customize your theme, that’s it.

4. Install WordPress Themes with Envato Plugins

This method only available for the themes purchased or you subscirbe plan from Envato (Market and Elements).

Envato Market (Themeforest)

If you purchased the theme from Envato Market, you don’t need to download the theme, you can use a envato market plugin for wordpress, download the zip file here. The plugin can be installed from a ZIP file via the WordPress Dashboard.

  1. Login to your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Go to Plugins > Add New
  3. Click “Upload Plugin” at the top
  4. Upload the envato-market.zip file
  5. Once installed, click “Activate Plugin”
  6. Visit the new “Envato Market” menu item

Next, You can configure your Envato API Personal Token, this API Token is generated from build.envato.com and will allow WordPress to securely receive item updates. Once you get the Token and enter it into the table in the setting page, click on save changing, there will be a new tab “Themes” on the top, which will show all the themes your purchased or with license.

Envato Market ‹ Sitebudding WordPress

Envato Elements

Envato also offer a plugins to subscriber to import themes from Envato Elements. very easy, only 3 steps:

  1. Download & install the plugin, Install directly in your WordPress Admin dashboard, check above steps of install plugins;
  2. Envato Elements subscribers can explore & import premium templates & photos to website;
  3. Customize and design website.

5. Install wordpress themes with WP CLI

 WP-CLI, (WordPress Command Line Interface) and SSH access to the hosting are availbale for most of the hosting service, which allows you to easily manage your WordPress site(s) via the command line.

This method of install wordpress themes refers to some coding skills, it may not suitable for the beginners, so I don’t have a plan to show all details here, if you are really interested in this methods, please read the offical tutorial on wordpress.org.

How to Remove or Delete a Theme

Sometimes you may want to delete a theme for any reason, it is very easy to remove the unused theme.

From Admin dashboard

Go to Appearance > Themes, choose the theme you want to remove, click it, you will see a Delete button on the right bottom place, click on it, the theme will be removed, same for child theme (if any).

From cPanel or FTP

Navigate to the Themes Folder, the steps same as that in the installing method, right click the folder of the theme you want to remove or delete, click Delete option, confirm it. the theme removed and disappeared in your website admin.


I show you where to download or buy a premium theme for WordPress website, how to install wordpress theme from all aspects, there are may be some other ways to install wordpress themes from specific marketplace or theme developers, but the first 3 methods should suitable for all themes wherever you get. Finally, you may don’t need some themes any more, you can delete that.

Actually, that’s easy to install themes but not easy to find a theme suit the website most of the time, hope this article can help you find the solution.

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