While WordPress has themes that can be installed directly through the admin page of WordPress, you can also use themes that you find online.  Themes can be found for free at some websites, while others may charge a fee to use their theme.  In this case, you will need to upload the theme using the WordPress Dashboard. If you need to return to the previous course, please go to How do I find a Wordpress Theme Online?

How do I manually install a WordPress Theme?

First, download the theme from the Internet.  It should always download in a .zip or tar.gz file, so make sure that is what is downloaded.  If it is, log into your WordPress Dashboard.  Once you are in your Dashboard, click on "Appearance" which will bring you to the "Themes" page:


If you are using a WordPress multisite installation, make sure you click on Network Admin first, to allow you to install a theme.

Click on Install Themes as shown above, and the following screen will display.  Click on "Upload":


Click on the browse button to navigate your computer and find the zip file.  Once you have found it, click "Open."  Then, click "Install Now":


The theme will take a moment to upload.  Once it is installed, you will get the following screen.  You can now preview what the Theme will look like with your content:


When you click on Preview, a preview of your site will show:


    If you like how it looks, close the preview window and click on "Activate" under the theme to enable the theme to be live on your site. 


    You now can go to your website and make sure that the theme displays properly. If you would rather change your theme, please go to How to Change Your Wordpress Theme

    To see a summary of the courses in this class, please go to:  103: Installing a New Theme.

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    n/a Points
    2014-05-15 3:50 pm

    You should mention in the instructions that you have to navigate on your WP dashboard to Network Admin first to see the "Install" button!

    3,713 Points
    2014-05-15 6:51 pm
    Hello Kathryn, and thanks for your comment!

    It sounds like you are using WordPress multisite which is a network of WordPress sites.

    So anytime you are trying to do something like install a theme or plugin for your sites you would need to go to the Network Admin first. This isn't necessary for the majority of WordPress users who aren't using multisite, but thanks for pointing that out!

    I've gone ahead and added a note below the first image so hopefully any other WordPress multisite users will get to the right place too!

    Thanks again!

    - Jacob

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