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How To Change Your WordPress Theme


Once WordPress is installed and you are logged in one of the first things most people like to do is change the theme WordPress is using to something that suits them. To get a look at the standard theme simply go to the location that you installed WordPress to, i.e. You will probably decide pretty quickly that you want to change the theme to something that suits you better.

There are 2 ways you can install themes in WordPress; First being the easy way, once you are logged in you can use a built in theme changer that searches a database of free themes you can use. The second way is to buy a theme (there are some very good themes out there you can buy), this way usually requires you to manually upload the theme to your WordPress Theme directory (easily done through WordPress).



Step By Step Guide;

Step 1) Login to your WordPress installation, here’s a tutorial to help you “Login to WordPress”.

Step 2) From the menu on the left click on the “Appearance Item”, the menu may or may not have some sections already expanded, look at the picture to understand what I mean.


Step 3) Once you see the Appearance menu item expanded select the second last item called “Add New Themes”.


Step 4) Now you should see a new page titled “Install Themes”. I am going to split up the following steps into the 2 different ways of installing a new theme;

Uploading your own Theme

Step 5a) From the Horizontal Menu at the top of the page click on “Upload”.


Step 6a) Click the “Choose File” button and locate the theme you have on your computer, keep it zipped (it will be zipped when you first download it). Once you have located the theme click “Install Now”.


Step 7a) Once the theme has been successfully uploaded you have 3 options; Preview, Activate or Return to Themes page. You can click preview theme to see what it will look like or you can simply activate the theme and have a look at your site, your choice.


Installing a Free Theme from the Database.

(this is an alternative from step 4)

Step 5b) From the “Add New Themes” Page you can search for a free theme using the “Feature Filter”, simply check options that you would like to have on the new theme and click “Find Themes from the bottom. Alternatively you can enter a search phrase into the “Search Box” above the Feature Filter and click search.  Lastly you can click on either Featured, Newest or Recently Updated from the top horizontal menu to see themes ordered by featured, newest or recently updated. Click the image below to see a full page picture showing the different options.

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Step 6b) For this tutorial I am going to go with “Featured” Themes, once you have you result of themes (from any of the 3 ways mentioned above) you can browse through them and find one you like. Once you found one you like you can click “Preview” to check it out and then click “Install” to add that theme to your collection. When you click Install you will have a confirmation screen that shows you a sample of the theme, simply click the “Install Now” bottom. Once the theme is installed you will have 3 options; Preview, Activate or Return to Theme Installer. The Choice is up to you.


Step 8) Now when you have installed some new Themes using either method described above (Upload your own or using the free database of themes) you can manage your installed themes by going to “Appearance->Themes” from the left hand menu.


Step 9) From the “Manage Themes” page (after clicking on “Themes” from the “Appearance” sub menu) you can Activate, Preview or Delete any themes that you have installed.


Additional Information:

There are thousands of Themes available for WordPress most of which are free, however there are paid Themes you can get. Paid Themes are usually a lot better quality and some can look very professional, so don’t ignore Paid Themes because you there are so many free ones. Some really good Paid Themes for WordPress can be found at RocketTheme WordPress.

Different Themes will add additional features which are editable from the Admin side of WordPress. Themes which contain Menus will have different ways of editing the Menus, some Themes will display all “Pages” (not Posts) unless you exclude certain Pages. The different options for each Theme may be available from the left menu or you can edit them through the “Appearance->Theme name”, usually located at the bottom of the Appearance menu.