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Manage WordPress Themes

A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to create a graphical interface with specific design and functionality. These files are called template files.

The theme changes the way the site is displayed without changing the software itself. Themes can include custom template files, image files (*.jpg, *.gif), stylesheets (*.css), custom layout elements (menus, pages, sidebars, widgets), and all required code files (*.php).

The general appearance of the WordPress site is controlled by the theme. Although there is a default theme that is installed with WordPress, most people will replace it by either downloading a new theme (free or paid) or will develop custom one to give their site unique and exciting look.

There are plenty of places where themes can be downloaded either for free or after a purchase. The first place to search for free themes is in the official WordPress Themes Directory.

Manage WordPress Themes

In Appearance Themes screen you can install, preview, delete, activate, and update themes.

wordpress themes

The current active theme appears first in the upper left corner:

wordpress themes

If you hover over a theme Theme Details button will show up:

wordpress themes

Click it and within next screen you can read all theme details – theme name, version, author, short description as well as list of associated theme tags (theme features). From the upper left corner arrow navigation you can preview all installed themes within the same screen:

wordpress themes

Delete Themes

You can only delete inactive theme. If you want to delete the active theme first activate another theme, then hover over the theme screenshot, click Theme Details and click Delete button in the bottom right corner.

The Theme files and folders will be completely deleted, so if you have made any customizations to that Theme, they too will be deleted so consider backing up before deleting.

Preview Themes

You can also preview how installed themes will display your site without actually change it.

Click Preview button:

wordpress themes

Click on any blue icon to customize the associated element. You can safely do whatever you want with the theme as long as you do not click on Save & Activate button:

wordpress themes

From the bottom left corner you can check how the theme is displayed under different screen resolutions. These theme capabilities are known as responsive web design and are integrated component of every modern website template.

Update Themes

If there is an update available for the Theme a message similar to this is displayed: There is a new version of Twenty Fourteen available. View version 1.1 Details or update now.:

wordpress themes

Install WordPress Themes

Themes can be installed in several ways:

  • Automated Theme installer
  • Upload Theme in a ZIP file
  • Upload Theme via FTP
  • Upload Theme via cPanel

Each of these installation methods is described below.

Automated Theme installer

The automated Theme installer can be used to install any Theme in the WordPress Theme Directory. This is the easiest way to install a Theme.

Visit Administration > Appearance > Themes and click the Add New button.

You can find additional themes for your site from the WordPress Theme Directory. These themes are designed and developed by third parties, are available free of charge, and are compatible with the WordPress license:

wordpress themes

wordpress themes

Use one of three Search methods to find the desired Theme:

Filter search - at the top of the screen select one of three filters, Featured, Popular, or Latest. When you find a theme you like, you can preview it or install it.

Keyword search - Enter keyword, author, or tag. The search results will be updated as you type.

Attribute search - Click Feature Filter link to get more specific and search by categorized criteria. Select multiple criteria and click Apply Filters button:

wordpress themes

wordpress themes

wordpress themes

Using the upload method

The upload method is another easy way to install a Theme. This can be used to install any Theme that is in a ZIP file. All the Themes in the WordPress Theme Directory can be installed using this method.

First find the Theme you want to install. The screenshot shows the twentythirteen theme ready to be downloaded. Various other sources of Themes can be used and the key is to download the Theme ZIP file to your local computer:

wordpress themes

Visit Administration > Appearance > Themes, click the Add New button, then click the Upload Theme link. Click Browse button and specify the ZIP file you downloaded in above step and click Install Now:

wordpress themes

Upon successful installation you'll be shown similar message:

wordpress themes

Click the Activate link to make this theme the Active one.

Using the FTP method

FTP and CPanel methods do not install the theme but are rather two different ways to deliver the new theme into WordPress themes directory.

WordPress Theme installation is done only from Administration > Appearance > Themes screen.

Open your FTP client and navigate to your WordPress site root folder, then continue to wp-content/themes folder. Here you will find all existing themes each in a separate folder:

wordpress themes

Download the Theme files to your local computer. If the Theme is in ZIP file archive extract the ZIP file contents to a folder on your local computer:

wordpress themes

wordpress themes

Upload the Theme files on your host server:

wordpress themes

The new theme is uploaded successfuly:

wordpress themes

Visit Administration > Appearance > Themes

The uploaded theme is ready for Preview and/or Activation:

wordpress themes

Installing with cPanel

Download the Theme ZIP file to your local machine.

In cPanel File Manager, navigate to your Themes folder (in the example: public_html/hostpulse/wp-content/themes) and click Upload link in the upper menu:

wordpress themes

Select the archive on your computer and wait upload process to finish:

wordpress themes

Select the archive and click on Extract:

wordpress themes

Check the file path and if it is correct click Extract File(s) button:

wordpress themes

Close the extraction results window:

wordpress themes

New theme is successfully uploaded:

wordpress themes

Visit Administration > Appearance > Themes.

Preview the new theme or click the Activate button:

wordpress themes

Summary

Now you know what themes in WordPress are and how to manage them.

Few words of caution.

Find the theme that matches as close as it can to your dreamed site. Don't let design and effects to change your mind. Themes with lots of plugins, sliders, and widgets usually perform badly despite of glowing marketing reviews.

#wordpress #themes

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