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Installing a WordPress Theme

Free WordPress Video Tutorials

The theme of a WordPress site is the look and feel of the site. This can greatly affect how long your site visitors remain on your page. Do they like the way it looks? Do they like exploring it?

There are a couple of different ways you can get a theme, but you must have one. Watch to find out more.

You Have Multiple Options

You'll notice that I'm currently using the theme Twenty Nineteen. That's the default that came with the installation of WordPress itself. However, you're going to want to pick a theme that works best with the type of site that you have.

I'm going to go to Appearance in the Sidebar Menu, and click on Themes. There, you can see my active theme, Twenty Nineteen. However, I want to add a new theme.

Notice the giant plus sign—I'm going to click on that to add a new theme. There are a couple of different ways that you can deal with how you're getting the theme. One way would be to have someone custom code it; you're paying a lot for that, but you're getting exactly what you want. You also, unfortunately, have to keep going back to them any time you need any changes made. Another method would be going with a stock theme company. This gives you a stock photo or stock video, and you're paying a certain fee to have the rights to use it. In both cases, they're going to give you a compressed ZIP file that you have to upload onto your site.

You'll notice this little button up top that says Upload Theme. I can click on that, browse to the file, and then install that theme for me.

If you're undecided about purchasing a theme, how do you find a free theme? You use the search or feature filter to find a theme.

These are free or freemium themes. What that means is it might be a limited free version, but if you want the bells and whistles, you have to pay extra.

If you look at featured, that's going to be stuff that the WordPress team looked at, and they really like. You can pretty much be safe with that. As well as popular—if lots of people are using this particular theme, then that probably means that it's not going to crash your site.

I would not look at Latest. If you are going to be looking for a free or freemium theme, and you're not sure if it does everything that you need it to do—that's why the feature filter exists.

Notice my features here: I can specifically look for what I'm interested in. So, does it need to be Accessibility Ready? Does it have to have Featured Image Headers? What choices do I want to be able to customize with regards to the look and feel of my site?

For most of us, we, at the very least, want the ability to customize the background, use our own colors, a header image, and a logo. So notice I can put all of those features in, and there's the button here that says Apply Filters and the number of filters desired. Once I click that, it's going through that entire index and finding ones that meet that criteria.

I can hover over one, and if there's one that I particularly like, I can go to Details and Preview. It's going to tell me a couple of different things. First of all, its rating and what version it is. This theme is too new for me to use.

It's also going to have a little bit of a description here, as well as show you a preview of what it would look like, possibly when you use this theme on your site.

If you were happy with that, you could hit the Install button from here. I'm not, so I can hit the X and go back to browsing.

If you're not going to use the filters—let's say you know the name of the theme you want to use—I can type it into the search field. Once I find it, I could go into details, but if I search by name, I probably already know this theme. And I can go ahead and install it.

Installing it moves it to my website folder. It doesn't make it run. What makes it run is clicking the Activate button. Once I do this, you'll notice I was using Twenty Nineteen before, but now I'm using Lovecraft.

Let's take a look. There's my site before—in Twenty Nineteen. Now, I'm going to refresh, and the entire look and feel of the site changed.

That's the beauty of having the theme be separate from the rest of your content: you can change it any time you want, get a brand new look and feel, and not worry about losing any of the content that you have.

That's how you install and activate a theme.

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