WordPress theme installation tutorial


WordPress theme installation is quite easy task to do, especially when it comes to the themes provided at the official website. The installation itself can be done directly from the admin panel of your website in a few steps. Of course there are a few other options. You can upload the theme again from the admin panel or use the integrated command line interface known as wp-cli. The last approach is a little bit more complex, so I personally recommend it to users with more experience with WordPress.

Theme installation directly from WordPress admin panel

Before starting the installation, login to wp-admin section and look at the left column. There you will see a Appearance button, click it and then select Themes as shown on this screenshot:

WordPress theme installation page

WordPress theme installation page

On this page you will see a list of the available themes. Note that WordPress comes with a few preinstalled themes so you may use one of them or using Add New options install a new one. As in this tutorial we will show you how to install a new theme, just click Add New button. On the next page you will see list of the featured themes:

WordPress featured themes

WordPress featured themes

There is horizontal menu with several filters to find an appropriate theme. For more advanced search you may use Feature Filter option, where you can specify colors, menus, columns, widget areas and many more. On the same horizontal menu you have  also Search field. If you already know the name of the theme you are looking for, you may type it there.

In this case I will install a randomly selected WordPress theme named Liquid Blank. If you slide the mouse over the theme icon, you will see two options – Install and Preview. To see how the new theme would look like, you may use Preview option and if everything is fine click Install.

WordPress theme - install and preview

WordPress theme – install and preview

Shortly after that, the package will be installed and as a final step you have to activate it.

When the above is done, you should be able to see Liquid Blank as active.

WordPress active theme

WordPress active theme

The theme comes with a lot of customization option. The find the basic ones, click Customize button. For more advanced options – click Theme options. Both of them are shown on this screenshot:

WordPress theme options

WordPress theme options

How to upload WordPress theme

This part of the tutorial will cover the case when you already have a theme downloaded on your local device. To start from the beginning I will download Liquid Blank installation package from the official website.

When the download process is finished, the theme can be uploaded easily from wp-admin -> Themes -> Upload Theme. Here is how to do it:

How to upload WordPress theme

How to upload WordPress theme

The final step is activating the theme. If you want to apply some customization, you may use Customize or Theme option buttons.

WordPress theme installation using wp-cli

To perform WordPress theme installation using the command line interface, you have to access your hosting account over SSH and navigate to the root folder of your WordPress instance. To check the available themes, you may use the following command:

wp theme status

The output of the command is as follow

3 installed themes:

A twentyfifteen  1.4

I twentyfourteen 1.6

I twentysixteen  1.1

Legend: A = Active, I = Inactive

To install Liquid Blank  execute this command:

wp theme install liquid-blank

Almost immediately you will see the following on your screen:

Installing Liquid Blank (1.8)

Downloading install package from https://downloads.wordpress.org/theme/liquid-blank.1.8.zip...

Unpacking the package...

Installing the theme...

Theme installed successfully.

Success: Translations updates are not needed for the 'English (US)' locale.

Then upon execution of wp theme status command you will see the new theme in the list. Use this command to activate it

wp theme activate liquid-blank

This command will return the following output which show the new WordPress theme:

Success: Switched to 'Liquid Blank' theme.


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