How to Find, Install & Update your WordPress Theme (WordPress Tutorial)
In this post, I will show you how to find the perfect WordPress theme, install the theme and update your WordPress theme. A WordPress theme is the “look and feel” of your website. It’s the first impression. Choosing the right theme is really important, so take your time choosing your perfect theme!
Here’s what you’re going to learn in this WordPress Tutorial:
– How to find your perfect WordPress theme
– How to install your theme on WordPress
– How to update your WordPress theme
HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT WORDPRESS THEME
What is a WordPress theme?
Your WordPress theme is the design template or “skin” for your website. And it’s the overall design of your blog. Both FREE and PAID WordPress themes are available. If your budget is limited and you’re just starting a blog, you may decide on a free WordPress theme, but you can always upgrade to a paid theme later.How to Find, Install and Update your Perfect #WordPress Theme Click To Tweet
Free WordPress Themes
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to spend a ton of money, look for a free WordPress theme. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Find Free Themes on WordPress.org
(I recommend: Hemingway, Sela, Diarjo Lite, Harrington, BlogoLife, Clean Journal)
- Download the Free Elegant Theme here
- Shop For Your Perfect Feminine WordPress Themes (not free)
StudioPress Themes by Genesis
StudioPress themes are made for WordPress and blogs. They are not a beginner but if you already have some knowledge of WordPress and want to get serious about blogging fast…they may be just what you’re looking for! For the Syd and Coco blog, I use the Genesis Framework and Pretty Creative WordPress theme. I decided to use Genesis themes and framework since they’re specially made for blogging.
Once you have chosen your theme, you need to purchase the theme (if necessary) and download your theme on to your computer. Be sure to save the email with your theme/registration details for future reference and updates.
HOW TO INSTALL YOUR PERFECT WORDPRESS THEME
Step-by-step guide for how to install your WordPress theme:
1. Login to your WordPress Blog
- Type the url: http://yourdomainname/wp-admin
- Type in your WordPress username and WordPress password
2. Install your WordPress theme
- Once you’re logged in, go to APPEARANCE > THEMES
- At the top of the page, go to ADD NEW > UPLOAD THEME
**Be sure to upload the zip file of your theme from your computer**
- Once the theme files are uploaded, ACTIVATE THEME
3. Customize your Theme Settings
In WordPress admin, go to Appearance > Themes > Customize. For most themes, you can customize the design under the Appearance area. Here’s some items you need to pay attention to:
- Add your Logo
- Choose the colors for your blog or website
- Change the background image (or color) for your blog
- Pick your website layout (I recommend choosing “Content, Primary Sidebar” or “Full Width”)
- Select the fonts for your blog
After styling the “look and feel” of your site, you need to add the plugins. Click here for a tutorial on How to Research, Install and Maintain your WordPress plugins.
Related: 12 Recommended WordPress Plugins.How to Research, Install and Maintain your #WordPress Plugins Click To Tweet
HOW TO UPDATE YOUR WORDPRESS THEME
Every now and then you will need to update your WordPress theme. If you don’t update your theme, your site could stop working correctly and may conflict with your plugins and overall site functionality.
Check if your theme needs to be updated by comparing the version of your theme on your WordPress blog with the current theme (for example, your theme version is 3.1 but the latest version is 3.3)
The steps to update your theme may vary, but here’s generally how to update your WordPress theme:
1. Back-up your WordPress website
- Back-up your WordPress blog; I recommend the Updraft Plus plugin (affiliate link)
- Ideally you should create a back-up on your local computer and remote storage (such as Dropbox)
2. Update your theme (AUTOMATICALLY)
- In WordPress admin, go to APPEARANCE > THEMES > YOUR THEME
- If your theme can be automatically updated, press the “update now” link and you’ll be updated auto-magically!
- If the automatic update fails (which it often does), don’t panic! Follow the next step…
3. Update your theme (MANUALLY)
- Download the latest version of your theme on to your computer (typically your theme files only)
- In your WordPress admin, go to APPEARANCE > THEMES > DELETE YOUR OLD THEME
This will remove old theme files including any customization you may have made, so be sure to back-up files ahead of time.
- Install your updated theme. In your WordPress admin, go to APPEARANCE > THEMES > ADD NEW > UPLOAD “UPDATED” THEME
- Once the new theme files are uploaded, ACTIVATE THEME
Here’s a couple tips for maintaining your perfect WordPress theme:
- Review your theme on a monthly basis; Has the theme been updated by the programmer recently? (For example, your theme version is 3.1 but the latest version is 3.3)
- Back-up your WordPress blog or website on a weekly basis (I recommend the Updraft Plus plugin, affiliate link)
- Update your WordPress theme; Review your website after you update the theme to make sure your site still looks good and make adjustments as needed
**Quick tip: If your website is broken after the theme update, you can always restore to the previous back-up version
1. Shop for your perfect WordPress Theme
2. Install your WordPress Theme on your blog or website
3. Back-up your WordPress Theme (weekly)*
4. Update your WordPress Theme (monthly)*
*Add to your calendar so you don’t forget!
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” —Nelson Mandela
What theme do you use on your website or blog? I’d love to know!
Disclaimer: These are simply my recommendations based on personal success in my web design business.