Are you looking for WordPress themes as you want to change the look of your website?
Then look no further.
Here’s a straightforward guide on how to install WordPress themes for your website.
In this topic, we will look at:
- WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
- how to install these themes.
- the difference between free and premium WordPress themes.
- where to get premium themes.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
The first thing to note.
Are you using a WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
If you are using WordPress.com, you will not be able to use a different group of premium themes like WordPress.org.
How do you know which one that you are using?
If you have signed up for a website at WordPress.com, and your URL is:
Then, you are using a WordPress website which is hosted by WordPress itself.
And if your URL is:
Then you are using WordPress.org.
Why is this important?
This is because this will determine which premium themes you can use.
Read also: How To Create A Website Using WordPress
Using Free WordPress Themes
For both WordPress.com and WordPress.org users, you can use the free themes from the WordPress directory.
So, how do you change your theme?
Go to your website’s dashboard.
Appearance > Themes
You will be able to see all the themes available.
However, the most noticeable difference between these 2 WordPress versions:
- You can purchase premium themes directly from WordPress.com.
- There is no Add New option on WordPress.com.
- No option to make a purchase while using WordPress.org.
- Only free themes are available in WordPress.org.
You can preview the theme first before switching to it completely.
Once you have installed it, just activate the theme.
And that’s it.
Also, it’s always a good practice to disable all the plugins first before activation.
This allows you to pinpoint to a particular plugin which does not work well with the installed theme.
Filtering Free WordPress Themes
There is a good nifty trick in which you can do while you look for free WordPress themes.
This is only available if you are using self-hosted versions of WordPress.
The WordPress.com does not come with this feature.
You can actually filter out any unwanted themes and focus on the ones you are after.
As you can see, the subject itself is more than enough to filter down the right WordPress themes for you.
You just have to know what type of website you are actually making.
If you are not familiar with the other features and layout, just leave them out.
At least you won’t be scrolling endlessly while searching for one.
Using Premium WordPress Themes
Here comes the major difference between the 2 versions of WordPress.
For WordPress.com users, you can only install premium WordPress themes provided by WordPress itself.
However, you can upload 3rd party themes if you’ve upgraded to WordPress Business Plan.
The plan itself will cost you 25 US dollars/month.
Otherwise, you will not be given the option to do so.
WordPress.org on the other hand, will not be able to install premium themes directly from the search directory.
However, you may still be able to find the same themes available, and install them differently.
And how do you do that?
Back to your WordPress dashboard.
Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme
As you can see, there is an upload function.
You can upload a theme in .zip format directly from your computer desktop.
But of course, you have to first purchase the theme and download it unto your computer first.
We will talk about this in the next section.
Buying A Premium WordPress Theme
Like I mentioned earlier, WordPress.com users can just purchase it directly from WordPress itself.
Very straightforward and easy.
All you need to do is just, pay.
Now, for WordPress.org (it’s called self-hosted WordPress too) users, this is what you need to do.
The most popular market to purchase these premium themes will be from Themeforest.
These themes are managed by third-party groups.
Meaning, there is a dedicated team that fixes and updates each theme on a regular basis.
Once you have purchased a theme, sign up with the respective theme’s site.
You will be given a license key to get theme updates through your WordPress dashboard.
If you have purchased a theme from Themeforest, you can get it from the Downloads section.
Download the PDF and get the license key.
It’s also important to do so because you’ll need the support for the theme.
What kind of support?
For many reasons:
- The theme is not working with plugins.
- Regular updates.
- To report bugs and hopefully, to get a fix.
- For new features that could be added in future updates.
The Best WordPress Theme
Like everyone else, we want to get the best theme out of everything.
If life was that easy, you wouldn’t be living it.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all theme.
Of course, premium WordPress themes have more functionality compared to the free ones.
That’s given, considering you are paying for the theme.
However, the best theme is considered a theme that suits your needs.
For instance, I like a fast loading website.
So does Google too.
And GeneratePress (the theme that I am using now) is considered one of the fastest loading WordPress theme.
Therefore, I use GeneratePress.
Simple as that.
Although GeneratePress is a free theme which is available through the WordPress theme directory, I needed more functionality.
Hence, I upgraded GeneratePress to it’s premium version.
This website was tested with GTMetrix without any cache plugin.
A cache plugin helps to speed up your website.
Nonetheless, as you can see, the loaded time is remarkably fast.
And the fact that the size of this theme (less than 30kb) is very small.
So, ask yourself this before you install a theme.
Don’t just only go for just how it looks but consider these factors:
- Is website loading speed your priority?
- Do you need more functionality such as e-commerce capabilities?
- Does it come with a drag-and-drop function?
- Any issues with commonly used plugins?
- Is price a factor?
- How long is the theme support (lifelong or renewable) given?
- Are you a minimalist or a completionist?
Once you have a clear idea of your priorities, you will be able to get the best theme for yourself.
Also, not forgetting, read reviews of WordPress themes are very important.
It gives you a better insight on which theme works best.
How To Delete WordPress Themes
After you have installed a new theme, your old theme has become rather useless.
Like it or not, you’re more likely of not using it in the future anymore.
You can remove these themes as they hog up precious space in your web server.
Also, when you are trying out new themes in the beginning, you will need to download these themes.
It tends to slip our minds of having of removing them.
Therefore, it’s always a good practice to delete WordPress themes which you are not using.
First, go back to your themes directory.
Open up the WordPress theme which you are not using.
You should be able to see a Delete option at the bottom right corner.
However, if the delete function is not made available:
- You have only 1 WordPress theme left.
- A security plugin may be preventing you from deleting it.
Now It’s Your Turn
With this, I hope you will be able to change your theme with ease.
And of course, to get the best theme of the so many themes available.
So which theme did you pick in the end?
Was there any difficulty in installing the theme by yourself?
As usual, I’m always glad to answer any questions, if you have any.