How To Manage Themes in WordPress

One of the most frequent questions a new WordPress blogger will ask is “How do I change the Theme?” or “How do I alter the appearance of my WordPress site?”. This post will take you through the simple steps to changing the appearance of your site. After completing this exercise you will be able to download and activate a new theme for your WordPress site.

First of all, log on to the wp-admin pages using the account details you used when setting up, or an account with Administrator role. On the left Menu click on Appearance and the Manage Themes page will appear.

The current theme will be displayed at the top, and any alternative layouts will be displayed under the heading Available Themes. If this is a fresh installation, there will likely be one one alternative, which will be WordPress Classic.

You can see what your current blog would look like using the Classic theme by clicking on the Preview link under the thumbnail view. After a few seconds your current blog will be displayed in the WordPress Classic style. If you wish to change the appearance of the site to Classic, then you can do so by clicking on Activate WordPress Classic at the top right of the preview screen, and you will be taken back to the Manage Themes page. The rest of the world can now see you blog in it’s new style.

As there are thousands of WordPress themes available for free, the next step is to see what themes appeal to you. Click on Add New Themes (under the Appearance menu item) and the Install Themes page displays.

You can Search for themes by keyword, author, or tag, by entering the string in the search box and clicking Search. Enter a string and search to see any themes which match your criteria displayed in the Search Results. At this point you can either:

  • Select Preview to display a sample of it on screen.
  • Click on Install, to see a small view of the screen, then click on Install Now, to add the theme to your blog.

If you select Install, you should see a number of messages somthing like the following:

  • Downloading install package from…
  • Unpacking the package.
  • Installing the theme…
  • Successfully installed the theme…

Afterwards you will be offered a choice of Actions: Preview, Activate or Return to Theme Installer. Selecting Return to Theme Installer will take you to the Install Themes page so that you can search for another theme. Finally clicking on Themes will allow you to return you to the Manage Themes page, where you will see your new thumbnail picture under Available Themes, or as your current theme, depending on your earlier choice.

Congratulations, you are now able to download and activate a new theme for your WordPress site. In the next post in this series, we will look at How To Manage Plugins in WordPress. Happy blogging!