Easily install and switch WordPress themes

The design and layout of a WordPress website is largely determined by the theme used. WordPress already comes with some standard themes. In most cases, however, you want to install a different theme that matches the theme of your own website. Here you will find out all the necessary steps on how to install a new theme and how to change the existing theme.

WordPress theme variety

A great feature of WordPress is the integrated theme management. A theme largely determines the design and layout of the website. New themes can be installed at any time via the theme management. In principle, several themes can be installed at the same time. However, only one theme can be activated at a time. In this way, the design can be fundamentally changed in a simple manner.

There is a very large variety of different themes. On the one hand, there are several thousand free themes in the WordPress Theme Directory. There is also an even larger selection of premium themes from a wide variety of providers. Compared to the free themes, you usually get a larger range of functions, more customization options and support.

Install new theme

As soon as the decision for a new theme has been made, you can install it via the WordPress theme administration. The procedure differs depending on whether it is a theme from the WordPress Theme Directory or a premium theme from an external provider.

Install WordPress theme

All themes from the WordPress Theme Directory can be installed directly from the WordPress backend. To do this, go to the menu item Theme > Themes and then click on the top one Add to button. From here you have access to all free themes from the Theme Directory. In the top bar you can sort the themes according to different criteria, filter by functions or search for a name.

For this tutorial we are now looking for an example Magazine theme and enter the word Magazine in the top right corner of the search. A corresponding selection then appears. With a click on the preview button, a preview of the respective theme is displayed. However, this often appears very rudimentary, since no image material is displayed. To install the desired theme, simply click on To install.

Install WordPress theme in the backend

The theme will now be transferred from the WordPress server to your web server and installed. So that WordPress also uses the theme, then click on the Activate button. The theme is now active and will be displayed when you visit your website. On the Theme Customizer you can make all the settings provided by the theme and customize it to your liking.

Customize theme after activation

Install premium theme

Most premium themes are provided by the respective manufacturer in the form of a zip archive made available. For the installation, the file must first be uploaded to your web server. Go to the menu item in the WordPress backend Theme > Themes and click on the top one Add to button. Then click at the top Upload theme button.

WordPress theme upload

Then click on the Search Button, choose the zip file of your theme and click Install now. The theme will now be uploaded from your computer to the web server and installed. In order for WordPress to use the theme, you still have to activate it via the blue link. On the Theme Customizer you can then make all the settings provided and customize the theme to your liking.

Upload and activate theme

Change existing theme

Several themes can be installed at the same time in WordPress. Understandably, however, only one theme can be activated at a time. This then takes care of the design and layout of the website.

To change the activated theme, call up the theme management in the backend via the menu item Theme > Themes on. All installed themes are displayed here.

Switch between multiple WordPress themes

Now click on the desired theme Activateto switch the theme used. The new theme is then active and can be adjusted using the customizer.

Delete old theme

You can install a large number of themes at the same time in WordPress. In principle, however, it is advisable to delete all unused themes. This saves you the regular updates for the themes that are not active anyway. Security gaps in the deactivated themes can also pose a risk.

To remove a theme, call the theme management via the menu item Theme > Themes on. An active theme cannot be deleted. So you have to activate another theme first. Then click on the thumbnail of the theme you want to remove to uninstall.

Delete WordPress theme in the backend

To uninstall this theme now, click on the bottom right Extinguish button. A security prompt will appear, which you must confirm. After that, the theme will be completely deleted from your web server.

Conclusion

The design and layout of a WordPress website can be easily changed by choosing an appropriate theme. You now know all the necessary steps to install new themes and switch between the existing themes. Last but not least, you can also delete any unused themes to keep your WordPress system as lean as possible.