How to install themes in WordPress?

Many of the websites found on the Internet were created using WordPress , a CMS that offers a complete system for free content management. The advantages that the CMS brings to its users are many, so it is not surprising that it is one of the most popular tools for creating websites. However, we have to point out that having a WordPress account is not enough to design a website.

In fact, during the design stage of a page, it is necessary to install a theme, that is, a set of templates and databases that allow planning the visual aspect of the web page, including menus, pages, multimedia content, among others. .

The type of theme you should choose varies depending on many factors, but don't worry because in the WordPress directory, you will find the template you are looking for. In any case, do not forget that the theme you choose is very important because, after all, it represents your brand.

At this point, it is normal to wonder if it is better to create a website from scratch or install a WordPress theme. If this is your case, this article is for you. We are going to present you with all the information you need to know about WordPress themes and templates and how to install them easily and quickly.

What are WordPress themes and what are they made up of?

As we have mentioned before, WordPress is a content manager loved by many users for being simple and intuitive, ideal for building a page for both beginners and professionals. However, the system does not offer many options in terms of frontend design.

It is within this framework that the themes that provide a website with its own aesthetics and style come into play thanks to the customization of colors, fonts and formats . By choosing a certain theme, you will be able to add navigation menus, special headers and all that audiovisual content that will arouse the visitor's curiosity.

It should be noted that it is thanks to the separation of the design part of the website and the programming, that it is possible to define how to display the content provided to the visitor using WordPress themes . Now, you may be wondering what themes are.

They are folders with template files, PHP programming languages, style sheets, and localization data to make a website look a certain way. In a few words, we can say that the WordPress theme is the visual part and the design of your website to make it attractive and attract the attention of visitors.

The ultimate goal is to offer users a theme made up of source code that allows website administrators to freely design a page based on the commands built into the theme. We remember that, in general, a WordPress theme has menus, designs, headers, colors, fonts and sidebars as interactive elements.

Likewise, we cannot fail to point out that there are also multipurpose themes , those preferred by developers who want more flexibility. But what are multipurpose themes? We tell you.

They are themes that not only focus on the customization of a sector, but also offer users a template that can be modified in all its aspects, so they are not tied to a single design. In most cases, the multipurpose theme has a built-in demo content library where there is an extra theme that turns the general theme into something specific (sales website, support website, among others).

Components of a WordPress theme

A WordPress theme is made up of several template files that are linked together through tags and tags that determine how the content stored in the databases has to be displayed. Let's see what they are and what each component of the theme is for.


Templates are PHP files that use HTML elements, PHP code, and tags to determine how each task is to be accomplished. In this framework, it should be noted that in WordPress there are different types of basic templates that are linked together, among which:

Style.css – A required component in WordPress themes because it contains the basic header information, theme name and description. It is also considered as a style sheet for the integration of CSS code;

Index.php: another mandatory element because it is the summary of the articles and can be used as the main page . Usually in a simple theme, this template contains almost all the source code like HTML directory, header, footer, sidebars and navigation menu. In case the theme is elaborated in a complex way, these elements have separate templates to improve the loading time of the website.

Rtl.css: it is the template that allows you to incorporate the use of different types of languages that are written from right to left (such as Arabic).

Template tags

They are the components that unite the templates that request the contents of the databases. Simply put, template tags allow WordPress to dynamically and reactively generate a page .

If you want to know what the available tags are, you can access the Codex where all the existing tags are detailed.

tags include

These special tags are used in a theme to be able to load the files in the templates independent of the header.php, footer.php among others. Sometimes it contains internal functions that are integrated with the index.php templates.

template hook

Some refer to template hooks (plugin APIs) as hooks because they are interfaces that bind the WordPress theme to plugins (individual functions). Interfaces are usually implemented in the WordPress core, as they allow administrators to perform any type of action.

The ultimate purpose of the hook is to integrate that special information to the header, footer or sidebar.

conditional tags

Conditional tags are statements in PHP like if and else that, in conjunction with WordPress functions, link loaded content to conditions. To give you an example, make a greeting appear to the users who subscribed to your newsletter.

The Loop

The Loop is a mechanism that takes care of the visualization of the contents thanks to the built-in WordPress functions and linked by means of the conditional tags.

So that you can better understand the concept, we are going to give you an example. A simple loop will show you the title and preview of all the posts on the home page of your blog, highlighting the most recent post. Remember that the number of tickets displayed will vary. All you have to do is define the amount and indicate it in the administration panel.

Instead, a more complex and articulated loop that is interspersed with the metadata (author, date, category, among others) provides the link to the page where the full article can be found.

Where to find WordPress themes?

Today, it is possible to find an infinite number of free and paid WordPress theme models.

In many cases, it is advisable to look for a free theme in the WordPress directory because they are of excellent quality for being meticulously built with light codes. Once entered in the directory , for each subject, you will be able to look at the qualifications and the. Just one click and everything is ready to start customizing and uploading the website to the internet.

If you want to search for the theme on other sites, you could browse the websites of private providers who provide users with the limited base versions of paid themes, if you want a free theme. Otherwise, we assure you that you will be able to find good quality paid templates.

In fact, it is important to note that paid themes can be downloaded from a number of specialized WordPress theme websites created by expert programmers in the field. You will be able to navigate these pages, set the search by filters and functions to find the perfect theme for your website. In addition, you will be able to see the reviews, ratings and comments of the buyers before finalizing the purchase. Still, we encourage you to download a theme only from trusted external websites.

If you don't want to waste time in the paid theme market, you can directly contact a theme developer to customize every aspect of the website and get assistance at any time.

Finally, it is important to note that if you are browsing the Internet and find a topic that you like, in a few minutes you will be able to identify it by using the topic detection tool.

How do I know the theme is supported?

Found a theme you like? One that suits your brand image, but you don't know if it's compatible with WordPress? Do not worry because we are going to tell you what are the most common compatibility errors , how to identify and avoid them

First of all you have to know that there are 3 totally free plugins that you can use to check the compatibility of your theme with WordPress. Plugins or complements such as Theme-Check, Log Deprecated Notices, Debogger will help you identify if the template created by the developer has a problem in the initial coding.

Next, we are going to tell you how each one works so that you can choose the perfect plugin for you.

Theme Check

It is a free to use plugin that checks the theme for compatibility based on input taken from Therefore, the plugin offers the possibility to activate the error alert option through the Trac Ticket system.

Log Deprecated Notices

Another free to use plugin that allows you to verify that the functions and files used in the theme code are not obsolete. In this way, you will be sure that the template is updated to the latest version of WordPress. Also, it warns you if a function is being used in the wrong way in the theme.


The third plugin that we recommend is Debuger. It is a very useful plugin for two reasons. On the one hand, because it gives users the possibility to extensively debug the theme template. On the other hand, because it checks if the current page load is valid.

Now that we've introduced you to these plugins, it's also worth noting that if you have basic programming skills, you can take a look at the template and check its construction for any registration errors. In this case, we suggest looking at the Codex to check that deprecated functions are not being used. If the implemented function is deprecated, a red alert text will appear.

Likewise, you should carefully look at the quality of the code and its integration. Let's not forget that using the right code in the right place is key to making your theme fully compatible. That is why, for its integration, it is necessary that scripts, files, images and databases be carefully used.

How to choose the right WordPress theme?

In order to choose the perfect WordPress theme for you, you need to pay attention to some factors, including the objective of your website . In this sense, when selecting the theme of your website you must be clear about the objective of your website (customer support, product sales, blog, among others). Depending on the goals you want to achieve, change the model of the theme that you must select.

You should also control the font and color . To do this, you have to take into account your logo, the colors and the types of letters that predominate in your brand. At this point we want to remember that sometimes it is better to prefer a simple and minimalist theme with a design that organizes the use of white spaces well instead of one that is too colorful and messy.

On the other hand, do not forget to select a design that is compatible with the image you want to give of your store or company . The elements that have to be incorporated depend on your needs (menus, navigation bar, etc.).

Also, do not forget to check that the design of your website is responsive, that is, compatible with all electronic devices (computer, mobile, tablet, etc.). At the same time, it is also important to check that the theme is compatible with the most used plugins.

Also, it is important to control the loading time of the page. The faster the web opens, the higher the chances that the visitor will access your site and carry out the action you want to promote (download content, sell products and services, etc.). In this sense, if you want your website to load fast and smoothly, the theme has to have light and clean codes to avoid conflicts with plugins.

Also, the theme should offer you the option to work with the block editor . What is it? It is a tool built into WordPress that allows you to build a web page by dragging and dropping the elements you want to add or remove. What is sought, in this case, is to facilitate the work of editing and customization.

Lastly, you have to decide if you want to install a free or paid WordPress theme . As we mentioned before, there are a lot of really good free themes on the WordPress directory, with clean code and fast loading. However, we cannot deny that paid themes are usually of excellent quality due to their stricter control. In this sense, they are characterized by offering the user the possibility of using advanced functionalities that reduce the need to install heavy plugins. In addition, updates to improve the design and security of the website are constant.

How to install the chosen theme?

If you already selected the theme you want to use, its installation is quite simple. The first thing you have to do is go to the WordPress control panel and click on “Appearance” and “Theme”.

As you can see, WordPress has a default theme configured, but to load the selected theme, you have to click on the “Add new” button. When you have definitely selected the theme that interests you, you must install it by clicking on the "Install" button and then pressing the "Activate" button.

In any case, it is necessary to point out that, depending on the type of theme chosen (purchased on a paid site or downloaded from the WordPress directory) the process to follow is not the same.

Install the chosen theme from the WordPress directory

If you want a free theme, you can check the collection offered in the CMS directory or use the search box on the right for the keywords of a specific theme. In this way you will be able to search for the ideal theme for your case from the administrator page .

Remember that the themes in the directory have tags that describe their functionalities, which makes it easier for the user to search for them. That is why, if you know the name of the theme, you can search for it directly by inserting its name. Otherwise, you can use the "Filter by characteristics" option. All you have to do is check the tags and click the “Apply Filters” button. This will display all the templates that match the applied filters.

Once you've found the theme that might be right for your website, you'll need to hover over it. At this moment, two options will appear, one to see a demo of the template or one to install. Thus, it is time to select the theme, by clicking the blue Install button.

Here, you will see that the download begins, and once it is finished you must click on the "Activate" button to be able to finally use and customize the chosen theme.

Install the chosen theme from third-party websites

In some cases, it may happen that you can't find a theme you like in the WordPress directory. In this situation, you can resort to the templates offered by an external site . To do this, we suggest conducting an exhaustive search on the Internet and relying only on trusted websites to carry out the download of a theme or to make the payment for it.

Now, once you have found the theme, you must download it and then proceed to install it in WordPress . At this point, we have to open a little parenthesis: if you want to upload a theme that is not in the WordPress directory, you have to download the theme file in ZIP format before uploading it in WordPress.

When you have finished downloading the theme in ZIP format, you can upload it to WordPress by entering “Themes” and then clicking on the “Upload Theme” button. Once you have uploaded the theme, you must click the "Select File" button, choose the theme from the local computer (computer) and finish by clicking "Install Now".

Whatever the process to follow, once you have completed the steps that we detail, you will see that the theme will be uploaded in a few seconds. Do not forget to click the "Activate" button and that's it. You will be able to access the template and start customizing to bring your new website to life.


Finally, you discovered everything you need to know about WordPress themes. Now, it is natural to wonder if it is possible to create a website from scratch . The answer is yes, but this implies having advanced programming knowledge that many do not have.

Faced with this situation, our suggestion is to avoid complicating your life, since by installing a WordPress theme you can have a dynamic finished product that you just have to customize according to your tastes and needs.