August 7th, 2019
First of all, before you can find and install a wordpress theme, you should know what we are talking about. So what is a WordPress Theme?
For the experienced WordPress user, the answer to this question is straight forward! But for someone who’s just starting out, it can be a very legitimate question: a WordPress theme is the design of a page.
If you develop a page using HTML, you will need a CSS file (CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets), which refers to the HTML code. This defines the look of your page. An important part of your WordPress theme is, therefore, the CSS code.
This explanation is a little be more technical and I won’t go in the details of CSS (or at least not yet). To simply say it: The theme decides what your page looks like.
But that’s not all: The theme also gives you certain functions. So you can make changes to your page easily through the customizer of WordPress – such as changes in the color scheme.
The theme defines to what extent you can make changes here. Other features such as multilingualism or image galleries can also be included in themes (but most can also be added via plugins).
The customizer can be found in the dashboard under Appearance or if you are logged in and visit the website, you can see the option “Customize” at the very top on the left.
Figuratively speaking, a theme is a suit in which you dress your page. It also means that you can change your outfit in seconds without having to write a new CSS file. Just change the theme, and your page will appear in a different look.
Find a Theme
Before you can install a wordpress theme, If you don’t already have theme in mind, you should find one that is more suitable to your needs.
The beauty of WordPress is that it offers thousands of themes. You can find themes for every topic, every field and every need you might have.
These themes can be used and customized by all users that can easily download and install them. WordPress offers a wide range of premium themes, but also free. So if you don’t have budget for your website at the moment, you can start out with a free theme and can always upgrade later.
To find the right theme, go from the Dashboard in Appearance -> Themes. Here you’ll be able to see all themes that have been already installed. At the top, close to the word Themes, you will see a button that says “Add New”.
If you click on it, all available themes will appear. It’s a lot and it can be overwhelming especially if you are not sure what you are looking for.
On thing that can surely help is the Feature Filter were you can apply filters based on your need.
Fo example if you select the filter “E-Commerce,” all themes displayed will be suitable for e-commerce, so have a connection to an online store.
The great thing is: You can directly select several filters at the same time. In this way, you quickly filter out the themes that are even suitable for you.
Alternatively, you can search directly for a theme in the WordPress website at this link: https://wordpress.org/themes/
There you will basically find the same view as from your dashboard.
To try out the free themes are ideal but if you feel like setting up a more professional website, you should definitely resort to a premium WordPress theme or hire a designer that can do everything for you. Including installing the theme once ready.
But for now, let’s look at what we can do ourselves without involving money in the process 🙂
One thing to keep in mind is that unless you hire someone, you will not find the perfect theme. But you can get close enough! And minor things can always be changed via adjustments in the CSS code.
Preview a WordPress Theme before installing it.
Once you find a theme that seems nice you can either preview on your wordpress installation, which I don’t suggest because it will map onto your content and if you don’t have a lot of content you won’t see much.
Or you can preview the demo. Themes always come with a webpage and a demo that can show you how the theme looks like in an already content-populated website.
Let’s use an example, for my work with David Alison coaching, we decided to choose a theme and customize it to David’s needs.
After well defining what he was searching for, I tried different themes and the one that I liked the most and that was also more suitable, was the Free version of Country Inn by Xclusive Themes.
This is the view from WordPress. As you can see you have two buttons “Preview” and “Download”. But what we want to click on is actually the link “Theme Homepage” a bit further down. There is where the magic happens 🙂
Here you find a link to the “Live Demo” of the website. The Demo is for the Paid version, but I can assure you that the free version looks very similar. Now you can have fun exploring the theme and see if it’s really what you want.
Once you have found the right theme, go back to Dashboard -> Appearance -> Themes -> Add New. Here you can search your theme by name.
If you hover over the theme of your choice, you will see the blue button “Install”. If you click on it, the theme will be install after that a new button “Activate” will appear. Once you click on it the theme will be activate.
I suggest, if you have already a running website, to make a backup home. Sometimes the outcome might not be the one you wanted or something might go wrong and you might want to go back to what you have previously.
Some themes also allow you to install the demo on your wordpress (they also provide instructions on how to do that). I find that very useful because it allows you have an exact reproduction of the one you saw online and you can start from there.
Now you know how to find and install a wordpress theme!! 🙂
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