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Published 11th January 2011 by

WordPress has a powerful theme system which not only allows you to "skin" your site, but also provide more control over the look and presentation of the material on your website.
Creating Your First Website Series
  1. What are the types of website available
  2. Introduction to Web Hosting
  3. Registering Domain Names and Configuration
  4. Installing Wordpress
  5. Setting Up New WordPress Site
  6. How To Install WordPress Themes and Plugins
  7. Using WordPress Custom Fields
  8. Creating WordPress Themes
  9. Create Custom WordPress Shortcodes
  10. Creating WordPress Widgets
  11. WordPress Security 101
  12. 10 Essential WordPress Plugins for 2018
  13. 12 Best Free SEO Plugins and Tools

A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software.

Themes may include customised template files, image files (*.jpg, *.gif), style sheets (*.css), as well as any necessary code files (*.php).

The WordPress Theme Directory is the official site for WordPress Themes which have been checked and inspected, and are free for downloading. The site features the ability to search by type and style and offers a demonstration of the page view elements of the Theme.

You can also download themes from any other source, but you should be careful and only install themes from trusted sources.

Automatic Theme Installation

Most themes can be installed directly from the WordPress Theme Directory by clicking on the Install Themes tab from Appearance >Themes menu. From here you can search for themes and click to install. You may have to enter your FTP login details so that the files can be uploaded.

Manual Theme Installation

More advanced themes often require manual installation. While the theme will come with installation instructions, in general, they all follow the same process.

Firstly, you should extract the contents of the .zip file that you downloaded to your hard drive. You can then use an FTP client such as FileZilla to upload the files to your /content/themes/ directory on your website.

Activating A Theme

Regardless of how you installed the theme, you next need to activate it. This is done from the Appearance >Themes screen. You should see the theme listed and be able to preview or activate it.

WordPress Theme Selection

WordPress Theme Selection

Once activated you can now view your site and see how it looks.

Installing Plugins

Plugins are installed in the same way as themes, you can automatically install a plugin from the Plugins > Add New menu. Again, you may need to enter your FTP details for the files to be uploaded.

If you manually install a plugin, the files should be extracted and uploaded to /content/plugins through your FTP client.

Like themes, plugins should be activated once installed.

Tutorial Series

This post is part of the series Creating Your First Website. Use the links below to advance to the next tutorial in the couse, or go back and see the previous in the tutorial series.

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