ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Use Wordpress Themes

Updated on February 28, 2010

In the previous tutorial, I talked about how to install your Wordpress blogging software. You might have found the easy way and discovered that your service provider included Fantastico to make it easy for you, or you might have gone through the steps I outlined. Regardless, if you look at your brand-new Wordpress blog, you might be a little bit disappointed. Right now you are running on the default settings, and you are going to want to make a few changes.

If you do not have Wordpress installed yet, please view my tutorial How to Download and Install Wordpress. This tutorial does not apply to people who are using wordpress.com!

I'm going to begin by guiding you through installing a new theme to Wordpress. I will not be walking you through creating a custom theme but will instead refer you to the Wordpress codex at the end of this article.

Click to View!
Click to View!

Installing a Wordpress Theme

Look at your site, where you installed Wordpress. If you haven't already changed your theme, it will look something like the image to the right (except that it should have your title instead of "Test Blog"). If you're like me, you probably don't particularly like the basic theme. It doesn't speak at all to who you are, it isn't individual, and I don't even feel that it is sufficiently professional for a professional website.

We're going to change the theme by taking the following steps:

1. Download the theme of your choice.

Using the link above, visit the Wordpress.org site to download a theme. For right now it is easier to work with a freely provided theme, as I will not personally be creating or purchasing a theme for the purposes of this tutorial.

You will need to use the search feature to find a theme that you like. For me, I have chosen Oriental, one of my favorite themes. I advise previewing a theme before downloading it as you will save installation time if you decide that you don't like it! Some themes don't look like the thumbnail when they are in action!

2. Unzip your theme.

Your theme has arrived packaged as a zip file. Go ahead and unzip it so that you have the files extracted for upload.

Click to View!
Click to View!
Click to View!
Click to View!

3. Upload your theme.

Using your FTP client, navigate to the wordpress/wp-content/themes folder. This is the folder in which you will want to upload your theme.

The top image shows where to find your wp-content folder and the bottom image shows where you should look to find your themes folder.

When uploading, make sure that you upload the entire directory. In my case, I had a zip file called oriental.1.2.1.zip. When I unzipped that file, I then had oriental.1.2.1. Inside of the directory I had a folder called oriental. It is this final directory that I uploaded (in its entirity) to my web host.

I recommend leaving the other folders within the themes folder intact.

Now you're going to be switching out of your FTP client and back to your web browser.

Click to View!
Click to View!

4. Log into Wordpress.

Navigate to your administrative control panel. In the default theme, the Meta widget is already installed for you so you will be able to click the "Log in" link on the main page.

You did write down that password, didn't you? If not, you can request to have it sent to your e-mail. Truth be told, that's what I had to do!

Once you are logged in, you will see your Wordpress dashboard, as pictured at right.

Click to View!
Click to View!

5. Open your appearance tab in Wordpress.

Halfway down the page you will see a link for "Appearance." Clicking this link will open up a screen which displays the various themes you have installed to Wordpress. Your installation really was just that easy!

6. Select the newly installed theme.

This will give you a preview screen.

7. Click "Activate."

The Activate button is in the upper right hand corner of the preview screen. Selecting this link will activate the theme on your blog!

Thank you for reading this tutorial! Upcoming is a tutorial about installing plugins to Wordpress! Stay tuned!

Great Books to Help you Get Started!

Questions? Ask Away!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Thanks for the help. I've been setting up my first self-hosted Wordpress blog ever this weekend, and I needed all the help I could get.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      I don't think you can code a table into the post actually, Marisa. Can't say I've tried it... But I don't think it's possible. If I have tried it, it was a long time ago lol

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      9 years ago from Sydney

      Good Hub!  Wanderer asked about tables - your idea of using a screenshot is probably easiest, because otherwise you're going to have to learn to use code.  Here's the help from Wordpress on writing code for posts, which might help:

      http://codex.wordpress.org/Writing_Code_in_Your_Po...

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 

      9 years ago

      thanks for sharing this useful info

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      No problem! I hope that helped!

      I'm not writing today, just editing, so the next one won't be out until Monday. I haven't decided yet (since I haven't talked to badco) whether or not I'm going to cover plugin installation or post design (since he asked about that specifically).

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 

      9 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, teach. Talk to ya later.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Yeah, that's wordpress, not built into the theme. You won't be able to use tables in the conventional way. What I would do is use another program to create a table and then make a screenshot of it.

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 

      9 years ago from Singapore

      I'm not talking about the theme but the editor that you use to input your posts and your pages. I don't think the usual editor supports tables.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Well, I am *not* versed in php *at all*. It's one of the few web languages that has me completely baffled. Just trying to edit it has caused me chaos when I was trying to create a theme for SMF one time. I almost got it done and then butchered it after about nine hours of work. I gave up.

      That doesn't mean I can't answer your question though:

      Where do you want to put a table in the theme? And yes, some come with a *lot* of features!

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 

      9 years ago from Singapore

      Probably jumping the gun a little, but I noticed that the Wordpress post editor can't handle tables. Is the same editor used for all the themes, or does some themes come with a super editor packed with super features? :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)