How to install a WordPress theme

WordPress makes installing a new theme easy a breeze for beginners whilst also providing more advanced options for professional users. This guide will cover installing a theme under both scenarios.

Installing a WordPress theme

  • Login your WordPress admin panel, this is usually located at example.com/wp-admin
  • Using the left-hand side menu navigate to Appearance and then Themes as shown below.

From here you will click on ‘Add New’ as highlighted in the screenshot below.

From here you will be able to browse thousands of free WordPress themes that you can install with a single click of a button or preview the theme directly on your website.

How do I install a paid theme?

Once you have paid for a premium theme you will likely receive a .Zip file containing the theme. To install the premium theme on your WordPress website simply follow the same steps as above with the only difference being, you will click on ‘Upload Theme’ within the Themes page of your admin panel.

Here you can upload the .ZIP file directly into WordPress.

Some themes might be too large to upload directly via WordPress, if this is the case with your theme you will need to use SFTP, instructions on how to  do this are covered in the next section.

How do I install a WordPress theme using FTP/SFTP?

First, you will need your FTP/SFTP login details, these are usually sent to you by your hosting provider when you first sign up. The FTP/SFTP logins are usually always the same as your cPanel logins. If you are hosted with Koerge you can try something like this.

  • URL: ftp.koerge.com
  • Username: your-cPanel-username
  • Password: your-cPanel-password

We usually recommend setting the protocol to SFTP if you are using your cPanel logins to gain access. If you created your own FTP user within cPanel then please use FTP as opposed to SFTP to login. Once you gained access you will need to navigate to your WordPress installation and find the themes folder which is usually located here:


From here you will unzip your theme and upload the paid theme into /wp-content/themes/. Please ensure you do not upload all the contents within your paid theme folder here, only the top-level folder that contains the theme inside. To help clarify things here is a screenshot of a /wp-content/themes/ folder. You can see 5 themes are installed here.

Once you have transferred all your WordPress themes files via FTP/SFTP the theme should appear in your Appearance > Themes admin panel, from here you can choose to preview or activate the theme.

Does WordPress support drag and drop website builders?

Yes, there are many different plugins you can install to bring drag and drop theme builders to WordPress. Our personal favorite is Elementor. Elementor enables you to build your theme exactly how you envision it with limitless possibilities.

Elementor is a WordPress plugin that can be downloaded and installed for free directly from your WordPress admin panel.

Elementor has thousands of features, far too many to cover in this article. It can be daunting at first for new users but with time you will get the hang of it and build incredible websites.