Home Feature Posts 3 ways to Import/Upload WordPress theme – Beginners Guide

3 ways to Import/Upload WordPress theme – Beginners Guide

by wikky

Once you have done setting up your first WordPress application for your website, the next you think of how to change default theme to one which you want to setup for your website? If you get your WordPress theme in zip folder then you can upload theme by three ways depending upon the level of ownership/privileges authorized to you from your web hosting service providers.

1. Import Theme via WordPress Admin Dashboard

First you need to login to the WordPress admin dashboard through the credentials that are provided at the time of WordPress installation.

Click on Appearance > Themes from left sidebar menu for theme configuration screen.

import wordpress theme by wdmin dashboard – step 1

Now click on “Add New” button that is next to Page Title “Themes”.

import wordpress theme by wdmin dashboard – step 1-2


import wordpress theme by wdmin dashboard – step 2

Click on Upload Theme Button that is again located on the Page Title “Add Themes”.

Now Click on Choose File Button to select the theme from your OS directory. This only supports Zip format (RAR File Extension is Not supported).

import wordpress theme by wdmin dashboard – step 3

Once it will complete uploading, your theme will be appear in the themes List to activate. IF you want to activate or see live preview, Hover mouse over the theme and click on desired operation.

Most of the time you will face timeout Errorwhile importing your WordPress theme using admin dashboard. So you can use any from other two options that are explained below.
For Maximum Execution Time error resolution, see this post:

How To Increase Maximum Execution Time For Wordpress

2. Upload Theme Via File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

If you are provided FTP account credentials from your web hosting service provider then you can also have Privileges to explore your web hosting File Directory using any FTP Client software like FileZilla. If not provided then you can ask for it.

FTP login requires: Host URL, User name, Password and Host Port (Optional).

And This option also need to know how to use FTP Client Application for web server. It is recommended to use FileZilla because it is Free and User Friendly.
To download FileZilla Client application Click Here.
To learn more about FileZilla Client Application Link 1, Link 2 or Link 3.

Now login to your web server FTP by entering the credentials as shown in image below.

login filezilla

Once you will be connected to your server, you will see at the
left pane, your OS File Directory (See image below), Navigate it to WordPress Theme folder. And on Right Pane, File Directory of your web server will be open on FileZilla application window (See image below). Navigate Server directory to public_html/wp-content/themes/.

Upload WordPress theme via FTP step 2

Now simply Drag the Theme folder from OS Files Directory to web server Themes folder (public_html/wp-content/themes) to upload theme on web server.

Upload WordPress theme via FTP step 3

It will take few minutes depending upon the memory size of theme. Once you will done uploading, you can see this uploaded theme in the WordPress admin dashboard inside Appearance > themes list.

Now hover your mouse on the theme to see Active or Preview actions button. Click on Active to apply this theme on your live website.

3. Upload theme Via CPanel Files Manager

If you have access to your CPanel that is provided by your Web Hosting Service providers then you can upload your WordPress Theme Zip folder via this. Using this option it is not required to install any FTP Client application on your machine.

Open CPanel login page of your website by following the link Domain.com/cpanel Or Domain.com:2082 and Enter username and password to login.

Now under FILES Tab, Click on Files Manager. it will open New window in browser which displays all files and folders of your web server as shown in image below.

Upload wordpress theme vis Cpanel-step-1

Now Navigate to Themes Folder (
Public_html/wp-content/themes ) which will be located inside your WordPress application installation directory.
Click on Upload button from top bar (shown in image below). A new window will be open.

For example if your installation directory of WordPress is domain.com/wp/ then your theme folder will be located at public_html/wp/wp-content/themes, if it is installed on the root then it will be at public_html/wp-content/themes. See image below for reference.

Upload wordpress theme vis Cpanel-step-2

Select your Theme Zip File or drag and drop it to uploading area of browser to upload it to themes folder. Once you will select or drag drop theme file (see image below for ref.), it will start uploading and will take few minutes (Depends upon many factors like the Internet Speed, File Size and bandwidth limit).

Upload wordpress theme vis Cpanel-step-3

Once uploading is completed Go Back to your theme folder directory and refresh it, you will find your uploaded theme zip folder there. Select it by single click and then click on Extract Button from top bar to extract your theme.

Upload wordpress theme vis Cpanel-step-4

When you have done all this steps, now login to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Themes and in the themes list you will find your uploaded theme. Now hover your mouse over it and click on Active Button to active this on live website.

Hope It will Help!

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