How to install a WordPress theme

Manual (FTP) installation

If automatic installation fails or is not possible, you’ll need to use this alternative method for installing your theme.

You will need to know several details about your server / hosting account:

  • server address / domain name
  • hosting/server username
  • hosting/server password
  • location of your WordPress installation inside the hosting account (usually directly into the public_html folder or some folder inside this)

Then you will need a FTP client (FileZilla is a great free program).

Step 1

1. We are using Mantra in this example, so we have to download it. You need to do the same with your desired theme.

Step 2

2. Save the theme archive on your computer (in case you don’t already have it)

Step 3

3. Extract the theme archive. You should get a folder named the same as your theme with a lot of files and folders inside it (specifically, check that it contains style.css and functions.php)

Step 4

4. Using FileZilla, connect to your hosting account.
In the left panel navigate to the folder obtained in step 3. In the right panel navigate to your WordPress installation folder (look for wp-admin and wp-content).
Once you have locate this, navigate inside wp-content/themes. Right click the “theme_name” folder on the left pane and select Upload from the menu.

Step 5

5. After the transfer is complete you should see the new theme folder right next to the default (as of WordPress 3.5) twentyeleven and twentytwelve themes folders.

Step 6

6. Via the dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Themes. The new theme should be displayed in the list.
Click the Activate link to enable it.

And you are done 🙂

Other ways to install a WordPress theme:
Installing from the .org repository
Installing from a zip file

More Tutorials This article is part of our WordPress general and theme specific tutorials series. For more useful information check out our tutorials section.


    1. Manual upload guarantees you are installing the latest version. Using your control panel’s “magic installer” may leave you with an older (outdated, vulnerable) WordPress installation.

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  3. I have watch an install video and seen this blog. both times the first step is to click ‘Install Theme’ but I do not have that header. Any help of why this is would be helpful.

  4. I have problems to upload images in the presentation page. Always says that it was imposible to do. Does anyone know why? The screen apears dark and the mantra menú isn´t avalaible. I need to reaload the page of the navegator.

  5. Hi,
    I followed your instruction and installed the updated version of the theme but it seems that the custom slides for presentation page is not working.Act my end .so could you please update regarding the same.So that I can proceed toward my target.
    I will be very thankful to you for the same.because my work is stuck very badly.

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