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WordPress - How to Install a New WordPress Theme from the Admin Dashboard

This article will show you how to find and install a theme for your WordPress site for any free or paid theme. You may install and add multiple WordPress themes to store for later use in your WordPress Dashboard, but you may only have one theme appear on your live website.

What's a WordPress Theme For

WordPress themes let you create a professional-looking website quickly and affordably, without needing to know how to code. Whether you're starting a blog, business site, or online store, there's a theme for you.

Here are some key aspects of WordPress' themes:

  • Professional Designs: WordPress themes offer a variety of ready-made, professionally designed templates that allow users to quickly establish a visually appealing and cohesive online presence. These designs cater to different industries and purposes, from corporate websites to personal blogs, ensuring that there's a style that fits every need.

  • Customization Options: Themes come with extensive customization options, enabling users to tailor their site's appearance to match their brand identity without needing to write code. This can include changing the site’s color scheme, adjusting font styles and sizes, and rearranging layout components to better suit the content.

  • Responsive Design: With a focus on mobile-first design principles, WordPress themes are built to ensure that websites look and function seamlessly across all devices. This responsiveness guarantees that users have a positive viewing experience whether they’re accessing the site on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.

  • SEO Friendly: Themes are optimized for search engines right out of the box. They follow best practices for web design and development, such as fast loading times and mobile-friendly layouts, which are critical factors in search engine rankings. This optimization helps websites to be more easily discovered by potential visitors.

  • Cost-Effective: WordPress offers a wide selection of themes, including both free and premium options. Free themes are a great solution for those on a tight budget, providing a cost-effective way to create a professional-looking site. Premium themes, while more expensive, offer more advanced features, dedicated support, and regular updates.

  • Regular Updates: Theme developers provide regular updates for their products. These updates not only introduce new features and aesthetic improvements but also address any security vulnerabilities and ensure compatibility with the latest version of WordPress and popular plugins. This ongoing support keep websites secure and functioning smoothly over time.

If it's your first time to hear about WordPress themes or it's been awhile and you forgot, you don't need to worry! You check out our Bluehost blog. We'll give you a run down on what’s a WordPress theme and how to choose one if you want to know more.


How to Purchase a New Theme

  1. When you log in to your WordPress Dashboard, you will see your main menu on the left. Click Appearance.
  2. This will take you to the Appearance section of your site. To find a new theme, choose Add New. This will be at the bottom of your current themes.
  3. You can search for a new theme by clicking Feature Filter and sort through the themes by color scheme, layout, features, and much more.wp-feature-filter
    Ensure to click Apply Filters after sorting the Subject, Features, and Layout.wp-apply-filters
  4. Once you choose a theme that you like, click the Install button that appears when you hover your mouse over the theme.

  5. Now that the theme is installed, you can click Activate to make your site start using this theme immediately. 


But if you don't have the budget for a WordPress theme just yet, you can check out the top free WordPress themes for your business website in 2024. This way, you can still launch your website without the heavy costs.

How to Install a Purchased Theme from your WordPress Admin Dashboard

If you have already purchased a theme, you can install it automatically on your WordPress site in a similar manner to the process above or manually in your Hosting account.

Install Already Purchased Theme — Automatically from your WordPress Admin Dashboard

  1. When you get to the Appearance section and click Add New, you will choose the option Upload Theme.
    User-added image
  2. The theme folder needs to be in a .zip format. Choose Browse and locate the theme on your computer. Then click Install Now.
  3. Once the theme is installed, you can click Activate, and your site will now be using this theme. 

How to Manually Install a Purchases Theme from your Hosting

If you have issues with the automatic update or do not have access to the Admin Dashboard, you can manually update your site's theme.

Install Already Purchased Theme — Manually from your Hosting

Upload Theme Files

Be sure to note which folder your domain is pointing to, as this will determine where you upload to.

  1. First, you will need to upload the Theme files. Connect to your hosting account with FTP to upload the theme folder to /wp-content/themes.

    Remember, this needs to be in a .zip format.

  2. Once the upload has been completed, log in to your Bluehost account. 
  3. Click on the File Manager icon in the Files section. If you do not see a Files section, you will need to click the Advanced option first. 
  4. If prompted, choose the Home Directory and submit. A list of files will be displayed. 
  5. Navigate to the folder you uploaded to, and select the zipped folder.  
  6. Click Extract.

    This will unzip the folder so that WordPress can access the files. Copy the name of the theme folder after it has been extracted.

Update Database


Be sure to note which database your site is using, as this will determine which database needs to be updated.

  1. Back out of the File Manager until you are looking at the Files section again.
  2. Click on the phpMyAdmin icon in the Databases section. This will load a list of current databases.
  3. Choose the database that needs to be updated. You should see some tables populated. 
  4. Click on the wp_options table, then click Browse.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and set the Number of Rows to 100. 
    Set Number of Rows
  6. Find the template and stylesheet settings. Click Edit.
  7.  Replace the current theme with the theme you copied from the File Manager. 
  8. To save, click Go next to Save. This should activate the theme on your site. 


WordPress themes offer an easy way to customize and enhance your website's appearance without technical skills. With a vast selection of WordPress themes, you can quickly give your site a professional look. The installation process is straightforward, enabling a seamless update or change in style with just a few clicks.

However, if you're still unsure about it, using the child theme features is a great altertive to customize and add a new theme for your WordPress websit. View our Bluehost blog to learn how to create a WordPress child theme step by step. Or you can go over the best free Woocommerce themes if you own an online store to boost your business.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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