Find and Install a Free Wordpress Theme



Welcome! In this tutorial we are going to explore the world of free themes for your Wordpress blog.  The first question you may ask yourself is... Do I even need a theme?  The answer is yes.  When you first start using Wordpress, free themes are included to get you up and running.  If you would like to change the overall look and feel of your blog, then finding a new theme is the way to go.  There are thousands of free themes available, so finding one should be no problem. Let's get started finding and installing a free theme!

Before we start, please be aware there are different ways to install themes into your Wordpress blog.  There is a manual option and an automatic option.  This tutorial uses the manual installation method.  Below is a brief list of the steps we will be covering in this tutorial.

Overview
  • Search for a Theme.
  • Download a Theme
  • Upload the Theme to Your Server
  • Activate the Theme.
  • Finished!

Step 1, Search for a Theme

There are many different ways to find free themes for your Wordpress blog, but the easiest way is to search from within the administrative area of your blog.  Go ahead and login to the admin area of your site.  If you don't know how to get into the admin area, never fear... a tutorial is here!  Once logged in, navigate to the appearance button on the left and choose "themes".



You will land on the themes page, then click on the "Install Themes" tab at the top.  You now have the ability to search through a huge collection of themes.  Just click on the "Find Themes" button to start.



What you will see, is a huge list of themes which are available through the themes section wordpress.org.  Browse through the themes to find one you like. You can also use the free wordpress themes section in the links area of this website to find more theme ideas.



Step 2, Download a Theme

Once you have picked out a theme, there are different ways to install the theme.  Wordpress makes it easy by building in ftp installation functions.  Basically, you click on "Install Now" and Wordpress asks for your ftp credentials to download and automatically install the files.  For security reasons, I would not recommend ftp at all.  I never use it myself.  Sftp (Secure ftp) is better, but I only use ssh or winscp for file transfer tasks.  What does all this mean? It means find a theme, get the name, head over to Wordpress.org and download it manually.

When you have picked out a theme, head over to the theme section of Wordpress.org.  Enter the name of the theme you like and hit the "Search Themes" button.



In this tutorial, we used a theme called "Simple Catch."  I simply entered the name into the Wordpress search box and found the theme I was looking for.  From this point, all we need to do is download the theme and install it on our server.  Go ahead and find a theme, download it, and we will move on to the next step.

Step 3, Upload the Theme to Your Server



If you made it this far... you should have downloaded the theme to your computer.  Go to the location where the theme is on your computer and un-zip it by right clicking on the file and choosing a program to un-zip the contents.  If you are unfamiliar with the term "zip", a definition can be found here.

For the theme I downloaded.. "Simple Catch," the file that came down was called simple-catch.1.3.3.zip.  The contents were un-zipped to its own folder called simple-catch.1.3.3.  Notice the .zip filename extension is missing and it is now a folder.  Inside the folder is another folder simply called...."simple-catch."  This is the folder we are going to upload to our web server.

Now we are ready to upload the simple-catch folder onto the web server.  Go ahead and connect to your server using ftp or winscp.  Navigate to the base installation folder, then go into wp-content and then the themes directory.   This is where all the themes need to be placed.  Copy the entire theme folder into the themes directory.

Step 4, Activate the Theme

 Once the theme has been uploaded, it will be available in the themes section of the administration area of your blog.  The image below shows the Simple Catch theme.  Simply click the "activate" button and your blog will magically take on a whole new look and feel!



Conclusion

We covered quite a bit a ground in this tutorial.  You should be getting familiar with how to search for a theme, downlaod and install the theme into your Wordpress blog.  There are thousands of themes to choose from, so there is no shortage of supply.

Until next time, please leave a comment if there are any questions... thanks for visiting Pro Media Publishing!