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How to Upload Theme to WordPress Using 2 Simple Methods

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Despite the availability of over 8,000 themes in the official directory, you won’t always find your desired theme in there.

You either opt for premium themes or hire a theme developer to create a custom theme for your site.

Whichever you opt for, you need to know how to upload themes to WordPress as you can’t install and update custom themes the same way you do with themes on the WordPress directory.

 In this tutorial, we’ll show you 2 methods to easily upload your theme to WordPress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Upload a Custom Theme on WordPress?

Of Course, you can upload a custom theme to WordPress.

WordPress code is written in PHP programming language.

You can hire a developer or if you know how to code, you can build a custom theme and upload it to WordPress.

What is the Best Way to Upload a WordPress Theme?

The best way to upload a WordPress theme depends on the size of the theme.

To upload a simple WordPress theme, using the admin dashboard is the best.

If you have a heavy theme, the best way to do it is via an FTP client or cPanel File Manager.

What You’ll Need Upload Theme to WordPress

  • WordPress Admin Access: There are 6 default user roles in WordPress. To upload a theme, you’ll need either an admin or super admin role access.
  • Hosting Account cPanel: To upload a theme from your web host File Manager, you’ll need access to web hosting cPanel.
  • Your Theme .zip File: Whether you want to upload a custom theme or a premium theme, you first need to download the theme installable .zip file to your computer.

How to Upload Theme to WordPress: 2 Methods

  • Method #1: Upload Theme to WordPress via WordPress Admin
  • Method 2: Upload Theme to WordPress via Your Hosting Cpanel

Method #1: Upload Theme to WordPress via WordPress Admin

To update WordPress themes manually, you must first download the theme file.

Go to your theme developer’s official website, log in to your account and download the latest version of your theme.

If you bought your theme from a theme marketplace like ThemeForest, visit the site to download the installable zip file.

Once your zip file is ready, follow these steps to upload your theme from within the admin dashboard.

Log in to your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance, and select Themes from the options.


Click the Add new button at the top of the page, then select Upload theme on the next screen.

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Next, click on the choose file button to upload your theme folder.

This will open your device storage.

Locate the downloaded theme .zip file on your computer and upload it.

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Wait for the installation to complete.

WordPress will notify you whether the installation is successful or not.

Once the theme is installed, you can activate it from the upload page by clicking the Activate button.

Alternatively, you can also go to your theme page.

You’ll see all your uploaded themes.

Click on the Activate button.

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Method 2: Upload Theme to WordPress via Your Hosting Cpanel

This method requires you to have your theme .zip file on your device.

But unlike in method 1, you won’t be uploading the zip file.

You first need to unzip and extract the content of the file before you upload.

To do this, locate the file on your computer, right-click on it and click Extract all.

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Once your file is ready, log in to the hosting cPanel, locate and click on File Manager to open.

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In the File Manager, follow this path to open the theme folder; public_html folder>wp-content>themes.

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Inside the theme folder, you’ll see all your installed themes.

You’ll upload your new plugin to this folder.

So click on the Upload icon at the top of the page.

Your device storage will open, locate the extracted theme folder, select it and click the Open button to upload.

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Your theme will start uploading.

Wait for it to complete.

Now you’ll see the new plugin in the folder.

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That’s all.

You are done uploading the theme to WordPress from your hosting Cpanel.

To activate the theme, go to Appearance>Theme in your WordPress dashboard, you’ll find the new theme there.

Just click on the Activate button.

More Helpful WordPress Tutorials:

Wrapping up

Whether you are just starting with WordPress or redesigning an existing site, WordPress themes are at the core of everything you do.

Knowing how to upload a theme to WordPress is one of the basics of using WordPress.

Apart from creating an identity for your site, the best WordPress themes strengthen your brand and better your users’ experience.

Installing a theme via the WordPress theme repository might be the easiest option, but it doesn’t work for custom and premium themes.

Your only option is to upload the theme to WordPress.

We hope you find this tutorial helpful.

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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