Working with WordPress Themes in the WordPress Dashboard

By: | Updated: October 9, 2015

The Themes section of the WordPress Dashboard is found under the Appearance tab. This is where you can add or change any Dashboard WordPress Themes you want.

Dashboard WordPress Themes

Your WordPress theme acts as the template for your entire site. It’s the design of the site and provides functionality for your site. This is a section you will use any time you need to change your theme or work within your WordPress theme.
Once you click on the Themes option under Appearance, you will arrive at a page with all your installed themes.
Themes Page
You will also see options for adding a new theme at the top of the page and with the large + sign in the blank spot next to your installed themes.
Add New Theme Top
Dashboard WordPress Themes
Along with using this section to add a new theme, you can use it to switch between already installed themes. When you hover over an installed theme, you will have the option to view a live preview or activate the theme. If you activate the theme, it will become the WordPress theme for your website.
Another thing you can do within the theme section is customize your current theme. This can be done by clicking on the blue “customize” button found below your active theme.
Customize Button

Adding a New Theme to Your WordPress Website

When you want to add a new theme to your website, you can use the “Add New” button at the top or the “+” sign within your installed themes area. Click either one of these and you will arrive at a page looking like this:
Add New Theme
This page gives you the ability to search through the WordPress database for the right theme for your needs. You can search the Featured, Popular or Latest categories with the links found above the themes or you can use the Feature Filter
Theme Search Links
The Feature Filter will allow you to select many different options to filter your search results. From colors to layout to subject, you can select from many different options to find the right theme for your specific needs.
If you don’t want to use a theme from the WordPress database, you can upload your own theme by clicking the “Upload Theme” link at the top.
Upload Theme Link
This link will allow you to upload a .zip folder you downloaded when you purchased a new premium WordPress theme or you found a free WordPress theme and downloaded it.
Upload Theme
All you have to do is click the “Choose File” button on this page and you will be able to browse your computer for the .zip folder associated with your new WordPress theme. Once you upload the new theme, you will have the option to activate it or leave it inactive.
Activate Theme
You can click the “Live Preview” link to see how it will look or activate the theme if you already know you want to use it.

Customizing Your WordPress Theme-Dashboard WordPress Themes

After you have added the theme you want to use to your WordPress site, you can customize it. Every theme is different and may offer additional options.
When you click the blue “Customize” button, you will be taken into the WordPress customizer. If you want to find out about all of the basic options found within the customizer, you can read our tutorial called, Understanding the Customizer in Your WordPress Dashboard.
Now you have everything you should need to start working within the theme section of the Appearance tab. You can find the right WordPress thee for your site, install it, activate it and customize it right from this section of your dashboard. If you want to learn more about the WordPress Dashboard, read our tutorial called, Getting to Know the WordPress Dashboard.