Free WordPress themes – how to install them?

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Do you run a website or blog on WordPress and want to re-design it? It will take you just a few minutes. See how to install free WordPress themes.

Free WordPress themes – automatic or manual installation

A Theme is an extension of WordPress completely changing its visual layer, so the part of the site that is visible to the readers. You can change the theme in WordPress in two ways. Let’s call them – automatic or manual.

Automatic installation of the free WordPress themes

To change the theme to a new one automatically:

  • Log in to the administration panel.
  • Go to AppearanceThemes.
  • Click on Add new.
  • Choose the theme you like.
  • Click on Install.


To make the choice easier for you, free WordPress themes are sorted by categories:

  • Featured (WordPress appreciates them most).
  • Popular (they have the highest number of downloads).
  • Last modified (they are freshly updated).

You can also search for a free WordPress theme using the repository search engine, as well as using search filters.

Manual installation of the free WordPress themes

The WordPress repository available from the administration panel (AppearanceThemes) is not the only source of free themes. You can search them, for example, on websites:


  • (only for private use),
  • and others.


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After downloading on your computer the theme you chose:

    • Log in to the administration panel.
    • Go to AppearanceThemes.
    • Click on Add new.
    • Click on Send the theme to the server.


  • Click on Choose a file and add to it the folder with your new theme.


  • Click on Install now.
  • Click on Turn on (before you click on Turn on, you can choose Live View button. Thanks to this, you will see how the new theme presents itself on the website).


If the new theme code is not damaged and the chosen theme is compatible with the version of your WordPress, the installation will be successful.


If you have any troubles installing a free WordPress theme manually, try doing it via FTP server:

  • Log in to your FTP server.
  • Open wp-content folder.
  • Open themes folder.
  • Add to the themes the folder with a new theme you just installed (make sure it is a .zip folder).
  • Your new, free WordPress theme should be now visible in AppearanceThemes, so you can turn it on from there.

WordPress theme error occurs?

It happens that some time after installing a new theme on your website, some errors may occur. The common one is, for example, the white screen of death. It is the error of a database connection, which means for some reason PHP code cannot connect to MySQL database. As a result, your page does not display properly.


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It is possible that the free WordPress theme you installed is not up-to-date anymore, so no longer compatible with your WordPress. This could be the reason for the white screen of death. To fix such a WordPress theme error you do not need any HTML help. Here are the steps you should follow to fix the bug on your own:


  • Log in to your page via FTP and find /wp-content/themes folder.
  • Change its name for whatever you want, for example: /wp-content/themes_x.


After these changes, WordPress will not be able to find your theme folder anymore, so it will activate the default one. Now log in to your admin dashboard and change the default theme for the one you installed before. But this time make sure its version is up-to-date and compatible with the WordPress you use.