How to Change WordPress Theme

After you have installed WordPress on your site, you want to customize it. Initially, WordPress comes with two themes called WordPress Classic and WordPress Default.

If you don’t want to use the WordPress Classic and WordPress Default themes, you can change it to another theme.

If you want to change WordPress theme for your blog, follow the instructions below:


  • Click on the Change Themes button on your WordPress administration dashboard. You can also access the installed themes on your blog by going to Appearance > Themes.

Change Theme Dashboard

  • You will find a list of themes you have installed. Click on the Activate link under the theme that you want to use for your blog.

Activate Theme

  • If you want to preview the template, you can either click on the theme or the Preview link under the theme.

Preview Theme

  • After you are satisfied with the theme, click Activate <theme name> to change your blog’s theme.

There are plenty of free WordPress themes that you can find on the internet. Most of them include a link back to their website in the footer in exchange for the free theme they made.

Once you have downloaded the theme that you want to use, unzip it to your desktop. Next upload the theme to the folder wp-content/themes with an FTP application.

After finished uploading, login to your WordPress administration dashboard. Navigate to Appearance >> Themes. You should see your new theme. Click on the Activate link to activate the new theme on your blog.

If you change your WordPress theme, the sidebar will be overwritten. If you are using Widget enabled themes, it will not be a problem because Widget bar stays in place even after the themes are changed. However, if you are using a theme that does not support Widget, you will have to manually redo them. Before you change to your new theme, copy down the sidebar code to a notepad. After you have activate the new theme, paste the side bar code into the appropriate place in your sidebar editor file.

Many WordPress themes use widgets which are custom tools that allows you to customize your blog’s sidebar. It is the side navigation bar which includes Archives, Calendar, Categories, Links, Meta, Pages, Recent Comments, Recent Posts, RSS, Search, and Tag Cloud.

Although some Themes have disabled the sidebar widgets, there are many Widgets enabled Themes. Widgets enabled themes contain some default widgets. Your WordPress theme comes with the default widgets incorporate to its theme.

If you want to add a widget to your WordPress blog, follow the instructions below,

  • Go to Appearance > Widgets. You will see a list of available widgets in your blog’s WordPress theme.

Widgets Menu

  • Drag the widgets from the left panel to the right to activate them.

Widget Sidebar

  • If you want to remove a widget, click on Remove.

Remove Widget

  • To close the widget’ drop down menu, click Close.

Close Widget

  • You can also configure the widgets for example by typing in a new title or text to replace the default text for the title of the Archives. After you are satisfied with your configuration, click Save to implement your new settings.

The WordPress widget is a new feature that is made available to WordPress 2.0 version and above. If you are using the old version of WordPress, you have to upgrade your WordPress to WordPress 2.0 or above in order to take advantage of this feature.

Filed Under: Computers & Technology


About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.

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