How To Install A Free WordPress Theme From Your Dashboard

Knowing how to install a WordPress theme is a MUST these days.

Bloggers are wising up, everyone is learning more about techie stuff and things are getting easier to do as we speak.

Literally, if you were able to install WordPress using Fantastico on your own, then installing a WordPress theme should be a LOT easier.

The problem that will arise here is how to choose your best WordPress theme?

Almost every single person I know in the Internet Marketing industry, has bought at LEAST one premium WordPress theme they didn’t like.

Particularly, their very first theme.

So if you want to avoid all the common newbie mistakes, read the article I have linked above on how to choose your best WordPress theme.

I explain everything about WordPress themes, frameworks, parent & child themes, etc; and you’ll need to understand that information first in order to be able to follow up on these videos.

If you are already familiar with these terms just keep on reading!

Free WordPress Theme vs. Paid WordPress Theme

1. Free WordPress Themes

Normally you would install a free WordPress theme from within your WordPress dashboard.

However, this is NOT a rule of thumb since not every free WordPress theme is on the WordPress theme database.

Sometimes you’re going to need to download the theme to your computer first and then upload it (or FTP it) to your site in order to install it later.

2. Paid WordPress Themes

For paid WordPress themes, you always download them first, upload later and normally there’s a few extra configuration steps to do in the end.

Some themes don’t need any special configuration steps, some others do.

How To Identify A WordPress Theme

First of all, are you familiar with this proverb?

“If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck”

Well exactly the same applies to WordPress blogs.

Whenever you stumble into some site that looks like a blog, has articles, comments and is about Internet Marketing chances are, you are looking at some kind of blog.

The way you can find out about what theme they are using is right clicking in an empty space in the background and selecting “view source code” or something about “source code” (all browsers are different).

And after that, do a search for “themes” and as soon as you see something like “wp-content/somenamehere” you’re looking at the WordPress theme name.

Some bloggers do change their theme name, some others don’t, I won’t dive that much into this right now as all I really want to show you is how to install a free theme from your WordPress dashboard and that’s exactly what I’m going to do next.

How To Install A Free WordPress Theme From Your Dashboard Video

Here we go!

You can learn how to clean up after your raw installation on this article:

Not difficult at all right?

WordPress Themes mentioned:


There are too many free WordPress themes out there and my recommendation is that if you’re going to go the free route with this, at least get a decent WordPress theme.

And by “decent theme” I actually mean this:

  • It looks good
  • You got it from a reputable site (not some blackhat forum)
  • It is SEO optimized
  • Widget ready
  • Flexibility for modifications

There are plenty of resources out there and always, ALWAYS have in mind that if you’re clever enough with computers as to hack premium themes (in other words not paying for them) you can get into real trouble.

And I don’t mean it legally speaking, I actually mean it from the point of view that you could actually be compromising your site’s security without even knowing it.

So get your act together, play the game by the rules and if you have any questions just let me know.

Last Words

I’m going to be way more specific on my articles and videos since nobody likes to watch long videos anymore. (Seems like everyone is in a rush lately lol)

I’ll talk a bit more about getting the right WordPress theme based on your budget.

Take care and speak soon!


PS. There’s a HUGE blooper at the 6:47 minute mark (in the video) which I didn’t want to edit for your amusement…

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    • Devesh
    • May 17, 2012

    Hey Sergio,

    Glad to see you’re doing WordPress tutorials. Articles like this one defiantly going to help beginner users.

    If someone want to go the premium route, try Genesis or thesis – both are fantastic theme frameworks.

    Keep up the good work, sergio and have a great weekend.


    1. Reply

      Hey Dev,

      Yeah man, I still see many people who get confused with a lot of wordpress related issues and that’s one of the main reasons they can’t focus on their businesses so I figured these articles could help a few.

      As for the frameworks go, I’ll cover those in more advanced tutorials. I also have Headway Themes in mind but I’ll worry about that later as I’m still very new to that kind of framework.

      Thanks for stopping by and supporting me Dev, always appreciated.

      Take care! ;-)

    • Patrick Griffin
    • May 20, 2012

    Hi Sergio,
    I love this how to series on WP…people will save so much time by taking the advice you give in this series.
    Actually I think that because there are so many themes to choose from that selecting a theme for your blog can be one of the most difficult choices to make for a new blogger.
    Obviously people can change themes as often as they want but it makes sense to take the trouble to select one you will like from the outset, because it will be very off-putting to blog readers if your blog looks different every other week.
    P.S. You are far too hard on yourself in your videos, the mistake you made in pronouncing the name is not as huge as you think.
    Because you highlighted it then I must admit that this was the very first part of the video I checked out before going back to the beginning.
    It really wasn’t a big deal.
    That reminds me though…do you remember your very first videos where you used to clap like a seal when you got nervous?
    These days you are super-professional. Well done.
    P.P.S. I am now going to check my blog for broken links. I forgot to do it earlier.

    1. Reply

      Hey Patrick,

      Thanks for all the support man and for reminding me of this article as for some reason I completely forgot about linking to the clean-up after installing wordpress. (I just did that)

      About the pronouncing problem… I get a bit frustrated since I want to make things as good as I can and sometimes when I’m playing back what I have just recorded, I go like “OMG I don’t think I can pronounce that any worse!” but it is just because I want to improve.

      I do remember my first videos (and the clapping thing LOL) and to be honest a few days ago I watched a few of them and man… the only REAL reason I still haven’t deleted those videos from my YouTube account, is just to show everyone I also struggled a LOT when I got started with video.

      I also forgot how much people struggle with video so maybe a quick video course would help some people out as well but I’ll see what to do about that later.

      Thanks a lot for your encouragement words Patrick, I know that without your help I wouldn’t be where I am right now, take care and speak later! ;-)

      PS. I have seen the new book front cover on Justin’s FB timeline, looks AMAZING man, congratulations to both of you, definitely an inspiration to hard work and making shit happen!

        • Patrick Griffin
        • May 20, 2012

        Hey Sergio,
        Don’t take those old videos down – I guarantee they will be help to others.
        Also thanks for your kind words about the book – I have two published books now and can hardly believe that this is true.
        And finally the real reason I decided to write this update – the broken link checker.
        I thought that you and your readers may like to know that the plugin started working as soon as I made it active and it found only 24 broken links (i thought it would be a much higher number.)

        The good news is that all the links were in the URLs supplied by people who had commented on my posts. I guess people promote things which are short-lived or use tracker URLs which are then deleted or amemded but this leads to broken links.

        So the plugin threw up all the links for me and I just deactivated them all – the entire job just took a few minutes and it is something I would have thought of if I did not follow your blog.

        So well done again. [claps like a seal in appreciation]


        1. Reply

          Hey Pat,

          Wow man, I would have never guess that you would only have 24 broken links and thanks for coming back to share your experience with that plugin, I’m going to test it out myself right now and see what I come up with.

          As for taking the old videos down, I won’t do it. I’m thinking about using excerpts from those to show how somebody can actually overcome fear of recording videos although I believe I already got rid of a few source videos.

          I don’t want to become too attached to anything I do or create, maybe this is something wrong but I don’t plan to carry a huge database of videos with me everywhere I go (I plan to move out soon and be living in several places but I’ll explain more about that on another occasion)

          The only drawback is that people keep thumbing them down on YouTube LOL

          Again, thanks for the great feedback Patrick and I’m glad we can learn from each other, talk later my man and have a great start of week! ;-)

          PS. “Like a seal in appreciation” Haha! ;-)

          Update: Found only six broken links in 1139 links. Not bad!

    • Akos Fintor
    • June 8, 2012

    Hey Sergio,

    I loved the tutorial.
    I’m a sucker for videos, maybe I’m just getting lazy; I guess that’s human nature, right?
    Anyway in my opinion excellent information especially for somebody who is looking to start blogging and of course what’s best than wordpress with a sweet theme.

    your share is appreciated!
    Cheers man!


    1. Reply

      Hey Akos, long time no see.

      Glad you found this useful and just for the record, I really like how your blog looks. It just shows how great a site can look when you actually decide to put in the money, efforts and go professional!

      PS. I love the energy in your videos and I would never think you could actually be lazy about doing them, so keep them coming man.

      Take care and have a great start of week Akos! ;-)

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