Theme: What is it in WordPress?

At the first sight, WordPress theme may seem like a design, layout, typography together with a set of features and functions.

A theme actually is a zipped directory with files, including a set of page templates written in the PHP programming language combined with some CSS stylesheets.

Once you create a WordPress site you will get a default theme installed. For now, you have two possible ways: choose and install a new theme on your website or edit the default theme.

Both of its processes are difficult and time-consuming in contrary theme installing.

In this article, we will tell not only what a theme is but also where to find themes, how to choose and install them.

What is WordPress Theme?

As already said WordPress theme is a compressed folder of files that works to create your website design.

Changing a theme will not change your content, pages, taxonomy, or any other information stored in your database but change its display.

The official WordPress theme directory offers free themes available for download. Or rather, you can purchase premium themes with more advanced features from third-party developers.

WordPress Theme vs. Template: What’s the Difference?

Frankly speaking, these terms WordPress theme and WordPress template usually confuse beginners. There is one main difference – templates are part of the theme. Therefore, you cannot install templates individually. Template files only work together.

In fact, a template controls one page, a part of a page functionality. For instance, almost all themes usually include separate template files for the site’s header, footer, sidebar, comments, and other sections. To learn more about template hierarchy follow the WordPress template of our Glossary.

How to find the Most Popular Themes?

It is not a secret, the WordPress theme is the first thing you should think about.

If you opt for a free theme then you can easily install and delete as many themes as necessary until you find the appropriate one.

Otherwise, choosing a premium WordPress theme consider the below factors:

  • Features – theme functionality must suit your required feature list, but unnecessary features will slow down your site;
  • Multipurpose – we recommend choosing a built-for-purpose theme for beginners;
  • Support – if a free theme has poor support then make sure it is at least well documented;
  • Rate – it will not be superfluous to check the theme’s reviews and find out if the number of bad ones is high.

After you have chosen a theme let’s find out how to install it on your website.

How to install a WordPress theme?

You can use one of two ways to install a theme.

The first way involves using WordPress theme repository. In other words, on the Appearance » Themes page clicking the Add New button you get to the repository. On the Add Theme admin area, you can view all the themes. Using Categories switcher choose the category where you want to find – Featured, Popular, Latest, Favorites. Or search a theme based on Filter options like:

  • Subject – like Blog, eCommerce, Portfolio, and others;
  • Features – like custom colors, footer widgets, full-width template, and others;
  • Layout – like the grid layout, one column, two columns, and others;

Once filter options are selected click the Apply button.

If the theme has already chosen then just enter the name of that theme into the search bar. After WordPress has retrieved the theme, you can click the Preview button to view the theme in your site’s Live Preview. If it’s the right theme for you, click on Install > Activate to activate the theme.

The second way is uploading your theme file via FTP. Clicking the Upload button you get to the Upload screen. Now choose your theme file like “” and click Install Now. That’s all you have successfully finished our wizard of WordPress theme installation. You can now begin to design your new website.

How to Search Which Theme a Website is Using

If you have ever seen a WordPress site and said “I have to get this!” then you can use the WordPress theme detector tool.

This tool helps to find out which WordPress theme a website is using with ease. All you need is to type or paste the website’s name and click “Experience the magic of WPTD!”.

WordPress theme detector will show the version of WordPress, installed plugins, and other additional information.

We hope this article is helpful to you. If the presented information is not enough then we invite you to our WordPress Tutorial.