Are you looking for how to install a theme in wordpress for free?
There are about 7000 themes in the WordPress repository which you can easily install on your new WordPress blog.
Choosing a WordPress theme is one of the critical most important steps involved in starting a blog that attracts visitors.
Some of the themes for WordPress are paid others too are free for you to use on your blog.
In this blog post, you will learn how to install a theme in WordPress and also how to customize some basic features of a theme in WordPress.
In order for you to install a theme on WordPress, you should already have a web host and a domain name with WordPress installed.
Here is a step by step tutorial on how to start a blog that makes money for beginners
Now that you have your WordPress account ready, it’s now time to choose a theme for your blog.
There are two easy ways you can install a theme to your WordPress blog.
You can download a theme straight from the WordPress backend.
If you bought your theme out of the WordPress theme repository, you will have to upload a zip from where you got your theme to WordPress.
Read how you can upload and install a theme into WordPress
First, let’s look at some things to consider when choosing a WordPress theme for your blog.
- The theme should be lightweight
Lightweight themes in wordpress are the themes that are not heavily coded. The theme you choose should not exceed a weight of 70 kb.
The theme I use on this blog is only 50kb which is extremely light and makes my site load speed be fast.
- Responsive screen
A responsive theme is one that should be able to adjust itself to the size of the screen being viewed on.
- Structured For SEO
Every good theme is well structured for SEO. It should have breadcrumbs and schema featurecd in its structure. These features heavily boosts your site’s organic reach.
- Have a clear navigational menu
The theme should have places for navigational menu areas that can be clearly seen by visitors and readers of your blog. The navigational menu should include an about section, home, blog, and a search button
A good theme should have if not all but most of its features easily changed to suit the users design taste. The fonts, colors, texts and image features of the theme you have chosen should be able to be changed easily.
- Sidebar and widgets
Your chosen theme should have a sidebar where you can display some of your blog contents there. Widgets like social media icons, email code, html etc are always present in a good theme.
All these and more should be what you look out for when you decide to install a free or paid theme.
One theme loved best by bloggers is Astra. Although I don’t use it on this particular site,
I have it up and running on my other site. I paired it with Elementor page builder to design it and I loved it.
There are not many differences between free Astra and Blossom themes.
Here is a step by step tutorial on how to install a theme in wordpress.
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard. Read my post on WordPress dashboard basic features if you don’t know how to navigate through it
- In your dashboard, select appearance>>themes
- Click on add new
- Search for Astra using the the search bar
- Click on the install button
- After installing it, click on activate
Voila ! You have a new and beautiful theme installed. Here is how it looks.
NOTE: I had a site template already installed. Astra will not look like this if you install it.
What I love about Astra’s theme is that you get to do a lot of customization even with the free version.
You can equally pair it with a page builder like Elementor to design just like the way you want it.
Now, let me show you how you can customize your Astra theme.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR ASTRA THEME SETTINGS
Once you have your theme installed, it is now time for you to make changes to your theme settings to make it more efficient and easy to navigate by users.
For the purpose of demonstration, I will still use Astra to show you how to customize your theme settings. You can probably find this kind of settings in other themes.
Where to locate the customize settings in wordpress
- Locate the menu on your left in wordpress blog backend
- Click on Appearance>>Customize
Here is your theme customization panel. You get to change the size, fonts, colors, menus and anything you will want to change with your theme.
Basic customization setting to focus on in your theme
- Global settings has the following options
- Colors: Related to the color changes you can make to your background, texts, links, and icons
- Typography: All writing styles for your blog’s body and content texts. There are several font styles for you to choose from.
There are two critical things you should change even if you don’t want to touch anything there. The recommended settings for the size of your text should be 20px and a line-height of 1.6.
- Container: How will you want your content to appear? You have the option to select boxed, content boxed or full width
- Buttons: Here is where you can maks changes to the button sizes, colors, and styles of the call to action buttons on your blog.
Note: On the whole, global settings are the changes that affects the whole of your blog appearance.
- Header: All the settings for the upper part of your blog. It includes the following:
- Site Identity: Add your logo and site icon. Change your site name. Include a tagline for your site. You can also decide not to show your tagline and site on your main site.
Check the boxes that say ‘display site title and site taglines’ to prevent them from showing if you don’t want them to be displayed.
- Primary Header: For customizing your header layout
- Primary Menu: This is where you choose the type of menu you want to be seen by your visitors. There are several customization options you can use to design your menu area in the primary menu settings area
- Transparent Header: Refer to this article by Astra on the use of transparent header
- Breadcrumbs: This is an SEO structure for blog pages and posts. What it does is to basically tell readers which category they are on the site. For instance, at the top of this page, you will see Home>blogging for beginners>How to install a theme in WordPress.
It tells you are reading a post in the blogging for beginners category.
Still confused? Check out this post by Yoast on Breadcrumbs .
There are 4 options in this SEO setting for you to choose from.
You can select none or where you choose to display it
- After header
- Inside header
- Before title
- Blog: Do you want your blog post or page title to come before your featrured image? Or you want your full post or excerpt of the post to be seen? This where you make these changes. In the blog settings you will see the following options
- Blog/archive: choose the content width of how you want your blog page to appear. Drag and drop the title & meta bar and the featured image options to change blog posts look on the blog/archive page.
Choose an excerpt or full posts under the post content. Customize the size of the Archive-title and the post title in the Typography section
- Single Post: Make changes to how you want readers to see your written blog posts. It’s a drag and drop feature just as the blog/archive page
- Sidebar: Where do you want your sidebar to appear on your pages and posts? Do you want to put it on the right, left or you don’t want have sidebars? All these changes are made in the sidebar settings. Below are the side bar options
- Default Layout
- Blog posts
- Sidebar width
- Footer: The footer of a site is the lower part of your blog design where you can display other information that can be easily accessible. There are two footer sections settings in this area.
- Footer Widgets: This where you choose the layout, background colors and Typography of your footer
- Footer Bar: The footer bar is where you choose the infornation you want displayed in your footer area. It comprises two sections. In the first section you can select menu or widgets.
- In the second section select text.
Pro tip: You can erase the Astra theme name from the text. It will be left with just your site name and the current year
- Menus: Select the type of menu you want to display in your header and footer menu
- Widgets: Select the widgets you want displayed in your main sidebar and Footer sections. There are four footer widgets you can add in your footer section. You can add your email, pages, contact form widgets etc in the footer widget settings.
- Homepage settings: What do you want people see on your homepage when they land there? You decide and select what you want to appear on your site’s homepage.
Here is what you can do: Select the latest posts to show only your latest posts on the homepage or static to show posts you want your readers to see.
- Additional CSS: If you are a coding psycho then you should know what to do but if you are a coding dummie like me please DON’T TOUCH THIS PART
These are the basic settings for Astra theme which you can use to customize your site.
You can as well import a site template to make designing your site easy to do. Here is how you can import a site template in Astra.
If you have Astra activated, follow these steps to import a site
- Click on Appearance >Astra options
- Select install importer plugin
- Wait for it to activate
- Select the website design you like best
- Choose the page you want to import or If its the complete site you want to import, click on complete
Note: You need to customize your imported site to look how you want it to be. Images and texts should be changed to match with your site.
Whewwwww! That’s a lot to take in one day. But don’t worry you can come back to this post at any time.
WordPress can come off as a difficult maze game. Once you figure your way out of it, you will become aWorddPress superstar.
Did I cover everthing that is challenging for you in installing a theme? let me know in the comments section
I want to hear from you honey.
If you followed this blog post to install the theme, let me know how it went in the comments section
Can I ask you for a favour? Please share this post for me. I will really appreciate it.