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About Themes » Upload a Theme

This feature is available on sites with the WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plan. If your site has one of our legacy plans, it is available on the Pro plan.

In addition to our collection of themes, you can upload third-party themes to your WordPress.com site, including themes from WordPress.org, popular marketplaces like Themeforest, and even themes you have custom-made for your website.

This guide will show you how to upload any theme to your WordPress.com site.

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Quick Steps

To upload your theme, follow these steps:

  1. Download the theme’s .zip file.
  2. Go to Appearance → Themes in your site’s dashboard.
  3. Click the Install Theme button in the top right corner.
  4. Preview or activate the theme.

Continue reading this guide for more detailed steps.

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Download the Theme .zip File

Start by downloading the theme’s .zip file from wherever you purchased the theme. Do not unzip the file.

  • For themes from WordPress.org, clicking Download on any theme will save the .zip file to your computer.
  • If you (or a developer you hired) created your own custom theme, save it as a .zip file.
  • For themes purchased through Themeforest/ Envato, you must choose the Installable WordPress file only option when downloading the theme:
From the Download options, Installable WordPress file only is the correct one.
For Themeforest themes, choose the Installable WordPress file only

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Upload the Theme File

Once you have the theme’s .zip file, follow these steps to upload it to your WordPress.com site:

  1. Go to Appearance → Themes in your site’s dashboard.
  2. Click Install Theme:
The Install Theme button is on the top right of the Themes page.
  1. Drag the theme’s .zip file into the box. Alternatively, you can click the box, locate the theme’s .zip file on your computer, and double-click to add it.
When you click Install Theme, you can click the box to upload the file, or you can drag them into the section that says "Drop files or click here to upload".

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Preview or Activate the Theme

If you’re ready to start using the theme right away, click Activate:

upload theme activate

To preview the theme before activating it, click Try & Customize to see a live preview. Here, you can adjust some theme settings before applying the theme to your site. Click Save & Activate when you’re done adjusting the settings and ready to activate the theme.

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Set Up Your Theme

After activating a theme on your site, you’ll want to set it up to look exactly how you want. Every theme is different, but these general tips will help you get started:

  • Refer to your theme’s setup instructions. Any good theme will come with guides/ documentation that shows you how to use the theme.
  • Sometimes a theme will require some plugins to be used with it. Go to Plugins → Installed Plugins and look for a notice at the top to install the theme’s recommended plugins, if any.
  • Check for demo content you can add with your theme.
  • Go to Appearance → Customize to check for any theme setup options you can customize.

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If you are using a theme that WordPress.com did not create, we are limited in how we can help you with it. We recommend that you contact your theme’s support service. They will be the most familiar with the theme and can offer expert support.

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Where to Find Themes

If you’ve already looked through the WordPress.com theme showcase, but haven’t yet found the perfect design for your site, there’s no need to worry – there are thousands of themes out there for every type of website imaginable.

First, read our advice on choosing the perfect theme.

Here is a list of popular places for third-party themes:

Next: Create a Child Theme.

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