How do I manually install a WordPress theme?

How do I manually install a WordPress theme?


How do I manually install a WordPress theme?

WordPress Website Creation in 10 Steps
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How long does it take to install a WordPress theme?


Ever thought of creating your own website? Or do you think about hiring a webdesigner when you need a website? Whatever you think: It’s both fine! You can very well have a website made for you and benefit a lot from it. But what you can also do is create a WordPress website yourself and never need someone to adapt, maintain or re-design your website. As said, both is fine.

I have been a webdesigner for a couple of years now. I taught myself everything in the past 7 years. A lot of googling, a lot of youtube movies, a lot of questions viewed on StackExchange, a lot of information found on and a lot more sources of information …

And that way you can learn a lot about HTML, CSS and PHP. The most commonly used languages/codes for creating a WordPress Website. Make a lot of mistakes, just do a lot of things, look up a lot, ask a lot of questions: The process of learning something.

7 years is just a long road. Very long.

What if this can be done faster. A little faster. Say it in 10 steps. In one blog post.
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Just keep reading.


Here it goes:
okay,let me be honest,you don’t become a professional web designer in 10 steps,not one blog post,but you do learn how to build an entire website. You learn the basics. You don’t learn HTML, CSS and PHP in such a short time, but that’s much faster after that. If you know the basics. And to be honest, to be able to build a website these days, you don’t necessarily need that knowledge, although it’s always useful if you have to make special adjustments … )

Step 1 – Arranging a Domain Name including hosting
It all starts with a domain name. A domain name that is completely your own. One that’s really in your name. And besides that, you also need hosting. On your hosting you put all the files that together will form your website. So what you need is a domain name + hosting.
You can request a domain name with hosting from a domain name provider. And there are a lot of them. Hundreds of them. Thousands. So many that choosing is impossible. There are a few providers that often pass by, for example: Hostgator, BlueHost, Siteground, MyDomain, Versio, YourHosting and so on. These are the well-known, the big providers. This is where you often find the best deals.
I have my own websites running at BlueHost, Sitegrounden MijnDomein. For all providers there are positive points and negative points, but I’m not a domain name provider so I’m not going to list them all

My recommendation
My tip, if you’re gonna start now, pick the cheapest one. At MYDomain you pay for hosting and a domain name € 39,- per year (€ 31,- for the 1st year). Terminable per year. At Siteground you pay around € 90,- per year for one domain name including hosting, but at Siteground you have the possibility to hang other domain names under the same hosting. Which means that you would only have to buy a domain name for about € 9,- per year and you can use the hosting of your first domain name.

If you are planning to create more sites right away, choose Siteground(GrowBig plan). If you go for one website then choose MyDomain (Domainname + Webhosting).

Once you have arranged a domain name and hosting, it takes up to 24 hours before you can actually get started with your website. Usually it goes pretty fast and you can get to work within a few hours.

-> Click here to read more about arranging a domain name.


How many hours does it take to build a WordPress website?


Step 2 – Installing WordPress on your Website
Great. You now have a place for yourself on the Internet. Now we can immediately set up the basis for your own website. And we do that by placing WordPress files on your website.
To be able to put files on your website/hosting, you use an FTP-client. There are multiple FTP clients, but just choose FileZilla or Transmit (both free and available for Windows and Mac).

With such an FTP-client you make a connection with your server and you can easily upload files from your computer to your website. The only thing you need to make that connection is your FTP data. And that data you will always find in your account where you have registered your domain name + hosting.
(At MyDomain: Dashboard>> Webhosting>>> Settings>>> FTP data (hostname, username and password)

Database creation
Before we can go any further, we’re going to create a Database. Again, this is very simple. At MyDomain for example, you go to your Dashboard, then you choose your domain name, select Webhosting, select Settings and then Databases. Here you can directly create a Database with one click. The details of your Database will then be sent to you by email. Usually within half an hour.

Ready? Then we are going to install WordPress:

a) Download the WordPress files from (This is a ZIP file).
b) Unpack the ZIP file from WordPress (With WinRAR or just 2 clicks (Mac))
c) Open your FTP client and enter your FTP data
d) In the FTP client, open the folder of your domain name (usually public_HTML or just the name of your domain name).
e) Search within the FTP client for the WordPress files you have downloaded, select them all and double click or right click and choose ‘Upload’.

If all went well, all WordPress files will now be uploaded to your domain name. They are about 4500 files so this may take a while depending on your internet speed.

I say time for coffee. Or tea. Or a Coke. Or beer 🙂

Not quite clear? More elaborate explanation? Do you have a cPanel? Read more about how to install WordPress here.

Step 3 – Activate WordPress on your Website
Once all files have been uploaded to your website we can activate WordPress and link a Database. Sounds tricky, isn’t it. We had already created the Database and you have received the data by email (If you’re at MyDomain, for other domain providers you might have to ask for support).

Open your internet browser such as Chrome and type in the address bar in your domain name with /wp-admin / install.php behind it.

So this:

Now you enter the installation menu of WordPress on your Domain Name. Here you will fill in all kinds of information such as the name of your website, what language you want, login details, but also the Database details.
If you have filled in everything correctly, you will see a screen where everything has succeeded and you can log in to your WordPress installation. To log in, go to your domain name behind /wp-login.php

So this:

After logging in you will enter the backend of your website. Where the Magic happens! Where we will continue to make your website!

Step 4 – Find, install and activate a WordPress Theme.
Now we come to an important part. Actually, everything is important, but now we are going to determine what your website will look like. And that’s a great moment.

With a theme we are going to determine the layout of your website. What exactly is a theme, I hear you think…? A theme consists of a number of files that determine the design of your website. For example, suppose you like a certain website. Then you can look for a theme that resembles that website. Then you download the theme file, upload it in WordPress and bam, your website has everything to look like that website.

How do I add a new theme to WordPress?

Just uploading the theme file won’t get you there yet, but you are well on your way.

Ok, but where do you find those theme files …

In many places, you can google to WordPress Themes, you can go to ThemeForesten a lot more.

However, I advise you to start with a Framework and include a theme. What’s the point? Read all about it here.

Genesis Framework
Start well and start with the Genesis Framework. Here you can choose from a lot of different themes and be sure that everything is set up right, that you are always up-to-date and of course that your website is also perfectly suited for mobile versions.

Once you have chosen a theme, it’s time to start installing it in your WordPress website. Remember that your WordPress files came in a ZIP file. This is also the case with Themes, only you don’t have to unpack them. Within WordPress you always install everything with a Zip file.

Installing a Theme in WordPress:
Login to your website and choose ‘Appearance’ or ‘Display’ in the menu on the left. Then a new menu appears and you choose ‘Themes’. Now a new screen appears where you can upload the theme file.
If you are going to use a Framework from for example Genesis you always first install the Framework file in the above way and then the theme file.

Done. Basta. Your Framework and Theme are installed. Ready for the next steps …

Step 5 – Find, install and activate WordPress Plugins.
Next important step: Installing WordPress plugins. What the smoke are Plugins again … ? With Plugins you can add certain features to your WordPress website. With a plugin you can, for example, add a contact form or an email registration form or social media buttons or a slider or… A lot of possibilities. There are more than 40.000 plugins available and more every day.

There are always a few plugins you MUST have/use. And there are plugins that really vary per website, depending on what you want. An overview of plugins that you should always use can be found here:

5 Must-Have Plugins for your WordPress site.

In the manual of your theme you will always find an overview of Plugins that will be used in the demo theme. Those plugins, which are listed in the manual, you will have to find, install and activate them all. If it turns out later that you are not going to use those plugins, you can easily remove them again.

Where can you find Plugins?
If you are logged in on your website, you will see a menu called ‘Plugins’ in your dashboard link. Clicking on this menu will take you to the WordPress Plugin overview where all your installed plugins are listed. First choose ‘New Plugin’ at the top left and then you will find a search field at the top right where you can enter the name of the plugin you are looking for.

Once you have found the plugin, choose ‘install’. Once the plugin has been installed, choose ‘activate’. After activation, the plugin is ready to use. Depending on the function of the plugin you will find it:

* Or a new menu item on the left side of your dashboard menu
* Or/Ennew Widget you can use (widgets are explained in the next step)
* Or/Ennew menu item under another main menu item for example Tools or Settings

How do you know which plugin to choose?
When choosing a plugin there are a few factors you can pay attention to. Anyway, if your theme indicates certain plugins to use, you can almost always assume that those plugins will be fine to use despite the factors I’m going to explain to you now.

WordPress Plugins explained
At the top is the name of the plugin with a short explanation of what the plugin offers in terms of functionality. To the right is the install button and a link to more details about the plugin. If you click on ‘more details’, a new window will appear with more information about the plugin:

* Description of the plugin
* Information on how to install the plugin
* A section with frequently asked questions
* A changelog keeping track of what has been changed and/or added to the plugin
* Screenshots of the operation of the plugin
* Reviews: So you can check what others think of the plugin
* Support: An overview of support questions other users have when using this plugin.

Furthermore you can see the number of users of the Plugin on the bottom left and below that you can see how many stars this plugin gets from the users. The stars go from 1 to 5.
To the right you can see when the plugin was last updated and below that you can see if the plugin was tested with your current version of WordPress.

The more users the plugin has, the more common it is that the plugin does its job and is convenient to use. I think it makes sense that you look at the ratings. At least 4 stars.
If a plugin hasn’t been updated for a long time, chances are that it won’t work with your WordPress installation, that the support won’t be good and/or that there is a better plugin available that people have started to use.

By the way, the factors above are not all determining to make things a bit more difficult. I sometimes use plugins that haven’t been updated for 3 years, but still work fine. The only thing is that I really know that this plugin is good. If I’m looking for a new plugin to use, I will almost always look at the above factors before I click install.

Step 6 – Set up & fill WordPress Widgets.
Another term: WordPress Widgets. What is it, what can you do with it and how do I … ? Widgets are like blocks. And these blocks all have their own function. So you have a text widget, an image widget, a video widget, a search widget, a calendar widget, a slider widget, etc etc etc…

The names say it all of course, but with a text widget you can place text blocks, with an image widget you can place an image, with the search widget you place a search field on your website and so on.

You can (generally) use those Widgets or Blocks on your Home page, Footer and in the Sidebar. Just drag the widget to where you want it, drag ‘n drop.

Where can you find WordPress Widgets?
On the left side of the dashboard menu of your WordPress Website go to View and then choose Widgets(Appearance >> Widgets).

On the left you will find all the widgets available and on the right you will see the layout of your website. Usually you will see Sidebar first. There you can place various widgets that you want in your sidebar, if you are going to use a sidebar. Usually you use a sidebar for blog pages, but nowadays not for your homepage.

Your homepage, depending on the theme you have chosen, consists of several areas: Widgetized Areas. You can place Widgets in each area.

Your theme’s manual will always tell you exactly which widgets should be placed where and what you need to place in the widget to get the same look and feel as the theme’s demo.
It’s best to follow the instructions exactly and use exactly the same settings for the widgets as well as putting exactly the same content into the widget.

If you work like this, your website will look the same as the demo of the theme you selected. And you probably chose that theme because of the way it looked so you’ll see the website the way you want it.

Once you’ve put all the widgets in, you can replace the content with your own texts, images, videos and more. This way you will gradually get more and more to your own professional website.

Later, when you’re a bit more adept, you might even start experimenting with widgets in other places or even completely different widgets. At a certain point, you’ll even get to the point where you won’t even be able to view the theme’s manual anymore, but that you’ll be able to determine your own layout right away.

But until then 🙂 … Follow the manual exactly and nothing can go wrong!

Step 6 – Creating pages and creating blog posts
If all goes well, your homepage is already practically ready 🙂 but maybe it would be useful to create a little more pages for your website. This is of course up to you, but usually you just start with a few pages like Home, Blog, Contact and Who are we/Who am I.

Before we start creating a page, it is useful to set the permalinks. With these permalinks you determine what your url’s will look like. If you would create a page now, this page will get a url like /p=826 and that is of course not that cool. In the Dashboard menu on the left, go to settings and then permalinks. Here you can choose different URL structure. Usually ‘Message name’ is the best to choose. Save these settings.

How to create a new page?
You can create a page by choosing ‘Pages’ from the Dashboard menu on the left. This will bring you to an overview of all the pages you have created. Choose ‘New Page’ to create a new page.

How to create a new blog post?
To create a blog post, select ‘Messages’ from the Dashboard menu on the left. This will bring you to an overview of all the blog posts you have created. Choose ‘New Message’ to create a new blog post.

Now just create some pages: Create a Home page anyway and if you want to start blogging a Blog page which means that you just create two pages and call one home and the other blog. Furthermore you don’t have to do anything about those pages except publish on the top right.

If you want to create multiple pages, go ahead 🙂.

Set up Home and Blog Page for your WordPress Website
We are now going to set up the page you created so that home will indeed become your home page and blog your blog overview page. You can set this up by choosing Settings and then Read on the left side of the Dashboard menu.

At the top, the Home page shows: Your latest posts and a static page. Choose static page here. Then select Front Page: Home from message page: Blog.

If you go to your website now, you will see that your homepage shows all your widgets. All we have to do is add a Logo and a menu. On your blog page you will see an overview of the latest blog posts. Probably now only the Standard example blog post from WordPress will appear: Hello, World.

If you want, you can of course write a few blog posts to fill your website.

Step 7 – Create Menu and Logo Setup
Now that we’ve created some pages, it’s time for your website’s visitors to be able to navigate to those pages easily. If it is not clear what you can do/view on your site, your visitors will quickly drop out and move on to the competition.

That is why we are going to set up a menu. In the WordPress Dashboard go to View and then choose Menus. This will bring you to a new screen where you can decide which items should be in your menu.

You can set multiple menus. Depending on your theme where these menus appear. Usually a main menu at the top and a menu in the footer. The location of the menu can be set at Menu settings at the bottom. If it is not immediately clear where your menu will appear, it is very simple to just find the location and see on your website where your menu is.

Setting the menu in WordPress
We start with a menu name, of course, at the top. For example Main Menu. And then we can choose on the left what we want to have in the menu. You can choose from Pages, Messages, Custom Links and Categories. Depending on your theme and settings, there are sometimes more options, but it usually speaks for itself.

* Pages: All pages you have created in your website
* Messages: Direct link to your blog posts
* Custom links: Here you can create your own menu item with a link of your choice
* Categories: A menu item that links to certain categories (Categories can be created in your blog posts)

In your Main Menu (at the top) you choose the Home and Contact pages anyway. Furthermore, which menu items you want, you can of course decide for yourself.

How do you set up a logo in WordPress?
For your WordPress website you can choose your own logo or a text logo. You can set this by going to the left of the Dashboard menu: Display>> Customizer.

Within the Customizer you choose header image. There it is indicated what the recommended size of your logo is. For example something like that:

You can crop images to your liking after clicking Add new image. The theme recommends a header size of 300 × 60pixels.

If you don’t want a special logo, but just text, you can customize it in 2 different locations. Or in the Customize you can choose Site Identity. At Site Title you can enter the text you want.
With Site Identity you can also directly upload a favicon (The Favicon is the icon that appears on the tab of your browser, next to the name of the page).

The other location where you can edit the Text logo is on the left side of the Dashboard menu under Settings>> General.

Step 8 – WordPress Website sign up with Google Webmasters and Google Analytics.
We have come a long way already. Your website is already in the basics. There are still thousands of things you can change, improve, style, add … And that will always be the case. There will always be things that you want to do or that you are not completely satisfied with, but we went for the basics and that is now. Yeah, really!

That’s why it’s time to tell Google that your website is there. And that’s what we do at Google Webmasters.

1. Go to Google Webmaster
2. Create an account (can be done with any email address)
3. Subscribe your Website

After you have created an account and registered your website, you will receive multiple emails from Google on how best to set up all the settings in the Webmasters in the best possible way.
Just follow those directions from Google and you’ll get there!

After you have created an account and registered your website, you will receive multiple emails from Google on how best to set up all the settings in the Webmasters in the best possible way.
Just follow those directions from Google and you’ll get there!

After signing up, you need to verify your website with Google. Just choose to upload the verification file. You can easily upload it via your FTP client just like you installed WordPress.

Register your website with Google Analytics
After signing up with Google Webmasters we will also link your website directly to Google Analytics. With Analytics you can measure different data of your website. Among other things, through which site visitors arrive at your website, how long they stay on your website, on which page they leave your website again, where your visitors come from, which operating system your visitors use and so on, and a thousand more things you can request.

Now you might think, yes, but I really don’t need that yet. And that’s right.
But you’ll need it later and if you set it up then you’re too late. You’ll have missed all the dates before that. And even though you’re never going to use it, you’d better have it set, right? You never know.

I’m gonna go through it now. Google Analytics is so comprehensive. Then there’s 3,000 more words, and I’m not gonna do that to you right now. Let’s just register your website:

1. Go to Google Analytics
2. Create an account (can be done with any email address)
3. Create a Property (which means: register your website)
4. Leave all settings as they are
5. Copy the tracking code

Google Analytics Tracking Code
When you register your website you will receive a tracking code from Google that you have to place on your website, on all pages. This way Google can measure all the things mentioned above and more.

A tracking code looks something like this:

(i[r].q=i[r].q|||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA ‘, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);


You copy this whole code (including the <script> tags) with CMD+C(mac) or CTRL+C(Windows).

Then in your WordPress Dashboard we go to Genesis Requirements and choose Theme Settings. Scroll all the way down to Header & Footer Scripts. Paste the entire code from Google Analytics into the place where Header Scripts is located above your CMD+V(Mac) or CTRL+V(Windows).

Scroll further down and choose Save.

Done. Basta.

Step 9 – Your WordPress Website. The Basics. State.
*Shoulder knock* *Applause* #TROTH #

I did it. I did it. You created your first WordPress Website. Very special. And Fantastic.

I hope you’re proud of the result. And like I said. A website is never really finished. There will always be things that can be improved.

But you also have to realize that you’re the one who looks at your website the most critically. Where you might think: This or that could be much better. Your visitors won’t even notice this.

Of course your website should:

* be easy to navigate
* have good content
* have a clear layout
* must be functional
* design are in order

In other words, if your base is good, the rest will come naturally.

You have now started creating your own website. And then the rest will follow later. You now know how to create pages, how to create a blog post, how to change menus and much more.

You’ve done it super well, Mate!



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