When you start writing articles on your WordPress blog, you’ll probably want to change its appearance. The look and feel of a WordPress blog is controlled by Themes. A WordPress theme is a collection of files that include PHP Pages, images, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and other files. These files create the pages that display the contents of your blog and apply styling and other functionality to the content.
You can easily control, add, and delete themes from the Themes Manager menu.
Click the Appearance heading on the left side of the Dashboard.
You will see the themes the "Default" and "Classic" that were installed with your WordPress software. You can activate a theme by clicking the Activate link under the theme’s thumbnail. If you want to see what the theme will look like first, just click on the theme’s thumbnail.
A preview of your Home page will display reflecting the appearance of that theme. There will be an Activate link in the upper left corner and an "X" in the upper left corner of the theme preview.
Click the "X" button to reject the theme or click the Activate link to apply this theme to your blog.
Once you activate a new theme, just go to your blog’s Home page and Refresh your browser. You will see the new theme applied to your blog.
When you install WordPress, there are two themes "Default" and "Classic". They’re both boring and lame. You’re going to want to get yourself some new themes. WordPress.org has thousands of free themes that you can easily install on your blog.
Click the Add New Themes link under the Appearance heading on the left side of the dashboard. This will open the Install Themes menu.
You can find new themes using numerous techniques. The default Search allows you to search by Color, Layout Options, and Other Features that a theme has. You can also view themes that are Featured by WordPress, along with New or Newly Updated themes. I like the Featured option because they are usually really nice themes.
Once you locate interesting theme, you can Install or Preview it effortlessly.
Click the Preview link under the theme’s thumbnail.
Click the Install Now button to install the theme or click the “X” button in the upper left corner to exit the preview without installing it to your blog.
Click the Install link.
A pop-up window will open that allows you to complete the installation.
Click the Install Now button.
The theme will be installed on your WordPress server.
You will have a choice of Actions that you can perform now that the theme is installed.
Click Activate to apply the theme to your blog.
Go to your blog’s Home page and refresh the browser to see the new theme in action.
WordPress themes are each contained in their own folder. These folders are located in the "wp-content/themes" folder of your WordPress installation.
You can manually upload themes to this folder from your desktop using your FTP software. These themes will then be available the next time you go to the Theme Manager.
In addition to the thousands of free themes that are available on the WordPress.org you can find tons of great free and paid themes on the Internet. Just go to Google and search for something like "free premium WordPress themes". You can also find numerous professional themes that will cost money by searching for "premium WordPress themes" or "professional WordPress themes". They typically cost $20 to $100. (Sometimes more if you hire someone to design and build you a custom theme.)
There are additional sources of information on WordPress Themes in the Appendix section of this book.
See it in Action
The following video shows all of the steps in the process of Using Themes to Control the Look and Feel of your WordPress Blog.