How To Download a WordPress Theme & Install The Zip File

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to correctly download a WordPress theme and install the zip folder.

Seems like it would be quite simple, but it can be a bit confusing to navigate through the folders to find the *right* theme folder that you’ll actually be uploading and installing to WordPress.

So this guide will help you know exactly how to download a WordPress theme and install a ZIP file correctly.

ready? Let’s do it!

How To Download a WordPress Theme

First, you need to purchase a WordPress theme. Check out our beautiful WordPress themes here. Once you have purchased your theme, it will be delivered to you in a ZIP file.

Download Instructions for Windows:

Windows makes it very simple –

Step 1: Just download your theme by clicking the download link provided where you purchased your theme.

Easy peasy.

Download Instructions for Mac:

Wait! Don’t just click download –

(and if you already have, disregard that download)

Step 0: Safari will automatically unzip any folders. But when downloading your theme folders we don’t want this to happen because frankly, it just creates a mess!

To turn this off just navigate to Safari > Preferences and under the General Tab, uncheck the option “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading.”

This will stop Safari from automatically unzipping the files.

Step 1: Next, please download your purchase by clicking the download link provided where you purchased your theme.

How To Install The Zip File

Locate & Unzip The Main Download Folder

1. Go to your computer folders and find the zip file you saved to your computer. Unzip the file by right-clicking on the zip file and choosing “Extract All” or “Unzip”.

2. After it’s unzipped you should see multiple folders and files.

The folders that you do see will depend on what your theme developer has included.

As an example, here’s what I include in the folders of all the themes in our shop:

  • Theme: bella-beauty (zip file, also includes demo content folder inside) 
  • Framework: Genesis ( zip file – do not unzip this )
  • Logo Template: Bella beauty logo template (Photoshop format)
  • Instructions: Read Me! Design Kit Set Up ( PDF format )
  • Favicon: heart-favicon (PNG format)

You will see your theme upload folder, which will be called the theme name eg.

And you may have some other files and folders such as: a framework upload file eg. and/or a Read me doc to help you get started with instructions eg. Read Me.pdf

Tip – If you’re not seeing the same folders and files that the tutorial suggests, you’re most likely using a mac and safari has automatically unzipped all zip folders.

Theme folders are made up of multiple zip folders, so if this has already happened I’d recommend going back to the top of this post to ‘download instructions for mac.’

Install Your Theme Zip Folder

1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard

2. Navigate to “Appearance” then “Themes” on the left-hand side of your dashboard.

3. Next click on “Add New” at the top of your page then click on “Upload Theme”.

4. Click on “browse”, find/choose the Theme zip folder

5. Click on “Install Now” then click on “Activate”

I hope this explanation helps remove some of the confusion associated with finding the actual WordPress theme upload folder!


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