How to Use WordPress Themes

One of the coolest features of WordPress is the ability to completely change the design of your blog by simply activating a new theme. The WordPress community has designed thousands of free, high-quality themes that you can use on your blog. This video shows you how to use WordPress themes.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to find, preview, and install themes from both the WordPress theme directory and premium theme services like StudioPress.

To learn more about customizing WordPress themes, be sure to watch the next video in this series. That tutorial covers theme settings that control the look of your theme.


11 thoughts on “How to Use WordPress Themes”

  1. Hi Kirk,
    Just a BIG THANK YOU for taking the time to make all these videos explaining how to
    use WordPress. You have done a wonderful job, and they sure have helped me with
    my WordPress sites!

  2. [email protected]

    Hi Kirk,

    I am using theme Twenty Eleven 1.3 and I have uploaded my own images and set them to random. My question is how to edit them. I would like to delete one of the present images and to change others as I go forward.

    I also wanted to let you know that your videos are extremely helpful and make learning WordPress very enjoyable.


  3. Hi Dennis,

    Go to Media -> Library and you’ll see your header images listed there along with any other media files you’ve uploaded. You may have to page through the library to find the images. You’ll see the label “Header Image” next to the title/file name.

    Once you find the image in the library you can edit in place using the WordPress image editing tools (covered in the Adding Images video).

    If you need to make more substantial changes your best bet is to delete the image from the media library and upload a new image from the Appearance->Header page. That’s not an ideal workflow, but that’s what we’re stuck with for the time being.

    Glad to hear you’re finding the videos helpful.

  4. This video stopped recording after 10 seconds. Would appreciate your contacting me so that I can view it.

  5. Hi Tonia,
    I’m able to play the video all the way through. Are you having problems watching any other videos?
    This could be a browser issue. Try clearing your browser cache and restarting your browser.

    If you continue to have problems, please fill out a support request in the member area (there’s a link to the form on the Member home page). Be sure to include information about your web browser and operating system.

  6. Hi Kirk,
    Just downloaded the Sommerce theme from Themeforest and it will not upload. I believe I have all of the files in this folder and need to seperate the zip file. Is there an easy way to do this so I can complete the upload to WP? Thanks for any help and all of your work on this series.

    Todd Neifert

    1. Hi Todd,

      Sometimes the theme folder is nested inside of the zipped folder. When that’s the case, the theme upload from the WP Admin won’t work. WordPress is looking for the theme files in the root theme folder.

      Normally it would look like this: – expands to -> /themefolder/

      But sometimes, you get this: – expands to -> /folder-with-theme-forest-purchase-info/themefolder/

      You have a couple options:

      1. Unzip the file on your computer and upload just the theme folder to /wp-content/themes/


      2. Unzip the folder on your computer. Identify the theme folder nested inside of the zipped folder, then zip just the theme folder. You should be able to upload that zip file through the WP Admin.

  7. Hi Kirk,

    It looks like I need to upload via FTP. Do I need to DL FileZilla to my computer?



  8. Hi Kirk – thanks again for such wonderful videos.

    I’m in the Themes section and the image of the theme will flash for the briefest of moments, then become a blank box with that little white question mark inside a small blue box in the center. This includes Twenty Fourteen and Twenty Thirteen, etc. I’ve checked that I’m working in the latest version of safari, etc. and I’m fully updated on everything.



  9. Hi Jill,

    Are you able to activate the themes?

    I assume this is WordPress 3.8. Theme preview changed drastically in the update. Try clearing your browser cache, that may clear things up.

    If that doesn’t work can you try another browser (Chrome or Firefox)? That would help us determine whether it’s the browser or WordPress.

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