Find and install a template

WordPress installation

We have previously seen how to install WordPress on a cPanel or a Plesk control panel. Whatever your hosting provider and hosting panel is, you can follow the same process to install your WordPress.

Finding a template

By default WordPress is delivered with 3 basic templates. You may want to install a more graphical template, one that fits your business. You can find many templates on the web, but be sure about the website from which you download your theme to avoid infected themes. My advice is to browse on ThemeForest marketplace. You will find many templates, paid ones mainly, but it’s worth paying for a beautiful template and get support rather than downloading an infected template on the web and lose time!

Here you will find many templates for WordPress.

You can even select more options to filter the templates from the “Tags” filter on the left:

select-templates-wordpress

 

You can also use the search box to enter keywords related to your business. Here is an example if you are looking for a template for a commerce website about fashion and clothes.

Many templates are coming with some demo content that you can use to fill your website. Then you will just have to change this demo content with your own. Using the demo content can be very useful as some themes can be quite complicated. For example, let’s say we have a theme that displays a beautiful homepage with many image sliders. This kind of template is surely brought with, at least, one WordPress slider plugin. If you don’t use the demo content this slider plugin will not be filled with content, and it may even not be set to be displayed on the homepage. Using the demo content will help you set up your template just like it was when you checked the demo before buying it.

 

Installing a template

Let’s have a look at this template:

Molly – Multipurpose WooCommerce WordPress Theme

This template is for setting up an ecommerce website. Besides providing a beautiful template it also provides the Woocommerce plugin that allows you to integrate a complete commerce solution on your website as you can see in the demo here:

https://molly.thememove.com/.

There are some additional plugins: sliders, pop-up for creating an email list, and a lot of content.

When installing this WordPress theme you may have the choice not to install the demo content. If you are not yet familiar with WordPress and the templates, I would strongly recommend to install the demo content.

The template files

Once you have bought the template from ThemeForest, you can choose “All files & documentation” from the “Download” menu:

template-files-wordpress

You will get a zip of several Mo.

Unzip this file. Here is what you obtain:

unzip-template-files-wordpress

You get a documentation with almost all templates. I recommend to read and use this documentation as installing a template is always the same process but configuring it may differ from one template to another!

The documentation of this template is in the file named “wp_theme_doc_molly.pdf”. For other templates it can also be in a .html file, in a “doc” folder, or elsewhere, but there should always be a documentation.

The installation

Installing the main template

The file of the template is the one named “tm-molly_1.3.3.zip”. To install this template, you have two options:

  1. First option: install the template from your WordPress admin panel:
    • Connect to your WordPress admin
    • Then go to Appearance > Themes
    • Click on the “Add new” button
    • Click on “Upload Theme”
    • Upload the zip file of the theme
    • Once it has been uploaded, click on “Activate” to apply this theme to your WordPress
  2. Second option: install the theme through ftp:
    • On your desktop, unzip the zip file of the theme
    • From your hosting panel, if not already done, create a ftp access to your WordPress website
    • With Filezilla, or another FTP software, connect to this ftp access
    • In the server side window of Filezilla (the part on the right of Filezilla), navigate until the “wp-content/themes” folder of WordPress:
      installation-theme-wordpress
    • Drag and drop the folder of your theme from the left window of Filezilla to the right window (move the folder from your computer to your server)
    • Connect to your WordPress admin
    • Then go to Appearance > Themes
    • You should see the theme in the list, click on “Activate” to apply this theme to your WordPress

The “child” theme aspect

As you can see there is also a file named “tm-molly-child.zip”. You will often, not to say always if the theme is done in a good way (“best practice” as one would say in the industry), get this “child” file with a template. This “child” theme can be installed after you have installed the main theme. It is used for your own customizations. If you want to change something in the main template you will change the files of this “child” template and your changes will be taken into account in the main template.
As you can imagine, the author of the template may send some updates for his/her template. These updates provide bug fixes and improvements, for instance, to adapt the template to new browser capabilities. The problem of the updates is that it can remove your own customizations. Imagine you want to change the colors of your template: If you make your changes directly in the CSS files of the main template (CSS files are the files used for the graphical aspects of a web page – we’ll see that later), they would most likely be removed after an update of your template if the author has changed the CSS files in his update. So, the big advantage of the child theme is to not modify the files of the main template and thus to be able to install the updates of your template without removing your own customizations. The files of the “child” template are stored apart from the files of the main template, but this main template “knows” it has to use the files of the child template before its own. So if there is a CSS file in the child template, the main template will use this one before using its own. If there is an update of a CSS file, only the one of the main template will be impacted, the one in the child theme will not, and so your customizations will still be there.

So my advice is to install the child theme and to use this one as the main theme of your website. Install it just like you have installed the main theme. Then go to Appearance > Theme and activate this child theme. Your website will now use the files which are in the child theme first. Note that the child theme can be empty or – most of the times – contain less files than the main theme. This is normal, WordPress will use the missing files from the main theme.