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WordPress: Applying Themes

WordPress, version 5.7. The instructions in this guide apply to sites built with the PLU Digital Humanities Lab version of WordPress and may not translate to sites built with WordPress.com or other versions.


Customizing the appearance of a WordPress site is done through Themes, which control the overall design of the site. Themes affect the site’s layout, colors, fonts, and so on. A variety of pre-made themes are available, both free and purchasable, and each has different options and capabilities. Some Themes are designed for certain purposes and may not work for every site. For example, a Theme designed for a photography portfolio may not work well for an academic site. Users need administrator privileges in order to adjust Themes.

Applying a New Theme

To apply a new Theme:
  1. Navigate to Appearance > Themes from the Side Menu. A list of installed Themes will display.
  2. Click the “Add New” button to the top of the page.

    clicking the add new button

  3. Using the tabs to the top of the page, browse through the available Themes. Alternatively, enter a search term in the field to the top-right.
  4. Hover over a Theme and click a previewing option, such as “Preview,” “Live Preview,” “Details & Preview.” An example of the Theme will appear.

    install and preview buttons

  5. Click the “Install” button to the top of the page to install the new theme. Alternatively, click the “X” button to return to the Themes list and continue browsing.
  6. Click “Activate.”

The new Theme will overwrite the existing one and change the appearance of the site. Visit the site to review the changes. If the change needs to be reversed, navigate back to Appearance > Themes and re-activate the previous Theme or search for a new one.

For instructions on how to customize the theme see WordPress: Customizing a Site.




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Keywordsword press, website, blogging, site, design, style, color   Doc ID97714
OwnerJanelle B.GroupPacific Lutheran Univ
Created2020-02-06 11:38:47Updated2023-08-04 15:29:48
SitesPacific Lutheran University
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