How to Install a Purchased Theme

When you purchase a WordPress theme you’ll generally get a download link for the zip file. To upload this theme to your site involves a couple simple steps.

  1. Log into your WordPress site, and go to “Appearances > Themes” menu item
  2. Click the “Add New” button at the top of the screen
  3. Click the “Upload Theme” button at the top of the screen
  4. Now choose the .zip file that you have of the theme click “Install Now”

Add New


Upload Theme


Overwriting a Theme

If you are uploading a newer version of an existing theme, you will likely get this message:

“Destination folder already exists. Theme install failed.”

In that case, you will need to temporarily switch themes (perhaps to the default). Find the theme you want to replace, click “Theme Details” and then click “Delete”. Now you can upload the newer version.

Additional Notes

  • If you use, you cannot upload your own themes.
  • If your zip file contains multiple themes, you’ll need to unzip it, and then re-zip each theme individually.
  • Purchase themes only from trusted sources- otherwise you run the risk of getting a hacked version (no fun).

About Devin

I am a developer based in Austin, Texas. I run a little theme shop called DevPress and help manage a WooCommerce shop with Universal Yums. Find me on twitter @devinsays.

30 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I just upgraded to Portfolio+ and I can’t delete Portfolio Press. I’m trying to follow your instructions for Overwriting a Theme but I don’t see a Delete option to click.
    Please advise. Should I see a download somewhere?

  2. Jip

    i have a problem with my wordpress, i can’t add any theme.
    When i go to my themes i don’t have a link where i can upload my theme, can you help me?

  3. Tina

    I added a theme right but accidentally deleted it. I tried re-installing it but keep getting “Failed to write file to disk.” error. How can I fix this?

  4. Nick Banks

    Hi there,

    So the situation is this – I’m looking at starting up on and purchasing a theme to use with it. However, I notice at the end you’ve said “If you use, you cannot upload your own themes.” Is this in reference to a clever person who has designed a theme from scratch (beyond me!)? Or does it mean, if I buy this theme I’m after, I’ll have to not use If so, what is the alternative to get started with this new theme?

      1. Zoe

        Why does give you the option of “upload theme” with the business plan if supposedly its not even possible?

  5. Hi Devin , I understand how to install a theme now and I am using pressable to do this but do I also need to upgrade my wordpress site account to business from free as I cannot see add new under theme? I have purchased my theme from themeforest thanks

  6. Johny

    Hello, ive built a website using a pirated theme. If i buy the theme, do i have to rebuilt the site from scratch or is there any other quicker way?

  7. Jenn

    Hi! I’m trying to upload my purchased theme and I’m getting the following error. Help!

    Safari can’t open the page. The error is “The operation couldn’t be completed. Is a directory.”

    Any ideas?

  8. Amit Jain

    I have purchased a theme, while I had reviewed the demo version it was look good. but when I uploaded into my server its not look same.

    Please help how and what need to do for the same.

  9. Hi Devin,
    I have a current site with a WordPress theme. I am wanting to update the theme with a purchased template that says it is WordPress friendly. When I upload it, will I lose all of the current content on the original theme? If so, how to I avoid that?

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