All custom WordPress themes built with ThemeStarta can be installed just like any other WordPress theme (that is, via the WordPress admin dashboard (using the standard Appearance > Themes > Install Themes work area):
To install a WordPress theme you first need to have your theme files and settings neatly packaged into a compressed archive (a file type known as a “.zip” file). To prepare such a file there are just two easy steps to follow:
- Generate new theme defaults. This is as easy as clicking a button (refer below).
- Create the theme installer file (.zip archive). The longest way to do this is the manual way, which is described below. The shortest and easiest way, which in many cases entails nothing more than a click of button, is by using ThemeStarta’s automated theme zip and download function, which you can do by following the Zip and Download tutorial.
Note: Before preparing your custom WordPress theme for installation be sure to give your theme a unique name.
Generate new theme defaults
When a newly installed theme is accessed by ThemeStarta for the first time, it will load your theme’s default settings.
The button is used to create those default settings.
Note: When you generate new theme defaults a snapshot of your settings is created based on your settings as at the last time you saved your current settings.
Thus, before generating new theme defaults, makes sure you click the button to ensure any recent changes you’ve made are not lost.
Create a theme installer file (zip archive)
Remember: The following procedure is the manual way to create a .zip file. If you don’t want to do this manually, use ThemeStarta’s automated Zip and Download function.
Manually creating a theme installer file is as easy as going to your theme folder, (i.e. wp-content > themes > yourthemename) and compressing it into a .zip archive.
When a theme has been archived as a .zip file it can be installed on any WordPress site using the regular WordPress theme installation process (see below).
The two most convenient ways to manually create a .zip archive of your theme files are:
- Using a free archive tool such as 7Zip.
- Using cPanel and its File Manager (if supported by your web host).
Create a theme installer using 7Zip
This procedure assumes:
- You have installed 7Zip on your computer. You can of course use any archive program that you like, though if you do the procedure below may differ slightly.
- Your unique theme folder is located on your computer’s hard drive. If you have been developing your theme online and don’t have an offline copy it is recommended you save a copy of your theme folder to your computer. Do this using an FTP client such as Fire FTP. If you don’t want to do this, skip to the “Create a theme installer using cPanel” process below.
1. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to your unique theme folder. Your unique theme folder will be located in the wp-content > themes folder of your WordPress installation (whether your installation is online or offline) unless you have specifically saved it elsewhere.
2. Right-click on your unique theme folder, then click 7-Zip > Add to “yourthemename.zip”. The archive compression utility will create and save a .zip file automatically in the same Windows folder.
Create a theme installer using cPanel
If your web host supports it, the File Manager in cPanel allows you to zip up your theme files directly on your hosting server.
1. In the Files section of cPanel, click on the File Manager icon, then navigate to inside your theme folder (located in wp-content > themes).
2. Select your theme folder, e.g. “mycooltheme”.
3. Click the Compress icon in the top tool bar, then select the zip archive radio button.
4. Click the Compress File(s) button.
File Manager will compress the files, and the new .zip file will appear in your “wp-content/themes” folder. From there you can download the new zip to your computer.
Once you have your unique theme archived as a .zip file you’re ready to install it on any WordPress installation.
1. In your WordPress Admin Dashboard, click Appearance > Themes > Install Themes.
2. Click Upload.
3. Click the [Browse] button and navigate to where you have stored yourtheme.zip.
4. Click the yourtheme.zip file to highlight it, then click [Open].
5. Click [Install Now]. WordPress will unpack the .zip file, install the theme, and advise “Theme installed successfully.”
6. Click Activate.
You have now installed and activated your custom WordPress theme.
You can visit your homepage where you will see the new theme applied.
Remember: Any theme created with ThemeStarta can be edited with the ThemeStarta plugin, no matter what site you have installed the theme on, as long as the the version of the Themestarta plugin that created the theme and the version of the Themestarta plugin you are using to edit the theme match. If the versions do not match, either install a matching version of ThemeStarta, or use the Import Older Themes tutorial to create a newly updated version of your theme.