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How to install a WordPress theme

There are mainly two methods to install a WordPress theme on your website: Via WordPress and via FTP.

The most common way is to install it directly via WordPress because it doesn’t require additional FTP client software and it can be done following an easy and intuitive procedure.

There are certain cases though, in which you’ll need to upload the theme via FTP. It can happen for example that you don’t have access to the WordPress dashboard, or that your hosting service has some restrictions related to file size or other parameters. In this case, you’ll need to install on your computer a simple FTP client software like FileZilla or Cyberduck before beginning and follow the procedure below.

Install via WordPress

The following procedure is based on our Selkie theme, but it can be applied to all the Sparrow&Snow WordPress themes.

  • After having purchased your Selkie Theme successfully, you can download the zipped theme folder.
  • Unzip this first folder.
  • Within the unzipped theme package, you will find a number of folders such as Demo Import Files, Guides, etc. The file that we will need for this installation is a zipped file called “” (where 100 is the current version number, so by the time you are reading this, the number could be higher due to a more recent version). This file is the main theme. Important: DO NOT unzip this folder! This folder must remain zipped, for the installation to be successful.
  • Within your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Themes.
  • Click the “Add New” button at the top-left of the page > Click the “Upload Theme” button at the top.
  • Click “Choose File” > Find your zipped “” file > Click the “Install Now” button.
  • Once the theme is successfully installed, navigate to Appearance > Themes and click the “Activate” button on the Selkie theme.

IMPORTANT: If you try to install the entire zipped theme package or a different file or folder, you’ll probably receive an error message similar to this:
“The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet. Theme install failed.”
If this is your case, please be sure that you’re installing the zipped file titled “” and not the whole theme zipped folder.
(Note that “v100” is based on the actual version of the theme. Therefore it will display a different number.)

Install via FTP

An alternative method to install your WordPress theme is by using an FTP Client software like FileZilla (free), Cyberduck or Coda.

  • Open the FTP client software and log in with the FTP access keys provided by your Hosting. (If you don’t have this information or don’t know how to get it, you should contact your hosting service)
  • Unzip the theme “selkie-wptheme” file and drag and drop the unzipped folder inside the directory “wp-content > themes”
  • Once the theme is successfully uploaded, navigate to Appearance > Themes in the WordPress dashboard and click the “Activate” button on the Selkie theme.

Now your theme should be correctly installed on your website and ready to use! If you have encountered problems or you want to save time and start to work on your website within 24 hours, we also offer Installation Services that you can purchase at this link.

In the next article “How to setup my website to look like the demo” we will guide you through the process of setting up your Sparrow&Snow demo directly into your website (Coming Soon).

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