Appearance

Themes

Overview

A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying, unifying design for a blog. WordPress.com currently has a very diverse collection of over 250 gorgeous themes (and we’re always adding more!), which you can browse in the Theme Showcase.

To activate a theme, visit Appearance -> Themes in any blog’s dashboard. You can change your theme as often as you like.

Here’s an example of a theme:

The Coraline Theme

To view all the themes available, visit the Theme Showcase or access the Appearance -> Themes menu option in your blog’s dashboard. If you do not see the Appearance menu option, this means that you are not an administrator on the blog.

From Appearance -> Themes you can see your current theme.

Please note that the currently selected theme will not appear in the results when browsing or searching for other themes.

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Browsing Themes

You can sort themes alphabetically (A-Z), by popularity (most popular first), by newest first, browse all the Premium Themes, or sort them randomly by using the options at the top of the browse area:

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Searching Themes

Looking for a particular theme or a theme feature? Enter your keyword in the search box, click Search, and you’ll only be shown themes that match.

Note that the search results will be sorted according to your viewing mode. If you’re viewing by theme name they will be shown alphabetically, if you’re viewing by popularity they will be ranked accordingly, and if you’re viewing randomly the search results will be presented in the random order.

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Feature Filters

If you want to find a theme with specific features, you can also search by Feature Filters. You can enable Feature Filters by clicking on any theme tag:

The more tags you click, the more filters will be enabled. Clicking on an enabled tag will disable it.

You can also narrow your search by using the Feature Filters option next to the search box:

filters link

This will display all available filters:

filters

Note that as with searching, filtered themes will be shown according to the current viewing mode (random, A-Z, or by popularity)

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Changing/Activating New Themes

As you are browsing themes you may want to try one out and see what it looks like. You can do this by clicking the Live Preview link that appears below the theme.

themes-change

If you already know this is the theme you want, you can go ahead and click on Activate.

When you click on either the screenshot or Live Preview link, you will open the Customizer. You can scroll up and down and even click around in your blog to get an idea of how the new theme will work with your content. If you like what you see, click Save and Activate button in the bottom left corner of the Customizer window.

Save and Activate

If you’re just not feeling the theme, click the Return to Manage Themes link found in the top left of the Customizer window to back out and continue browsing through the theme repository for a better fit.

theme-close1

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Premium Themes

In addition to our many free themes, we also offer a selection of gorgeous Premium Themes that feature intricate designs, exciting customization options, and exclusive support directly from the theme authors.

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Widgets

Many of the WordPress.com themes allow the use of widgets, which are custom tools that you can add to your blog’s sidebar to customize its content. You can add widgets to your blog from Appearance -> Widgets.

Widget-enabled themes will include some default widgets. You will notice that when you go to Appearance -> Widgets, these default widgets will NOT appear in your Current Widgets listing. To remove the default widgets, simply go to Appearance -> Widgets and add any widget(s) you like to your blog’s sidebar. This will replace all default widgets with your own!

For comprehensive information on WordPress.com widgets, please refer to our widget documentation.

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Uploading Custom Themes

The theme upload functionality is exclusive to privately hosted blogs and sites using the WordPress.org software. This means that you cannot upload any themes to your WordPress.com blog (even if they’re available at the WordPress.org theme repository). Learn more.

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Editing Themes

If you purchase the Custom Design upgrade, you can easily modify the theme’s fonts with the Font Editor without knowing any code.

The Custom Design upgrade also gives you access to the CSS Editor, which lets you modify the theme’s fonts, colors, borders, backgrounds and even the layout of your blog. However, you need to know CSS to make these changes. Our support team can help you in the CSS Customization forum. We also provide links to tips, tutorials, and books on our Custom CSS page.

Note that the Custom Design upgrade does not permit the editing of the core PHP or template files of any theme. Learn More.

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