Can I Use WordPress Themes on My Own Website?
WordPress is undoubtedly one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) used by millions of website owners globally. In fact, according to Statista, it was ranked the No. 2 content management system, after Google’s own GSuite, in 2019.
And thanks to its unique ability to seamlessly integrate with other platforms and software, as well as its robust, developer-friendly functionality, many website owners are choosing to use WordPress as the basis of their content strategy.
However, what if you want to run your own website independent of WordPress.com? Or what if you want to use a completely different CMS to power your website?
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Can I Use WordPress Themes on My Own Website?
In a word, yes. It’s extremely easy to get started with WordPress themes regardless of whether you’re running a free or a premium WordPress site. And best of all, you can actually use most of the themes you purchase on your own site without any restrictions. All you need is a static IP address (the primary IP address on your router), a domain name, and a little bit of technical know-how.
This will only take you about 10 minutes to set up if you’ve never done so before. And the best part is that if you run into any problems, you can always fix them yourself rather than waiting for someone to come and help you. So let’s get started.
The first thing you need to do is register your domain name with a hosting company. You can get a free domain from any of the major registrars simply by clicking on the register now button before you purchase hosting from a reputable company. Ideally, you’ll want to register your domain with a company that offers hosting in multiple locations so that you can take advantage of any given server’s perks while maintaining fast upload speeds and a positive user experience regardless of where you are in the world. For example, if you are based in the U.S., you might want to register your domain with a company that has datacenters in the U.S. and in Europe. Plus, you can always use the free domain registration to obtain a free SEO-friendly domain name that you can use for your new site. Just remember to use the.com TLD to ensure that your website can be found globally.
Step 1: Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is easy. You simply need to follow the on-screen instructions to inject the Core WordPress files into the root of your domain. Just make sure that you don’t uncheck the box to the right of the Install WordPress button which allows you to install the latest version no matter what your web host’s instructions say. Once the installation is complete, you can click on the Activate button to use the content management system. If you’re not comfortable using the terminal, you can also ask your web host to do this for you.
Step 2: Install & Configure Your WordPress Theme
Installing and configuring a WordPress theme is extremely easy. Just like installing WordPress, you need to inject the files into the root of your domain and activate them. Once you’ve installed the theme, you can click on the Appearance button to open up a configurable dashboard where you can configure various aspects of your new site. For example, you can change the theme’s colors, text styles, or upload a logo for your site.
Step 3: Enter Content
Inserting content into your WordPress website is relatively easy. All you need to do is click on the Add Content button, which is located at the top of the dashboard, to expose a search bar. Type the key words or phrases you’re looking for into the search bar, and the results will appear below the search bar. The search results will display all the content that is available for you to use in your site. You can either choose to use this content now or download it for later use. If you decide to download the content now, simply click on the download button next to each result, and the content will be inserted into your site and available for you to use in the future. If you decide to use the content now, simply click on the Insert into Blog button to the right of the search bar. This will insert the content into your blog post. You can insert multiple pieces of content into a single blog post by simply clicking on the gear icon next to the Insert into Blog button, and selecting the things you want to include from the popup menu. You can also click on the gear icon on any individual piece of content to edit it before inserting it into a post. When you’re done, click on the Save Changes button to confirm your edits.
Step 4: Customize Your Header
To make your WordPress site more presentable, you can click on the gear icon next to the theme’s name in the upper-right corner of your dashboard. This will open up a dropdown menu where you can change the theme’s header. You can either select a predefined graphic from the menu or upload an image of your own to replace the current one. When you’re happy with how your site looks, click on the Save Changes button to confirm your edits and activate the new theme.
Step 5: Install & Configure Your Plugin
Installing and configuring a WordPress plugin is relatively easy. Just like with the theme, you need to inject the files into the root of your domain and activate them. Once you’ve done so, you can click on the Plugins button in your dashboard to bring up a list of available plugins. You can either use these pre-built plugins or look for plugins that can enhance the functionality of your site. For example, if you’re looking for a photo gallery plugin, you can check out this [WordPress Photo Gallery](https://wordpress.org/plugins/photo-gallery/) plugin. You can click on the button to the right of the plugin’s name to see more information about it, and whether or not it’s compatible with your WordPress version. If you decide that a pre-built plugin doesn’t have the features you’re looking for, you can either search for a different plugin or create your own using WordPress’ unique [Plugin Framework](https://wordpress.org/plugins/plugin-framework/). If you decide to create your own plugin, make sure that you follow the instructions provided by WordPress to inject the files into the root of your domain and activate them. When you’re done, click on the Save Changes button to save your new plugin and confirm your edits.
Step 6: Test Your Site
Testing a WordPress site is relatively easy as well. Just visit your site in a web browser, and you’ll see a preview of how your site will look (as well as a brief summary of what the different components of the site are). You can either click on the Preview button next to any given component to see how it will look or drag the slider below the preview window to see how the site as a whole will look. When you’re happy with the results, click on the Preview button next to the Theme’s name in the upper-right corner of your dashboard to save the changes you made.
How Do I Upgrade My WordPress Site?
UPGRADING A WordPress site is quite easy as well. All you need to do is visit your site in a web browser, and you’ll see a preview of how your site will look (as well as a brief summary of what the different components of the site are). Just click on the Upgrade button next to the theme’s name in the upper-right corner of your dashboard to start the process. In most cases, this will bring you to a screen where you can choose between updating to the latest version or creating a new site from scratch. If you select the former, you’ll need to provide your database username and password so that WordPress can access your content. Once you’ve done so, click on the Update button. This will begin the process of upgrading your site to the latest version. Once completed, you can click on the Activate button to use the content management system.