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How to Manually Install a Magento Theme

June 10, 2011 21 Comments RSS Feed

How to Install a Magento Theme
Sooner or later, you will probably want to install a Magento theme other than the default. The good news is, Magento theme installation is quick and easy. This will be accomplished in just 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Download a Theme

There are lots of places to find a good Magento theme. Here are a few places that you could start looking:

And of course, thousands of other options can be found with a simple Google search. Now, you’ll probably notice before too long that some templates are free, while in other cases, designers will charge you for their work. Whichever route you choose to go, you will end up with a file that’s in .zip format. Download it to your computer, and unzip it.

Step 2: Upload a Theme

After unzipping your theme, you’ll want to upload it to your web hosting provider. Being the great decision-maker that you are, you’ve chosen one of the best shopping cart scripts on the market, and have also probably chosen Nexcess’ secured and optimized Magento hosting environment for your site. Fortunately, however, the following will be the same no matter who your web host is. Depending upon the Theme you choose you will see at least 2 folders.


Note: Some themes include a /js folder as well.

Connect to your web host via FTP, and upload them to the root of your website.

Step 3: Activate your Theme

Now, login to your Magento admin panel and choose System -> Configuration from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. On the left menu click on “Design”. Click on the “Themes” header to expand the section.

You will see 5 fields:

  • Translations
  • Templates
  • Skin (Images / CSS)
  • Layout
  • Default

These fields are where you will add your theme name. The first field “Translations”, is usually kept blank unless you are using an alternate language.

Lets say we downloaded a style named Blue, enter “blue” into the Templates, Skin, Layout, and Default fields and click Save Config. The name of the theme and the name you are entering in to each field will differ depending upon the theme you choose. Some themes will come with multiple colors so the fields may not all be the same name.

Now, go to the main page of your storefront, and admire your new theme!

Posted in: Magento
  • babar khan

    Nice tutorial i really like your site keep it up.

    8 High Quality Magento Shoe Themes

  • Very nice guideline regarding magento theme installation specially disabling cache before installation a new theme can protect for some crazy magento errors.

    Magento Themes

  • Thanks! I appreciate it!
    hardware keylogger

  • I am not able to apply theme on login, accout , checkout etc. pages

  • Sarita Pandey

    I have done with all changes mentioned above but not able to add new theme in my template.
    I have added
    1 – design/frontend/default/eco_fashion
    2 – skin/frontend/default/eco_fashion

    Please give me the solution , how can i enable my new eco_fashion theme.

    Thanks in advance,

  • Magento Modules

    is there any way so far to automate the installation of Magento

  • Magento Tutorial

    Can you suggest some best themes in 2012 about fashion?

  • sorry for late reply, But if you use hosting24 they have an autoinstaller that installs it. If you do sign up there I would greatly apreciate it if you use the coupon code: LEWISYOULDON for $2 off

  • Hardik P

    Please make sure that your design name (folder) does not have any underscores.

    For example: Hardwood1.1 instead of Hardwood_1.1

  • posh webdevelopment

    good stuff for beginer of magento..

  • dehams

    how to download magento???

  • dehams

    please suggenst me

  • will_hough
  • It ‘s look pretty easy. Thanks

  • jenny

    I am unable to get my theme in magento. I followed all the instructions..Also did the necessary changes in the admin panel but all in vain. Please help

  • Dua Fordjour

    I’ve followed all the instructions but I still don’t know how to create the CMS pages, static blocks and get the theme running. Any help?

  • Piya

    I have done acording to the steps to install theme manually..
    Where as i am getting the theme..But its not being applied in the CMS page.

  • pc-shooter

    Your tutorial is just crap! It overrides the core of magento and just DOES NOT WORK! Keep away from this

  • sachin1298


  • Arpita Mohanty

    I want to upload magento theme on live server.. Kindly help me with the process.

  • Supriti Kashyap

    “Required parameter ‘theme_dir’ was not passed”
    Error shown after installing a new theme.
    Anybody give me solution asap.