How to import & export WordPress theme from WordPress dashboard?


Are you looking for the best ways to import and export WordPress theme? There are 2 possible methods that you can use to do export and import theme. Among them, exporting and importing theme from WordPress dashboard is the most simple way. In this article, we are explaining why we should do import and export WordPress theme from the dashboard and how to proceed with it. Let’s get started!

Why do you need to export & import WordPress theme?

There are a lot of reasons that’s why you need to export & import WordPress theme. Below are the most popular reasons why you should consider exporting and importing your WordPress theme.

  • The first reason: to backup your theme to your computer or Google drive.
  • The second reason: to use the same theme for many websites.
  • The third reason: to switch your WordPress theme to a new domain with a WordPress installation.
  • The fourth reason: to share your theme with other users by creating a .zip file.

There are 2 ways for you to export and import WordPress theme. The first one is through the WordPress dashboard. The second way is through CPanel or FTP via web host.

No matter the reason, exporting and importing your theme through the WordPress dashboard is much easier than accessing it through CPanel or FTP via web host, especially for beginners who do not know much about WordPress and coding. So that, anyone can download their theme without having to call a web designer or developer for help.

How to export & import WordPress theme from dashboard?

There are 2 ways for you to export and import WordPress theme from the dashboard. Both of them are explained detailed as below:

How to import and export WordPress theme manually?

It is easy to export and import WordPress theme manually from the dashboard.

Export WordPress theme manually

Follow the steps below to Export WordPress theme manually.

Step 1: Open your WordPress dashboard, go to the Tools>Export sub-tab.


Step 2: Choose What you need to export.

In this section, you will see all content in your theme


Check the All content option if you want to export all things in here.

Step 3: Click on the Download Export File button.


Then, you give the downloaded file a name and choose the location to save the file.

That’s how we export a theme from WordPress site. Now, let learn how to import WordPress theme from the dashboard.

Import WordPress theme manually

To Import WordPress theme manually follow the listed below steps. This process is similar to the export process above.

Step 1: From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Tools > Import.


Step 2: Select the system that you want to import. Here, I will install WordPress Installer by clicking the Install now link under the WordPress option on the Import page.


Step 3: After installation, click on Run importer


Step 4: Once the WordPress plugin has been activated, a pop-up box will appear. Hit the Choose File button to select the theme file you want to import to your WordPress site.


Step 5: Now, you can select a file and upload it to your site by clicking on Open.


Step 6: Now, you will be directed to the Assign Authors page. Here, you need to assign imported authors to the existing ones.


Step 7: Click on the Submit button to completely finish the import WordPress theme process into your website.

How to import and export WordPress theme with a plugin?

The second way to import and export WordPress theme is by using a plugin. There are a lot of plugins that help you to do such things, in this article, I am going to do with the Export Themes plugin. This is a free theme with a high rating.

To import and export WordPress theme with the Export Themes plugin, the very first step is to install the Export Themes plugin.

To install the plugin, from the WordPress dashboard, go to the Plugins > Add New.


Type the name of the plugin on the search box, find out the plugin, click Install Now button.


Then you need to Activate it on your site


Once you have installed the plugin, refer to the process below to export and import WordPress theme.

Export WordPress theme

Step 1: Go to Appearance > Export.


Step 2: Choose the theme you want to export

On the new page, click on the dropdown icon of the Export theme option to choose the theme you wish to export, just hit the Export button to import it. For example, I am selecting Woostify theme to export.


Step 3: Save the exported theme file.

Now, all you need to do is give your downloaded file a name and choose a location to save it. Finally, click Save to complete the process.


That is the process to export WordPress theme with a plugin. The final theme file will be a .zip file.

If you desire to import WordPress theme to another website, just follow the detailed process below.

Import WordPress theme

After you have got the .zip file for your exported theme, you can then upload and import it to another WordPress site.

Step 1: From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes


A new page appears, click Add New Theme button to add a new theme.


Step 2: Upload the theme file

At the top page, click the Upload Theme button.


Click on the “Choose Now” button to select the .zip file that you just exported from your other WordPress website.


Step 3: Once selecting the desired theme file, hit the Install Now button to import the new theme.  Then Activate it on your site.


That’s it. You have finished the process of importing WordPress theme to your site.

How to Import and Export Theme Customizer Settings in WordPress?

The above methods help you import and export WordPress theme, but if you want to import and export WordPress theme customizer settings, you should install and activate the Customize Export/Import plugin on both sites where you want to export and import.


Then, follow the steps below.

Export Theme Customizer Settings in WordPress

Step 1: Navigate to Appearance > Customize page on the website you want to export from.


Step 2: click on the Export/Import panel to view its settings.


Step 3: Click on the Export button.


The plugin will now export your customizer settings to a.dat file and send it to your browser.


It can export all of your theme options, whether they are defined as theme mods or stored in the WordPress database as options. This means you can export color settings, layout instructions, header media, and so on.

To export your navigation menus, site title and description, widgets, and other settings, just follow the processes mentioned in section 2.

Import WordPress theme customizer settings

This process is nearly similar to the process of exporting customizer settings, all you need to do is clicking Appearance > Customize, then visit the Export/Import panel.

Then, hit Choose file button to select the file you exported earlier.


You also need to check the box next to the Download and import image files? option to import header and other image files.


Finally, click Import to complete the process.

The customizer settings from your export file will now be imported. When it’s finished, you can go back and review your changes in the customizer before clicking the Save & Publish button to make them live.


Both of the 2 methods discussed above are simple and free, so you can choose any of them that you prefer. Hopefully, this article helped you easily import and export WordPress theme on your site.

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