How to Export a Theme From WordPress Dashboard

You may want to export your current WordPress site’s theme to a different domain, or just share the original file with others.

WordPress exporting a theme is a simple task, but there are several options to choose from.

This post will explain when and why you should export a WordPress theme, providing three effective methods of doing so.

Why we export a WordPress theme

The most common reasons why you may need to export a WordPress theme are:

  • Create a backup of the WordPress theme before customizing it. If the changes cause problems, import the backup theme file to undo them.
  • Use the same theme for multiple websites. Using the exported file, you can install the same WordPress theme on many websites. This is especially useful for installing custom WordPress themes not available in the official library.
  • Apply the changes to the live site. After customizing the theme in a staging environment, deploy the changes to the live website by exporting them. 
  • Use the theme on a new domain or a new WordPress installation. Exporting a theme makes the site migration process easier when moving to a new one WordPress Host, for example. You can easily upload your theme and apply it to the new WordPress site.
  • Sharing a custom theme. Share your custom WordPress theme by exporting it as .Zip *: French case. Other users can download and install it through the WordPress dashboard.

Export WordPress Theme Manually

Manually exporting a WordPress theme is the easiest method. You can do this from the WordPress dashboard without any additional tools.

Steps to export manually a WordPress theme as .Zip file:

  1. On your dashboard, go to sidebar and select AppearanceThemes.
  2. Make sure the theme you want to export is active, then click Personalize. Alternatively, hover over the WordPress theme and click Enable.
  3. Click it three dots icon in the upper right corner of your screen.
  4. In the drop-down menu, find the Tools section and click on the Export button.

Having completed exporting, you can now import and set up your WordPress theme on any website you choose. The dashboard will be used for this installation, although there are other options.

  1. Open WordPress dashboard and go to sidebar → AppearanceThemes.
  2. At the top of the page, click Add new Download themes Choose file.
  3. In the pop-up window, locate and select your exported theme .Zip *: French case. Click on Open to confirm.
  4. Click it Install now and wait for the installation process.
  5. Click on Enable to use it immediately on your live website.

In addition to themes, the built-in WordPress tool lets you Export blog posts from your site pages and media library.

Export WordPress Theme Using Plugin

A WordPress plugin, like UpdraftPlus, allows you to export your website’s theme. The WordPress themes exported by this plugin may be easily archived and shared as .Zip *: French files.

Steps to export a WordPress theme using UpdraftPlus:

  1. Download and Install plugin.
  2. After enabling it, go to your WordPress sidebar and select SettingsUpdraftPlus Backups.
  3. On the Backup Restore tab, click Back up now.
  4. In the pop-up window, click the three-dot icon next to Include your files in the backup.
  5. Check the Themes and Include your files in the backup boxes. Click on Back up now.
  6. Scroll to Existing backup section.
  7. Click on the previously exported theme → Download to your computer.

Method 3. Export WordPress Theme Customizer Settings

Additionally, the Customizer export/import WordPress plugin makes it easy to save modifications in the theme customizer and import them onto a new website.

This method is ideal for applying settings to a child theme because it automatically inherits codes and files from its parent, but not theme options.

However, this plugin only exports theme changes stored in your WordPress database, including colors, layout settings, and header media.

To export theme customization settings, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the Customizer Export/Import plugin.
  2. Go to your WordPress sidebar → AppearancePersonalize.
  3. On the theme customization screen, select Export/Import from the sidebar.
  4. Under the Export section, click the Export button.
  5. On the Save as window, choose the desired directory and click on to safeguard to confirm.

Customizer Export/Import exports WordPress customizer settings as .dat file. This export file type is not supported by WordPress websites by default, thus you will need to install the plugin on the other site before importing the theme.

Steps to import WordPress theme customizer settings:

  1. In your WordPress sidebar, select Appearance Personalize.
  2. On the theme customization screen, select Export/Import from the sidebar.
  3. Under the Import section, click Choose file.
  4. In the pop-up window, locate and select the export file. press the Open button to confirm.
  5. Check the Download and import image files? box. This preserves the imported theme’s logo, photo, header, and other image files.
  6. Confirm by clicking Import.
  7. Once the preset is applied, click the Save and Publish button to deploy the changes.

Last Words

WordPress users may choose to export their themes for purposes like backup, sharing, and installation.

This article has covered the 3 main methods for exporting and importing a WordPress theme.

  • Manually through the WordPress dashboard
  • Using the UpdraftPlus Plugin
  • Using the Customizer Export/Import Plugin to Export Theme Customizer Settings
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