How to Upgrade our WordPress themes from Free to Pro

You are reading this because you have either purchased a pro theme after using one of our free themes or inquiring about the process to upgrade from free to pro. In either case, thank you for choosing Slocum Themes!

Before Upgrading

Here are a couple of common questions we get from customers before upgrading:

I modified the code on the free version, what do I do?

There are a couple of different ways that you could have modified the code on the free theme. You could have made changes to the CSS on a stylesheet or edited one of the PHP files to differ from the original theme. If you modified any of the styling or PHP, make sure that the modifications are on a child theme and not on the parent theme.

If you need help making and implementing a child theme, consider our full-service theme install.

What will happen to my existing content?

WordPress handles the actual content of your website via your MySQL database. Luckily, our theme installs do not impact the database, they merely impact the modifications that may have been made to CSS or PHP, outlined above. Do not worry about losing your images, data, posts, or page content when upgrading our themes.

Retrieving the Pro Theme

Installing our themes is done in the same fashion as the typical install of any other theme. Once you have purchased your theme, we will email you a purchase receipt with the theme download code inside. Here is an image of what this will look like in your inbox:

Receipt in Gmail inbox

Open your email, you will get a message with a link to download the file.

Content of our receipt e-mail

Can’t find the email? Check your “Spam” folder to see if the email found its way there. Additionally, you can log in on using your created email and password (if you did this on purchase of the theme) to view and re-download your theme and invoice.

Payment Receipt and Download Code

Installing the theme

Once you have downloaded the zip file, you want to navigate to the WordPress dashboard of your website and go to Appearance > Themes and “Add New” at the top of the Themes section. Once there, you will want to select “Upload” and select the .zip file you previously downloaded.

When you add the ZIP file to the upload section.

If you want this theme to be the active theme on the site, click the activate link once the theme has installed. Otherwise, you will want to navigate to the Appearance > Themes section and activate the theme there later.

WordPress will not allow me to install the theme!

Are you having trouble installing your themes beyond the method above or getting an error? It is very possible that your WordPress install may be restricted to prevent the installation of new themes from the WordPress back-end. If you are getting errors, you may need to install the theme via FTP.

If this is the case you want to unzip the .zip file and upload the unzipped folder to the themes folder within the wp-content folder.

FTP Install

Is this still not working? Contact your server host or IT department to find out what needs to be done.

To Upgrade your Theme

When the theme has been installed, you will need to activate the theme to complete the upgrade. You can do this by selecting activate if installing from the back-end of WordPress or by navigating to Appearance > Themes and activating the Pro theme.

How to Activate a WordPress Theme

3. If you were previously using a child theme on the free version of the theme, there is one more step to take…

Changes to your child theme CSS Stylesheet

When you upgrade from free to pro, you should not have to modify any PHP. For the CSS, however, you will have to point the Template for the CSS Style sheet to the new theme name. In the case of “Modern Business”, the new theme file name is modern-business-pro, so you will want to adjust this on your existing child theme (see image below).

CSS stylesheet on a child theme

Make sure that once the proper change has been made to your child theme’s stylesheet (detailed above) that you activate the Child Theme as the theme of choice under the Themes section, not the actual parent theme.


Once the new theme is installed, activated, and the CSS stylesheet has been modified (if necessary), you are done! When you have a spare moment, make sure to check out the improved options in the Appearance > Theme Options section! You can check out all of your new features like:

  • One-Click Child Themes
  • Custom Page Layouts for categories and custom post types
  • Our Help/Support tab, should you have any issues with the theme or questions on functionality
  • Scripts and Styles for the theme
  • More color options
  • Show/hiding the copyright section, author information, and more!

A Special Note about Menu Navigation: In some special cases, given the way WordPress functions, there may be some issues with your navigation bars upon upgrading. Fortunately, this is a very easy fix. Go to Appearance > Menu and click on the “Manage Locations” tab at the top. All of your previous menu sections will still be here. Select the one you want to put in the top navigation or primary navigation and save your changes. All set!

We hope that you enjoy our content. If you decide to make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading! View our Affiliate Disclosure

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