Translate Your WordPress Site

Word­Press comes with an amount of great ben­e­fits. One of them is the sim­ple fact is ful­ly trans­lat­ed into over 65 lan­guages, and it can be adjust­ed to your language’s char­ac­ter­is­tics as well. We know that this is impor­tant since your audi­ence might be pret­ty nar­row (e.g. Span­ish natives).

You should know that chang­ing the web­site lan­guage from the dash­board area is not enough. Your website’s struc­ture is formed of dif­fer­ent parts of posts, pages, menus or wid­gets. The con­tent of those sec­tions can be added direct­ly to your lan­guage. How­ev­er, there are strings attached, both from the theme and plu­g­ins, that you need to trans­late. Let’s take the fol­low­ing sce­nario: you have a blog web­site, and at the end of each arti­cle you can have a Read more part. Those spe­cif­ic words should be trans­lat­ed into your native lan­guage in order to facil­i­tate access.

The .PO file includes the orig­i­nal texts and the trans­la­tions in two columns. The .MO file incor­po­rates the exact same con­tents as PO file. Keep in mind that the two files dif­fer in their for­mat. While a PO file is easy for humans to read, MO files are com­piled and very easy for com­put­ers to read. Nonethe­less, Word­Press gets trans­la­tions from .MO files.

Here are the steps you have to take in order to trans­late your web­site:

  1. Change the lan­guage by going to Set­tings » Gen­er­al » Site Lan­guage field;
  2. Go to this link;
  3. Select the theme that you are using;
  4. Click on the lan­guage you would like to trans­late your web­site;
  5. You can sug­gest a new trans­la­tion for any of the Eng­lish orig­i­nal strings, seen on the left. Just click on Details but­ton from the end of the line and add your sug­ges­tion;
  6. Once you fin­ished your trans­la­tion, go to the bot­tom of the page and select to Export all cur­rent as Portable Object Mes­sage Cat­a­log (.po);
  7. You need to export one more file, the Machine Object Mes­sage (.mo), the same way you did on step 6;
  8. Go to this link;
  9. Find the WP Locale for the lan­guage you want to trans­late your web­site into.
  10. Rename both PO and MO files this way: themename-locale.po and For exam­ple, if the theme is called Julia and you want to trans­late it in French, your files will be called julia-fr_FR.po and;
  11. Upload the trans­la­tion files, through FTP:
    1. The theme trans­la­tion files need to be added to wp-con­tent/lan­guages/themes fold­er;
    2. The plu­g­ins trans­la­tion files need be added to wp-con­tent/lan­guages/­plu­g­ins fold­er.


Are your themes compatible with WPML?

Yes — here is the offi­cial list of WPML cer­ti­fied themes.

Updated on November 16, 2017

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