Translation-Ready WordPress Themes

Guide to Translation-Ready WordPress Themes

You have probably seen the verbage on our themes site. “Our themes are Translation-Ready.”

Unfortunately, while we are web code wizards with the baddest WordPress themes on the market, we are not multilingual. Our WordPress themes are in English. For every other language, you will need to generate a file to change the language for the theme elements of the site.

You are still welcome to enter blog posts and content in your native tongue, but read along to find out exactly what it means when a WordPress theme is “Translation-Ready.”

Translation-ready WordPress Themes

On the technical level, if a WordPress theme has been localized using what is referred to as the “GNU gettext framework”, it is translation-ready. As the name suggests, translation-ready does NOT mean that the work has been done for you. There are far too many languages for our team to possibly implement on our themes.

What this DOES mean for you and your business is that our themes have been coded to work with software so that you can more easily put your language on our themes.

There a couple of different ways to go about doing this…

How to Translate a WordPress website

Here are the basic rules to translate a WordPress website into your language of choice. There will be a resource for the software to use to accomplish this just after the rules.

Generate a .POT file: Use an application to generate a .POT or Portable Object Template File. The purpose of this step is to effectively gather all text that will need to be translated in a later step.

Make the .PO File: The Portable Object or .PO file is then to be generated. This takes the template that we previously made in step one and creates the new version in the language of choice.

Convert to an .MO File: Now for the super technical stuff. Once you have the .po file generated, you will need to convert that file into an .mo file, which is the file that WordPress will actually be able to read.

Where does the Language file go

Upload your language file to WordPress:  Once you have created the file, you need to upload it to WordPress. But…. There is no place for this file, right? You have to actually create the folder in your WordPress wp_content folder. Create a folder called languages and upload your .mo file there.

The WP_CONFIG file: Make sure you define your language in your WordPress install’s wp_config file, by overwriting the default English language that is set. Here is an example of placing a Chinese language file (the default language for many softwares) in the file:

define ('WPLANG', 'zh_CN');

You will want to replace the language text with the proper text of your language’s .mo file (which should read similar to ‘zh_CH’ except be tailored to your language).

Easy Software to Translate WordPress Themes

The software that we have heard works really well for this process is Poedit, and more specifically Poedit Pro, the $19 paid version (well worth the money).

With Poedit, there is still some work  and playing that needs to be done to create the initial .pot files. You still have to understand some of the terminology of editing gettext.

Translation Ready WordPress with Poedit
A Marketing Spot from the Poedit Pro Page

The purpose of pro is that it gives you the ability to tap right into your WordPress install and generate the proper files for a theme like ours AND for popular plugins like Jetpack.

Here are some Translation-Ready WordPress Themes


Help us out

Want to get involved? We are always looking for translated .mo files. If you do generate a file for one of our WordPress themes, we can give full credit to users who give us the translated theme file. This way, we can continue to provide awesome product to our valued Slocum Themes customers.

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