WordPress 4.1 has been released at the end of 2014, and along with the new version, a very useful feature was also introduced. It’s the Site Language option that allows you to change the language of your WordPress site directly from the General Settings page.
So, let’s proceed to translating a theme.
1. Change the Language of your WordPress Site
In order to use a localized WordPress theme in a different language, you have to change the language of your WordPress site to the same language in which you plan to translate the theme.
In our case we’ll translate the theme to Romanian (ro_RO), so in the General Settings page I’ll select Română option for Site Language.
This option is available only in WordPress 4.1+.
2. Download and Install Loco Translate Plugin
Every WPZOOM Theme comes with a .pot file that contains all of the text to be translated.
There are different tools that you can use to translate a theme, but our favorite is Loco Translate plugin, which is very easy to use. Go ahead and install the plugin and after that make sure to activate it.
3. Add a New Language
Once you have the plugin installed, navigate to the Loco Translate menu in the Dashboard. Find your theme in the list and click on the New language link. On the next page select the language in which you want to translate the theme, but make sure to select the same language as you did in the 1st step.
In our case this would be Romanian language:
4. Start the Translation
After adding a new language in your theme, you’ll be redirected to a page which will display a list of the text that can be translated. You can start the process by highlighting each line, one by one, and enter the translation in the box in the bottom of the page.
Once you’ve finished to translate the text, click the Save button and here the entire process ends. Now your theme will automatically display the translated version.
After translating a theme there are a few things you should be aware of:
Back-up your Translations
Just because the translation files are stored in your theme folder, this means that there is a high probability that these will be deleted if the theme will be updated in the future. So we recommend you to copy the folder /languages/ from your theme and all its files on your computer (via FTP or backing-up entire theme using WP Clone Template plugin).
Handling Theme Updates
If you update your theme to a new version which has an updated language file or other files modified, you’ll need to rescan your theme using the Loco Translate plugin and then translate the new strings. Find your theme in Loco Translate plugin, select the needed language and click the Sync button to have the plugin update the language files.
In case you’re looking for additional tools to translate your theme, make sure to check out:
Hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and now you can start translating your favorite theme!