How to Translate WordPress Themes with Loco Translate

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This article describes how to use the Loco Translate plugin to translate WordPress themes to other languages.

Install the Loco Translate Plugin

Does your website get traffic from areas that speak different languages? WordPress does not include a built-in translation ability. But, you can install the Loco Translate plugin to make it easier to translate your site. You can then provide your site content to a larger audience that may not speak English. This can increase the overall traffic to your website.

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Click Plugins then Add New.
  3. Type ‘loco translate’ in the search field.
  4. Click the Install Now button next to the Loco Translate plugin by Tim Whitlock.
  5. Click the Activate button once it has been installed.

Create a Directory for Languages

Now, that you have installed the Loco Translate plugin for WordPress, we will need to create a folder for the language translation files.

  1. Log into your cPanel.
  2. Click File Manager in the Files section.
  3. Go to the document root of your WordPress site and open the wp-content folder.
  4. Click the +Folder option on the top-left.
  5. Name the folder “languages” without the quotation marks then click the Create New Folder button.
  6. Double click the Languages folder to open it. Click the +Folder button again and type “loco” without the quotation marks, then click the Create New Folder button.
  7. Double-click the loco folder to open it. 
  8. Click the +Folder button and type “themes” without the quotation marks. Then, click the Create New Folder button.

Translate your WordPress Theme

You now have the Loco Translate plugin installed and the language folders created. Time to get to work translating your theme. These steps may differ slightly based on the specific theme you are using. For example, if your theme includes translation files you may only have to manually translate a few things. But if your theme does not have any translation files, you will most likely have to translate everything manually.

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Click on Settings then General.
  3. Next to Site Language, choose the language you want to translate to.
  4. Click Loco Translate then Themes in the navigation menu.
  5. Select the theme you want to translate.
  6. Click the +New language, then Create template link.
  7. Click the Create template button.
  8. Choose a langage from the drop-down menu under WordPress language.
  9. Click the Start translating button. If your theme included translation files it may already have some parts of the theme available in other languages.
  10. You will see the original English text from the theme in the Source text section. Click the string then enter the translation in the bottom. Repeat these steps for each Source Text.
  11. After updating all the Source text click the Save button.
  12. Click the Sync button to update your theme file.
  13. Click the Save button if you want to keep the synced info.

Now, you know how to translate a WordPress theme even when it does not include translation files. Now you can start using them in other languages.

Learn more about the power of WordPress Themes and how they can simplify your website building and maintenance.

John-Paul Briones Content Writer II

John-Paul is an Electronics Engineer that spent most of his career in IT. He has been a Technical Writer for InMotion since 2013.

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