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How to Translate a WordPress Theme

WordPress is used all over the world, and many themes can be easily translated into whatever language you need. While there are many different methods for translating WordPress, this blog post shows you how to use the Loco Translate plugin. In my experience, it is the easiest and fastest way to translate a WordPress theme.

Step 1: Select a Translation-Ready theme

Before translating a WordPress theme, it is important to select the right theme! You can not translate all WordPress themes. The theme developer must add extra code to ensure the theme is translation-ready. When you are purchasing a premium theme, make sure the theme has translation capabilities. Otherwise, you may be stuck with the theme developer’s local language. All Pix & Hue themes are translation-ready and compatible with the Loco Translate plugin.

Step 2: Install the Loco Translate Plugin

After selecting a translation-ready WordPress theme for your website, the next step is to install the Loco Translate plugin. The Loco Translate plugin is a free plugin listed on the WordPress directory. Therefore, you can follow the usual steps to install and activate the WordPress plugin on your website. For more information about the plugin, visit the WordPress plugin directory page – Loco Translate.

The reasons why I recommend the Loco Translate plugin:

  • Nearly 1 million active installations
  • Highly rated, including mainly 5 star reviews
  • Regularly updated and well-supported by the developers
  • Easy to quickly translate any WordPress theme
  • Free!

Step 3: Translate a WordPress theme

After activating the Loco Translate theme on your website, follow the steps below to translate your WordPress theme. Using your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Loco Translate > Themes. From the list of themes provided, click on your preferred theme. In the example below, we will translate the Everleigh WordPress theme.

After selecting a theme, click on the “New Language” button to begin translating the theme.

translate a wordpress theme using the loco translate plugin

On the next screen, use the dropdown menu to select your preferred language. Click the “Start translating” button when you are finished with your selection.

translate a wordpress theme using the loco translate plugin

After selecting a language, the plugin will display all of the translatable text (called “strings” in coding lingo) in the theme. The Everleigh theme includes 168 instances of text/phrases to translate. To search for a specific phrase in the theme, use the “Filter translations” box to narrow your search.

The first text box on the screen is called “Source text.” This box shows the text from the theme in the local developer’s language. For example, with the Everleigh theme, the source text is in English. Use the text box on the bottom of the screen to add in your own translation of the selected phrase.

translate a wordpress theme using the loco translate plugin

Step 4: How to translate source text with HTML code

Depending on the theme, you may find some of the translatable text includes HTML code as well. For example, with the Everleigh theme, the source text for the “Previous” button includes HTML code.

To translate source text that includes HTML code, copy and paste the source text into the translation box. Ensure the HTML code stays the same, and simply replace the word “Previous” with your translation.

translate a wordpress theme using the loco translate plugin

Once you have completed the translation of the source text, make sure you click the blue “Save” button to save all translations in the Loco Translate plugin. Navigate back to the frontend of your website, and you will see all of the translated text for your theme.