How to Translate A WordPress Site?

15 minutes read

Translating a WordPress site involves adapting its content, theme, and plugins to another language. Here are the general steps to translate a WordPress site:

  1. Prepare your website: Update your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins to their latest versions. Also, ensure you have a backup of your site in case anything goes wrong during the translation process.
  2. Choose a translation method: WordPress offers multiple ways to translate a site, such as using translation plugins, manual translation, or a combination of both.
  3. Install a translation plugin (if using): Many plugins like WPML, Polylang, or Weglot allow for easy translation management. Install and activate your chosen translation plugin from the WordPress dashboard.
  4. Set up website languages: In the plugin settings, select the languages you want to translate your site into. Configure the language options and any other necessary settings according to your requirements.
  5. Translate content: Begin translating your website's content, including pages, posts, menus, widgets, and any custom elements. Plugins like WPML provide a translation interface to simplify this process.
  6. Translate theme and plugins: Some themes and plugins may need to be translated separately. Check their documentation or support resources for specific instructions on how to translate them.
  7. Ensure proper language switcher: Configure a language switcher to allow visitors to switch between available language versions of your site seamlessly. Translation plugins often include options to add language switchers to menus or widget areas.
  8. Test your translations: Go through your site thoroughly to check if all translations display correctly and make necessary adjustments. Look for any layout issues or content inconsistencies.
  9. Optimize for SEO: For each translated language, optimize page titles, meta descriptions, and URL slugs to target relevant keywords and improve search engine visibility.
  10. Continuously maintain translations: Regularly update your translated content to keep it in sync with your original text. Update translations whenever you modify or add new content to your site.


Remember that this general guide may vary depending on the translation method and plugins chosen. It's essential to consult the documentation or support resources provided by your translation tools for specific instructions or troubleshooting.

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How to translate theme-specific strings in WordPress?

To translate theme-specific strings in WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your WordPress theme is translation-ready. It should have a language file (.pot) provided. If not, check with the theme developer to see if they have a translation-ready version or guide.
  2. Install and activate a language translation plugin, such as WPML or Loco Translate. These plugins help in translating the theme strings.
  3. Once the language translation plugin is activated, go to the plugin settings and select the language you want to translate your theme into.
  4. Create a new translation in the selected language. The translation plugin will generate a .po and .mo language file for you to work with.
  5. Use a translation editor provided by the plugin to enter the translated strings. The editor will show you the original strings and allow you to enter the corresponding translations.
  6. Save your translation file and upload it to the correct location in your theme's directory. Typically, this is a "languages" folder in your theme's root directory.
  7. Configure WordPress to use the translated language. Go to Settings > General in your WordPress admin panel and select the desired language in the "Site Language" option.
  8. Refresh your website, and you should see the translated strings applied to your theme.


Note: Some themes may have their own translation methods or specific instructions provided by the theme developer. In such cases, it is recommended to refer to the theme's documentation or support for accurate translation instructions.


How to create a language selector dropdown in WordPress?

To create a language selector dropdown in WordPress, you can follow these steps:

  1. Install and activate a language switcher plugin: You can search for language switcher plugins in the WordPress plugin repository and choose one that suits your needs. Some popular options include Polylang, WPML, and Weglot.
  2. Configure the language switcher plugin: Once you've installed the language switcher plugin, go to its settings page in your WordPress admin dashboard. Configure the language options, including the languages you want to display in the dropdown.
  3. Add the language selector widget or shortcode: Most language switcher plugins provide a widget that you can add to your website's sidebar or footer. Simply go to the "Appearance" -> "Widgets" section of your WordPress admin dashboard, drag and drop the language selector widget to the desired sidebar or footer area, and save.


If your chosen plugin doesn't provide a widget, it might offer a shortcode instead. In this case, you can add the shortcode directly to your theme files or using a shortcode block in the WordPress block editor.

  1. Customize the language selector dropdown: Depending on the language switcher plugin you're using, you might have options to customize the appearance and behavior of the language selector dropdown. Explore the plugin settings to make any desired changes, such as the dropdown style, position, flags, or language names.


Save your changes, and your language selector dropdown should be visible on your website.


How to translate WooCommerce product descriptions in WordPress?

To translate WooCommerce product descriptions in WordPress, you can follow these steps:

  1. Install and activate a translation plugin: There are several translation plugins available for WordPress, such as WPML, Polylang, and Loco Translate. Install and activate the plugin of your choice.
  2. Configure the translation plugin: Once the plugin is activated, go to its settings page and configure the necessary settings. This may include selecting the languages you want to translate into, setting up language switchers, etc.
  3. Enable translation for WooCommerce: Most translation plugins automatically enable translation for WooCommerce. However, it's worth checking the plugin's settings to ensure that WooCommerce translation is enabled. If not, look for specific WooCommerce settings within the translation plugin.
  4. Translate product descriptions: Navigate to the product you want to translate. Depending on the translation plugin, you may find translation options directly within the product editor or on a separate translation management page.
  • If using WPML: In the product editor, you'll find a language selector. Click on it to switch to the language you want to translate the product description into. You'll then be able to enter the translated description in the provided fields.
  • If using Polylang: In the product editor, you'll notice a language metabox. Select the language you want to translate to, and scroll down to translate the description in the respective language field.
  • If using Loco Translate: Go to the Loco Translate plugin settings and locate the WooCommerce plugin. Click on "New language" and choose the language you want to translate into. Then, select the WooCommerce plugin and find the product description strings to translate them.
  1. Save and update translations: Once you have entered the translated product descriptions, save the changes or update the translations if required. The translations should now be visible when the website is viewed in the respective language.


Note: The steps provided here are general guidelines, and the process may vary depending on the translation plugin you are using. Refer to the specific documentation and support resources of your chosen translation plugin for more detailed instructions.

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How to translate a WordPress site for a specific country or region?

To translate a WordPress site for a specific country or region, follow these steps:

  1. Install WordPress Translation Plugin: Install a translation plugin such as WPML (WordPress Multilingual) or Polylang from the WordPress Plugin Repository.
  2. Set Up the Default Language: In the plugin settings, set up the default language for your site. This will be the language in which your site is currently created.
  3. Add New Language(s): In the plugin settings, add the language(s) you want to translate your site into. For example, if you want to translate your site into French for a French audience, add French as a new language.
  4. Translate Content: Using the translation plugin, start translating your content. This typically includes pages, posts, categories, and widgets. The plugin usually provides an easy-to-use interface where you can input translations for each element.
  5. Language Switcher: Add a language switcher to your site so visitors can easily switch between different translated versions. The plugin should offer options to add a language switcher widget or shortcode.
  6. Test and Review Translations: Once you have translated content, thoroughly review and test it to ensure accuracy and consistency. Pay attention to menus, links, and any dynamic content that may require special consideration.
  7. Translate Plugins and Themes: If your site uses additional plugins or themes that are not yet translated, search for their respective translation files or check if they have built-in translation options.
  8. SEO Considerations: If your site needs to target a specific country, consider implementing country-specific SEO strategies. This may involve using country-specific domain names, optimizing content for country-specific keywords, and submitting site maps to country-specific search engines.
  9. Localization: If necessary, localize other elements of your site such as date formats, time zones, and currency symbols to align with the specific country or region you are targeting.
  10. Translation Updates: Make sure to regularly update translations as you add new content or modify existing ones. Monitor the translation plugin updates and stay updated to benefit from new features and bug fixes.


Remember, translation plugins can offer varying features and options, so check the documentation and tutorials provided by the specific plugin you choose to use for more detailed guidance.


How to translate meta tags in WordPress?

To translate meta tags in WordPress, you can follow these steps:

  1. Install a translation plugin: Install and activate a translation plugin like WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin) or Polylang. These plugins provide features to translate various elements of your WordPress website, including meta tags.
  2. Configure the translation plugin: After activating the translation plugin, go to its settings page and configure it according to your language preferences. This usually involves selecting the languages you want to translate your website into.
  3. Translate meta tags: Once the translation plugin is set up, you can start translating meta tags. Depending on the plugin you're using, you may find a specific interface or section to manage translations. WPML: In your WordPress dashboard, go to WPML > Translation Management. Here you can choose the content you want to translate, including meta tags. Select the desired content and send it for translation. Polylang: Go to the edit page of the post or page where the meta tag is located. Scroll down to the language meta box and enable the translation. Switch to the desired language and translate the meta tag accordingly.
  4. Save and update translations: After translating the meta tags, save the changes and update the translations. The translation plugin will then take care of displaying the correct meta tags based on the language selected by the user.


It's important to note that not all themes or plugins may have built-in translation support for meta tags. If that's the case, you might need to consider a theme or plugin that provides this functionality or consult a developer for custom solutions.

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