There are millions of websites that run on WordPress. As the default language format of WordPress sites is English (US), there has been a lot of buzz for the localization of the sites. Seeing the demand for localization, WordPress has come up with various tools and plugins, with which you can change the language of your site or localize WordPress. WordPress developers have introduced the support for many languages that can be activated on your WordPress site by implementing a specific procedure whereas development of some languages is still in progress.
In the following, we have come out a detailed tutorial concerning about how to localize WordPress sites.
Reasons to Localize WordPress Sites
Every site is made with the motive of targeting a specific group of audience. If your website or blog targets a person of a geographical area, the localization of WordPress is an effective and innovative step for grabbing their attention.
Just like individuals prefer reading newspapers published in their native language, visitors on your website feel pleasure to find content in their native language. It increases the popularity of your WordPress site.
Apart from it, as individuals are the most familiar with their local words, they can understand the subject and content of your blog in the most appropriate manner if the site is localized.
How to Localize WordPress using Language File
Using the language file for implementing a language change in a WordPress site is the first preference of every skilled developer. If you love playing with the downloaded files, this method of localizing WordPress is just for you. You can localize WordPress by understanding and following a couple of steps that has been discussed here. However, before you start, it is imperative to check the WordPress Language Directory and ensure that the language you are looking for is presented in the list.
First of all, find the language file on the list and download it on your desktop. All the language files are available in the .mo format accompanied by the ISO-639 language code and ISO-3166 country code.
For instance, the ISO-639 language code for Portuguese is “pt” while the ISO-3166 country code for Brazil is “_BR”. Hence, in our example, the Brazilian Portuguese file can be named as “pt_BR.mo” while a file having no country code but just the language code can be called “pt.mo”. Therefore, you should check the language and country code thoroughly and download the correct language file from the directory.
After downloading, create a folder named “languages” in the wp-content directory. Now you only need to upload the downloaded language file to this folder and save the settings. This can convert the language of your WordPress site from English (US) to a local language.
How to Localize WordPress using Plugins
Apart from the manually executed method, WordPress brings the plugin method for developers who prefer plugins over any other ways. Available online are tremendous numbers of plugins that work efficiently to localize WordPress. Listed here are some of the most popular and effective plugins to localize your WordPress site.
Google Language Translator
Google Language Translator is a powerful plugin for the localization of WordPress websites. It is offered to WordPress users for free, supports more than 81 languages and allows the translation of each article effectively. Additionally, a language widget is added to your website so that you can manage the languages conveniently.
Upon the activation of this WordPress plugin, the widget shows flags of 81 countries and a drop down menu highlights the compatibility for available languages. The offered widget can be customized and added into multiple posts, and theme templates can be used by using a shortcode and PHP function effectively.
User Language Switch
It is a simplified tool for WordPress sites that allows you to choose a language for your admin area as well as for the front end of your blog. It is a free plugin that comes with only a couple of default languages. However, you can add translation options for languages manually in the Languages folder.
As it is not a translation plugin, you have to write posts in various languages and choose the translated version of the main post. Nevertheless, it translates the main subjects, including the title of widgets automatically.
Developed initially for bilingual and multilingual websites, qTranslate is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for the translation of WordPress languages. Although it is not completely a translation plugin, it specifies the content into several languages.
The translated languages, however, needs to be moderated by the admin for its relevancy and accuracy. This plugin comes with a default support for 18 major languages, which can be extended through the settings area manually. Activation of the plugin adds an option to change the language from the admin area.
The presence of multiple plugins and manual method allows you to activate localization of your WordPress site. Localization has fetched positive results to many websites in the form of increased traffic. Therefore, if you are looking to grab the attention of people living within a specified geographical area, localizing your WordPress site is an effective option.