There are two ways to translate a theme for a single language website.

  1. Using Loco Translate Plugin.
  2. Using POEdit Tool.

We recommend 1st method, which is pretty easy.

1.Using Loco Translate Plugin

Loco Translate Plugin allows you to translate theme directly from WordPress Dashboard.

Follow the steps below for installation and configuration.

Step 1

Install Loco Translate Plugin via Dashboard → Plugins. Activate the plugin once installed.

Step 2

Navigate to Dashboard → Loco Translate → Themes and click the theme name you want to translate. In our example, we are going to choose RealHomes Theme.

Selecting Theme Loco Translate

Step 3

Click on Create Template to create a new translation template. On the next page, click on Create Template once again.

Create Template Loco Translate Plugin

Step 4

Go back to the theme page again and click on New language.

New Language Loco Translate Plugin

Step 5

Next, you have to set up the language. This step involves choosing the language and selecting the path of the .po file for the language you are choosing.

Step 6

When you click on Save button you will be redirected to the translation page where you can start translating all the strings of the theme in this language. But first, click on Sync to synchronize any unidentified strings which were not detected in the initial setup and you are done with this step.

Step 7

Navigate to Dashboard → Settings → General and then select the language for the option Site Language which you just setup in Loco Translate section e.g. French (in our example) and the translation will start showing on frontend.

You have to click on Sync (on translation page) each time when you update the theme and all the new strings will be synchronized from the updated version of the theme.

That’s it. Your translation should work fine now.

2. Using POEdit Tool

This is a conventional method. Please follow the steps below to translate the theme to your language using the POEdit tool.

Step 1

Install WordPress in your language OR Change the language in the admin settings screen. Settings → General → Site Language

Step 2

Download and install poedit.

Step 3

Look for the default.po file in your theme’s “languages” directory, If there is no such directory then look for default.po in theme’s root directory.

Once found, Download the default.po and rename it to your language code, for example, fr_FR.po for French. Complete lists of codes can be found at (country codes) and (language codes).

Step 4

Start translating fr_FR.po in poedit software from English to French.

You do not need to translate everything, instead look for the sentences or words that you really need to translate and leave the others as it is.

Step 5

Save the fr_FR.po file in poedit and it will create a new file named within the same directory as the fr_FR.po file in your computer.

Upload fr_FR.po & to the directory from where you have downloaded the default.po in the start.

That’s it. Your translation should work fine now.

In case you need any further assistance, Simply got to forum related to your theme and create a new topic for your question.

For Child Theme

If the child theme which you are using already has “languages” directory then upload the translated PO and MO files to child theme’s “languages” directory instead of the parent theme. This way you can update parent theme easily as your translation will reside in the child theme.