One of the best features of WordPress is the thousands of plugins for you to choose from. Whatever feature you want to add to your site, there is probably a plugin available to help you do it. However, the vast majority is in English only, which means that options are limited for non-speakers of the language.

To help bridge the gap, you can help by translating plugins (if you are multilingual), whether for your own use or for others to benefit from. In this post, we will talk more about why you should contribute to plugin translation. Then we will explain how to translate a plugin in just three steps.

Let's start!

Why (and how) to contribute to plugin translations

If you browse the Plugin Directory you will notice that many plugins are available in multiple languages. In some cases, these translations are the work of the plugin developers. However, most often it is the users themselves who do most of the work.

Contributing to the translation of a plugin via is very simple. You can translate as many or as few channels as you want, and it should only take a few minutes of your time to make suggestions. Ideally, hundreds of users will come together to create a complete translation that others will appreciate.

It's a win-win situation for everyone. You get a little practice in another language, other users can enjoy a plugin that you like, and the WordPress community is growing. Plus, you get a nice and warm feeling after helping!

To start contributing, first register for an account on Then visit the page of a plugin that you like and watch a line reading "This plugin is also available in X. Help improve its translation" (here you will see this line in Portuguese):

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

If you click on the "Help improve your translation" link, you will see a list of all languages ​​officially supported by WordPress. Beside each language, there should be percentages representing the progress of each translation for the plugin:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

Click one of these percentages to view a list of channels, including those that have already been accepted and others that are waiting for an entry:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

If you click on one of the strings without translation available, you can add one yourself using a basic editor. Your suggestion will then be reviewed by a member of WordPress & # 39; Polyglot Team . Once approved, the translation percentage of the plugin will increase, which will bring it closer to a complete translation.

How to translate WordPress plugins (in 3 steps)

There are two ways to approach the plugin translation for the plugins you use. One is to create translation files, to tell WordPress where to look for them and to use a publisher. It's a lot of work, and you can save a lot of effort by using a plugin like Loco Translate instead, which can give you the same results. In this section, we will focus on the plugin's approach.

Step 1: Install Loco Translate and choose a plugin to translate

We chose Loco Translate for this tutorial because it is by far the most feature-rich translation plugin for WordPress. It allows you to translate the plugins and themes of your site in any language and includes an integrated editor, so you do not need to download any other tools:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

To begin, install Loco Translate as you would for any other plugin. Once it is active, look for the new Loco Translate> Plugins tab on your WordPress dashboard. Inside, you will find a list of your plugins, including active and inactive options:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

The rest of this step is simple – click on the plugin you want to translate, and go to step number two!

Step # 2: Choose a language and create a po file for your plugin

After choosing a plugin, you should see a list of all its available translations on the next screen. You will notice that each language has a file associated with the suffix po. Po files are where you store plugin translations in simple 'strings', which allows WordPress to extract the text it needs based on the language you have set for your website. Here is an example of a po file:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

If you choose a popular plugin, there should be many translations available. In any case, you can add new languages ​​using the New Language button at the top of the screen:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

Then choose a language for your translation and choose where WordPress should store the new po file that the plugin will create for you:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

We recommend using the custom location, so your po files are not overwritten when you update the plugin in question. In any case, click the Start Translation button when you are done and go to step number three.

Step # 3: Work on translating strings of your plugin

As we mentioned earlier, Loco Translate comes with its own integrated editor. After choosing a language for your new po file, Loco Translate will compile a list of strings for the plugin you want to translate, and send you to the editor. Here, just click on a channel and add a translation below:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

You can also use the Comments section on the right to save notes for yourself or anyone else working on your translations, to avoid confusion. The editor is simple to use, so you just have to remember to click the Save button at the top of the screen from time to time so that your work is not lost by mistake if you close the page. 39; tab.

You can also check the File Information tab from time to time if you want to check your progress. The plugin counts the number of channels you have translated and how much you have to go at any time:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

Keep in mind that you will need to change the language of your dashboard to use one of your translated plugins. To do this, go to the General> Settings tab and look for the Site Language setting:

How To Translate A Wordpress Plugin

Choose the language you want from the drop-down menu and save your changes. If your plugins have translations available for your new language, WordPress will use them by default.


Help translate WordPress plugins is one of the best ways to contribute to the growth of the platform. The greater number of plugins available in other languages, the more people will be able to build incredible sites. Some of them could help translate plugins into other languages ​​too!

When it comes to translating plugins, you can either contribute directly through the WordPress Plugin directory or work on your own website with these three steps:

Install Loco Translate and choose a plugin to translate.
Choose a language and create a po file for your plugin.
Work on translating the strings of your plugin.

Do you have questions about how to translate WordPress plugins? Let's talk about it in the comments section below!

Article image thumbnail by Qvasimodo art /

The article How to translate a WordPress plugin first appeared on Elegant Themes Blog .


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