How to generate a pot file for a WordPress theme using a plugin

October 7, 2023

To generate a .pot (Portable Object Template) file for a WordPress theme, you’ll need to extract all the translatable strings (i.e., text that needs to be translated) from your theme’s source code. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  • Prepare Your Theme Files:
    Make sure your WordPress theme is organized properly with all the necessary files. Your theme files should include PHP templates, functions, and any other files containing translatable text.

  • Install and Activate a Translation Plugin:
    WordPress doesn’t provide a built-in tool to generate .pot files, so you’ll need a plugin to help you with this. One popular option is the “Loco Translate” plugin, which can be installed and activated from the WordPress dashboard.

  • Create a New Language Template:
    Once the plugin is activated, go to “Loco Translate” in the WordPress dashboardClick on “Themes.” Find your theme in the list of installed themes and click “New Language.”

  • Choose a Location for Your .pot File:
    You’ll be prompted to select a location for your .pot file. It’s a good practice to place it in your theme’s root directory.

  • Scan Your Theme for Strings:
    Loco Translate will scan your theme’s files for translatable strings. This process may take a moment.

  • Review and Edit Translations:
    After scanning, Loco Translate will display a list of translatable strings. You can review and edit the text if necessary. Make sure each string is clear and ready for translation.

  • Generate the .pot File:
    Once you’re satisfied with the list of strings, click the “Sync” button to generate the .pot file. This file will contain all the translatable strings from your theme.

  • Download the .pot File:
    After generating the .pot file, you can download it from the Loco Translate interface.

  • Distribute the .pot File:
    Make the .pot file available to translators. They can use it as a template to create translation files (.po and .mo) for different languages.

  • Loading Translations in Your Theme:
    To make your theme translatable, you’ll need to load translations in your theme’s code. You can do this using WordPress functions like load_theme_textdomain() or by using translation functions like __() and _e().

  • Compile Translations:
    When translators provide translation files (.po and .mo) for specific languages, you can compile them using tools like Poedit or online services. These files should be placed in a language-specific folder within your theme, like languages.

  • Select Language in WordPress Settings:
    In your WordPress dashboard, users can select their preferred language in their profile settings. WordPress will load the appropriate translation based on the user’s selection.

That’s how you generate a .pot file for your WordPress theme and make it translatable. Keep in mind that maintaining translations and ensuring they’re up-to-date is an ongoing process as you release updates to your theme.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *