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
.potfiles, 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
.potfile. 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
.potfile. This file will contain all the translatable strings from your theme.
- Download the .pot File:
After generating the
.potfile, you can download it from the Loco Translate interface.
- Distribute the .pot File:
.potfile available to translators. They can use it as a template to create translation files (
.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
- Compile Translations:
When translators provide translation files (
.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
- 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.