Do you want to use WordPress in your native language?
Most of the users would answer positively to this question. And it is quite understandable. Also this is not a problem as WordPress is getting its translations constantly improved and the number of locales that are being translated is growing. So there is a large chance that your native language is available and you can easily use it.
Setting this is extremely easy, especially since the release of WordPress version 4.0 and above. When installing WordPress you can choose your language and if necessary you can change it anytime by just going to your WP Dashboard and choosing Settings – General – Site Language (if WordPress is installed in English otherwise this will be translated in the language chosen during the installation).Speaking of this the major issue is that changing the language of WordPress will cause the translation of both the frontend (all public pages) and the backend (the Dashboard or the admin panel).
But what if (for example) you want to use English for the admin panel and Russian for the frontend? Then achieving this with the default WordPress installation could not happen.
The good news is that there is a plugin that will take care of this. It is called WordPress Language and it is completely free. Installing it will allow you to define the locale of the Dashboard and the Frontend.
What is great about WordPress Language is that it will do this without making you to install translations manually or changing PHP code. The needed translations will be downloaded automatically and the correct .mo files will be activated and utilized.
In the admin panel there will be a language switcher that will allow you to change the language of the admin panel instantly. This is a shortcut that saves you time and effort. But speaking of effort do not think that the settings of WordPress Language are made for advanced users. They are simple and even beginners can figure out what to do.
Let’s see what is in there. First of all you can choose whether you want the language selector to be in your admin panel or not. Then you have to choose whether you want the same language for both the admin panel and the frontend (a.k.a. the public pages) or different ones. The first option was useful back in the days when WordPress did not provide the ability to choose its language instantly via the Settings menu so you can benefit from this option if you are using a WP version older than 4.0. So with that being said, the needed option here is the second radio button that will allow you to have two different languages for the frontend and the backend.
Clicking on it you will be presented with the current locale of both of them and the next simple thing to do is to select one of them and then click on Change language. A list of languages will appear and you have to select the needed one. Then a popup window will appear asking you to confirm the locale for the current language. This may happen if WordPress can use several locales for a single translation. For example the English language is available in 3 variants: en_CA for Canada, en_GB – for the United Kingdom and en_US for US English. So make your selection and click on Switch language. Enjoy!
Simple isn’t it? However no matter how great this plugin works it is released in its final version 1.2.1. The development process of WordPress Language will end here because the developers think that it is stable enough and “covers the to a good degree the functionality in this plugin”. So you can still use it for the conditions stated above.
However this solution is useful for a single language website. If you intend to run a WordPress installation with multiple languages for different countries and markets then using WordPress Language will not be the best option.
Actually you will need a plugin like WPML (as the developers of WordPress Language suggest) that will allow you to have a multilingual website. WPML is the leader in this field and it is known to work correctly. Unfortunately it is a paid product.
However there is a free alternative as usual and it is called qTranslate X. This plugin has received various positive reviews and its rating is extremely high. So it should work correctly as well and its functionality can be enhanced by additional plugins.
So the decision is entirely up to you. If you want a single language website with a different language for your admin panel and public pages then install WordPress Language. If you need a multilingual website consider WPML or qTranslate X.
Know a different way to achieve the above? Please share it in the comments. And if you think that this post was useful, please spread the word for it in the social media that you use.
See you again friends!