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New WPML Tool Speeds Up Theme Compatibility Conversion Process

October 26th, 2012 by

Today I want to tell you about our WPML Multilingual Compatibility Testing Tool that easily tests your theme and plugins’ compatibility with WPML. If you are building a multilingual website with WPML, you will really save time getting your theme’s strings compatible with WPML.

If you’re building themes or plugins, this tool will help you save time by quickly identifying which texts cannot be translated. Instead of tediously looking for these strings, the new Multilingual Compatibility Testing Tool will highlight them for you. Our own theme compatibility team uses this plugin extensively to speed up the process.

It’s this easy!

1. On your testing server, install the theme you want to test along with this plugin.
2. Start with scanning strings, then run the test, letting the plugin do the work.
3. Then go back and view your theme on the website front side and see the results

Any text strings that are ready for WPML are marked with a Prefix Tag (usually WPML_). Now, you’ll quickly notice untranslated strings. They will show without that WPML prefix.

Any strings that are showing their original text, were not recognized as translatable and need some fixing in your PHP theme file.

Knowing what doesn’t translate, you can start correcting your theme. Maybe the strings are hard-coded, without being wrapped in GetText code. Maybe there’s a problem with the textdomain and maybe something else. Our tool cannot analyze the problem for you, but showing you which texts need attention will greatly speed up your work.

Here is what a typical theme will look like after testing. Note the prefixes or lack of.

WPML Testing Tool Results

This tool will review your theme PHP files and perform tests on all the strings within your theme and report the result, in a matter of seconds, instead of a laborious manual scanning of your files that could take hours.

Be sure this is not on a live site, these Prefixes stay in your theme files on your testing server, so you would correct the broken strings on your main development server copy of your theme. When corrections have been made, delete and reinstall the theme back to your testing server and run the testing tool again to double check you got them fixed!

Right from the admin screen, the testing tool will:

  • Mark good theme strings by adding a prefix tag in front of the text
  • Mark good plugin strings by adding a prefix tag in front of the text
  • Scans your custom post types, taxonomies and fields also
  • Helps you when creating a wpml-config.xml file

You can download this new tool from our WPML Multilingual Compatibility Testing Tool documentation page.

If you are a theme developer new to WPML, you should join our Go Global Program to get started right away.

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