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Using WPML with the AVADA theme

Avada is, in their words, incredibly responsive, with a refreshingly clean design. And it has some awesome features, premium sliders, unlimited colors, advanced theme options and much more! If you have chosen Avada as your site’s theme, we’ll teach you in this tutorial how to turn it multilingual with WPML.

What you’ll need:

  • The Avada theme, also available from Theme Forest.
  • A recent version of WPML, including the String Translation and Translation Management modules.

Essential resources:

  • Avada’s Youtube Channel has an excellent collection of tutorial, step by step videos (also available at http://theme-fusion.com/avada-video-tutorials/). For this tutorial, you’ll probably want to start with the video How To Import The XML File, as we’ll be using the sample content provided with the theme.
  • The WPML Getting Started Guide contains clear explanations of many of the steps involved into turning an Avada site multilingual with WPML. You’ll want to refer later to some of its subtopics, such as Theme and Plugin Localization, Menu Synchronization, and String Translation. We recommend you keep this guide open while following this tutorial.


Click on the links to jump to each section:

Last but not least:

  • Debugging problems: We’re always glad to help in our technical forum, available in several languages, but please follow the guidelines provided in this section first so that we can help you more effectively. In particular, try to make sure that you report an WPML issue and not an Avada issue, for which they will be able to provide better support.

Getting Started

These are the main steps you need to follow to get started:

  • Install the Avada theme and activate it.
  • Install and activate the core WPML plugins (WPML Multilingual CMS, WPML String Translation, WPML Translation Management), and then other WPML plugins that may depend on them.
  • Set up WPML from WPML->Languages. See our WPML Getting Started Guide for complete reference, but the initial simple three-step setup is self-explanatory, asking you to choose your default language, a set of active languages, and a language selector. (For starters, choose the footer language selector, you can change this later.)

For this tutorial, we use some of the sample content provided with Avada. In the version we used, this content is available inside the theme’s directory, as /wp-content/themes/Avada/xml/avada.wordpress.2012-12-06.xml. The video How To Import The XML File provides detailed instructions on how to import it. After adding this content, this is how your site may look like:

Avada's initial setup

Avada’s initial setup

(This is slightly different than the sample content provided by Avada, because we changed the menus for this tutorial). To have a multilingual site, we want to obtain something like the following image, where you can see that menus, pages and blog posts are translated (partially only, and with dummy translations, for the purpose of this tutorial); that blog posts are selected in the correct language; and also some texts which do not belong to posts and that will need to be translated.


(Partially) translated home page

Translating Avada home page

To set up a multilingual site, you obviously need to translate your content. This involves at least translating posts (including custom post types), pages, taxonomies, and menus and other navigational elements. We’ll begin by translating Avada’s home page. Go to All Pages, and search for ‘home’:

Translate pages

Translate pages

You see columns for each active language, with a pencil icon (for ‘edit translation’) or a ‘+’ icon (for ‘add translation’) next to each page. Go ahead and edit or add the translated page for ‘Home Version 1’. In the image, we have just added some dummy translation text.


Translating the home page

Translating other pages and posts

You can translate in a similar way all other pages and posts, including custom post types such as portfolios. For example, here is how to translate a post:


Translate a post

You’ll probably be interested in the process of batch duplication of pages and posts (we actually used it to set up this tutorial). To use this feature, go to WPML->Translation Management, and from the Translation Dashboard (the tab that is opened by default), select the filter you want (Pages/Posts), and click ‘Display’:

Select pages for batch duplication

Select pages for batch duplication

Select the pages or posts you want to translate or duplicate (you can select them all by clicking the checkbox besides the ‘Title’ header or footer). Then, at the bottom of the page, choose languages for which you want to translate or duplicate, and ‘Submit Documents’:

Submit documents for duplication/translation

Submit documents for duplication/translation

For more details, see Displaying Untranslated Content using Content Duplication.

Note: In general, with WPML you can always choose between ‘translating’ or ‘duplicating’ content. If you do the former but want to import content from the original you can always use the buttons to ‘copy content from the original’ in their edit page; if you do the latter (as we did so that all the html in the home page was copied, for example), you can always choose later ‘Translate independently’ so that you can save your edits. Try both procedures to see which one you find better for your workflow. Submitting for translation instead of duplication will later allow you to edit content from WPML->Translations, which provides WPML Translation Editor.

You can also translate post categories, as we did in the sample home page images above. This is done from WordPress Posts->Categories page (you can see it in the menu entries ‘ES Cat1’ and ‘ES Cat2’, translations of ‘Category 1’ and ‘Category 2’). You add a translation to a category by editing it and adding the translation from the bottom of the page. Go ahead and do it for terms such as ‘Design’, ‘Photography’, etc. and check the porfolio samples that come with the sample content.

Translating custom post types and taxonomies

Avada comes with a rich set of custom post types such as portfolios and sliders, and custom taxonomies. In order to get a similar interface for translation/duplication as for posts and pages, you need to go to WPML->Translation Management, and select the tab ‘Multilingual Content Setup’. At the bottom of the page you’ll see:

Translating custom post types and taxonomies

Translating custom post types and taxonomies

You need to select ‘translate’ for the custom post types you want to make translatable. Similarly, if you choose ‘translate’ for custom taxonomies such as ‘skills’, etc. you’ll get a similar interface for translation as for post categories.

Translating menus

WPML can synchronize menus for you. This means that if some entries, for example some pages, posts or categories, are in the English menu, WPML can generate and keep in synch menus for other languages pointing to the translated versions of these pages, posts or categories.

From WordPress Appearance->Menus, and with the imported sample content, you’ll see this:

Avada menu

Avada menu

Notice the ‘Synchronize menu’ link top right. When you click on it, you’ll see something like this:

Synchronizing Avada's menu

Synchronizing Avada’s menu

By clicking on the Sync button at the bottom of the page (with its informative legends by its side):


Sync menu

you’ll be presented with a set of menu items that can be translated; select them all, and go ahead to apply the changes.

You can also review this information from WPML->WP Menu Sync. In addition, after the synching operation you can individually edit the menus in each language from WordPress Appearance->Menus. This may be needed for example if you have custom links in your menu.

Following this procedure is how we obtained the Spanish home page shown at the beginning of this tutorial, with its (partially) translated menu:

Spanish home page with synched menus

Spanish home page with synched menus

You may now want to revisit your language switcher settings from WPML->Languages if you want to add the selector to Avada’s main menu. For example, this:


Adding language selector to Avada menu

will get you this in the front end:

WPML language selector in Avada main menu

WPML language selector in Avada main menu

For more information on Menu Synchronization, check WPML Menu Synchronization.

Translating Avada theme texts and other strings in your site

Avada comes with its own localization files, i.e. translations of the theme texts to a number of languages. Sometimes some texts are not translated, so to complete the missing translations you need to follow the procedure for Theme and Plugin Localization. In a nutshell, go to WPML->Theme and Plugin Localization, and click on ‘Scan the theme for strings’. After doing it, you’ll see something like this:

Localizing Avada's texts

Localizing Avada’s texts

You can then see from WPML->String Translation the theme strings and which ones are translated or not, and complete the translation from there:


Theme strings

Play around with the different filters for this display (on top of the page), such as the ‘string status’ or the ‘context’.

Other strings to watch for: Did you notice texts such as “Latest from the Blog” or “Read More” in our ‘Spanish’ home page? Or even WPML texts such as “This post is also available in…”? Have you tried to look at a page with some sidebar widgets, in particular the widget titles? Do you have additional plugins that need translation of their texts? Do go to WPML->String Translation to check what strings have incomplete translations and complete those translations. And if for any reason you don’t find the string you want to translate (after following Theme and Plugin Localization instructions), try turning on one of the options to ‘autoregister strings’ (settings at bottom of WPML->String Translation) to register some strings when seen on the front end, or… contacting the theme or plugin authors if needed.

Debugging problems

If you need help with using WPML with Avada theme, please head over to our technical forum.

Before posting about issues, we recommend that you review this quick checklist:

  1. Make sure you have the latest versions of the theme and of the WPML plugins, and that they are all activated. These include WPML Multilingual CMS, WPML String Translation and WPML Translation Management.
  2. The problem does not appear if the WPML plugins are deactivated, and it does appear when only the core WPML plugins are activated. In other words, try to make sure that it is an issue of compatibility of Avada with WPML, since otherwise Avada support is likely to be able to help you better.

When you report issues, please:

  • Tell us which version you’re using for WordPress, Avada, and WPML.
  • Tell us about your site’s languages and the default language.
  • Tell us which URL structure you’re using.
  • List any other major plugins that you’re using, especially those that may be involved with changing URL structure.
  • Tell us if you’re seeing PHP or Javascript errors. See how to enable debug mode.
  • Tag your thread with the keyword Avada theme. This will help route it to the correct support person.