WordPress Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for WordPress developers and administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm building an online store for an Indonesian market, so the front-end must be in Bahasa Indonesian.

Will using the English version of WP, and a theme in English without .po files, introduce complications/errors/bad experience if the content is in Bahasa Indonesia? Ie. Incorrect language attributes. Or is it ok to use the English version of WP and fill it with content written in Bahasa Indonesia?

share|improve this question
possible duplicate of does a translation (i18n) have to start from an english PO? – Pieter Goosen Jun 11 '14 at 4:22
My question is about using an English theme without .po files, and how that impacts a site with non-English content. The answer you referred to is useful, but about using .po files. – Andrew Jun 11 '14 at 5:20
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There is no technical problem in doing so, and there won't be any complications or errors.

However, it could be that not all content on the site will be in Indonesian. Some strings in themes and in other places in the front-end are outputted by WordPress, and as all strings are in English in WordPress by default, some content on your website might be in English.

Thus, if you don't rely on localization anywhere, there shouldn't be a bad user experience either.

A better solution, however, might be to change the locale depending on whether the page being served is front-end or back-end: Different Language for Frontend and Backend.

share|improve this answer
After playing around I see the lang attribute added to the html element is controlled by the WPLANG variable in wp-config.php. If the content is in Indonesian, the lang attribute should be id_ID. So it stands to reason that .po/.mo files should be used to localize strings defined in the theme, as you mention in your answer. – Andrew Jun 11 '14 at 7:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.