I have yet to find a concise, start to finish description of how to create a multilingual WordPress theme.
I am a fairly competent developer and have made a few custom themes in my time. For a project I am working on, I am just starting the process of converting my wireframes into WordPress. I already know that this site will only use this one custom theme I am creating, and I know the site will be available in approximately 5 different languages.
There will be a language selector at the top of the page where the user can simply click the flag of their country and it will refresh some internal setting that will change the language of the whole site. From what I understand, you can use po/mo files to translate sites but I can't get my head around it unfortunately.
The ideal scenario would be for me to develop the theme in English, and for any string that will have multiple translations use some localisation function ( __() & _e() ? ). When development is finished, I need to be able to add a translation to each of the translatable strings for each language. I'm fairly sure the solution is to use POEdit but I can't understand how it all links together.
For clarification, I'm not looking for a plugin where you have different translations for different pages/posts. I'm looking for a solution that lets me translate individual strings within my custom theme.
Thanks in advance to any advice you can give.