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Upload languages to the language directory

The languages directory is mapped to wp-content/languages, and should contain the .po and .mo files that specify the translated strings for the site.

In order to upload the language files for a particular language, follow these steps. In this example, we’ll be uploading Italian language files for WordPress core, so that users have the profile setting of being able to pick Italian to display the wp-admin interface.

  1. Download the Italian WordPress distribution from here.
  2. Unpack it to, for example, /path/to/wordpress/
  3. cp -r /path/to/wordpress/wp-content/languages/* /path/to/your-repo/languages/
    (IMPORTANT! If you have custom translations in any currently present it_IT.* files, you might want to back those files up. You can then backport those custom translations in the new it_IT.po and regenerate from it. If you need to do this and need assistance, let us know in a ticket, and we’ll be happy to help.)
  4. After that, you’ll have to commit, push up, and deploy the changes.

To upload other languages, follow the same steps, downloading that particular language WordPress distribution in step 1.

Plugins and Themes

Language files for plugins and themes follow the same principle and should go into their respective subdirectory of the languages/ directory, with their file names including the slug as a prefix. These filename formats are the default when you download them from

For example:

  • languages/plugins/
  • languages/themes/


Once you have the WordPress core language files downloaded, then running WordPress locally, switching your user profile setting to use the new locale, and going to Dashboard->Updates will allow WordPress to pull down the language files for plugins and themes (if they are at least 80% complete for that locale). You can then commit, push, and deploy these files to the VIP-hosted site.

Last updated: October 20, 2021