So, after running for public office and doing some very important work with the Green Party of Colorado and the Denver Transit Justice Coalition, I’ve decided to recommit myself to blogging. I am rebuilding my professional web design portfolio by cooking up custom designs for VeroniqueBellamy.fr and Vero4RTD.com. I’ve also committed my services to some non-profit groups I interacted with in the course of my political run. However, for this site, I’m choosing to do something different: creating a custom look from a pre-existing theme. I chose Michael Hyatt’s Get Noticed theme and just purchased it today. I downloaded and installed it this morning (this is the theme without any customizations, yet). The first thing I noticed was that the text around the theme wasn’t translating.
Vero.moe: A multilingual blog
My blog is multilingual in French and Esperanto. However, when you switch to either the French or Esperanto version, some of the core navigation elements are in English. This is partly because the theme’s author did not write the theme with internationalization in mind. Right now, I am working to wrap the rogue text in the existing theme in the proper tags. Once this happens, I will create a WordPress .pot file to prepare the theme to be translatable. Then, I will translate the theme into French and Esperanto and provide the updates to Michael Hyatt’s team free of charge.
However, there is a bigger internationalization problem. You see, some of the settings are in standard text boxes but you can’t enter different sets of text for these strings. Since I use the Polylang plugin to make my blog multilingual, there is a panel that allows me to set different settings for these strings. However, this isn’t the most user-friendly way of translating these strings.
The Get Noticed Theme Has Internationalization Problems
So, while the theme has some phrases which are not i18n-friendly, this bit of code reveals another internationalization issue.
You see, the link to “/speaking” is hardcoded into the theme. The theme isn’t even referencing an option which can be modified by the end user. On my blog, that would need to be /en/speaking, /fr/parlant or /eo/parolanta for the English, French and Esperanto versions of that page respectively. There are other issues relating to this theme but I think internationalization is a key issue. This is the first post in my new series, “My Experience With the GetNoticed Theme”. Throughout this series, I will discuss how I’m modifying the theme to create a custom look and feel while retaining the benefits of the parent theme. At the end of the series, I will release a child theme to the GetNoticed Theme with my modifications. Although I am correcting serious functionality issues that should be corrected in some areas, I’ll be improving the theme in other areas.