WordPress defaults to US English which is great if you’re targeting American visitors. But if you’re audience speaks British English then your website needs to “Speak their language”.

By using localized localised language and spelling, you’re more likely to make a connection with a geographic audience.

WordPress US to British EnglishGrab a cup of tea and get yourself cozy cosy while I show you how to change WordPress from US to British English in five minutes.

WordPress supports a large number of languages, and the first step to WordPress in the Queen’s English is to tell WordPress you want  it to use the right translation.

Your website language is specified in the wp-config.php file.

Using ftp or the CPanel file manager open the wp-config.php file (in the public_html folder) for editing. If you’re not comfortable editing your website files consider getting some WordPress help.

In the wp-config.php file search for the following line of code:

define (‘WPLANG’, ”);

To set WordPress to British, or Great Britain (GB) English change this line to

define (‘WPLANG’, ‘en_GB’);

Once you’ve saved the file, go back to your WordPress dashboard. You should see an update for en_GB English available. If not, head to Dashboard>Updates, and click “Check again”.

WordPress British English

Hit “update now” to install the British English translation. An easy place to check if it’s working correctly is editing a user. Can you change the users color scheme or colour scheme?

Now everything’s looking marvelous right? You might find that although WordPress is in UK or British English, your spell checker still uses US English.

Before you go reaching for a plugin, the WordPress editor uses your browsers spell checker so you can easily update the spell checker language in your browser settings.

WordPress spell checker languageFor Google Chrome, navigate to Settings>Advanced Settings>Languages. Add the English (United Kingdom) language, then click on the “This language is used for spell checking” button.

Now you’ll be able to check your WordPress spelling in British English.

Setting the WordPress spell checker to your local language is important as you’re using it to create your sales copy and blog posts. I hope this helps you connect with your local audience, and saves some frustration!