Change WordPress from US to British English

WordPress defaults to US English which is great if you’re targeting American visitors. But if you’re audience speaks British English ( or Irish or Australian English for that matter) then your website needs to “Speak their language” and when you are writing posts you want the spelling in the UK english.

By using localised language and spelling, you’re more likely to make a connection with your geographic audience and this is good not only driving you ecommerce but also your SEO.

Is US Or UK English Better For SEO?

The official line from Google is that it doesn’t make a difference. But the quote is ‘maybe for users, but not directly for SEO’. Google is saying that their SEO automation process doesn’t take US/UK spelling into account, therefore it will not affect your rankings in the mechanical sense.

American English Vs. British English For Web Content

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of spellings and grammar, we all know that not only are some things spelt (or spelled?!) differently in the UK than the US (‘realise’ and ‘realize’, ‘spectre’ and ‘specter’, ‘humor’ and ‘humour’, etc.) but words fundamentally mean different things sometimes. Take, for example, the word ‘jumper’. For English people, that’s an item of clothing you pull over your head. Say it to Americans, however, and they might start looking to the roof of the nearest building and dialling 911.

If you’re not sure on which side of the Atlantic you should land, use J-Spell to help you along. It’s a handy little tool for catching all those little stray ‘z’s or loose ‘u’s.

How to Configure WordPress Interface to UK english.

WordPress supports a large number of languages, and the first step to WordPress in UK 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 help.

  1. In the wp-config.php file search for the following line of code:
  2. define (‘WPLANG’, ”);
  3. To set WordPress to British, or Great Britain (GB) English change this line to
  4. 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”. When you see the update forWordPress 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?

How to Configure spell checker in WordPress to UK or British English.

The WordPress editor uses your browsers spell checker so you can easily update the spell checker language in your browser settings.

  1. For 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.

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