If you have version 2.78 (downloaded from Themeforest, not from a previous patch) then you will have the option to use a custom version that is translatable. This version of the theme is modified from the standard version, and is only recommended if you will want multiple translations of your site. If you will have only ONE language (whatever it its) then you should use the standard version.
Note: The Loan Calculator is NOT translatable.
How to get translatable version
To get this special version, in your Themeforest Download, you will see a folder called “openhouse_multilingual_version”. Go in there and view the .txt file. That .txt file has a download link to it. (this way I can update it from any possible problems instantly without needing to annoy Themeforest and wait sometimes days for approval)
So, download it, unzip it, and install it like you would any theme. Once installed, you’ll see a folder called /lang. In there is en_EN.po. That is your starting point for creating all your language versions. I’m not going to explain what do to with the .po or how multilanguage sites work since it can get a little tricky, but here are some resources.
Software to convert .po to .mo
Lots of info on translating your site. But the WPML plugin is not recommended. See below.
This is my recommended multilingual plugin. See below.
The qTranslate plugin is the recommended one to use for one BIG reason: You only need to post a property listing ONCE. Only the title and “content area” is entered for each language, but the property listings, and all other property info is entered just once. Great! The popular WPML plugin requires you to enter a listing post for each language.
The theme’s default labels, section headings, error messages, etc. all “default” to English, and are hard coded into the php template files. For example, in the search area, the label for number of beds is “Beds”. If in English, you would rather call it “Bedrooms”, then you’ll need to hand edit multiple php files. This is why I was resistant to make the standard version of the theme multilingual. We did our best to make this default text something you may not want to change, BUT there are some text areas that you WILL want to change:
Intro heading and text
On the homepage is a section for the Intro heading and Intro paragraph text. For English (or whatever your default language will be), edit index.php.
The search area has a dropdown of Property Types. You’ll need to edit the html for that dropdown for your default language. Edit near the bottom of /includes/customsearchform.php. Important: The values of each hard coded Property Type MUST MATCH EXACTLY with the Property Types that you have entered in Theme Options -> General. (The Property Types in the Theme Options aren’t used for the search, but it is used when you choose a Property Type when you make a new Listing).
Contact Us page
The right column of the Contact Us page has some text that you’ll want to customize for your default language. Edit contact.php.