Performant Translations


This project uses a new approach to handle translation files in WordPress, making localization blazing fast.

An in-depth i18n performance analysis showed that localized WordPress sites load significantly slower than a site without translations.

With this plugin’s new approach to localization, this overhead is massively reduced, making your site fast again.

If your site is using a language other than English (US), you should see immediate speed improvements simply by activating this plugin.

The primary purpose of this plugin is to allow broader testing of these enhancements, for which the goal is to eventually land in WordPress core.

Performant Translations supports multiple file formats (.mo, .php, and .json), as well as multiple text domains and locales loaded at the same time. By default, it converts existing .mo files to .php and afterwards only loads the translations from the .php file.


  • Chart showing the load time improvement achieved with this plugin.


Installation from within WordPress

  1. Visit Plugins > Add New.
  2. Search for Performant Translations.
  3. Install and activate the Performant Translations plugin.

Manual installation

  1. Upload the entire performant-translations folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Visit Plugins.
  3. Activate the Performant Translations plugin.

የተለመዱ ጥያቄዎች

What makes this plugin so fast?

By converting .mo files to .php files, the translations can be parsed much faster.
Plus, .php files can be stored in the so-called OPcache, which provides an additional speed boost.

Can I use this plugin on my production site?

While the plugin is mostly considered to be a beta testing plugin, it has been tested and established to a degree where it should be okay to use in production.
Still, as with every plugin, you are doing so at your own risk.

Has this plugin been tested with other multilingual plugins?

Yes. This plugin has been tested with common multilingual plugins, such as WPML, Weglot, TranslatePress, MultilingualPress, and Polylang.
If you still encounter issues, please let us know.

Do I need to do anything special to enable this plugin?

No. Once the plugin is activated, it just works, and you should see speed improvements right away. If you run into issues, please open a new support topic.

Can I safely remove this plugin after installation?

Yes. Once you deactivate and uninstall the plugin, all .php files generated by it will be removed from the server.

How can I contribute to the plugin?

Contributions are always welcome! Learn more about how to get involved in the Core Performance Team Handbook.

Where can I submit my plugin feedback?

If you have suggestions or requests for new features, you can submit them as an issue on the GitHub repository.

If you need help with troubleshooting or have a question about the plugin, please create a new topic on our support forum.

Where can I report security issues?

To report a security issue, please visit the WordPress HackerOne program.


መስከረም 27, 2023
I can see the change of the site speed. I can't wait for you to integrate it into the core.
መስከረም 10, 2023
Use it on a client site and we maintained under 1 second load times, which is on par with our other sites. Deserves 5 stars hands down.
መስከረም 7, 2023
Installed this plugin to see what the effect is on my site. I am not yet 100% sure that it makes a big difference. But that all depends on the amount of texts used on your site. So far no bad experiences
Read all 10 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Performant Translations” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Performant Translations” has been translated into 15 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Performant Translations” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


For the plugin’s full changelog, please see the Releases page on GitHub.


  • Enhancement: Improved compatibility with Loco Translate to avoid duplicate files.


  • Enhancement: Several minor performance improvements.
  • Enhancement: Use different file extension (.mo.php instead of just .php) to prevent conflicts.
  • Enhancement: “Import” existing translation file if one is already loaded for a text domain.
  • Enhancement: Use WP Filesystem API if available.


  • Enhancement: Improved compatibility with Query Monitor’s developer tools panel.
  • Enhancement: Added new performant_translations_load_translation_file filter.
  • Enhancement: Enforce network-only activation on Multisite.


  • Fixed: Add hardening for invalid values being passed to translation functions.


  • Enhancement: Regenerate translation files when Loco Translate updates MO files.
  • Fixed: Add hardening for invalid context being passed.
  • Fixed: Fix handling of locales without plurals, such as Persian.


  • Initial release.