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Plugins / Tutorials

How To Enable RTL In WordPress? (Fastest Way!)

how to enable rtl in wordpress

Do you want to learn how to enable RTL in WordPress quickly and easily?

I will break down everything you need (to know) in this user-friendly guide.

In a FEW minutes!

The beauty of WordPress is that it comes with support for dozens of languages, including RTL languages.


What’s even better is that you can EASILY enable RTL in WordPress.

In this post I’ll show you:

About 75% of the Internet speaks a language other than English.

Note: Don’t miss checking Petra’s extensive list of the best multilingual WordPress themes.

In fact, if you pay close attention to the table, you’ll see that the top fourth language is Arabic.

Arabic is just one of several languages that are read and written from right to left.

What Do You Need To Enable RTL In WordPress

There are two things you’ll need to enable RTL in WordPress:

  • A theme that supports RTL
  • Make sure that WordPress supports your RTL language

First, you can look through the official documentation or get in touch with the developer and ask them if the theme supports RTL.

However, you’ll probably end up waiting on a reply from the support team.

Thankfully, there is a QUICKER WAY and that’s checking for yourself.

Check Theme’s RTL Compatibility

To check if your theme supports RTL, you’ll want to look for the RTL.css file.

To find it, login to your website control panel and go to /wp-content/themes/.

Locate your theme’s folder and look for the rtl.css file.

Open the file using the built-in file manager in your hosting panel to make sure it’s not just a BLANK file.

If you see style declarations in there, you’re GOOD TO GO.

The rtl.css file contains appropriate style settings that display the important site elements from right to left.

This file also partly overrides the style.css wherever that’s necessary.

Once you’ve ensured your theme supports RTL, you need to check if WordPress supports your language.

You can do this by going to Translate WordPress. You can also check to which degree it has been translated to your language.

With those two things in place, you’re READY TO MOVE on to the next step.

Note: We also have a full list of the best translation plugins if you need more options.

How to Test RTL Support

Let’s do a QUICK TEST to make sure it displays correctly before you enable the RTL in WordPress.

Go to Plugins > Add New and search for the RTL Tester plugin.

Install and activate it on your site.

rtl tester free wordpress plugin

You’ll see a new option in your Admin toolbar: Switch to RTL.

Pressing this option will change your site from LTR to RTL mode.

You can then see both the back-end and the front-end of your website to make sure everything works and looks good.

how to test rtl support in wordpress

How to Enable RTL Mode In WordPress

Now it’s time for the FINAL STEP: Permanently enabling RTL in WordPress.

To do this, go to Settings > General and choose your language from the drop-down menu.

Press Save Changes button and you’re done!

Your website should now be in RTL mode.

I told you it’ll be easy.


What If Your Theme Doesn’t Support RTL

If you find that your theme doesn’t support RTL, you have a couple of options:

  • You can ask the developers if they plan on adding RTL support — however, keep in mind that this might not happen immediately so you’ll either have to postpone the switch or you can go with the second option below.
  • You can switch to a different theme that supports RTL — this is probably the easiest and the fastest option although you’ll probably have to go through your theme options and customize colors, fonts, and other visual styles.

If you’re feeling adventurous, it’s worth mentioning that there is ANOTHER OPTION.

You can add the RTL support to your theme yourself. (But I don’t recommend it.)

Friendly reminder: Make a backup FIRST before any major changes.

The easiest way to do this is to make a copy of your theme’s style.css file and name it rtl.css.

Then, use a website like or to switch all the left and right alignments.

Once you have your RTL.css file, you need to upload it to the theme’s folder in the same directory as style.css.

You also need to enqueue the stylesheet so WordPress can “see” it.

Open up your functions.php file and paste the following snippet:

function enqueue_theme_files() {
wp_enqueue_style( ‘themeslug-style’, get_stylesheet_uri() );
wp_style_add_data( ‘themeslug-style’, ‘rtl’, ‘replace’ );
add_action( ‘wp_enqueue_scripts’, ‘enqueue_theme_files’ );

If your theme’s functions.php file already has the enqueue function, then all you need to do is add the wp_style_add_data() information within that function.

You can then save your changes and TEST it with the RTL Tester plugin.

Why Add RTL Support to Your Theme

WordPress powers a significant portion of the web, and themes play a vital role in shaping the user experience for many websites.

Adding RTL (Right-to-Left) support to your WordPress theme can be especially beneficial for various reasons:

1. Huge audience: WordPress is used globally, and by adding RTL support, you cater to a large audience that uses RTL scripts, such as those in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Asia. This includes speakers of Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Urdu, among others.

2. Increased theme sales: If you’re selling WordPress themes, offering RTL support can be a unique selling point. Many regions with RTL languages are emerging digital markets with growing internet users.

3. Improved user experience: For a native speaker of an RTL language, a theme that does not support RTL can be off-putting or even unusable. Proper support ensures the best experience for all users.

4. Better theme reviews: WordPress theme repositories and markets often rely on user reviews. Offering comprehensive features like RTL support can lead to positive reviews and more downloads or sales.

5. SEO benefits: Proper RTL support ensures content is displayed correctly for RTL languages, improving readability and user experience. Since search engines factor in user experience, your RTL-supported theme can positively influence the SEO of websites that use it.

6. Stay ahead of the competition: Many themes still lack proper RTL support. By ensuring yours does, you’re ahead of many competitors in the market.

7. Support international clients: If you’re a WordPress developer or agency using WP to build client websites, RTL support prepares you for international clientele requiring such features.

8. Adherence to WordPress best practices: The WordPress community encourages inclusivity and accessibility. Supporting RTL aligns with these best practices and might also help get your theme approved faster if you’re submitting to the official WordPress theme repository.

9. Flexibility & customization: Users, especially businesses, might want to create multilingual sites with both LTR and RTL languages. They can seamlessly achieve this with an RTL-supported theme without resorting to workarounds.

Final Thoughts

Nnabling RTL in WordPress is quick and easy, even if your theme doesn’t have support for right-to-left languages.

The only thing left to do now is to make the switch. Good luck!

Bonus: FAQs about WordPress RTL

What does RTL support mean in WordPress?

RTL support means making your WordPress site compatible with languages read from right to left, like Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian. This ensures that your site’s layout and typography are properly adjusted for these languages.

How do I enable RTL support in WordPress?

RTL support is often automatically enabled if you choose an RTL language as your site’s language. You can set this in “Settings” > “General” and select your preferred RTL language from the “Site Language” dropdown.

Do all WordPress themes support RTL languages?

Not all themes have built-in RTL support. However, many modern and updated themes do. Before using a theme, check its description or documentation to confirm if it supports RTL languages.

Can I add RTL support to an existing theme that doesn’t have it?

Yes, you can add RTL support to an existing theme by creating an RTL stylesheet (“rtl.css”) that overrides the default LTR (Left-to-Right) styles. This involves flipping horizontal positioning, text alignment, and other layout specifics.

Are there plugins that can help with RTL support?

Yes, some plugins can help manage RTL stylesheets or assist in converting LTR themes to RTL. Plugins like “RTL Tester” can be particularly useful for developers to test their themes or plugins in RTL mode.

About Author

Brenda is a freelance writer from southern California. Her work has appeared on numerous tech and web development websites. When she’s not creating content, she participates in about a million hobbies and spends time with her family.