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Should you make your WordPress website multilingual?

June 30th, 2021WordPress
6 mins READ

We’ll walk you through making your WordPress multilingual website in this guide. You’ll learn how to install plugins, configure them, and translate your site’s content.
Before we begin, let’s clear up some misunderstandings:

  • Several languages can be used on a single WordPress site.
  • Yes, you may utilize automatic translation and translate everything yourself.
  • There’s no need to create different web pages for each language.

You’ve probably considered making your WordPress multilingual if your company is growing quickly, you’ve identified a definite market overseas, or you cater to international clients. However, multilingual websites need far more than selecting a few languages and submitting your content to a translation service.

Which languages you choose, how you translate your website and manage local SEO, and the expense of building and maintaining a multilingual WordPress site requires careful consideration.

Install plugins to multilingual your WordPress Site

WPML is required to translate every aspect of your website. WPML is a modular plugin that lets you install only the components for specific websites.

You’ll need the Multilingual CMS version to utilize WPML’s capabilities. Install the essential WPML plugin first. WPML String Translation should be installed on most websites. Depending on your theme and plugins, you may need to install additional WPML components, such as WooCommerce Multilingual.

WPML has a built-in installation and updates feature. All you have to do now is install and register the core plugin. Then go to Plugins Add new and select the Commercial tab (in the WordPress admin). You’ll see the whole list of WPML components there, and you may pick and choose whatever ones your site requires.

Installing languages on the WordPress site

WordPress allows you to choose the site’s language without using a “multilingual” plugin, but just one language.

You can use WPML to add as many languages as possible to a single website. First, you choose your site’s default language and the languages you want to translate it into in the first phase of the setup wizard.

You can also go to the WPML Languages menu to add, remove, or edit languages. WPML comes with 65 languages pre-configured, but you may also add your unique languages. This is particularly helpful when adding country-specific languages like Canadian French or Swiss German.

Choose how languages are displayed in URLs

WPML adds language information to all of your website’s URLs. This enables translations to have their own. We propose using Languages in directories or a distinct language per domain for SEO-friendly URLs. The entire specifics can be found in our guide to language URL alternatives.

Become a member of a hosting company

For a website to be successful, it needs to be hosted. You won’t be able to publish your website on the internet without it. Furthermore, using the improper provider or hosting plan can cause your site to take a long time to load or even crash.

Fortunately, we have a wealth of materials available to assist you in selecting the best hosting company for your website, including evaluations and comparison tables, which you may peruse at your leisure.

Checking to see if your theme can be translated

Some themes will now claim to be translation-ready when they aren’t. We know it’s a little cheeky. WPML will work with most themes; however, if you want to see if yours is translation ready, follow these steps:

  • Select the theme you’d like to investigate. Next, look for the ‘Subversion Repository’ link at the bottom of the page. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means; we won’t put you to the test!) You’ll now see a list of links; click the bottom to get the theme’s most up-to-date version.
  • After that, you’ll see another list of links; click the one that reads “style.css” and ignore the rest of the page. This link will take you to the theme’s source code (you might have to download it.) You could feel like you’ve walked into the Matrix if you’ve never seen a code page before!
  • But don’t panic; all you have to do now is search for “text domain” to determine if your theme is translation-ready. It’s usually near the top of the page and easy to discover, but if you can’t find it, use Ctrl and F to search the page. If the words “text domain” appear in the theme’s code, you’re set to go — the theme is ready for translation! Install your theme now so you can begin putting your website together.

Fill in the blanks

This is the most enjoyable part. It’s time to start filling out your website with content. Do you in your primary language? We’ll leave you to it because you’re the expert on your project!

Now is also an excellent time to add any plugins you may require — we usually recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin as soon as possible. Still, you may also require contact forms or customer reviews. You’ll need plugins for these, which may be found in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Translate tags and categories

Your primary material has been translated, looks excellent, and is ready to read. However, something familiar draws your attention. What exactly is this? Have you mastered the German language? No, wait – your website’s labels are still in English!

Your taxonomies, such as categories and tags, must still be translated. So if you have a blog with categories like Photography, Film, Art, and News, for example, unless you translate the labels, they will remain in English.

Navigate to your WordPress dashboard’s WPML tab and select ‘Taxonomy Translation’ from the menu. Next, choose which taxonomies you want to translate — for example, categories.

Make your website more localized.

You may enhance online traffic, strengthen your global brand presence, and broaden your audience reach now that you know the advantages of translating your website.

Lingmo Translator is a WordPress translation plugin that allows the material to be contextually translated into 80 different languages. Your customers can choose their preferred language from a selection box on your website and immediately see your content and information in that language. You can hire us to make your website multi-lingual, which can benefit you.

WPX Team

We write articles and tips on WordPress, web design, SEO, and online marketing.

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