How to Create a Multilingual WordPress Site

How to Create a Multilingual WordPress Site

If a person wants to have an international website, they need to make it multilingual. True, if you are only focused on your local area, or your only wish to engage with countries like the U.S., Britain, and Australia, you can make do with an English website. But, in any other situation, you will create a multilingual WordPress site. So, to help you out, we are going to cover the must-know aspects of what goes into making one.

What to consider before you create a multilingual WordPress site

Making and running a multilingual WordPress site can be quite arduous at times. And seeing as WordPress development is difficult enough as it is, why go through the trouble of making a multilingual website in WordPress? Well, there are a couple of reasons that make creating a multilingual WordPress website worthwhile.

Why having a multilingual WordPress site is a good idea

It is important to first mention that not every website can benefit from being multilingual. If you only want your website to reach the local audience, you probably shouldn't bother with implementing different languages. But, if you are looking for an international audience, creating a multilingual website is a must.

The first reason for it being so is that there is a large number of foreign people that don't speak English. And, when it comes to people that do speak it, you will have an easier time promoting your website if you translate it into their mother tongue. You will be able to engage SEO in their language and find online traffic that would otherwise be completely off your radar. So, if for any reason you believe that your website should be read by people that speak a different language, you should create a multilingual WordPress site.

Which plugin to use

Now, in order to create a multilingual WordPress site, you will need to use a plugin. Plugins like WPML and TranslatePress are the most popular, which is why we are going to cover how to create your WordPress website by using them. However, if you deem some other plugin better suited for the type of website you want to create, go for it. Among those we recommend are:

●    Google Website Translator.
●    GTranslate.
●    Loco Translate.
●    MultilingualPress.
●    Polylang.
●    Transposh.
●    Weglot.

Using WPML

WPML stands for WordPress Multi-Lingual. It is one of the oldest and most tried-and-true plugins for WordPress, which is why we are going to cover it first. To install WPML you first need to download and activate the WPML plugin. Once you activate it, you will see the WPML label in the WordPress menu. By clicking on it, you will go to the Setup WPML wizard.
WPML will detect the current language of your website automatically. The next step is to select the languages you want to add from the list and click Next.

The third step will be to select the language switcher. This, as the term might suggest, is the switch that your audience will use to change the language. Once you've chosen your switcher, you will be asked to send a compatibility report so that WPML can verify the themes and plugins that are currently on your website. You can choose to avoid doing this, but it is usually a good idea to do so.

The final step is to generate a key for your site (there is a special button for it) and type it into the Site Key field. After this, you will be taken to the WPML website where you will add your current website to your account. With your site added, you will get a site key that you will use later on in WordPress.

If you wish to translate your posts, you can easily do so by selecting the desired language in the post overview. WPML will assume that all the posts on your website are in the same language (the one originally detected). So, if you already have some posts that are in a different language, you might need to do a bit of work in order to translate them.

Using TranslatePress

The main reason why people opt for TranslatePress is that it functions differently from most multilingual plugins for WordPress. With it, you will not create separate versions of a post when you translate them, but simultaneously create and translate your post. This feature allows TranslatePress to utilize a live editor which can even translate visual aspects of your website. This makes blog marketing a whole lot easier since you will have far greater control of individual aspects of your blog posts. Furthermore, you will be able to combine automatic translation with human translation, therefore making the whole process easier and error-free.
Similar to WPML, the first thing to do in order to install TranslatePress is to download the plugin. If you want to get extra languages, you will need to also download the Addons Download file. Once you download it, you will be able to install TranslatePress as if it were any other WordPress plugin.

After you activate it, you will need to go to Settings > TranslatePress in WordPress, in order to configure it. The first thing you will be asked to do is to enter your license key. After that, you can head on to the General Tab.

There you will have to choose the default language for your website and the extra languages you want on it. You will be able to choose whether you want languages to be named in their native terms, or in the default language.

To translate your website, you need only press the Translate Site button at the top of the WordPress menu. By doing so you will open a live translation editor where you can manage the translations and their appearance.