How to Make a WordPress Multilingual Website with WPML

Multilingual Website: Yes—it can be done.

Until now, your only option was to let the Google translate website do the work for you. The results can be somewhat hilarious for the reader…but not so great for the webmaster.

And while creating a WordPress multilingual website is not possible with the current default options (it’s something that the developers are looking to add), you now have a better choice.

WPML (the WordPress multilingual website translator plugin) will help you to translate a webpage flawlessly so that it displays in multiple languages. In this post, we’re going to tell you exactly how to use the plugin to translate web page.

Multilingual website - Why Use WPML?

It’s the most popular translate webpage app of its kind. Pair it with one of the translation-ready themes and your new site looks flawless—in any language. If you use the default WordPress app, you can choose one language only. That means running your main site in the primary language and adding on sub-domains in the others, which is a lot of extra work. WPML makes that cumbersome process obsolete.

WPML allows you to attract a much more extensive range of businesses. It’s a lot more accurate than the Google app because it’s purpose-built. It’s a translation software, not a search engine/ internet overlord all rolled into one.

How to Create Your Multilingual website with the Plugin

  • Download the Plugin: The first thing to do is to download and install the WPML plugin. Just log in to your WP dashboard and click “Plugins.” Search for the right one and add it. You’ll have to pay a small fee.
  • Setting Up the Plugin: When activated, you’ll see it under the label WPML on your dashboard. The first time you click on it, you’ll go through to the settings wizard. Follow it step-by-step from there.
  • Set the Primary Language: This will usually default to the same as what your WP site is now. You can adjust this setting if you like. Once that’s done, you’ll need to select whatever languages you want to add. (This can be changed later.)
  • Add the Language Switcher: The next prompt will allow you to install a language switcher. That way, visitors can view the site in the language of their choosing.
  • Choose Where and How to Display the Switcher: It can be as a sidebar, or a list, or even as country flags. You choose. You’ll then need to enter the site key, which can be generated quickly enough by clicking on “Generate a key for this site.”
  • Register the Site: This is important as it allows for automatic updates. You’ll be redirected to the WPML multilingual website and told how to add your site. Once you’ve done that, you’ll get a site key. Copy and paste on your WP site.
  • Add content: Write away. Wasn’t that easy?

Adding Content in Different Languages

You’ll do this from the WP dashboard. Go to the list of posts. When this opens up, you’ll see that there’s an additional column for language alongside each title.

Just select the “Add” button in the language column for each language that you want the post translated into.

Alternatively, you can translate the posts from the edit screen of each post. Edit any post, and you’ll see that there’s a new box titled “Language.”  If you like, you can create the translation yourself or authorize other users to do so.

The app allows you to add extra content editors easily. You can appoint an administrator to handle translations, and even add people who’ve subscribed to translate.

You should note that they’re not physically going to be able to edit a post. The translation of the post will be added to WPML and then displayed on the site.

You can also translate tags and menus quite simply within the software. It’s essential to ensure that you translate each menu item in particular. You don’t want one straggler of a menu item displaying in the original language.

Translate the posts first, and then you can add them to the navigation menu. When you’re done, hit save and move on. 

You can use the software to translate every individual aspect of your site – from posts to themes.

Adding Content in Different Languages

WPML offers you a simple way to create a multilingual site. You can manage everything from one dashboard quickly and easily, saving you time and money—because you don’t have to pay for multiple sub-domains.

This website translator is a paid plugin, but the results are well worth the nominal fee. Google does a fair job translating word-for-word, but it can’t pick up on nuances in meaning or dialect differences. For a professional business, don’t risk your site becoming the subject of bad grammar reposts—Google just isn’t good enough.