Set up a multi-language WordPress website: How To

Do you want to translate your WordPress website into multiple languages? Here are some Tips and various ways.
In order to open up to international markets, it is necessary to provide your own website in different languages. Quickly create a multi-language WordPress website with a multi-site installation or multi-language plugin.

Spoilt for choice – The translation method

There are several ways you can translate your website’s content in WordPress. Which one you choose depends largely on the nature of your content and your target audience. A medical website, for example, may opt for professional manual translation as its content is sensitive and should be translated very carefully. A small business selling a range of products, on the other hand, might opt for automatic translation of its product descriptions.

Manual translation

There are a number of ways to have your content translated manually. From local translation agencies to hiring a freelancer to using an online service. Or you may be proficient enough in the other language to do the translation yourself.

Automatic machine translation

A lot of content can easily be translated automatically – especially if the nature of the material is easy to understand, or if a small translation error won’t have a big impact on the content, if any at all.

WordPress plugins for multilingual content

There are a number of plugins for WordPress that allow you to create a site in multiple languages. Whether you want to enter your own translation or have the plugin do it automatically. Note, however, that you can only install plugins on a Website.


Polylang allows you to easily and quickly create a multilingual WordPress website. It provides an easy-to-use interface where you can add translations for your posts, pages, media, categories, tags, custom post types, widgets and navigation menus.

With Polylang, you can add languages to your WordPress website and also manage the translation process. It supports both manual and automatic translations and can even integrate a translation management system in case you want to bring in professionals. The plugin relies on an internal translation tool. To select a language, you can add a language switching widget to your website. Polylang uses subdirectories, subdomains or separate domains to manage translations. You create one post per language and Polylang links them all together.

All these features are available in the free basic version of the plugin. The plugin’s automatic translation comes with the free Lingotek add-on, which only works with Polylang. The Pro version costs €99 for a single-user license and gives you additional features like URL and slug translation, eCommerce features and premium support. You can set up SEO-friendly URLs for each language. Besides, Polylang works well with popular WordPress SEO plugins.

Create your languages, add a language switcher and you are ready to translate with Polylang.

WPML is another popular multilingual WordPress plugin. With WPML, you can add multiple languages to one WordPress installation, so no subdomains are required. It also has a simple user interface and allows you to quickly set up your multilingual website even with little programming experience. This premium plugin comes with over 40 internal languages and also provides regional variants such as Mexican Spanish, Colombian Spanish, Canadian French, etc.

You have two options to translate your website with WPML: Translating your entire site or translating individual pieces of content. The WPML setup wizard will try to choose the best option for you – depending on how much content your site contains. WPML’s automatic translation completes your translations in minutes, and you can choose to review the translations before or after they are published to your site.

WPML offers three plans. The basic multilingual blog option costs $39 and provides you with important core features. The multilingual CMS plan costs $99 and offers additional e-commerce features, custom fields, page builder support, external translation services management, and some additional premium features. If you are looking for a solution for a larger company with many multilingual websites, then there is still the Multilingual Agencies plan for $199, which offers everything that the CMS plan has, but with unlimited websites.

WPML is very easy to use compared to other language plugins and you can efficiently run a multilingual WordPress website with a single installation.

With TranslatePress, you can visually translate your entire WordPress website, right from the front-end. The unique thing about this plugin is its intuitive visual translation interface, where you can translate everything you see and see changes in real time. You simply navigate through the site and enter translations as you go.

TranslatePress lets you translate any page or post on your site instantly when you’re logged in. Just click the “Translate Page” button at the top to open the live editor. Once you manually translate a string, the plugin will automatically translate it in all other places as well.

TranslatePress works with any theme or plugin, including WooCommerce and Page Builders. In addition to standard texts, you can also translate images, sliders, popups, forms and much more with the plugin. The plugin is GPL’d and self-hosted, so you own all your translations forever and don’t have to pay to access them. To speed up the translation of your website, you can use the automatic translation options built into the plugin (using services like Google Translate or DeepL) and then just manually refine what isn’t perfect.

TranslatePress comes in a free version available on WordPress, as well as several premium packages that include advanced translation modules like automatic user language detection, translator accounts, an SEO package, and support for an unlimited number of translation languages. These are available starting at $79 annually.

Set up WordPress multilingual

Setting up WordPress bilingually or multilingually offers many advantages. Depending on the orientation of your company, you benefit from an extended target group approach, increase SEO rankings and improve your image.

Improve SEO Ranking with WordPress Multi Language

Multilingual content is particularly popular with large search engines, as they regard it as independent content. This offers you the opportunity not only to provide more search results, but also to output search results in the language of the respective user.
With a search engine-optimized, multilingual website, you open up international markets and increase your traffic.

Set up WordPress multilingual and expand target group approach

Better visibility in multilingual search engines opens up international markets. |Addressing your customers in their respective national language also means that they find their way around a WordPress multi-language website better and feel addressed. Important key figures such as conversion rate, bounce rate and time on site can be positively influenced by having a multi-language website.

Build trust with WordPress Multi Language

Addressing visitors in their native language not only ensures better user guidance, but also creates trust and a better image of your company. A website that is multilingual in WordPress is often perceived by users as more professional – provided the translations are of the appropriate quality. Converting these visitors into potential customers is then easier and faster.

In addition to internal data such as the language customers use for support requests and country-specific sales revenue , you can use Google Analytics to determine whether it is worth setting up WordPress in multiple languages. To do this, simply select “Audience > Geo > Language” and “Audience > Geo > Location” in the menu. The first is aimed at the visitor’s browser language setting, while the second is based on the location. If there are already some visitors there, these numbers can be increased with a WordPress multi-language website.

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