How to create a multilingual Wordpress site?


Do you have a blog or a website that you would like to make available in several languges? There are quite a lot of solutions as to how you can fix it, and here I will share two ways I have solved the problem.

There are quite a lot of bloggers out there who blog in their native language and in English (for example: me!). In such cases it can be useful to consider different solutions for how you want to make your blog multilingual. Business and Faith is only available in English, but I have worked with lots of other sites which exist in up to 7-8 languages, so here I will share a bad and a much better way to solve it.

The bad way to create a multilingual WordPress site

For years I was using the following solution which is really lame compared to the other option I recently got to know. What I did was that I installed WordPress multiple times and had one WordPress installation for every single language. This in fact meant that the sites where not connected at all, only through the links I added to connect the sites and languages. It makes deep links almost impossible (or at least complicated), so in general I referred to the same site in other languages by linking to the front pages. There is great freedom in this, but if you want to make changes to the design or other changes you will manually need to do so in every single WordPress installation.

Create a multilingual website

Let your blog speak many languages making it multilingual

The much better way to create a multilingual WordPress site

Just recently I was about to launch a new site online and I thought I should go look for a better plugin or solution to the multilingual question. I looked around and then I stumbled onto a plugin named WPML (The Multilingual WordPress plugin). This is an amazing plugin for those who want to create a WordPress site available in two or more languages. As you install the plugin you can easily decide the different languages you want the site to be available in and you can also decide what the link structure should look like (if you want the different languages to get a subdomain address, or just a special category or some other tag).

As you start creating content with WPML you for example create an article in English. As the article is created you will see that the content is missing in the other languages and by one click you can add the same article in another language to your WordPress installation. As you visit the original article in English you will have the chance to read the article in the other languages available and if the article is not available in a given language the link can refer back to the frontpage of the site in that given language.

The WPML plugin is available in two versions. One is for bloggers who create all content themselves and who does the work on their own. The other and more expensive version of the plugin is for those who create lots of content in one language, but then they get the chance to let others do the translation work. This is organized inside the plugin in WordPress, so smooth and easy, but more expensive. Personally I only use the cheaper version, because I like to translate myself or give translation work away “offline”, but you can find out which one you want for yourself.

Create your multilingual WordPress site today

If you want to read more about the WPML plugin, see video presenting its opporunities and get more information and pricing, check out the WPML homepage. If anyone else has better options, other advices or maybe experiences to share on the subject of multilingual WordPress sites, I would love to read your comments.

2 Responses

  1. This is brilliant. I wanted to translate my blog into Spanish and a couple of other languages. I do speak Spanish but I have 4+ blogs so that plugin will help a lot. Thanks so much

  2. This idea was always in my mind, but I still can’t find a plugin which could be perfect for this purpose. WPML is too heavy and I have some troubles with its running, but all other plugins are the compromise, so my problem is more complex, than I can imagine. Anyway, I have a big foreign traffic, so I have to find a way to ease the reading of my blog.

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