How to Easily Create a Multilingual WordPress Website
In this day and age, it’s impossible for businesses or even individuals to get by without having some form of online presence. The number of website owners rises exponentially every single day, with a lot of new users making use of the WordPress platform in particular.
WordPress allows you to get a site up-and-running in minutes, but certain aspects of the process can still be complicated for inexperienced users. There are a lot of things you might want to do to help your site enjoy more success. Translating your content into various languages is one popular example.
To expand your audience and get more people interested in what you have to offer, it’s absolutely vital to make your site friendly for international visitors. Fortunately, it isn’t actually as hard as you might think to set up a multilingual WordPress site. There are a couple of ways you can go about this process and we’ll be going through the most popular methods in this article today. If you want to know how to quickly and easily make you content legible for people all around the world, this WordPress guide will do the job.
Our Top Two Options For Making Your Website Multilingual
There are two main ways for you to make your site multilingual. The first, and more time-consuming option, is to manually translate every bit of content you create into a variety of languages. The second method makes use of Google’s translation capabilities to automatically convert your content into a user’s chosen language.
Using the Polylang Plugin
The first method might take a bit longer, but it will provide much better quality text. Google’s Translate service isn’t bad at the basics, but often makes a lot of mistakes that can render a single piece of text incomprehensible for foreign readers.
Since the method of manual translation is more effective, let’s talk about that one first. To start off, you’ll need to install a plugin called Polylang. You can then head to the settings area of this plugin and click on ‘Languages’. This section will be split into a few tabs.
On the first tab, you can add the different languages you’d like your site to appear in. After you’ve added the languages you want, switch over to the ‘Strings Translations’ tab. This is where you can type in translations of the basics about your site including its title and description.
Finally, you can set a default language and adjust a few other important options on the ‘Settings’ tab. On this tab, you’ll see an option for setting up URL modifications. Inexperienced users shouldn’t really change this setting as it can be quite complicated.
However, if you do want to get the full benefits of a multilingual site, you’ll want to click on the second option which talks about setting from the directory name in pretty permalinks. Once you’ve performed these tasks and are happy with your settings, you can save the changes and move on.
Fortunately, Polylang is quite a smart plugin that makes the whole process of translating your content very easy to manage. All you need to do is start up a new post and you’ll see a new ‘Languages’ box on the side of the edit screen. Naturally, you’ll want to type the content in your default language to begin with. You can then click on the other language boxes and type in the translated content. To translate content, you can use your own knowledge or hire professional translators online.
Once you have filled in the content boxes for each language you want your post to appear in, you can save and publish the content. Polylang is also fully streamlined to work with any custom post types you might be utilizing, so you don’t need to worry about any problems occurring. You may also want to translate things like tags and categories around your site.
To do this, simply head to the ‘Categories’ section and, just like before, click to add additional languages and enter the corresponding translations. You might also want to make use of Polylang’s language switcher widget to help visitors choose their desired language with ease. To do this, go to ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Widgets’. Remember to save any changes you make.
Using Google Translate and the Google Language Translator Plugin
Now that we’ve looked at the longer, but more reliable method of translating your site, let’s take a look at how you can set up a multilingual WordPress site with Google Translate. Not everyone can afford to pay for professional translations of every post they write, and very few people speak several languages to a very high standard. This second method could therefore be your only option and is still able to get the job done. To begin, you’ll want to download and setup the plugin called Google Language Translator.
To properly configure this plugin, you’ll need to head over to the ‘Settings’ menu. There, you’ll be able to select which languages you want to make available on your website. Google also quite nicely allows you to hide its logo, should you so desire.
The plugin actually comes with quite a lot of options, so it’s up to you to go through them all individually and decide what you need or don’t need for your specific site. This method may not produce the same results as the first, but it will still help many more people read and access your site.