How to Create Multilingual WordPress Site
In this step by step tutorial, we will show you how to easily create a multilingual WordPress site with WPML plugin.
We will compare different multilingual plugins. Together we will setup the plugin, languages, menu language picker and translate our first post and menu.
Multilingual WordPress Plugins
Plugin qTranslate X has not been updated for a long time and users report problems.
Polylang plugin also exists in a free version, but it has limited options.
You can find a more detailed comparison in the table on this page of the WPML website.
For example, the table shows that WPML has the most functionalities. It’s another advantage is that it is compatible with many plugins and themes. It is worth mentioning that it also works with WooCommerce.
In addition to plugins, you can create multilingual WordPress website via WordPress multisite, where each site represent one language. However, there is more complicated administration of such website.
So we consider WPML as the best way to create a multilingual WordPress website. We also used it on our punchWP.com website.
1. How to install WPML
At first, you need to choose and buy the right license. It is possible to choose a Blog version or Multilingual CMS. We use the second one. It is more expensive, but it allows us to completely translate all parts of the website (widgets, custom fields, etc.).
Sign in to your account and go to the section Downloads:
Download WPML Multilingual CMS:
Upload the downloaded plugin to WordPress via Plugins -> Add new -> Upload plugin:
Click on Install Now and Activate the plugin.
2. Setup WPML plugin
Click on Configure WPML:
Select the language existing contents are written in:
Choose the Translation languages (you can also add and remove languages later):
In the next step choose the order of the languages, which you want to see in language switcher:
Click on Add a new language switcher to a widget area:
Setup menu language switcher based on your needs:
In the last step, we will add a license key that we can get even after clicking the button Generate a key for this site:
Done, now we have the plugin set up and we can go to the post translation.
3. Post translation
Open the article, which you want to translate.
In the upper right corner of the window, check Duplicate and confirm with Duplicate:
Switch to the duplicate post by clicking on the right language in the top menu:
Click Translate independently to disable synchronization with original post:
Translate the post title, slug and body:
Save the post. Now we have successfully translated our first post.
4. Menu translation
Open the menu, which you want to translate and click on right language:
Input Menu Name and menu items:
Do not forget to Save Menu.
The purpose of this tutorial was to show you how to make a multilingual WordPress web. We showed the basic functionality of the WPML plugin. In the next tutorials, we’ll show you the more advanced features of this multilingual WordPress plugin.