A simple step-by-step tutorial on how to make a multilingual WordPress website via WPML plugin. For ordinary user – no programming skills needed.
WordPress plugins for multilingualism
There are several plugins for this purpose, whether paid or free of charge. In addition to paid WPML best known are qTranslate X and Polylang.
qTranslate X plugin has not been updated for a long time and its users are reporting issues. Although the Polylang plugin also exists in the free version, however, its capabilities are limited.
Comparison of plugins for translation
A more detailed comparison can be found in the table on this subpage:
|qTranslateX||Polylang||WPML Blog||WPML CMS|
|Translation of articles, pages, categories and tags||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Translation management – having multiple translators, assigning tasks to them, and controlling them||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|Translation of menu||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|Possibility to automatically synchronize menu translations||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|Translation of pages created by builder||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|Translation of title and description of website||✘||in Pro version only||✘||✔|
|Translation of themes texts and plugins||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|Integration with other translation services||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|Possibility to have translations on other domains, subdomains, and folders||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|The ability to work on translations while not showing them to visitors||✘||in Pro version only||✔||✔|
|SEO – the ability to translate meta tags, URL addresses and so on||✘||in Pro version only||✔||✔|
|Compatibility with themes||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|Compatibility with plugins||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|Guaranteed Support||✘||in Pro version only||✔||✔|
|PRICE||free||Pro version 99 €||29 €||79 €|
For example, the table shows that WPML has the most features. Its other advantage is that it is compatible with many plugins and themes. It is worth noting that it also works with WooCommerce.
In addition to plugins, multilingualism can also be solved through WordPress multisite, where a custom website is created for each language. But here I see long-winded administration as a major drawback.
Therefore, I consider WPML to be the best way to create a multilingual WordPress website. I also use it when creating websites for clients.
Wpml is a premium plugin that allows you to manage multilingual content within WordPress. Through the plugin you can translate all parts of the WordPress website – articles, pages, custom post types (custom post type), categories, labels, taxonomy, menu, theme and plugin texts, user fields, even WooCommerce e-shop, and many others.
Advantages of WPML plugin
- There is no need to know how to program – basically a user without technical knowledge can create a multilingual WP website, just by setting up and managing in the administration.
- The ability to translate the entire website – as I mentioned earlier, the plugin allows you to translate all the texts on the website. Of course, the web can be translated to an unlimited number of languages.
- Just one administration – the whole web administration and its translations are done through one administration, which saves time and makes translation more efficient.
- Compatibility with other plugins – wpml supports many of the most used plugins and themes.
- Automatic detection of visitor’s language – the plugin can recognize the user’s language from the browser and direct it to the appropriate language mutation.
- Integration with WooCommerce e-shop – plugin can translate products, product categories and choose price by language menu.
- Quality Support – I have needed support from plugin creators on several occasions and have received a response in a reasonable time.
1. Downloading and installing WPML
First, you need to select and purchase a licence. You can choose a Blog version or Multilingual CMS. I use the latter one, which is more expensive but allows you to translate all of the web components (widgets, custom fields, and so on).
The WPML price in Multilingual Blog version is $ 29 at the time of writing this article, which is approximately € 25.
The WPML price in Multilingual CMS version is $ 79, which is approximately € 67.
The Multilingual Agency version is worth $ 159, which is approximately € 140.
Sign in to your account and go to the “Downloads” section:
Download Multilingual CMS version:
Note: as you can see, there are several products to download here that extend the functionality of the basic plugin. However, this is beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Install the downloaded plugin into WordPress via Plugins -> Add new -> Upload plugin:
2. Plugin settings
Click on Configure WPML in the administration:
Choose the language in which the existing website content has been created:
Choose the languages you want to have on your website:
In the next step, select the order of languages that will appear in the language switcher:
Click on add a new language switcher to a menu:
Set the switcher according to your requirements:
TIP: You can see its preview based on the settings in the top right corner.
In the last step, we will insert a license key that we can get after clicking the button: Generate a key for this site:
All done, we have the plugin set up and we can go to the actual content upload.
3. Translate post
We will open an article we want to translate.
In the upper right corner of the window, tick Duplicate and confirm by pressing Duplicate:
Switch to the duplicate document by clicking on the appropriate language in the top menu:
Click on “Translate independently” to disable the translation synchronization with the original content:
Now we translate the title, the permanent link and the content of the article:
Save your translation. This is how we successfully translated the first article.
4. Translation of menu
Open the menu you want to translate and click on the appropriate language:
Entitle the menu for the given language and put the items in it as needed:
Don’t forget to save the menu.
Multilingual WordPress – Summary
The purpose of this article was to show you how you can make a multilingual WordPress website. We showed the basic functionality of WPML plugin. In other articles, I’ll show you more advanced options of this multilingual WordPress plugin.
I have multilanguage web – one wordpress installation, each language on separate domain via WPML (example.com for English, example.de for German and so on).
Would it be working with MonsterInsights? Will I be able to see statistics for every domain in my single monsterinsights dashboard?
Do I need same GA tracking code for every domain, or differenf GA tracking codes (as I have now)?
Thank you much,
Good question, I asked MonsterInsights support as this can be usefull also for my multilingual blog (via WPML).
Here are their responses:
They have this snippet to insert tracking code for WPML:
Does this help?
Thank you much for answers, exactly what I need to know.
So I will use MonsterInsights dashboard only for my main language statistics, and with other I will stay with GA. Maybe in the future they will add multiple domain functionality to MI dashboard (I can imagine that it is difficult) ?