WPML – multilingual WordPress website [Tutorial]

A simple step-by-step tutorial on how to make a multilingual WordPress website via WPML plugin. For ordinary user – no programming skills needed.

WPML - multilingual WordPress website

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:

qTranslateXPolylangWPML BlogWPML 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 ✘ ✘ ✘ ✔
WooCommerce support ✘ ✘ ✘ ✔
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 visitorsin Pro version only
SEO – the ability to translate meta tags, URL addresses and so onin Pro version only
Compatibility with themes
Compatibility with plugins
Guaranteed Supportin Pro version only
PRICEfreePro 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.

More info

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.

Introducing plugin

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Just one administration – the whole web administration and its translations are done through one administration, which saves time and makes translation more efficient.
  4. Compatibility with other plugins – wpml supports many of the most used plugins and themes.
  5. 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.
  6. Integration with WooCommerce e-shop – plugin can translate products, product categories and choose price by language menu.
  7. Quality Support – I have needed support from plugin creators on several occasions and have received a response in a reasonable time.

More info

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).

WPML Price

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.

WPML porovnanie verzií
WPML comparison of versions

Sign in to your account and go to the “Downloads” section:

Stiahnuť WPML

Download Multilingual CMS version:

WPML balíček

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:

Nahrať plugin

Activate plugin.

2. Plugin settings

Click on Configure WPML in the administration:

Nastaviť wpml

Choose the language in which the existing website content has been created:

WPML jazyk obsahu

Choose the languages you want to have on your website:

WPML jazyky webstránky

In the next step, select the order of languages that will appear in the language switcher:

WPML - nastavenie poradia jazykov

Click on add a new language switcher to a menu:

WPML pridať prepínač jazykov

Set the switcher according to your requirements:

WPML nastaviť prepínač

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:

WPML registrácia

All done, we have the plugin set up and we can go to the actual content upload.

3. Translation of document

We will open an article we want to translate.

In the upper right corner of the window, tick Duplicate and confirm by pressing Duplicate:

WPML duplikovať článok

Switch to the duplicate document by clicking on the appropriate language in the top menu:

WPML - duplikovaný článok

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:

wpml preklad článku

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:

WPML - preklad menu

Entitle the menu for the given language and put the items in it as needed:

WPML - uložiť menu

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.

More info

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