How to add multiple languages in WordPress?

How do I add multiple languages to WordPress
Written by

Adding multiple languages to your WordPress site is a great way to reach a wider international audience.

There are a few different ways to do this, and the method you choose will depend on your needs.

If you need something comprehensive, there are several plugins that will allow you to add full translations of your content.

These plugins will usually create a separate version of your site for each language, with a language switcher so visitors can easily switch between them like WPML and Translatepress.

Some other plugins will have the translated version served from their API, like in the case of Weglot or Conveythis.

Aadding multiple languages can make your site more accessible and help you reach visitors from all around the world.

Choose the approach that best fits your needs, and start expanding your reach today.

Why create a WordPress multi language site?

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) used by millions of people around the world.

While WordPress is available in many languages, creating a multi language site can be a great way to reach a larger audience.

There are many reasons why you might want to create a multilingual site.

Aside from just having a default language, a WordPress website with additional languages can attract more readers overseas.

Perhaps you have content that you want to share with people who speak different languages and don’t read your native language.

Or maybe you want to target a specific country or region with your content in more than one language.

Whatever the reason, creating a WordPress site in multiple languages can be a great way to reach more people.

There are a few different ways to go about creating a multi language WordPress site.

You can install WordPress plugins that will automatically translate your content, or you can manually create separate versions of your site in different languages.

Whichever method you choose, translating your site in multiple languages can be a great way to expand your audience with your content.

Step 1: Select a WordPress Multilingual Plugin

There are many WordPress multilingual plugins available, so choosing the right one can be tricky.

A good place to start is by looking at the best WordPress translation plugins and seeing which ones have the most positive reviews.

This site uses WPML since it doesn’t have any word count limit, making it an advantage for websites with big amounts of written content.

As well, WPML is great to add multiple languages in WordPress, where in contrast other plugins have also their limitations.

Nevertheless, when it comes to the speed to have your translated pages, WPML workflows is quite slow in comparison to other WordPress Multi-language plugins.

In other hand there is Weglot, which is probably one of the best in terms of speed, since the translation is done via an API connection between your site and their servers.

As the translations are stored on their server, it makes your WordPress site lighter and easy to respond.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, try out a few of the plugins to see which one works best for your needs.

You can read the WPML review, Weglot review, Translatepress Review and Conveythis review for more details of the best WordPress translation plugins.

Step 2: Install the Multilingual WordPress Translation Plugin

Installing the Multilingual WordPress Translation Plugin is a quick and easy process.

After choosing one between WPML, Weglot, Translatepress, and Conveythis, you can simply download the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository or their website and install it on your WordPress site.

Once installed, you will need to activate the plugin and follow up the set up wizard from the WordPress dashboard.

Step 3: Set your original language and add languages

The setup wizard of each website multilingual plugin will ask the original language of your content plus another languages desired to be added.

In the case of WPML you can add more languages from the “Languages” tab.

Once you have done that, you can add new languages by clicking on the “Add languages” button.

A new screen window will appear, allowing you to select the language you want to add.

Step 4: Add the language switcher

Assuming you have already completed steps 1-3, the next step is to add the language switcher.

This can be done in a variety of ways, but one common method is to set it on the menu.

By going to the menu section from the WordPress Admin account, you can configure that the language switcher appears on the main menu.

After that, you should be able to see the language switcher on your site.

An alternative is that by using a page builder for WordPress like Elementor or Divi, you can drag and drop the corresponding widget to your desired area of the website.

In the case of Weglot Language Switcher, you will require some CSS styling to change its appearance.

Step 5: Translate content from your WordPress Website

Assuming that you have already created a WordPress website, the fifth step is to translate the content into different languages.

You can add new language versions of your pages and posts by selecting the language you want to translate to and do the translation.

You can also use a translation service such as DeepL to automatically generate translations of your content.

In the case of Weglot automatic translation, it will do the work, by just visiting the site in the corresponding language.

Step 6: Navigate your ready to use WordPress Site with Multiple Languages

The next step is to navigate your newly created WordPress site with multiple languages.

This can be done by clicking on the “Language” link in the top menu bar and selecting the desired language from the drop-down menu.

Alternatively, you can also access your site in different languages by adding the appropriate language code to the end of your URL.

Once you’ve chosen a language, you’ll be able to access all of the content on your site in that language.

If you want to change the language of your site back to English, simply repeat the process and select English from the drop-down menu.

Bonus: Best Practices of Multilingual WordPress Websites to increase traffic internationally

There are a few best practices to follow when setting up a multilingual WordPress website in order to maximize traffic from international visitors.

First, it is important to add your sitemap to search engines like Google Search Console, Bing and Yandex, so that your site starts to appear internationally.

Additionally, it is helpful to have WordPress plugin like WPML, since it automatically sets the sitemap with the corresponding URL for the target language, this way the website page will appear in the corresponding language to the corresponding international visitor.

As well, it is important that you aim for international link building and SEO translation.

Website like Publisuites, Adsy, Getlinko, Linkatomic and are sites where you can buy guest posts them from different countries.

Plus, it is extremely important that you use one of the best SEO content analysis tools to optimize your articles and that they have better possibilities to rank in search engines.

Finally, it is a good idea to set up Google Analytics tracking for your website so that you can track which countries your visitors are coming from and which language they are using.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your multilingual WordPress website is able to reach a global audience.

Setting up a WordPress Multi Languages Site with WPML video

Creating a WordPress Multilingual Website with Weglot video

More about Multilingual WordPress

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links of products or services will send you to partner websites where we might get a commission by recommending their product & service. 

Table of Contents