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How to Create a Multilingual Website with WordPress WPML Plugin

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you want to translate your website in different languages, then you need to use WordPress multilingual plugin like WPML. WordPress WPML is very easy to use as compared to other language plugins and you can easily run a WordPress multilingual website through a single installation. You can choose your desired language and start translating content on your website in just a few minutes.

WPML contains more than 40 different languages. With WPML, you can manage several languages under a single domain.

Select a Theme for Your Multilingual WordPress Website

For this tutorial, we are going to use the Total theme on WordPress. The total is a responsive and highly creative theme. If you have chosen Total for your WordPress website, then this tutorial will help you learn how you can turn your multilingual WordPress website using WPML.

How To Install/Upload Total Theme

Login to your wp-admin dashboard. Navigate to Appearance >> Theme from your Side Panel and select Add New. Search up Total Theme for WordPress and upload it.

If you have a theme in a .zip format, you may install it by uploading it here.

Once done, you’d have successfully installed and activated the Total theme on my WordPress site.

By default, the Total theme has certain pre-defined plugins and extensions. You can simply install and activate them as per your requirement.

WPML Installation on Your WordPress Site

First thing first, If you don’t have the WPML plugin, then log in to your WPML.org account, and go to the download section and download the necessary WPML components.

Once you have downloaded the WPML plugin, visit the back-end of your WordPress application and login to your account. From the side panel, select Plugin >> Add New and then upload your plugin’s zip file.

If you get the plugin in a .zip format, you may install it by uploading it here.

WPML plugin is now installed on your site.

Configure WPML Plugin

Before you can start using WPML, you need to complete the following steps:

1. Language for Existing Content

Before adding other languages, choose the default language the existing content is written in.

2. Select Languages

In this step, you can select multiple languages for your website. You can remove the selected languages later, so don’t worry about adding the ones you may not want later.

In the following tutorial, I am going to use two languages (English & German).

3. Add a Language Switcher

In this step, you can add a language switcher on the main sidebar, page sidebar, and search result, etc.

4. Register

For registration, you have to add your site key in the Site key area. If you don’t have a site key, you can create one by clicking on Generate a key for this site. If you don’t have an account on WPML, then first you need to purchase a WPML account.

After clicking Generate a Key for this site, you will be navigated to WPML.org page. There, you will see a freshly generated site key for your WordPress website.

Just copy and paste the key in the Site key area and then click the Finish button.

Following all these steps, I have successfully configured WPML plugin for my WordPress website.

How to Use WPML

WPML consist of different modules. You have different ways to manage and translate the content of your website. In this article, we are creating pages and post in other languages manually.

You can also create pages and post in other languages, manually. In this section, I want to show you how you can change your post in different languages.

Adding Post In English

Let’s add a sample post. To do so, go to Post >> Add New. We’ll name the  post ‘My First Post’ with a short description. Finally, hit the Publish button to publish the post on your multilingual WordPress website.

Adding German Post

To switch between languages, as soon as you have published the post, navigate to the language panel on the right side of your multilingual WordPress Post Editor.

To translate the post into a different language, let’s say, German click on the + icon on German from the Translate this Document option.

Once you have added the German language to your Language Editor,  switch the Language of this post to German and click Publish.

Let’s take a look at how the website looks on the front-end.

Here is the English version:

And here is the German version:

RTL & LTR in One Website

You can also add RTL & LTR on one site, but make sure you choose a theme that supports both RTL & LTR. As I mentioned above, in this article I am using the Total theme for WordPress multilingual website.

Add Arabic Language

If you wish to add the Arabic language to your website, follow the steps above and your website will be translated into Arabic.

WPML >> Languages

Just go to the same post and click the plus button and add the Arabic Language in your Language Editor, change the post to Arabic, and hit Publish.

Now, you can see the Arabic version as well:

Final Words

That’s all it takes to turn your website into a multilingual powerhouse. Hope the tutorial helped you in equipping you with knowledge about WPML plugin. If you need to clarify anything or would like to contribute to the conversation, please leave a comment below.

Saud Razzak :Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at m.saud@cloudways.com