How to Create a WordPress Multi Language Site the Easy Way

If you’re using the Marketers Delight WordPress theme, you’re probably already interested in connecting with your visitors and growing your website. But if you’re only doing those things in a single language, you might be missing out on reaching potential fans and providing the best experience possible to your existing visitors.

Creating a WP multi language site can boost your marketing efforts and help you create a better user experience at your site. And, with the right WordPress translation plugin, it’s a lot less work than you might think to get up and running.

In this post, you’ll learn a little bit more about why you should consider a WP multi language site. Then, you’ll learn step-by-step how to create a multilingual site using one of the best WordPress multilingual plugins and the Marketers Delight theme (though the translation plugin will work with other themes, as well).

Let’s get started so that you can create your own WP multi language website.

The Two Big Benefits to Creating a WP Multi Language Site

Whether you’re targeting your website globally or in a specific geographic area, creating a WP multi language site can help you reach more visitors and create a better user experience for your existing users.

Let’s go through those benefits in more detail…

1. Reach More Visitors With Multilingual SEO

Marketers Delight already comes with schema markup and SEO-friendly code to help you rank higher in your site’s default language, but translating your site into new languages can help you get even more traffic from search engines by giving you a chance to rank for new Google queries in different languages.

See, people all around the world are searching Google in their native language – not just English. That means that, if your site can benefit from multilingual visitors, there’s a huge untapped audience that you could be trying to reach.

What’s more, the powerful thing about this strategy is that it doesn’t require “new” content or research. Instead, you can take content that you already have (in your site’s default language) and translate it into a new language.

For example, Neil Patel translated his website into 82 different languages in 2015 and experienced a 47% increase in traffic. Now, you might not want to invest in 82 languages, but you could choose a few with the best ROI for your situation and boost your traffic that way. In fact, that’s Neil’s approach in 2019 – he only offers 5 languages nowadays.

To see how much potential traffic you could reach, try plugging translations of some of your most successful keywords into your favorite keyword research tool.

And to make sure you benefit from multilingual SEO, make sure you choose a WordPress translation plugin that will let you create static, indexable versions of your site as either a subdirectory or subdomain for each language.

2. Offer a Better User Experience

Creating a WP multi language site isn’t just about reaching new visitors, though. You probably already have a multilingual audience and most of those people would prefer to browse your website in their native language if possible.

In a survey commissioned by the EU, Gallup found that ~45% of respondents preferred visiting a site in their native language when possible and almost 90% of the survey-takers just wouldn’t use sites in languages other than their own.

It makes sense – it’s natural to want to browse the web in the language that’s most comfortable to you.

And the important thing to remember here is that this isn’t just an issue for websites targeting a global audience. For example, the US Census Bureau estimates that a little under half (44.6%) of California residents age 5+ speak a language other than English when at home. So even if your website only targeted people in a single US state, there could still be a reason for you to go multilingual.

To get a grasp on the preferred languages of your site’s visitors, you can use the Languages report in Google Analytics (Audience → Geo → Languages):

Show Google Analytics Weglot and WordPress

How to Create a WP Multi Language Site: Step-by-Step

While there are a lot of WordPress plugins that can help you create a WP multi language site, the Weglot WordPress translation plugin makes a great starting point for a few reasons:

  • It uses automatic machine translation to instantly translate your site, but you can always go back and manually refine translations or outsource them to professional translation services. This helps you get up and running in just a few minutes.
  • It translates 100% of your site, including all the content from your themes, plugins, and custom post types. For example, you’ll be able to translate the email opt-in forms and popups that Marketers Delight helps you create, as well as content from a page builder plugin, the WooCommerce eCommerce plugin, and any other plugins that you might be using.
  • Each translated version of your site is SEO-friendly by default, which means you can benefit from multilingual SEO and start ranking your multilingual content in different languages.

Here’s how to create your WP multi language site with Marketers Delight and Weglot…

1. Activate Weglot and Choose Languages

For this tutorial, we’ve already installed the Marketers Delight theme and set up some of the core functionality. For example, we’ve added an email subscribe form to the end of every post to show you how to translate those elements.

To start creating your multilingual website, you’ll need to register for a Weglot account and install and activate the Weglot plugin from WordPress.org.

Then, go to the new Weglot area in your WordPress dashboard and:

  • Enter the API key from your Weglot account.
  • Choose your Original language, which is the default language that your site currently exists in. For example, English.
  • Choose one or more Destination languages, which are the different languages into which you want to translate your site’s content. For example, Spanish.
WP Multi Language Weglot

As soon as you click the Save Changes button, Weglot will use automatic translation to fully translate your site’s content into your destination languages (kind of like Google Translate).

If you head to the front-end of your site, you can make sure that all your content is translated.

Here’s the original English version:

WP Multi Language Weglot

And here’s what it looks like after using the included front-end language switcher to change the language to Spanish – you can see how Weglot was able to automatically detect and translate the email opt-in form from Marketers Delight:

WP Multi Language Weglot

2. Manually Refine Translations (If Needed)

If you want to manually edit your translations, you can use the Weglot dashboard to:

  • Edit translations yourself.
  • Create dedicated “Translator” accounts for others to manage your translations.
  • Outsource your translations straight to professional translation services.

To manage your own translations, Weglot gives you two different interfaces.

First, you can use the backend translations list, which looks a lot like a PO editor. You’ll see the original text on the left and the translated version on the right. You can also browse between pages using the sidebar and easily add translations to an order to outsource to a professional service:

If you prefer a more visual approach, you can also use the Visual Editor.

With this interface, you’ll see a live preview of your website. To edit any translations, you can hover over the text and click the green pencil icon:

WP Multi Language Weglot

That will open a popup where you can edit the translation:

WP Multi Language Weglot

Again, both of these interfaces let you translate 100% of your WP multi language site’s content, including any content from your theme and plugins.

For example, beyond just translating a static opt-in form from Marketers Delight, you can use the same interfaces to translate a popup from Marketers Delight as well.

Here’s what it looks like in the Visual Editor:

WP Multi Language Weglot

You can also find the text strings from your popups in the translations list editor if you prefer the backend interface.

Once you make your changes in either interface, those changes will automatically sync with your live WordPress site.

3. Configure Language Switcher (Optional)

By default, Weglot adds a front-end language switcher in the bottom-right corner of your site.

If you’d like, you get a few different options for customizing how the language switcher works.

First, you can go to the Weglot area in your WordPress dashboard to configure basics like whether or not to show the country flag:

WP Multi Language Weglot

Then, you can also change its position via four methods:

  1. Menu
  2. Widget
  3. Shortcode
  4. HTML

For example, you could add it as a drop-down item in your menu like this:

WP Multi Language Weglot

The language switcher will automatically pull its styling from your theme, so you can customize its looks by using Marketers Delight’s Main Menu options in the WordPress Customizer:

WP Multi Language Weglot

And that’s it – congrats! You just created your own WP multi language site.

Create Your WP Multi Language Site Today

Whether you have a locally or globally-targeted WordPress website, creating a WP multi language site can improve your website in two big ways:

  1. You can harness the power of multilingual SEO to start ranking your website’s multilingual content for search queries in different languages.
  2. You can create a better user experience for your existing website visitors by letting them browse your WordPress website in their preferred languages.

If you’re using Marketers Delight to create popups, email opt-in forms, and more, you’ll want a WordPress translation plugin that lets you translate more than just the content inside the WordPress editor.

Weglot is a simple multilingual WordPress plugin that can help you translate all the content from the Marketers Delight WordPress theme, as well as content from other themes and plugins, without requiring any special configuration.

Get started today and you’ll have a WP multi language website in no time!

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