WordPress by itself is not multi-lingual, but with the help of plug-ins like WPML, Polylang, xili-language, Transposh and others it is possible to create a Multilingual WordPress site.
Creating a multilingual WordPress site is basically installing it in several languages and allowing the plug-in to toggle between them. Let us take a look at the steps involved in creating a multilingual WordPress site with the WPML plug-in.
Install and configure WordPress
Download the plug-in file from WPML.org and install it in your site. There are 2 ways to install the file. Single click installs and manual installs; with the former you can install the file with just the click of a button.
The latter consumes more time. Once the plug-in is activated, you will be able to find a “WPML” link on the WordPress dashboard. Click on the link and make sure to add at least one language.
Activate “WordPress Multisite” to have multiple language sites at the same time. These sites can be classified as sub domains or sub directories of the main domain.
Wild card DNS is mandatory to setup sub domains. Before creating the language sites, download the language files and store them in the web host. Avoid themes that are not designed to work in multi-lingual sites.
The themes that work in other language sites have a template file and language folder.
When your website runs in numerous languages, the content and theme that appear in the default language has to be localized. For example:
GetText is a text translation tool that comes free with web servers. Following are the steps involved in localizing WordPress with GetText.
- Each text should be wrapped in a GetText call
- Prepare a list of texts that need translation
- Translate the list into different languages
- Inform WordPress to display the translations
Using a Java based Google Translation API V2 is the best way to translate your content into multiple languages. When requested, Google translates the content on pages and posts automatically.
The plug-in comes with a drop-down box which has a list of languages. The language in which the content needs to be viewed can be chosen from the list. This is one of the best plug-ins that offers adequate assistance to foreign visitors.
The Translation API V2 plug-in is a paid version which might not be correct always. It is best advised to use the Translation Editor to make any changes to the translated page.
To gain control of the website content in other languages, a strong server plug-in is required. Server plug-ins work behind-the-scenes. Plug-ins from companies like WPML.org are designed with several advanced features to create pages and post them in other languages.
They also allow you to customize the theme of a translated page. Apart from WPML there are several other translation server plug-ins like:
- Multisite Language Switcher
You can search for better rated plug-ins meant to solve multilingual issues to a great extent.
All the above steps need a hosting plan that meets your requirements. A low traffic website will work fine with a hosting company that comes at a low cost.
But if you are planning for a website expecting thousands of visitors a day, a well featured hosting company is the need of the hour. To recuperate from a successful attack, daily backup is essential. Make sure that your host creates the backup automatically.
Hosting services are of two types – managed hosting and grid hosting. With managed hosting you will get a personalized service and with grid hosting you get limited service at a lower price.
Select the hosting company based on your website requirements. The next time you create a multilingual wordpress website keep the above steps in mind.