How WordPress Multilingual Site Works? [Benefits and Best Practices]

How WordPress Multilingual websites work

A multilingual WordPress website is the best option for any company or organization aiming to boost sales, grow internationally, or broaden their customer base. It enables you to interact with your audience on a personal level through their native language, increasing customer satisfaction and conversions.

All right, that’s all well and good, but it may also feel rather intimidating to create a WordPress multilingual website. All of that stuff is yours to translate. Every single one of those arbitrary text strings from your plugins and themes. How do you manage to make it all work?

If you are also feeling overwhelmed, then this blog has got you covered. In this article, we’ll review the four finest WordPress multisite plugins to make your WordPress website multilingual, followed by a customized translation procedure.

We will also be covering the benefits and best practices of creating a multilingual WordPress website

Let’s get started and cater to a broader customer base and generate higher conversions and sales. 

What is a Multilingual Website?

A website having content in multiple languages is called a multilingual website. It’s useful for firms looking to reach a worldwide audience. To represent the visitor’s local culture, the website should also provide content tailored to their language.

The default language for WordPress installations is English, which is acceptable if the majority of your traffic originates from the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. However, it is worthwhile to create a bilingual website if you already have or are aiming to expand to an international clientele. 

Is it Worthwhile to Create a Multilingual Website? 

According to a study, 80% of consumers are more inclined to buy a product from a website that is available in their mother tongue. Multilingual websites allow your customers to easily explore your website and shop with confidence-boosting trust, credibility, and conversions.

To determine whether you need a multilingual website or which languages you should translate into, check your Google statistics to see whether you are already receiving foreign visitors and if yes, which are the most popular regions and which related regions you can target as well. It gives you a starting point. So, take advantage of the history and potential growth areas to make further decisions.

6 Benefits of a WordPress Multilingual Website

1. It helps you expand your reach 

With only 25% of internet users being native English speakers, it’s obvious that you need to expand your website beyond a single language if you want to draw in more visitors. It assists you in reaching previously unreachable overseas customer segments.

However, it is not only necessary to target international audiences; you should also represent languages widely spoken in your market. For instance, with 41 million native speakers and an additional 12 million bilingual speakers, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States. Therefore, translating your website to appeal to both local and foreign users will increase traffic and revenue on your site.

2. Cutting Down on Bounces and Increasing Conversions

Having numerous language options available on your website reduces the likelihood that users may leave quickly because their preferred language is not available. According to CSA, 72.1% of users spend all or most of their time on websites that are localized to their native language.

It will lower bounce rates while increasing conversion rates. It’s because customers who are aware of every stage of the shopping procedure on a website feel more comfortable making purchases.

3. Improve User Experience 

Multilingual websites can have a big impact on user experience. Here’s how to do it:

  • Increased visibility: You can get more organic traffic and prospective clients by translating your material into several languages. This will make you more visible in search results for other languages.
  • Improved user experience: By providing material in different languages, you can guarantee that users may access and use it in the language of their choice. It enhances their overall experience and increases the likelihood that they will interact and convert.
  • Enhanced credibility and trust: Providing content in several languages builds credibility and trust among your visitors. It shows that you understand their needs and are devoted to offering relevant and useful content.

4. Improved SEO performance 

SEO is one of the main benefits of having multiple languages on your website. Suppose you have translated the content of your WordPress website into German and Spanish. Google will begin indexing your new languages as distinct material as soon as it crawls your website, which will improve your rankings.

Neil Patel, a well-known SEO specialist, conducted an experiment on his website, translating his blog into 82 different languages. What was the outcome? In just three weeks, he observed a 47% rise in total traffic!

5. Localization & Adaptation 

A multilingual website allows you to tailor content to specific regions or countries. You can adapt language, cultural references, and other elements to resonate with local audiences better, leading to higher engagement and acceptance. 

A multilingual WordPress website even offers much-needed flexibility & scalability, allowing you to add new languages as your audience grows or as you expand into new markets without significant technical challenges.

6. Archive a competitive edge in the market 

In today’s digital world, where businesses operate on a global scale, having a multilingual website can provide a significant competitive advantage across various industries. By offering content in multiple languages, companies demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, showcasing a willingness to cater to the diverse linguistic needs of their audience. It helps you enhance the user experience and strengthen the brand’s image as well. 

How to Create a WordPress Multilingual Site? 

# With WordPress Plugins


  • Installation First, go to WPML’s purchasing page and select the type of account that best suits your needs. After creating an account on, download the core plugin for WordPress. Then, use Plugins > Add new to add it to WordPress.
    Once WPML is activated, it will walk you through the setup process where you may add languages to your website, set up a language switcher, and select a few other options. WPML will automatically install any necessary components during setup.
  • Multilingual Management: With its Translation Management, WordPress allows you to translate individual pages or groups of pages. Use WPML’s Translation Management when moving from “development” to “production.”  
  • Compatibility: WPML works with nearly every WordPress theme and plugin, which is one of its advantages. The theme and plugin compatibility pages of WPML allow you to verify the state of theme and plugin compatibility.
  • Multilingual SEO: WordPress is a multilingual translation tool that is beneficial to search engines. It offers several options for URL architecture, including support for subdirectories, subdomains, and parameters. Furthermore, WPML is compatible with other SEO plugins, including SEOPress.
  • Language Switcher: Without knowing any code, you may enable, adjust, and personalize a variety of language switchers offered by WordPress.

You can include language switchers in your website’s menus, widget areas, content, and footer. You have control over the order of languages, flags, language names, and visual styling. If you are a theme developer and would like to make a completely customized language switcher, you can produce the language switcher’s HTML using the WPML API.

2. Weglot

The Weglot plugin’s ease of installation is a significant advantage. If you install the Weglot plugin in the WordPress directory, your entire site will be immediately translated! There is no need for coding or programming abilities, therefore any member of your team may complete this task immediately.

To install Weglot, follow the 1-click installation from the WordPress directory.

  • Open a Weglot account: Once this is completed, simply input your API key (accessible through your own Weglot dashboard), pick the original language of your website, and then select the languages you wish to translate it into.
  • Weglot Setup: Click save, and you’re done! Your multilingual website is now live, and a front-end language switcher has been automatically added.
  • Multilingual Management: Weglot creates pages by automatically identifying all of your original language pages and translating them accordingly. Additionally, you can choose which pages to translate without translating. Weglot is a fantastic choice because it is compatible with 99% of WordPress themes and plugins.
  • Translation management: When translating your WordPress website, Weglot uses a hybrid methodology. You can either manually edit the translations or hire professional translations. To manage your translations, simply sign in to your Weglot account and select > Translations. You can also order professional translations for your website through the dashboard and form teams to work on certain projects.
    Weglot features a user-friendly translation management interface that allows you to update, replace, and add custom translation rules.
  • Weglot Translation Management Interface: Additionally, you may modify your translations directly on the website by utilizing the “visual editor tool,” which lets you do so while viewing a real-time preview of your website. To make changes that are automatically synchronized with your actual website, click on each translation.
  • Multilingual SEO: To avoid creating duplicate pages, Weglot, a multilingual SEO-friendly solution, uses language-specific subdirectories for each translated version of your website. Weglot can also translate your website’s metadata, which can help you rank higher in foreign search engine results.
    Weglot also provides an additional localization option that might improve your SEO. To improve SERPs, the Weglot plugin also automatically adds hreflang tags and interfaces with other SEO tools and plugins, like SEOPress.
  • Language switcher: After installing the plugin, Weglot installs a language switcher to your website automatically, so you don’t need to hire a developer. Furthermore, you may even personalize your language switcher without any coding or technical expertise.

3. Google Language Translator

The Google Language Translator plugin is a popular choice for WordPress websites seeking multilingual functionality. It offers seamless translation of various content types, with a free version covering basic needs and a paid version offering advanced features like live chat assistance and WooCommerce integration.

  • Setup: Configuring the plugin is simple through the WordPress dashboard. Users can select default and available languages and easily add a language selector using the provided shortcode.
  • Translation: The plugin automatically translates content into multiple languages using Google Translate. It covers everything from posts and pages to categories, tags, menus, and more. URL translation enhances SEO by optimizing slug translations.
  • Quality Control: While the free version uses Google’s machine translation, the paid versions offer neural translations for better accuracy. Users can manually correct translations and benefit from a centralized translation cache for seamless updates.
  • SEO Compatibility: The plugin ensures SEO-friendly URLs and integrates with Yoast SEO for enhanced optimization. Properly configured multilingual content is indexed by search engines, improving visibility.
  • Human Involvement and Professional Translations: Users can manually edit translations for accuracy and order professional human translations for specialized content, ensuring high-quality multilingual communication.

4. Polylang

Installation: Download the plugin from the WordPress directory. You must purchase a premium version of Polylang to use all of its features.

Follow these instructions to download Polylang Pro:

  • Get the file.
  • Add this to your WordPress website after that.
  • Select “Add New” from the plugins list table on your WordPress dashboard.
  • Following that, click “Upload plugin” and choose the file that you already downloaded. And it’s done.

You’re asked to configure the primary features using their setup wizard.

  • Multilingual Management: Page creation: When using Polylang, you have to translate each page manually and then add the translated text to these pages(as automatic translation is not available).
  • Compatibility: Make sure your theme and any other plugins you use on your WordPress website are compatible before using the Polylang translation plugin.
  • Translation Management: Polylang’s solution does not provide automatic translation; instead, the content of your website must be translated manually. When it comes to translation management, you must first write the material for your website in its native tongue. Then, you can choose to add a translated version. To assist with automatic content translation, you can install additional plugins that are compatible with Polylang.
  • Multilingual SEO: To start, Polylang gives you the option to select from a variety of URL structures. In addition, the plugin handles certain SEO-related tasks automatically, including Open Graph and hreflang tags. If you discover that you require additional SEO services, Polylang also interfaces with important SEO plugins to assist you in making the most of this part of your site.
  • Language Switcher: To let users access different language versions of your website when they are using Polylang, you must activate your language switcher through Appearance > Menus. 

Though the language changer has some default settings, Polylang does offer some customization possibilities, like: 

  • Whether the language switcher appears as a dropdown or not
  • Whether to show initials or names in their entirety
  • Using flags or not?

# Custom WordPress Multi-lingual Setup 

Apart from plugins, another popular method of WordPress multi-lingual setup is a custom translation setup. This method is a bit complex and requires technical knowledge. However, you can always hire a leading WordPress development company that can help you out with the same. 

With WordPress plugins, there are always certain limitations or issues that you must work around. Over time, a customized setup may prove beneficial since it allows you to configure the workflow precisely to your specifications. 


Consider using a WordPress multisite to simplify management and administration. You can turn your current WordPress website into a multisite if you currently have one.

hreflang and custom linking tags

If you’re developing a custom solution, the first thing you’ll need is a mechanism to connect translations within the WordPress dashboard. It is necessary to plan so that you can copy the entire article to a new subsite for translation, as well as link translations for already-existing pages and posts.

WordPress translation links

When an article is linked from the backend, the hreflang tags are generated automatically for SEO purposes and to inform Google which version is which language. Additionally, it integrates with the language switcher, which enables users to quickly convert to their native tongue when necessary.


In terms of translation, you should collaborate with native speakers and translators who can assist you in translating your information into the languages of your choice.

Best Practices for WordPress Multilingual Site

1. Establish User Expectations

Managing user expectations is a critical component of the multilingual website experience. Indicate clearly which pages or sections are not yet available in the user’s preferred language. Including a disclaimer helps to avoid confusion if visitors arrive at untranslated content. Being open about one’s limitations shows consideration.

Transparency regarding constraints demonstrates respect. Giving multilingual audiences an equivalent, tailored experience shows you respect their demands. Consequently, this increases conversions, cultivates engagement, and strengthens consumer loyalty among foreign language users.

2. Localize Design and Content.

When creating layouts and content for multiple languages, consider text expansion variances. Some languages, such as Chinese, are more concise and use fewer characters, whereas German literature frequently requires more space to communicate the same information. 

In addition to text, make sure that all the images, videos, examples, and scenarios on your website are culturally suitable for each target area. Make advantage of regional imagery, pop culture references, cuisine, local models, and comparable circumstances so that consumers from other countries can easily relate.

3. Enable Easy Access to a Specific Language.

Developing various views for a different language is one of the most alluring marketing strategies for reaching a larger audience, but it only functions flawlessly if users can navigate the pages with ease. Let’s say you make a product page in French, but if there isn’t a link to it on the main landing page, French users might not be able to find it.

It is advisable to include a language option that provides access to various languages and clarifies the current page language at the top left or right corner of each page.

4. Provide customer support (in their preferred language) 

Support for customers is the foundation of your company, thus including it in your multilingual website is a great idea. It encourages people to communicate with your company through informal live chats and calls. While it can be challenging, providing this kind of multilingual help is crucial for any company.

Try the Knowledge Base Helpdesk & Wiki plugin for improved help integration. This plugin not only has multilingual settings but also has an easy-to-use interface that makes helping your clients much simpler.

5. Employ specific URLs

One of the biggest issues with multilingual WordPress websites is duplicate content and how it impacts SEO. When the same information appears on many domains, it can result in duplicate content penalties, such as a decline in search rankings or being removed from the index.

Google recommends using locale-specific URLs, often called dedicated URLs, with a language indication to avoid duplicate content penalties. For example, the original page may be, and the German version could be

6. Be selective with your translating languages.

You can only enable translations in some languages even if WordPress multilingual solutions offer translations in dozens of languages. You should, instead, limit your language selection to the languages that your target audience wants to see.

You could use Google Analytics data to display the top ten languages that your visitors explore. This may lead you to WordPress users in countries and markets you had not previously explored. You can select which languages to translate into based on the information gathered. 

To Conclude 

In summary, here’s a wrap to building a multilingual WordPress website. You have several options, including using plugins like WPML, Polylang, Weglot Google Language Translator, or a custom setup. Each method comes with its benefits and best practices.

Using plugins offers a straightforward approach, enabling you to manage translations within a single WordPress installation. For those seeking a more customized approach, setting up a multilingual website manually allows for greater control over translation.

Regardless of the method chosen, it’s essential to consider best practices for setting up WordPress multilingual websites. And, if you are looking for a leading WordPress development company that knows (inside-out) how to develop WordPress multilingual websites that your prospects love, KrishaWeb is your go-to tech partner. Feel free to get in touch with us.

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