The Ultimate Guide to Create a Multilingual WordPress Site
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You may have the greatest and most popular website in your community. You may also be on top of the search results on your local market. But, is this enough? Any business reaches a point when it is mature enough to be developed. However, development comes with a lot of implications, one of them being the translation of your website into several languages. If you want to address your messages to a wider audience, then you need them to understand you. Launching a multilingual website is not considered an ambition anymore these days. Translating your website into several languages is something natural and it comes as a consequence of globalization and internationalization. Thus, if you want to create a multilingual WordPress website, then you should keep reading this article and follow the steps below.
How to Create a Multilingual WordPress Site
Cory Neal, COO of The Word Point mentions that “launching a multilingual website can bring a lot of benefits. On one hand, you have access to an international audience. On the other hand, people will find you easier as they are used to buy things from the international markets. Thus, you will reach various segments of new potential clients”.
- Focus on flawless translation
Once you know which is going to be your target audience, you should also decide which are going to be the foreign languages you are going to use. In addition, you should make sure that the translations are flawless. A poor translation can seriously damage your image, and this is exactly what you don’t want. When you create a multilingual website, you can choose from several options. You can either auto-switch the language according to the users’ locations or you can also allow users to select the language options themselves according to their preferences. Either way you choose, it is very important to thoroughly check each translation in detail and make sure you transmit exactly the message you want to convey. There are also a lot of plugins compatible with WordPress which can translate your texts in various languages. For example, you can try Weglot, WPML, or Polylang.
- Pay attention to the cultural differences
It is impossible to replicate the exact message from one language to the other. What is more, as you are addressing to people coming from different cultural backgrounds, you should pay attention to each of their specifics. Therefore, before you start translating your WordPress website, you should first understand the cultural differences from the markets you sell your products to. Moreover, you should also consider the tone and concepts and make sure you don’t harm any local tradition. Finally, you should also combine and harmonize the text with the visuals.
- Each language should be easy to access
Translating your website in different languages will automatically bring a greater audience to it. Your message will be easily understood by people from different countries who will automatically bring more revenues for you. However, when a foreigner accesses your website, he should immediately find the option to translate it in his native language, if available. Therefore, one of the common rules says that the language option should be highlighted on the main landing page. What is more, the language button should remain permanently available on each page your readers access. So, it will become easier for them to switch from one language to the other irrespective of the page they are accessing at a certain moment in time.
- Fully optimize your pages in the new languages
When you translate your website in different languages, each detail is important. Thus, translating the product’s description, about us page, or product names is not enough. If you want to be ranked on top of search results for a specific language, you should fully optimize your web pages in each different language and translate everything, including the taglines, values, email notifications, etc. By doing so, you will create a professional image for your brand and you will show your customers that you care about their needs. This is a clear evidence of paying attention to details and this is one of the attributes that people most admire at a business owner.
- Offer a complete customer support in all selected languages
The success of a website does not only lie in its functionality and how well each page is translated. A website becomes popular also thanks to the standard it establishes when it comes to customer support. Therefore, once you have decided to translate your website into different languages and offer your audience detailed information about your products in their native language, then you should also think about them when it comes to customer support. By offering a personalized customer support, you will encourage your clients to interact with your team and ask details about your products. By answering to their questions in their native language, you will help them understand better what type of products you can offer and convince them that you can solve their problems.
Finally, it doesn’t matter if you translate your website in three or ten languages, you should keep consistency all along the way. Your website should offer the same relevant information even though it is translated in French or Italian. Even though you might personalize the design or content according to the local traditions, your website should preserve its general appearance and message. This is how people will start trusting your brand and find your products easier.
Creating a multilingual WordPress website will automatically attract more people from different countries. WordPress can be easily integrated with various plugins which can help you translate your website in various languages. On the other hand, you can also collaborate with professional translators and ensure that you receive an error-free translation. However, before you jump into translating your website, you should first understand the particularities of each culture, the global aspects, and the level of demand for each of your products. Based on this information, you will be able to determine which are the most appropriate languages to choose for your website and which should be the products you will promote on international markets.
Author Bio: Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.