How to Manage a Multilingual WordPress Site with WPML?

WPML (WordPress Multilingual) is a popular plugin for managing multilingual WordPress sites. With over 600,000 active installations, WPML makes it easy to create and manage a website in multiple languages. It offers a simple and user-friendly solution for translating pages, posts, and other content on a WordPress site.

To get started with WPML, you first need to install and activate the plugin. This can be done through the WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins > Add New and searching for WPML. Once activated, you can set up your languages and translations by following these steps:

  1. Adding Languages to Your Site: Under the WPML tab, click on Languages and choose the languages you want to add to your site. You can also choose a default language for your site.
  2. Translating Pages and Posts: To translate your pages and posts, go to the page or post editor and click on the language you want to translate into. You can then add a translation or use WPML’s Translation Management feature to send content to a professional translator.
  3. Managing Translations with Translation Management: This feature allows you to manage all your translations in one place. You can track the progress of translations and make changes if needed.

Creating language switchers is essential for a multilingual site, and WPML offers two options for doing so:

  1. Using WPML’s Language Switcher Widget: This allows you to add a language switcher to your site’s sidebar or footer.
  2. Creating a Custom Language Switcher Menu: This option gives you more control over the design and placement of your language switcher.

WPML also offers additional features to enhance the multilingual experience on your site, such as multilingual e-commerce with WooCommerce, multilingual contact forms with WPForms, and multilingual website analytics with Google Analytics.

If you encounter any issues with WPML, they have a dedicated support team that can help you troubleshoot and resolve any problems. You can also find helpful resources on their website, including documentation, forums, and tutorials. With WPML, managing a multilingual WordPress site has never been easier.

Key Takeaways:


  • WPML is a popular plugin for managing a multilingual WordPress site, allowing you to easily translate pages, posts, and more.
  • Installing and activating WPML is a straightforward process, and you can easily set up languages and manage translations using the Translation Management feature.
  • WPML also offers additional features, such as multilingual e-commerce and contact forms, and can help with multilingual SEO and troubleshooting common issues.


What is WPML?

WPML, also known as WordPress Multilingual Plugin, is a highly effective tool for handling multilingual content on WordPress sites. With its user-friendly interface and seamless integration, WPML makes it easy for website owners to create and manage multilingual websites, providing visitors with the option to access the content in their preferred language. This not only simplifies translation management but also ensures content synchronization across different languages, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.

How to Install and Activate WPML?

  • To install and activate WPML, follow these steps:
    1. Download the WPML plugin from your WPML account.
    2. Go to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin.
    3. Select the plugin file you downloaded and click on the ‘Install Now’ button.
    4. Once installed, click on the ‘Activate Plugin’ link.
    5. After activation, you will need to enter your site key to register the plugin.
    6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration process.

How to Set Up Languages and Translations in WPML?

When it comes to managing a multilingual WordPress site, WPML is a powerful tool that can make the process seamless and efficient. In this section, we will discuss how to set up languages and translations in WPML. From adding languages to your site to translating pages and posts, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started. We’ll also explore the translation management feature, which allows you to easily manage and track all your translations in one place. Let’s dive in!

Adding Languages to Your Site

  • Access the language settings for the WPML plugin in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Navigate to the ‘Languages’ tab and click ‘Add New Language’.
  • Choose the language you want to add and customize the options for the language switcher.
  • Save your settings and the new language will be successfully added to your site.

Translating Pages and Posts

  • Access WPML settings in the WordPress admin panel.
  • Choose the page or post to translate.
  • Select the language to translate the content into.
  • Utilize the Translation Editor to translate the content.
  • Review and publish the translated page or post.

Pro-tip: To ensure consistency, it is recommended to create a style guide for translators to follow when translating pages and posts.

Managing Translations with Translation Management

  • Manage Translations: In your WordPress dashboard, go to WPML -> Translation Management to access the Translation Management tool. Here, you can manage translators, track translation progress, and set translation preferences.
  • Translate Content: Choose the content you wish to translate, select the target language, and assign the translation to a translator or translation service. You can also translate multiple items at once.
  • Review and Approve: After translations are finished, review and approve them before publishing. If using a translation service, the completed translations will be automatically imported.

Pro-tip: Use Translation Management to streamline and oversee the entire translation process, ensuring consistency and efficiency throughout your multilingual WordPress site.

How to Create Language Switchers with WPML?

One of the key features of WPML is its ability to create language switchers, allowing visitors to easily switch between different languages on a multilingual WordPress site. In this section, we will explore two methods for creating language switchers with WPML. First, we will discuss how to use the built-in Language Switcher Widget, which provides a simple and customizable option for displaying language options. Then, we will cover how to create a custom language switcher menu using WPML’s powerful language switcher API. With these tools, managing a multilingual WordPress site with WPML becomes even more efficient and user-friendly.

Using WPML’s Language Switcher Widget

  • Access your WordPress dashboard and locate the ‘WPML’ option.
  • Navigate to the ‘Language switcher options’ section.
  • Choose your desired language switcher style from the available options, such as a dropdown, a list, or a menu.
  • Customize the display options for the language switcher, including its position on the page and the appearance of the flags.

Creating a Custom Language Switcher Menu

  • Create a new menu: In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Menus and create a customized menu specifically for the language switcher.
  • Add menu items: Include custom links for each language version of your site in the menu. For example, for the English version, the URL should be www.yoursite.com/en/.
  • Arrange menu items: Organize the menu items in the desired order to display the language switcher, such as using flags or language names.
  • Save menu: Once the menu items are arranged, save the menu. It will now serve as the custom language switcher menu on your website.

How to Manage Multilingual SEO with WPML?

  • Choose targeted keywords for each language version of your site to optimize content.
  • Use language-specific URLs to improve SEO and make the site more accessible to users and search engines.
  • Implement hreflang tags to signal to search engines which languages are available for a specific page.
  • Optimize meta tags, titles, and descriptions for multilingual SEO, ensuring they are accurately translated and relevant to each language.
  • Regularly monitor and analyze multilingual SEO performance to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

What Are the Additional Features of WPML?

WPML is known for its seamless integration with WordPress, but did you know that it also offers additional features to enhance your multilingual website? In this section, we will discuss the various ways that WPML can help manage a multilingual WordPress site. From setting up a multilingual e-commerce store with WooCommerce to creating multilingual contact forms with WPForms, and even tracking website analytics in multiple languages with Google Analytics, WPML offers a range of tools to make your multilingual website management a breeze. Let’s take a closer look at these additional features of WPML.

Multilingual E-Commerce with WooCommerce

Managing multilingual e-commerce with WooCommerce and WPML involves creating language-specific product pages, ensuring seamless checkout processes, and optimizing for international SEO.

  • Create language-specific product pages to cater to a diverse customer base.
  • Ensure seamless checkout processes by enabling multiple language options within WooCommerce.
  • Optimize for international SEO by utilizing WPML’s features to translate meta tags, URLs, and content for different languages.

Enhance user experience and maximize sales potential by embracing multilingual e-commerce with WooCommerce and WPML.

Multilingual Contact Forms with WPForms

  • Install and activate the WPForms plugin on your WordPress site.
  • Create a new form or edit an existing one using WPForms.
  • Navigate to the ‘Settings’ section within the form builder and click on the ‘Multi-Language’ tab.
  • Enable the multilingual functionality for the form and select the languages you wish to support.
  • Save the changes and preview the form to ensure it is displayed correctly in the chosen languages.

Multilingual Website Analytics with Google Analytics

To effectively manage multilingual website analytics using WPML and Google Analytics, simply integrate the Google Analytics plugin with WPML. This will allow you to track and analyze website data in multiple languages, providing valuable insights into website performance, user engagement, and conversion rates across different language versions. With WPML, you can make informed decisions for optimizing multilingual content and targeting your audience effectively.

How to Troubleshoot Common Issues with WPML?

While WPML is a powerful tool for managing a multilingual WordPress site, it is not immune to common issues that may arise. In this section, we will cover the most common issues that users may encounter while using WPML and how to troubleshoot them effectively. From performance and installation issues to translation and compatibility problems, we will provide tips and solutions to help you overcome any obstacles and ensure a smooth experience with WPML. So, let’s dive into the world of troubleshooting with WPML and get your multilingual site running seamlessly.

Troubleshooting Performance Issues

  • For troubleshooting performance issues, start by deactivating all plugins except WPML and testing the site’s performance for any conflicts.
  • Other ways to improve site speed include optimizing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript, and implementing caching techniques.
  • If necessary, review server resources and consider upgrading to efficiently handle multilingual content.
  • In addition, monitor database queries and optimize any slow queries to enhance overall performance.

Troubleshooting Installation and Setup Issues

  • Check system requirements: Make sure that your server meets the minimum requirements for PHP version, memory limit, and WordPress version required by WPML.
  • Deactivate conflicting plugins: Temporarily disable all plugins except for WPML to identify and resolve any conflicts that may occur during the installation and setup process.
  • Switch to a default theme: Try activating a default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Twenty-One, to eliminate any potential compatibility issues with your current theme.
  • Clear cache and cookies: To avoid any caching-related problems during installation and setup, clear your browser’s cache and cookies.

Pro-tip: It is always recommended to have a backup of your website before making any significant changes. This will make it easier to revert back in case of any troubleshooting issues during installation and setup.

Troubleshooting Translation and Language Issues

  • Verify that language codes and the language switcher function correctly in WPML.
  • Check for any conflicting plugins or themes that may be affecting translation features.
  • Ensure that translation services are properly configured in WPML settings.
  • Review the permissions and folder structure of language files for proper translation functionality.
  • Check for any compatibility issues with the latest version of WordPress and the WPML plugin.

Troubleshooting Compatibility Issues

  • To troubleshoot compatibility issues, make sure that your theme and plugins are compatible with the latest version of WPML.
  • Refer to WPML’s official documentation and community forums to check for any known conflicts with other themes or plugins.
  • If you encounter compatibility issues, reach out to WPML’s support for assistance and guidance in resolving the problems.


To summarize, effectively managing a multilingual WordPress site with WPML requires the installation of the plugin, configuration of language settings, translation of content, and ensuring compatibility with themes and plugins. It is important to regularly update translations and optimize for SEO. Consider utilizing professional translation services for accurate and culturally appropriate content. Prioritize user experience by providing language-switching options and thoroughly testing site functionality across all languages. Be sure to regularly update WPML to access the latest features and security enhancements.

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