This is a guest post by Neil Matthews from webpolyglot.com.
In this post Neil will talk about building multi language and multi currency websites with WPML and WooCommerce.
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Why Build Multi Currency / Multi Language Websites?
If English is the Lingua Franca of international business and the USD is seen as the recognised currency of online transactions, why do we need to go to the trouble of creating a multi language / multi currency e-commerce site?
The answer is plain and simple, to keep your potential customers happy. They don’t care if we are all meant to read English and spend in dollars, they are the one about to click add to card and pull out their credit card, you should be thinking about their needs and making your e-commerce site accessible in their language and currency.
The ability to give your potential customers details of your products or services in their native language and in their local currency helps to break down any barriers they may have to purchasing from you.
If you can price your products in someone’s local currency they know exactly what the price is and don’t have to do mental exchange rate dance.
WPML & WooCommerce Make This Easy
Thanks to the great collaboration between WPML and WooCommerce setting up an e-commerce site that supports multiple languages and currencies is a much easier task than it was a few years ago. With a couple of plugins and some configuration you are good to go, no custom coding required.
Using techniques you already know from translating content, you can translate your products or outsource the translation with iCanlocalize and have a multi language / multi currency site.
Setting Up Multi Language E-Commerce
Here are the plugins you need to set up a multi language multi currency site (MLMC from now on) .
WPML of course -, I’m not going to talk about installing and configuring WPML in this post, there are more than enough excellent resources on this site already, But you will need to download and install WPML, add the languages you plan to support and add a language selector.
WooCommerce – You need to install and configure WooCommerce. Full details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this post, but I will be demonstrating them in a webinar (see base of post for details), but you will need to install the plugin, setup the checkout and cart pages, setup your payment processor, setup shipping costs and then start adding products.
Woocommerce Multi Languge Plugin -There is an additional WPML plugin you need to add to your site. This manages the integration between WooCommerce and WPML and also adds multi currency functionality to your WPML dashboard menu.
WooCommerce Special Pages
A number of special pages are required to make WooCommerce work correctly. They are a cart page, a store front page, and checkout page and some miscellaneous pages such as customer account pages.
These are setup by adding short codes to pages which tell WooCommerce to display the cart or checkout. Don’t worry too much about this configuration stage, there is a wizard which will create these pages and add the short codes for you when you install WooCommerce.
Once these are setup they will allow you to display products, manage your shopping cart and checkout to buy items. All of these special pages come pre-translated so when you switch languages, your cart , store front and checkout pages will all be displayed in the supported language.
Creating a product in WooCommerce is much like writing a blog post in WordPress. You add a product description in the normal post editor, then add product specific information such as price, size, colour options , SKU, stock levels etc.
You can add one or more product image and save your new product and publish it much like you would a blog post.
Once published it will automatically appear in your store page.
If you are familiar with translating content in WPML then translating products will be very easy for you.
There is the familiar WPML user interface where we can create a base language product then add translations in our desired language.
Multi Currency Pricing
There are two ways to price your products in multi currency. You can manually set the prices in different currencies for a product, or you can use the prices generated automatically based on the exchange rate table.
A currency is associated with a language and when you switch to that language products are automatically shown in the new currency.
Some things you should take in account when running a MLMC e-commerce site.
Fluctuations in exchange rates – exchange rates go up and down, you should keep your finger on the pulse of your various exchange rates and update as required. The exchange rate table is static and will require management so you don’t lose out if there is a big change in rates.
Multi Currency fees with your payment provider – you should factor in payment processor fees when pricing your products, you will probably have to pay a fee when you withdraw your money if you bill in a foreign currency. For example I’m based in the UK but most of my clients are from the US, I bill in dollars but when I withdraw money from Paypal as GBP I am hit with a foreign currency exchange fee.
See It In Action
Here is a quick screencast video to show you what a MLMC shop with a single product looks like.
Want To Learn More?
I’m running a live webinar where I will showing you exactly how to setup a MLMC e-commerce site. The webinar is on Tuesday 21st May at
- 9am-10am Pacific
- 12pm-1pm Eastern
- 5pm-6pm London
- you can select your local time zone when you click the link below
The things I will teach are:
- Installing WooCommerce & WPML
- Making WooCommerce Multi Langauge/Multi Currency ready
- Adding multiple currencies and associating with languages
- Adding and manageing products in multiple languages
- Integrating your store with paypal for multiple currencies
- Q & A where I answer any questions you have about MLMC e-commerce
To join the webinar click on the link below and leave your details, the webinar is at no cost, but slots are limited to 100 so book your seat now.