You have a new or existing site that you need to make multilingual. Not a developer? No problem. This step-by-step guide aims to help you translate your site using the WordPress Multilingual plugin.

Making sure that WPML is installed and set up

If you are a site owner, you should already have a developer involved. The developer is the person who owns the WPML license and who should install and set up the plugin on your site for you.

There are a few ways in which you can easily check whether WPML is installed correctly, as given in the table below. If any of the first four checks does not produce expected results, you should contact your site’s developer to have them resolved.

What to check Example of how it should look
There is a WPML menu in the WordPress admin.
On the WPML -> Languages page, you can see the list of languages you need to use on your site.
A language switcher appears on the front-end.

Two things are needed for this to happen.

a) Your developer should have added the language switcher to one of the site’s menus or as a widget.

b) The contents you are viewing on the front-end must be translated. You can translate one page yourself to see if the language switcher appears correctly.

The Translation Management module is installed. There should be a WPML -> Translation Management entry in the main admin menu.
The correct translation method is selected. You can easily take care of this by yourself. In most cases, using the Create translations manually option should be OK.

Are you using a page builder? In this case, please select the Use the translation editor option instead.


Need help? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

Next part: Translating content yourself

33 Responses to “Beginners guide to site translation”

  1. Premaltha says:

    Hi ,

    If I have bought the WPML plugin, the other WPML related plugins need to buy or all have come with WPML itself. (Ex: WPML translation Management,etc..)

    and I have another doubt. If the content all needs to change manually or automatically using WPML plugin. If I change all the content automatically means, Let me explain the steps how to do that…

    Thanks for the answer in advance,!!

    • Dario says:


      All the related WPML plugins are part of the package you get when you buy the “Multilingual CMS” version of WPML. You will be able to download all these additional plugins from your account page, along with the WPML plugin itself.

      I am not sure what you mean by changing the contents automatically, however, it works like this… WPML allows you to:
      – translate the contents yourself,
      – send contents to be translated by other users registered on your site,
      – OR send the contents to be translated by a professional translation service.

      This is all done from the WordPress admin.

      I hope this helps to clarify your question.

  2. ali goreja says:

    i have configured the wpml, i am using it for arabic language, i configured it but the arabic logo and tag is not displaying in my site. only english is displaying. how to fix this?

    • Agnes Bury says:

      What do you mean by “tag”, the site’s tagline? You mean the tag and logo are not displaying at all or they are not trasnlated? Anyway, there might be diffrent reasons why your logo is not displaying. Best would be to open a ticket in our support forum so our supporters can investigate the issue on your site.

      • WAEL OSMAN says:

        i think he means logo flag, because i have the same issue,
        after i setup the wpml a language switcher appeared on my top menu with the English language only, even after i choose Arabic language to be the second language so it didn’t show the name and the flag.

        • Agnes Bury says:

          Thank you. If something is not working for you as you would expect, please register it in a ticket in our support forum.

  3. ali goreja says:

    i have used page builder in my theme to develop pages. now when i click on the translate link, it shows the code instead of the translation panel. please help
    and in the pages it shows the code of woo commerce, i already enabled and installed the woocommerce multilingual. but not working.

    • Agnes Bury says:

      Why wouldn’t you open a ticket on our support forum? We can do much more in our support forum than in comments.

  4. ali iqbal says:

    and i am searching it for more than half an hour, i did not find option where i could be able to open a ticket. please if you guide me how to open a ticket?

    • Agnes Bury says:

      1. Log into your WPML account
      2. Visit this page
      3. Scroll down the page
      4. Click “Something is not doing what I expect it to ”
      5. Start typing in to discribe your problem. Some answers will appear. You can ignore them if they don’t help you.
      7. Scroll down the page until you see a big blue button that says “Create a new support ticket”

      I hope it help.

  5. Harold Ortiz says:

    Estoy trabajando con Divi como tema principal y divivbizz como child theme he configurado todo wpml correctamente pero al intentar traducir a un idioma no aparece el editor con los contenidos..

    gravias por su atención

    • Amit says:

      Hola Harold,

      No conozco ningun error parecido con Divi y WPML. te voy a pedir que, por favor, abra un hilo nuevo en nuestro foro de soporte – donde puedes compartir pantallazos y conceder acceco a tu web … asi te vamos a poder ayudar de manera mas rapida e eficiente.

      Cuando tengas el hilo pegamelo aqui y lo miro,


  6. Tina Tan says:

    Please advise to install “Multilingual CMS” version of WPML, do I require to install WordPress in mutlisites in subdomain or just install usual single site WordPress will do? How will the links appear with other languages?

    • Agnes Bury says:

      just use the usual single WordPress site. WPML will add languages in folders or subdomains (it will ask you which option you prefer). “How will the links appear with other languages?” WPML will ask you how you would like to configure the language switcher and where to add it (to your navigation, sidebar, footer…), whether you would like to display flags as well, etc.

  7. rongcon says:

    Hello, I am going to buy your plugin with Multilingual CMS option. I wonder if your service included the translation service? I have read the documentation but I still not get if I have to create new pages to have the translation in other language? Our website have around 30 pages and we want to translate them into several languages (french, italian, espanol, chinese,allemand, etc…)

    I’m looking for your reply soon. Thanks!

    • mercedes says:

      WPML is integrated with several transaltion services. They will charge a separate fee for the translation work.

      Kind regards,

    • rongcon says:

      Hello Mercedes,

      I have received your answer about the translation service and thanks for that.

      I have some other questions:
      – By using your plugin, do I have to create second language page by creating a new page? Or basically adding several strings in the translation library?

      – Do I have to redo all the translated pages I have done by Popylang (separated pages linked) ? with code and string?

      – What are the possibilities of setting url? What is the method of localisation?

      Thanks a lot for your help!

  8. serdarK-3 says:


    I just purchased WPML Plugin and started to configure using wizard. As part of this I selected English (default) and Dutch options to be shown on my MF Theme`s main menu however although I selected to show both languages it only show english. Please advice…


    • Agnes Bury says:

      Hello, did you add the language switcher anywhere to your site? If so, what happens when you click on it? If it doesn’t work, please open a ticket in our support forum. Our supporters can even log into your site and check it for you. You need to be logged in your WPML account to be able to add a support ticket. When you scroll down the support page you will see the “I need help with WPML” button.

    • Agnes Bury says:

      One more thing. Please make sure that the page/post you are checking is available in both languages (which means, you have it translated).

  9. Luis Solivan says:

    Hello everyone, pardon my ignorance but I bought this WPML plugin thinking that it was an automatic language translator where the person selects the language they need and the website will be translated automatically but it seems it’s not? Am I right? Do I need to do the translations manually? I’m really confused. I hope I didn’t waste our money…


    • Agnes Bury says:

      Hello Luis,
      No, your websites won’t be translated automatically. If you bought WPML within 30 last days, please use our refund policy and we will give your money back. The purpose of creating multilingual website is to attract organic traffic from search engines such as Google etc. It happen only with human-made translation.

  10. elvisM-5 says:

    I installed WPML, everything is fine except one thing, how do I make a translation for the blog?

    Thanks in advance

    • Amir says:

      We’ll need to see what you have already and what you need help with. Can you create a new ticket in our support forum? Show screenshots of what you’re trying to do and we’ll help.

  11. tanjaR-3 says:

    Hi, I installed WPML on my Uncode theme based Website – and when I want to use Translation Editor for my translations –> it’s not showing.
    Manually translation does work.
    Can you help me with that? Or shall I open a ticket?
    Many thanks in advance

    • Agnes Bury says:

      Hello, yes, please open a ticket. You can also leave credentails to your site (only supporters can see them) so that our supporters can log into your site and see what is not working.

    • Tanja Ruh says:

      I don’t think they would reach the site because it’s inside the companies env…
      Thank you, I will open a ticket!

      • Agnes Bury says:

        I deleted your second post since it was a copy of this one and included credentials which cannot be published in comments. In our forum we have special fields for the credentials to keep them private.

  12. Realy WPML is amazing plugin that make translation easy, you can have one website with multi langage page, on page for one langage, but be careful with page seo, if you use seo yaost, you will have title & meta for each langage page.

  13. marko mlonganille says:

    Hello, I want to create a WP real estate website, and then I want to use WPML to add swahili language, is it possible?

    • Dario says:

      Hello, Marko!

      While Swahili is not on the list of languages that come with WPML out-of-the-box, you can easily add it to WPML.

      You can do this by going to the WPML -> Languages page in the WordPress admin. There, in the first, “Languages” section, click the “Edit Languages” link. You will be taken to a page that lists all your site’s languages in a table. Click the “Add Language” button in the bottom right corner and you can add Swahili there.

      Please note that you will need three language “codes” for this:
      – The “Code”, which is “sw”
      – The “Default Locale”, which defines which type of Swahili you are adding (Kenyan is sw_KE, Tanzanian is sw_TZ, etc.).
      – The “Language Tag” which is basically a “slug” version of the “Default Locale” (Kenyan is sw-ke, Tanzanian is sw-tz, etc.)

      You can find detailed instructions on adding a language to WPML here:

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