WPML has spoken to 20 businesses which used the plugin to successfully create a multilingual website. We asked them to provide their tips for any other business owners who are hoping to create their own.

You can check out our summary of their tips. Below is what they told us in full:

What is Zespoke:
Zespoke is a designer furniture company based in Northern Ireland. It aims to provide customers with affordable, retro-style furniture which they can customize themselves.
Who gave the feedback:
Paul Zespoke is a co-founder of Zespoke and handles the business side of the company.

Why did you decide to build a multilingual website and how has it affected your business?

We had reached almost our full potential in the UK, our product has been very well received by our customers and we have had some success in other international platforms like Amazon. We knew it was time to break into some new markets and the best way to do that and keep control was through our own website.

What features of a multilingual website have you enjoyed/benefited from?

We like the flexibility it has given us, we have planned in a staged approach whereby we have created a euro site as a first stage. This euro site allows us to drive traffic from various European countries to a site that allows them to pay in euros. Eventually, we will create new sites for each individual country that are fully translated, having the flexibility of having a general euro site up first allows us to test which countries work best for us before investing in individual country-specific sites.

What is your approach to attracting new clients digitally (newsletters, blogging, promotions or any other methods)?

Our main strategy for acquiring customers is paid search, we have found it to be the only reliable method to consistently acquire new customers. We are also very fortunate to be working with a digital agency that has a strong track record in managing paid search campaigns.

What are the common tools or plugins that you use?

In the early days, I had an absolute obsession with plugins but I have learned to slow down on plugins as it’s not good for the site to have too many. My favorites to date have to be WPML, Yoast and GZip Ninja Speed Compression.

How important was it to localize your website for each customer (offering a different version for Irish customers compared with the British website for example)?

Its extremely important for us as our customers expect to have free shipping and at the very least the correct currency. We are in a privileged position as a manufacturer that no one else offers our product but have found that unless you offer free shipping and the correct currency customers tend to switch off. Next for us will be translations.

When did you decide to expand your business outside your home country and what did you do to accomplish it?

This is still relatively new for us, the US site is only four months old and the European site is only 2 months old, but early signs are good and we hope to at least double our turnover over the next 12 months.

What is Mazda Classic Museum:
A classic car museum in Augsburg, Germany, which aims to bring the company’s manufacturing history to life through restored exhibits. Its clients generally come from the oldtimer community – people who are passionate about classic cars.

Why did you decide to build a multilingual website and how has it affected your business?

We have many visitors from outside Germany. So having all information available in English is key to cater to our international guests.

What is your approach to attracting new clients digitally (newsletters, blogging, promotions or any other methods)?

We are using newsletters, social media and online marketing. Additionally, we use offline activities such as local events, business fairs and cooperations to reach new audiences.

Our museum is received very well which helps to spread the news about it via word of mouth.

When did you decide to expand your business outside your home country and what did you do to accomplish it?

This decision was made from the beginning. We started multilingual as the oldtimer community in Europe is very strong. Especially our focus on Japanese cars made it absolutely necessary to have an English version of our website ready at launch.

What is Nattou:
Nattou is a baby accessories company which sells items such as cuddly toys, playmats and car accessories around the world. They aim to attract customers around the world by showcasing their products in multiple languages.

Nattou needed a multilingual website because they are selling their products worldwide. They would like to engage their audience with a showcase website for all their products.

To keep it easy to maintain and to bundle their SEO-rankings they needed a single website instead of a separate website for each country/language. But to serve the content in the language of their customers the website needed to be multilingual.

Their website serves two main goals: the first goal is to inform customers about the products and reach them with targeted content on the blog. The second goal is to reach distributors/dealers and bring them together in the dealer locator. New dealers can apply through the website if they are interested in selling the Nattou products.

What is Stars and Stories:
Stars and Stories is a global marketing agency dedicated to encouraging fans to write authentic reviews of products they love. They operate within Europe, USA and Asia and work with companies including Microsoft, Samsung and Sony.

Most of the Stars and Stories customers speak English but not all of them.

They have account managers for each country, speaking the language of their customers, but when referring to the website it wasn’t appropriate to have everything in English. To tell their story to customers in France, Germany and Japan they extended their website with these additional languages using WPML.

To translate the pages they hired a translation agency and with WPML it was easy to give this agency access to translate directly into WordPress. Publishing the translation was nothing more than a push of a button.

What is Corrucleaner:
Corrucleaner offers a web cleaning solution for corrugated board and cardboard production. Its customers include both end-users and original equipment manufacturers. The company is based in The Netherlands and offers two languages – English and German.

Why did you decide to build a multilingual website and how has it affected your business?

My client’s customers are found all over the world. We believe it is important to offer information in the most spoken languages. So German is just the start.

What features of a multilingual website have you enjoyed/benefited from?

Functionality. My clients only want to see the site functioning and loading fast. And they want to improve their ranking. multilingual SEO integration is important.

What is your approach to attracting new clients digitally (newsletters, blogging, promotions or any other methods)?

I am planning a newsletter and webpage to offer website translation.

What are the common tools or plugins that you use?

I used to make HTML sites but only use WordPress and Genesis themes these days. Plugins: WP Rocket, Yoast, Allinone migration, Slider Revolution, WP SEO Structured Data, Gravity Forms.

How important was it to localize your website for each customer (offering a different version for Irish customers compared with the British website for example)?

I think this can be important, especially with delicate political subjects.

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