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WPML includes its own automatic update and install process. After you install the base WPML plugin once, you can auto-install its components and receive upgrades directly to the WordPress admin.

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First-time WPML Installation

The first time you use WPML, you can manually install it using the OTGS Installer plugin. This also allows you to register WPML so you can receive automated updates to future versions.

  1. Log in to your WPML.org account and go to the Downloads section.
  2. Download the OTGS Installer plugin. This allows you to install all the necessary WPML components.
Downloading the OTGS Installer plugin
Downloading the OTGS Installer plugin
  1. Log in to your site. In the WordPress admin, go to the PluginsAdd New and click Upload Plugin. Select the ZIP file that you downloaded from your account and click Install Now.
Uploading the ZIP file
  1. Activate the OTGS Installer. Then, click Register WPML and Get a key for this site. This redirects you to WPML.org to generate a site key.
  2. Registering WPML
    Registering WPML

  1. Download and activate the WPML Multilingual CMS plugin. This is the base WPML plugin that every site needs.
Downloading and activating the WPML Multilingual CMS plugin
Downloading and activating the WPML Multilingual CMS plugin
  1. WPML’s setup wizard starts automatically once the download is finished. The setup wizard walks you through how to add languages to your site, choose your language URL format, and select your translation mode. It also detects and suggests which other WPML components you need based on the plugins already installed on your site.

You can also learn about installing beta and development versions of WPML.

Registering WPML to Receive Automated Updates

To use the OTGS Installer plugin or go through the WPML setup wizard, you’re required to register WPML. Registering allows you to receive automated updates directly to the WordPress admin.

Depending on which WPML account type you buy, you can install it on a different number of production sites. Plus you get extra site keys you can use on development sites:

Account type # of production site keys # of development site keys
Blog 1 3
CMS 3 9
Agency Unlimited Unlimited

To register WPML:

  1. Start the setup wizard, and click Get a key for this site on the step to register. If you already have WPML configured on your site, you can register by going to PluginsAdd New and clicking the Commercial tab. Click Get a key for this site to generate a site key in your WPML account.
Registering in the setup wizard
Registering from the Plugins page
  1. This opens your WPML.org account where you can choose the type of site (production or development) and the number of automatic translation credits you want to assign to the site.

  1. Copy the generated site key, and paste it into the field in the setup wizard to finish registering your site.
Your site key is ready. Copy it, so you can paste back in WordPress.
Your site key is ready. Copy it, so you can paste back in WordPress.

After registering, you will receive updates for WPML and its components automatically to the site that you just registered, and you can easily download any other available WPML components.

Installing WPML components in the setup wizard
Installing WPML components on the Commercial tab of the Add Plugins page

Registering Development Sites

WPML gives you 3 times the number of production site keys to use on development sites. This means you don’t have to “waste” your production site keys on development sites.

Sites that register WPML using a development site key display a banner on the top of their site’s front-end and backend stating it’s a development site. Other than that difference, you can receive automated updates and use all the WPML features, just like a regular site key.

When you’re ready to move a development site to production:

  1. Log into your WPML.org account and go to your list of registered sites.
  2. Click the gear icon next to the site you want to move to production.
  3. Return to your site, and you’ll see the banner is no longer visible.
Click the gear icon to move your site from development to production
Click the gear icon to move your site from development to production

If you need to move your site back to a development site key, you need to unregister WPML and re-register.

If you frequently move your site between development, staging, and production, you can also set your site up for automatic WPML registration using PHP.

Having a problem with registration? See some common troubleshooting tips.

If you use the complimentary Toolset Types plugin included with your WPML account, please ensure you register it as a WPML plugin instead of a Toolset plugin. Follow our instructions on how to register the complimentary Toolset Types plugin for details.

Unregistering WPML

You can unregister your site to stop receiving updates automatically or to free up the site key from a site you no longer need.

To unregister:

  1. Go to PluginsAdd New and click the Commercial tab.
  2. Click Unregister WPML from this site.
Unregistering WPML to stop receiving updates
Unregistering WPML to stop receiving updates
  1. Then, log into your WPML account and click on Register WPML on your sites to see the list of sites you have registered.
  2. Click the Trash icon next to the site for which you no longer want to receive updates.
Deleting a site key from your WPML.org account
Deleting a site key from your WPML.org account

Updating WPML

Receiving WPML updates automatically

Once you register WPML on your site, you will receive updates automatically.

Whenever a new version of WPML is available, notices appear in the Updates and Plugins sections of the WordPress dashboard.

WPML updates will appear like any other WordPress updates in your admin dashboard

On the Plugins page, click Update now to install each new update.

Updates don’t affect your content (including translations), but before performing any updates, we recommend backing up your database. This includes WordPress, your theme, and plugins.

To make a database backup, you can use plugins like Duplicator and BackupBuddy. You can also take a database dump using your hosting control panel.

If you prefer not to receive updates automatically, you can update your site manually.

Checking for updates

WPML releases new updates gradually. This means not everyone will receive the automatic update at the same time.

If you would like to update WPML before receiving the update:

  1. Go to the PluginsAdd New page.
  2. Click the Commercial tab.
  3. Click Check for updates.This checks for updates that are in the process of being released and allows you to update your plugins.
How to check for WPML updates

Updating sites that use WooCommerce Multilingual

If you run a multilingual store with WPML and WooCommerce Multilingual, we recommend upgrading the plugins in the following order:

  1. WPML Multilingual CMS plugin
  2. Other WPML plugins (including WooCommerce Multilingual)
  3. WooCommerce