When you enable languages in directories, you’re telling WPML to arrange translations in what appears like different virtual directories. For example:

  • www.example.com
  • www.example.com/es/
  • www.example.com/ja/

For this to work, Apache’s rewrite module must be enabled and the site needs to use a ‘fancy’ permalink structure (e.g., anything different than the default permalinks).

Then, go to WPML->Languages and choose ‘Different languages in directories‘.

Common Mistakes

Make sure you’re NOT doing any of the following.

1) Creating real directories in your site

You don’t need to create actual directories in your WordPress install, or install WordPress several times. Actually, if you do this, languages in directories will not work.

These directories are virtual. They don’t exist as any physical path.

2) Redirecting to other directories

Similarly to creating real directories, some folks edit their .htaccess files and adding redirect rules. You shouldn’t do this. WPML creates its own redirect rules dynamically.