You realize that your business needs a Website and it has to be multilingual. You’ve also noticed that all global brands have multilingual sites and you’re hoping that you don’t need to spend millions getting one. Good news! With WordPress, you can get the exact Website that your business needs, quickly, simply and on a modest budget. In this guide, we’ll explain everything that you need to get started.
WordPress is an open-source software for building Websites. WordPress became a good choice for building Websites around 2007 and has been on a steady climb since then. Today, WordPress powers more than ¼ of the Web, so it’s a very safe bet for most sites. There are millions of sites running WordPress, including personal blogs, small business sites and enterprise sites.
The biggest advantages of choosing WordPress are:
- The WordPress ecosystem makes development affordable – there are millions of developers making their living from WordPress. You can get high quality design and development at a very reasonable budget.
- WordPress scale means stability and security – with so many sites using WordPress, bugs are rare and security issues are handled almost instantly.
- You can run WordPress from your own servers or use dedicated WordPress hosting – there are dozens of excellent options for reliable WordPress hosting. Again, this means lower cost and greater performance for you.
- WordPress is great for SEO – one of the major requirements of any Website is to appear high on search results. WordPress makes this especially easy.
- WordPress is great for e-commerce – with WordPress, you can build e-commerce sites, just like ordinary sites. No need to pay extra for powerful e-commerce features.
What kinds of Websites can I build with WordPress?
A very rough list of what you can build with WordPress includes:
- Blogs/magazines – your stories, on a timeline
- Product/company sites – sites that show off your business or service
- Organization/non-profit sites – sites that support a cause and promote and idea
- E-Commerce sites – sites that sell something (physical or virtual)
- Directory and listing sites – sites where users can submit items and other users will find it
- Membership sites – sites that allow people to register and get additional privileges as members
Of course, this list doesn’t cover everything and each of these categories is huge. For example, is Amazon an e-commerce site, directory, or membership site? It’s all of them combined (Amazon is not running WordPress).
How do I make my WordPress Website multilingual?
WordPress supports extensions, called plugins. WPML plugin has been around since 2009 (around the time WordPress became mainstream). Today WPML powers over ½ million commercial WordPress sites of all kinds.
When you choose WPML, you choose the same benefits of WordPress itself. You get convenience, scale and stability.
How will my Website look?
This is the best part about building sites with WordPress. There are thousands of great themes to choose from, so you can have a great looking site for a very reasonable budget.
There are different approaches to getting a visual design for your site.
Some designers will ask you about your business objectives, your clients and market and will come up with a visual concept for you. Other designers will show you a vast catalog and ask you which designs look best to you. Others will look at competitor sites and figure out which designs are popular in your market.
Whatever approach you take, the huge number of WordPress themes and designers make it possible to get the right design for your Website, without breaking your budget.
A multilingual Website needs a language switcher. This switcher allows visitors to choose the language they want to read in.
WPML comes built-in with different language switchers, which match any design. You will be able to place prominent language switchers, that show your visitors the different languages you offer them.
How will I translate content?
You probably know that Google lets you translate anything free and instantly. However, the free Google translation is only good for when you want to read content. Whenever you publish content on the Web, a real person needs to translate it. Machine translation lets you understand foreign texts, but cannot write texts in a foreign language, which will appear native.
WPML makes it easy for you to translate your own site or get help from translation services. When you translate yourself, you can use WPML’s translation editor. You can also use your own desktop translation software (if you have any).
If you need help translating, you will find a list of excellent translation services, fully integrated with WPML. This means that you can send content to translation right from the WordPress dashboard, without the hassle of manually copy/pasting content for translation.
Who can help me develop the site?
There are over 50K developers using WPML, so it’s easy to find a developer to help you build your own multilingual site.
We’ve listed top developers, with whom we have personal experience in the WPML contractors page.