If you’re a beginner, running a multilingual WP site can feel a little challenging. Fortunately, it isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you might think. In this beginner WP tutorial, we’re going to teach you how to use WPML to add different languages to your WordPress website.
What is WPML?
In simplest terms, WPML is something that you can use to run a multilingual website without knowing anything about coding. After a quick and easy WordPress install, you’ll be able to choose the languages you want and start to translate them on your site. The default installation comes with more than 40 languages to choose from, ensuring that there are plenty of options. Users can even go as far as to add language variants to their site using WPML’s language editor (for example, you could switch from Mexican Spanish to Cuban Spanish if needed).
How it Works
When you download WPML, note that it isn’t going to change your own content. It’s simply going to translate the text in WordPress itself. This means that someone in Country A can read your website in their native language while someone in Country B can do the same thing, despite the two being different.
For the most part, WPML translations are loaded pretty fast, so your website’s performance isn’t going to suffer by using it. If you’re going to run a site in a language other than English, then this is still a good option. Why? Because you can still write in your native language while having it translated to the foreign language of your choice.
Different website users on your site will be able to see their own languages in the WordPress admin. WPML will allow you to see the “administration language”, which is basically the language that’s displayed independently of what’s displayed on the site’s front-end (homepage) language. When most people think of a site’s language, they always imagine the “front-end language”, that is, what the visitors see.
What makes WPML special is that it allows you to have a separate administration language and front-end language. But what should you do if you want to allow people who are working on your site to see the administration language in their own, foreign language? In this case, the solution is pretty straightforward: after installing WPML onto your WP site, set your own default language. You can do this in WPML Languages Admin Language.
Once you’ve selected your admin language, all users are going to see the admin area in this language (at least, until, they select something else). In order for individual users to set their own administration language, they should do it in Users Your Profile. From here, simply scroll down and click on WPML Language Settings and choose the language of choice.
Remember that WPML will automatically translate your administrative content to the language of your choice, without you having to do anything. It’s one of the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient ways to run a multilingual WP site in today’s day and age.
If you have any questions about what WPML is, or how it works, feel free to leave it in the comment box below. We’ll do our best to answer your question as accurately as possible. Thanks for reading, and be sure to subscribe for future blog posts!