As businesses expand their online presence, catering to a global audience becomes increasingly important. WordPress, being one of the most popular content management systems, offers a wide range of plugins to enhance website functionality. One such powerful plugin is the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML), designed to help create multilingual websites with ease. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of installing the WPML plugin on your WordPress website, allowing you to reach a broader audience and deliver a more personalized experience to users in different languages.
What is WPML? How to Install WPML Plugin in WordPress
WPML is a widely-used and reliable WordPress plugin that enables website owners to create and manage multilingual content effortlessly. It was developed by OnTheGoSystems, a company known for its high-quality WordPress solutions. With WPML, users can easily translate pages, posts, custom types, taxonomies, and menus, all within the WordPress dashboard. This plugin makes it possible to maintain separate content for each language, which is crucial for delivering accurate and culturally relevant content to diverse audiences.
Before installing the WPML plugin, there are a few things you need to ensure:
- A Self-Hosted WordPress Website: WPML is compatible with self-hosted WordPress websites, so ensure you have your WordPress site up and running.
- WordPress Compatibility: Make sure your WordPress version is up-to-date and compatible with the latest version of the WPML plugin. It’s always best to keep your WordPress core, themes, and other plugins updated for better compatibility and security.
- Valid License: To unlock all the premium features and receive updates and support, you will need a valid WPML license. While the free version provides some basic functionality, the full potential of the plugin is unlocked with a paid subscription.
- Backup Your Website: It is always good practice to create a backup of your website before installing new plugins. While the chances of something going wrong are minimal, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Step 1: Purchase and Download WPML Plugin
To start using WPML, you must first purchase a subscription from the official WPML website (wpml.org). Choose the subscription plan that suits your needs and complete the purchase process. Once your payment is confirmed, you will receive an email with a link to download the plugin and your license key. Download the plugin ZIP file to your computer.
Step 2: Install WPML Plugin
Now that you have the WPML plugin ZIP file, it’s time to install it on your WordPress website. Here’s how you can do it:
- Login to Your WordPress Dashboard: Navigate to your WordPress website’s admin panel by entering your website URL followed by “/wp-admin/” (e.g., www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/).
- Access the Plugins Section: In the WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins” on the left-hand side menu, and then click “Add New.”
- Upload the Plugin ZIP File: Click on the “Upload Plugin” button at the top of the “Add Plugins” page. Select the WPML plugin ZIP file you downloaded and click “Install Now.”
- Activate the Plugin: Once the installation is complete, click the “Activate” button to activate the WPML plugin on your website.
Step 3: Enter Your WPML License Key
After activating the WPML plugin, you need to enter your license key to access premium features and receive updates and support. Here’s how to do it:
- Access the WPML Plugin Settings: In the WordPress dashboard, go to “WPML” on the left-hand side menu and click “Settings.”
- License Section: Inside the WPML settings, click on the “Register” link in the top-right corner.
- Enter Your License Key: In the registration window, enter the license key you received via email after purchasing WPML. Click “Register” to validate your license.
- Validation Success: If the license key is valid, you will receive a confirmation message, and the premium features will be activated.
Step 4: Set Up WPML Configuration
After successfully registering your license, it’s time to configure WPML according to your website’s needs. The plugin provides various options to control language settings, translation preferences, and much more. Here’s how to set up the basic configuration:
- Language Settings: In the WordPress dashboard, go to “WPML” on the left-hand side menu and click “Languages.” Here, you can add the languages you want to support on your website. WPML supports a wide range of languages, and you can add multiple languages to your website.
- Language Switcher: Choose how you want to display the language switcher on your website. WPML provides various options, including a dropdown menu, flags, or a simple list of language names.
- Translate Content: WPML allows you to translate your content manually or use automatic translation services. You can select your preferred translation method under the “Translation Management” tab.
Step 5: Translate Your Website Content
Now that you have set up the basic configuration, it’s time to start translating your website’s content. WPML provides an intuitive and user-friendly translation interface, making the process smooth and efficient. Here’s how to translate your content:
- Create Translations: To start translating your content, go to “Pages” or “Posts” in the WordPress dashboard and select the page or post you want to translate. You will find the translation options for each language under the “Language” section.
- Use Translation Editor: The WPML Translation Editor allows you to translate content directly from the WordPress editor. It offers a side-by-side view of the original and translated content, making it easy to ensure accuracy.
- Automatic Translation: If you prefer automatic translation, WPML integrates with popular translation services like Google Translate, DeepL, and others. You can enable this feature in the translation settings.
- Translate Other Content: Besides pages and posts, you can also translate custom post types, taxonomies, menus, and other elements of your website.
Step 6: Test Your Translations
After translating your content, it’s essential to test your translations to ensure everything looks and works as expected. Visit your website in different languages and navigate through the translated pages and posts to verify their correctness.
Expanding your WordPress website to cater to a multilingual audience can significantly enhance your online presence and connect with a broader range of users. WPML simplifies the process of creating and managing multilingual content, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users. By following this step-by-step guide, you can install the WPML plugin, set up the configuration, and translate your website content with ease. Embrace WPML to deliver a more personalized and engaging experience to users worldwide, and make your mark in the global digital landscape.