How to Easily Add Multilingual Support to WordPress

We show you how to turn your website into a multilingual machine using the Easy Translation Manager for WordPress plugin.

The headline stats are certainly impressive: WordPress has been translated into nearly 50 languages and is used in all corners of the globe. However you look at it, WordPress is a truly international platform these days, and this is reflected in the diverse group of WordPress users.

There’s one group, however, that’s even more diverse and speaks an even wider range of languages: internet users. Take a look at your Google Analytics data to see what I mean. I bet your website receives visitors from loads of countries, am I right?

Let me ask you this, then: Does your website cater to all these people? If a visitor is not particularly well-versed in English, then the answer is probably not. If you translate your website into a variety of languages, however, your website will have a far wider appeal. That means more traffic and a healthier bottom line.

Today I want to show you how to turn your website into a multilingual machine using the Easy Translation Manager for WordPress plugin.

Easy Translation Manager for WordPress

What the Plugin Isn’t

To avoid any misconceptions, before we get started I want to clarify what the Easy Translation Manager is not. The plugin will not translate your content into foreign languages in the same way that an automatic translation service like, say, Google Translate will.

If you’re multilingual, though, it gives you the opportunity to translate the entirety of your website into the languages you speak. This includes your published content, plus all the WordPress plugins and themes you’ve installed.

Getting Started with Easy Translation Manager

As always, let’s start by installing the plugin. From the WordPress dashboard go to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin.

With the plugin installed and activated, head to Translation > Option to configure it.

The Options screen is really easy to work with, with thorough explanations for what each field does. The default settings are completely logical, though, so I wouldn’t touch them at all.

What you will need to configure, however, is the languages you’re going to be translating – this is done by navigating to the Languages tab.

Activate Languages

Now, as I’ve already covered, Easy Translation Manager for WordPress will not do the translating for you – that’s your job. With this in mind, there’s an option for you to translate your website into just about every major language.

The plugin divides the languages into ten of the most common languages – including UK English, US English, Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese. Further down the page, you’ll see 64 more languages, sorted alphabetically. By default, each language is deactivated, but can be activated with one click – just remember to hit Save after.

With your languages activated, it’s worth heading back into the General Settings tab so you can select the default language on the front- and back-end of your website. After configuring the plugin, it’s time to start translating.

Translating Posts and Pages

Let’s start by translating a post into a different language.

Now, for the record, I’m not multilingual – ‘je m’appelle Shaun’ is about my limits! With this in mind, I’ll be using placeholder text to demonstrate the plugin’s functionality.

From the dashboard, head to Translation > Post Translation.

From this screen you can translate all your posts, tags, and categories into different languages – including custom post types. I’m going to be translating a standard post, so select Posts then find the one you want to translate from the list.

In the far right column, you will see a flag for each language you activated. Click the language you want to translate first.

Translate Languages

This will open up two text editors – on the left, your default content; on the right, a blank text editor for you to write the translation.

French Translation

Translate your content into the new language, then hit the Save button. Now repeat for all the other languages you want to translate.

For the record, the process for translating pages is exactly the same, but obviously requires you to navigate to Translation > Page Translation.

Language Selector

So you’ve taken the time to translate your content into lots of different languages? That’s great. Visitors will be able to switch between your translations by selecting their preferred language from a list. This list can be customized in five main ways:

  • List type – eight available
  • Flag sizes – S, M, L, XL
  • Display type – display the flag and/or text for each language
  • Alignment – left, right, center
  • Width (px)

You can add the language selector to your website in two ways: by using a widget or a shortcode.

Translation Widgets

If you’d prefer to add the language selector to a sidebar or footer, you should use the widget option. Head to Appearance > Widgets and then select the ETM Select Language widget. Place it in your chosen widget space using WordPress’s drag-and-drop interface. You can make customizations directly from the widget, too.

Translation Widget

With the widget placed and saved, visitors will be able to select their language by selecting flags from a list — all flags look incredibly stylish.

Choose Your Language

After the visitor has selected their language, your provided translation is displayed automatically.

Translation Shortcodes

If you’d prefer to use a shortcode, this is done from the WordPress editor. The plugin will have added an ETM button to the right of the Add Media button — click it.

ETM button

You’ll be given the same customization options. When you’re done, click Insert Menu to add the shortcode to your content.

Translation Shortcode

That’s all there is to it. Now your visitors will be able to view your content in their preferred language!

Translating Menus

Easy Translation Manager also allows you to translate your WordPress menus. This is achieved by going to Translation > Menu Translation.

You can translate menu items in a very similar way to posts and pages: choose the menu you want, then select the relevant flag for each menu item you want to translate. When a visitor selects their chosen language from the language selector, your menu will be translated automatically, too. This means you can provide various translations for every element on the front-end of your website.

Translating Plugins and Themes

But the plugin is not just for front-end translations – you can also use it on the back-end to translate plugins and themes.

To translate a plugin navigate to Translations > Plugin Translations.

Plugin Translation

Now you’ll see a list of all your plugins, both activated and de-activated. Click the one you want to translate. The plugin will pull up all the default text strings the plugin uses – in other words, any written messages the plugin uses, like ‘Add New’.

Translate Text Strings

You can translate each text string the same way as before: by clicking the relevant flag in the languages field, then typing your translation.

Note: for some plugins there will be a lot of text strings to translate. You’ll be able to see what percentage of the plugin you’ve translated in each language.

Translation progress

When you’re done, users will be able to use plugins in their preferred language. This is ideal if you have users of different nationalities working on your website. You can translate themes the same way, but by heading to Translation > Theme Translation.

Final Thoughts

Easy Translations Manager is a great plugin for anyone with strong language skills who wishes to translate their website to attract a wider audience. It allows you to translate just about anything on your website – from your content and menus on the front-end, right the way through to your plugins and themes on the back-end. This means you can use it to attract new visitors and users alike.

Best of all, the plugin is incredibly easy to use, so that you can start translating your website in just minutes. If you’ve got better language skills than me, this plugin is highly recommended! Go on, give Easy Translation Manager for WordPress a try:

Easy Translation Manager for WordPress →

code canyon logo logoAs well as Easy Translation Manager, on CodeCanyon there are several other WordPress utility plugins that will allow you to quickly add a translation system to your site. You should check them out.