Publish Your Blog In Multiple Languages With WPML Plugin For WordPress

wpmlMany people want to publish their blog in different languages or offer translations to their readers. Often a translation plugin is used offering automated translation via Google Translate or Babelfish. But if you speak/write several languages you can use the WPML plugin to publish your blog in several languages, and if you want to have each language on a separate (sub)domain.

The great thing about WPML is the ease to set the plugin up and stat using it, contrarily to other plugins. All you need to do is upload the plugin and fill in the settings.

Configuring WPML

WPML Settings 1

The first settings panel after activating the plugin allows you to set the main language, this is the language an entry will be published in if you do not select an other language for that post. Note that this setting will not change the language of your WordPress admin backend, you still need to localize your WP install for this (more info on localization at the WordPress codex).


When using the basic settings, you now only have to opt what other languages you want to add to your site. Once you have selected the additional languages you only have to decide where you want the widget with the language switcher. If your theme does not use widgets, use <?php do_action('icl_language_selector'); ?> in your theme. You can customize the display/colors of the language selector in the advanced settings.

Now your site is prepared to deal with multi-lingual content.

Publish Different Languages On Different Subdomains Or Domains

With WPML it is easy to set your blog up to display every language on a sub-domain or different domain for other language content. To set this up you must dive in the ‘Advanced settings’. The settings to make or change are rather obvious and self-explanatory and the plugin provides ample information when a setting can not be made (see second screenshot)



Adding sub-domains or new domains for other languages is simple. Note that these must have been setup prior to configuring WPML as WPML does not change any DNS entries. If you have not set the domains up, uncheck ‘Validate on save’. Tip: first set your (sub) domains up. πŸ˜‰


Publishing Your Blog In Several Languages

Whenever you write an entry you can now select in what language this post has to be published and WPML will do the hard work for you. If you have a look at your entries in /post.php or /edit.php you will notice that there is a new column.


Next to every entry you can now see if posts have also published in the other language(s). Clicking on + for any post/language now shows a new option on the writing editor page: ‘This is a translation of with a drop-down menu of all your entries.


This concludes the main part of using WPML in an all-day situation. I need to mention that WPML has many more options such as translating plugin and theme strings or breadcrumb navigation. You can even change the CSS. An extensive documentation is available.

What I like most about WPML is how the plugin can be used for more than just multi-language sites. With a little creative thinking you could use it for different purposes and use the plugin as a ‘mini WPMU’ for large multi-authored sites.

A good example of this would be to use WPML to create a gaming site with similar structure to Joystiq: a sub-domain for every platform. With some minor tweaks you could change the name of languages and replace with the name of gaming platforms. Do the same for the flags and attribute every author a certain platform (language) in their profile and without any supplementary effort you now have a multi-gaming-platform with an easy way to review games with their own entry for each platform they have been released for without cluttering your main feed.

Read more about the plugin at the WPML website.

Author: Franky Branckaute

Franky is CEO, Editor and Muppet on Duty at Splashpress Media and sporadically blogs about the professional online life at his personal iFranky blog, when he isn’t annoying his colleagues or blog software evangelists. He also is regular Guest Lecturer on all things New Media and ‘blogging’. Stalk him on Twitter or on Google+

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  1. Great Plug-in! I think it is important to have your website in multiple languages.

  2. That last little bit about β€˜mini WPMU’ has my curiosity piqued. How would you go about doing that? Is there documentation about that anywhere, or is it a hunch?

    • Dan, check out Joystiq. It’s a gaming news site, reporting on every gaming platform. There is a sub-domain for every platform. You can go about and set up a similar structure with only one WP install thanks to WPML.
      Imagine that a language a ‘platform’ is (you can even replace the translation strings and flags with the name of the gaming platform and icon). In the author profiles, give every author ‘a language’, or ‘platform’ and their entries will automatically be published on the sub-domain they are linked to.

      I know, it’s only ‘mini WPMU’ and even then requires some ‘creative thinking’ to call it as such but I think it suddenly opens new possibilities with WP.

      • Well, it looks totally awesome to me. We’ve been discussing WPMU at work, but this seems like it will be far more manageable.

        What my real question was how would you technically go about creating new “languages”, which I suppose I’ll just have to dig into it to see.

  3. miqrogroove says:

    I’ve been using qTranslate since day 1. This article is interesting, but I don’t see any inherent advantages to the WPML system. They appear to be good competitors.

  4. We don’t want this to be specific to the WP iPhone app though. The methods it uses to determine what language to store the post as should be open, allowing other blog clients to make use of it as well

    tuyen dung | tim viec | viec lam

  5. I’m using this plugin on a site I’m currently developing and so far, it looks great. Easy to use and a smart design. It’s very straight forward for the client to use as well, which is one thing I always look for. πŸ™‚

  6. laptop hp says:

    You said right :With WPML it is easy to set your blog up to display every language on a sub-domain or different domain for other language content
    Do it set up any website ?
    Please tell me this

  7. Great plugin! Thanks for sharing.

  8. great plugin. Im looking for similar plugin since two days but you saved my time

  9. great plugin. We can use it for many different language.

  10. Hey Guys,

    If you want buy this plugin, please write me for cooperation:

  11. It’s a long time I would like to test wpml actually. My next project will be with it. Qtranslate is interesting but issue with url… We will see, hope everything will be OK.

  12. thanks for share!

  13. Awesome! Thanks, for this good article!

  14. Thank you so much, I am going to try, no doubt. I’ll send you a virtual hug if it works for me.

  15. Naness says:

    I am currently translating wordpress using another plugin, that attaches wordpress to This platform has proved itself to be really good with my localization needs and this particular plugin that connects the tool directly to wordpress saves a lot of time. You can download the plugin here and on poeditor you just have to make an account and you’ll see the benefits.

  16. I am doing a multilangual joboard site for a customer using wordpress and was thinking about using multisite one of them. The issue is that users would exist in English but not in French. So if someone switches from french to English, he would go to another website where he does not exist. The theme I am using does not support WPML (it breaks core features) .

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