Multilingual WordPress Websites

Posted on Jul 02 2020 by in Blog Blog Post Blogs 

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, more people are moving online for work, play, and even shopping. Self-isolation, social distancing, and even full quarantine measures in some locations have led to massive increases in online activities. Never before has there been such an incredible opportunity to build a successful multilingual wordpress site or a more pressing need for internet marketers who will build those WordPress websites.

E-commerce has increased dramatically since the coronavirus outbreak according to the Associated Press. “Transaction volumes in most retail sectors have seen a 74% rise in March compared to the same period last year, while online gaming has seen a staggering increase of 97%, according to an analysis by ACI Worldwide of hundreds of millions of transactions from global online retailers.”

These numbers become even more impressive when broken down, and indicate that there is a strong market for Multilingual WordPress e-commerce sites in the online markets these days. Home products and furnishings have seen an increase of 97%, DIY products sales online have increased by 136%, garden essentials likewise rose an incredible 163%, electronics and gadget sales online jumped up 26.6%.

Why Multilingual WordPress Websites are Important

The global Covid-19 pandemic, no matter how tragic it may be, has also created an amazing opportunity for multilingual eCommerce wordpress websites. There are many translation plugins for wordpress, though translation services may be beneficial at the same time. Machine translation vs human translation services is an ongoing challenge, but there are benefits and detriments to both. This, however, does nothing to alter the importance of having a multilingual wordpress website in this day and age of the Covid-19 outbreak, self-isolation, and an increased online marketplace.

The Shopify website presents a host of helpful information and statistics and notes that globally, 57% of online shoppers have actively purchased products from foreign sellers. When broken down, purchasing from foreign retailers was highest in Europe at 63.4%, followed by the Asia-Pacific region at 57.9%, with Africans coming in next, purchasing from foreign websites 55.5% of the time and lastly, Latin Americans making foreign purchases 54.6% of the time.

They further noted that during a 6-month evaluation, overseas purchases were the majority of online sales everywhere except for North America. There was also, however, quite a caveat that should not be dismissed or forgotten. While these people were more likely to purchase from foreign sources, they preferred to shop and explore in their own language, and they wanted their local currency as a payment option online.

Thus, while it is notably important to have a multilingual wordpress website if there is any real hope of attracting a larger, more international, and more profitable audience, it is equally important to have virtually all of the marketing materials and other content translated into the target languages as well. The merchant or online payment solution should likewise have options for paying in the relevant domestic currencies.

Translation Plugins for WordPress or Professional Translation Services

One potential solution for website translations is in the form of Post Edited Machine Translation, (also known as PEMT) or having everything translated using either a wordpress plugin or even using Google Translate, and then using a translation company in order to edit the machine website translation. Such an effort can help to reduce the cost of website translation but remains only one potential solution.

It can also help to ensure that the website is legible and that the wordpress website owner has an accurate translation that their audience can understand and use to make better purchasing decisions online. Since the website is effectively the physical presence online, it is imperative that the website translation be accurate in order to get, much less retain a viable customer base.

There is a long and ongoing battle about machine translation vs human translation services and which is better. WordPress may not be specifically designed for multilingual website design, but it does offer a great many options regarding plugins for wordpress websites.

All that being said, are these wordpress translation plugins going to be sufficient to meet the needs of a professional internet marketer for website translations? Moreover, are they going to offer what you need to succeed with a more international audience for a successful international marketing campaign? Even the best of wordpress translation plugins will not work for anything outside of the website such as video marketing campaigns, much less for podcasts, and other marketing content off-site.

It can be shown beyond any reasonable doubt that people are willing to buy from foreign markets. However, these people want to shop on websites in their own language. They also are very likely to want to view videos about the products they are hoping to purchase online. Numerous online studies and other research has indicated that people want to watch videos about products they are considering before they will purchase them.

Podcasts, slideshows, and many other marketing options for off-site SEO for wordpress all have to be considered, and no matter how good the website translation may be from the wordpress translation plugin, human translation services will virtually always provide a much better option for the website owner.

There are also some wordpress theme options that are not readily thought about when focusing on multilingual wordpress websites. According to, there are twelve language scripts that are written from right to left rather than the more “traditional” or “normal” left to right, depending on the perspective of course.

Arabic, Aramaic, Azeri, Divehi, Fula, Hebrew, Kurdish, N’ko, Persian, Rohingya, Syriac, Urdu are these twelve languages. However, there are also some other language scripts that may be written from top to bottom such as Japanese and Korean. How does this kind of website translation reflect the need for customization of the wordpress templates and wordpress web design?

In these cases, there is often an oversight on the part of the need for custom wordpress website and theme design. Brand recognition and brand consistency are both imperative for a successful online marketing campaign. People are happy to shop at fast-food restaurants around the world because they recognize the brand and they can reasonably expect that the product will be consistent with what they are accustomed to receiving from said brands.

Website translations are not drastically changed simply because of the style or construct of the language script. However, in order to retain brand consistency, when the website translation occurs for a language that is written in the reverse, the custom wordpress theme must also be flipped accordingly.

This kind of website translation may be most easily accomplished with a custom 3-column responsive wordpress theme, but it still may present some challenges. There are some cases where such a website translation should include not only a translation company but also a professional wordpress designer or other wordpress experts online.

This will be especially true if the website translation moves everything from top to bottom as opposed to merely reversing the wordpress theme in order to remain consistent. This concept of brand consistency, however, should also leave room for what is known as website localization, which is equally important to a successful international WordPress e-Commerce website marketing campaign.

Translation and Localization for Multilingual WordPress Websites

At the most basic level, website localization services are all about website translation, but at a much more complete level at the same time. What good would it do you to advertise your multilingual wordpress website to an entirely new international audience, only to discover that you have gone out of your way, even if unwittingly, and done nothing more than offend the expanded market from day one?

Ask any successful marketing or advertising professional, and it will quickly be realized that these people are successful because they know and understand the target demographic. Creating an international multilingual wordpress website means that there should at least be some basic understanding of the newly expanded audience base.

Using localization to create a successful international marketing campaign online is about much more than the language. It is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding, not only of the language but the cultural and historical environments of the international markets at the same time.

An advertising campaign featuring collard greens and cornbread may be seen as racist in some markets, whereas in other markets, it may bring a sense of the comforts of home. In some markets, a pop will be a refreshing cold drink while in other markets it will be a father figure. The better understanding the wordpress website owner has of the intended audience, the more focused they can be by using localization strategies.

There are some markets where a photograph of a steak being grilled over a barbecue pit may be absolutely fine, but there are also markets where cows are considered sacred and such a picture would be considered to be highly offensive.

This is again a subject that points to the need to use solutions such as wordpress multipress, custom wordpress website designs, and a translation company that specializes in localization services.

Translating Multilingual WordPress Websites into International Marketing Success Stories

One of the largest drawbacks of using nothing other than the wordpress translation plugins is their inability to deal with necessary changes in the overall website design or in the pictures or other potentially offensive materials, even if these same visuals are beneficial in separate online markets. In short, they greatly restrict the ability of the wordpress website owner to engage in website localization efficiently.

There are also numerous detrimental considerations against the wordpress translation plugins in terms of website search engine optimization for the website. A full website translation will allow for the website to be fully indexed by the search engines in all of the relevant languages. The search engines, however, will not crawl the text translated by the plugins. However, this may lead to other challenges for the wordpress website owner as well.

WordPress MultiPress website designs allow for different variations of the website to be created in all of the relevant languages. While these are technically different websites, when they reside in the same domain, they will ultimately result in an increased placement on the search engines. Each of the individual websites will be individually crawled, but the results will all add up to increased ranking on the SERP or search engine results page.

Some custom wordpress designers will establish IP gateways in conjunction with a redirect to point people to the relevant website translation based on where they are searching. Thus, someone searching from an IP located in Spain will ultimately be directed to the Spanish translation of the website.

On one hand, there is a potential that all of the 301 redirects will result in some penalties in regards to SEO, though this is subject to change as is virtually every aspect of the Google algorithms. Add in the fact that this process can be complicated, and it may be best left for WordPress design experts. Fortunately, there are other options as well.

It should be noted that the person searching for the relevant keywords in Spanish will ultimately be directed by the search engine to the Spanish language pages. This cuts out the need to use the technically difficult and potentially damaging redirects that may result in a lower ranking on the SERP.

The same holds true for any other language of the website translation so long as the WordPress MultiPress website design has been fully implemented. Thus, one of the popular solutions for this aspect of website translation and multilingual wordpress website design is the use of flags to indicate that the different website translations that are available.


In this way, those visitors can be directed to the language that they have been searching for indirectly. The website will be fully optimized, the custom wordpress website design, website translations, and website localization strategies will serve to establish a more personal and direct connection with the new and expanded target audience. The rest is pretty much up to the website content that has been created and the products that are for sale.