With WordPress, delivering your content in different languages, is quite easy, and there is no need to set up a multi-site or separate WordPress installs for each language. Through the many multi-lingual plugins, you can translate any and all posts, pages, tags, widgets, categories and custom fields.

In this tutorial we will show you how to make your site multilingual by using one of two of the most popular plugins: WPML and Polylang. We will also use the SpicePress theme as an example, as it is translation-ready.

Translating with WPML

Obviously, you need to start by installing WPML. Please be aware that WPML is a premium plugin and offers no free functionalities.

Start with these steps:

  1. Install SpicePress, or any other translation-ready theme, and activate it.
  2. Install and activate the WPML plugin and its add-ons (WPML Multilingual CMS, WPML String Translation, WPML Translation Management). You can get more details about WPML addons here.
  3. Set up WPML from your WP Admin Panel. Look for the WPML tab and then proceed to Languages. See the WPML Getting Started Guide for complete reference.

Configuring WPML

After activating WPML, you need to follow these 4 steps to set it up.

1 – Setup

In your WP Admin Panel, look for the WPML tab and then proceed to Languages

2 – Translate Posts/Pages

From inside your posts/pages you can now easily translate the content. For more details, follow WPML official Tutorial.

3 – Translate theme strings

SpicePress comes with many strings that you can translate. You can complete any missing translations using WPML’s String Translation add-on, and if some strings are missing, you can follow this tutorial.

4 – Translate theme options

To translate the options in the Customizer, first, make sure that you have saved your own content. Then go to WPML =>Strings Translation, where you will find the strings and you will be able to enter their translation.

Translating with Polylang

First, you need to install the Polylang plugin. Polylang offers a free plugin and more extensive features in its premium version, Polylang Pro.

Start with these steps:

  1. Install SpicePress, or any other translation-ready theme, and activate it.
  2. Install and activate the Polylang plugin.
  3. Add your default language, and the other languages in which you want to translate your website.

Refer to the screenshots below. We have added two languages, and made one language the default one.

Translating content and menu

In the screenshot below you can see how you can add additional languages for your post/pages and also how to add a translated menu for your additional languages.

Translating strings

To translate strings (like, for example, to translate parts of your template) you will have to do string translations in the dedicated submenu in the Languages tab. See the screenshots below for the procedure.