WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which supports multilingual content. A website available in several languages enables to your reach a wider audience and increases your online visibility.
In order to develop a multilingual website, follow these 5 straightforward steps:
Translate your content in the languages you want your website to be available in. You also need to translate the navigation items (menu, buttons and tags).
You may choose different images from one translated version to another. Images should reflect local and cultural understanding.
Install the latest version of WordPress and a plugin which manages multilingual content, such as qTranslate, WPLM or ZdMultiLang.
List all the features that your multilingual website needs to have and choose the plugin accordingly. When setting up the parameters, note that directory or sub domains-based architecture, such as site.com/language or language.site.com, are easier to manage and are better for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Either install a template that supports multilingual websites or tweak a regular template.
The main difference between a regular and a multilingual template is that a multilingual template enables visitors to switch from one language to another, no matter which page is opened. Most multilingual websites use flag icons.
Upload your content and images. Optimise your pages for Search Engines with translated title, description and alt tags. Create one XML sitemap per language.
Test your website thoroughly: check that the character set, the content and images look OK on different browsers and screen resolutions. Add your website to Webmaster tools (Google, Bing). Set up a geographic target for each language if applicable.
Submit the sitemaps.
Now that your website is up and running, it’s time to promote it using SEO and Social media!