A lot of folks that use WordPress decide that when they create there blog they will only create content in their own language. This is fair enough as we are not all fluent in more than one language but following this strategy can lose you a ton of traffic from countries outside your blogs demographics. Lets take an example you create your blog and cater only for English speaking people but think about how many Spanish, Portuguese or German speaking people are there in the world.
What about the Asian countries such as China, Indonesia or Japan Do you see what I mean by missing out on a wide range of potential visitors/customers? This can be rectified with a couple of easy steps and a plugin for wordpress.
Now for the plugin, the plugin you are looking for is called the global translator plugin, this plugin basically creates a cached version of your website for a particular language you choose so for example if you had a site at yourdomain.com and decided you want a Spanish version this creates a folder called yourdomain.com/es/, download and install this in your WordPress blog from the Plugins tab and you will now see a Global Translator section in your settings tab.
There are a couple of things to set up here, the first option is the translation engine to use, I use the Google translation engine but there are others which you may select, select the language that your blog is written in and then pick the countries you want to translate, these are displayed as a list of flags underneath, I normally leave them all checked but you may wish not too. There are several options on how to display the flags of the country you wish to show but again I usually choose about 7 flags in a row in a single image map because that fits in with my themes.
I change the request time from 300 seconds to a larger number like 1500 seconds, this is particularly relevant if you have an active site as you will hit the translation service frequently and may risk your IP being banned from using the service. Now tick the enable sitemap integration, this means if you have the Google XML Sitemap plugin installed the the translated pages will appear in this xml file. Click the update settings.
At this point you may need to edit your theme, don’t worry its not that difficult. Go to Appearance -> Editor, now I decided that I wanted the translation flags to appear im my sidebar so the file I had to edit was called sidebar2.php, your theme may be different. Enter the following php code where you want this to occur:
Now modify the list of Update Services which is found in the Settings -> Writing menu option. I personally use the list which can be found from http://nicheplace.net/marketing/wordpress-ping-list/ because this contained a lot of the Google regionalised searches which suits my general needs.
There is one additional step I took, I use a program called IBP which is basically a website submitter, this program contained a number of regionalised search engines which I submitted my main site to.
The next step is to search for a good WordPress Stats plugin to keep an eye on your visitors, I personally use Statpress plugin. Very soon you will start to say many foreign visitors arriving at translated pages on your site in the stats.