WordPress Multiple Language Adaptation: Case-Based Research from ProCoders
8 min.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to communicate with a global audience is paramount for businesses and content creators alike. This is where the concept of multilingual websites comes into play, serving as a crucial tool in breaking down language barriers and expanding reach. WordPress multiple language adaptation not only opens doors to new markets and audiences but also reflects a sensitivity and respect for cultural diversity. However, creating a multilingual website involves navigating through a series of challenges, from technical implementation to cultural nuances in translation.

Enter ProCoders, a team with expertise in developing and adapting websites for multilingual audiences. Our case-based research offers valuable insights into the best practices and strategies for effectively creating multilingual websites. 

Planning for Multi Language WordPress Adaptation

When adapting a website to support multiple languages, strategic planning is vital to determine the most effective approach to reach your target audience.

Strategic Planning: Deciding Between a Multilingual Site or Separate Sites for Each Language

  • Multilingual Site:
    • A single website that offers content in multiple languages. This is typically achieved through language selection options.
    • Advantages: Easier to manage, maintain brand consistency, and consolidate SEO efforts.
    • Challenges: Requires careful design to accommodate different languages, potential complexity in navigation.
  • Separate Sites for Each Language:
    • Individual websites for each language, often with separate domain names or subdomains.
    • Advantages: Tailored user experience for each language, greater flexibility in content and design.
    • Challenges: Higher maintenance, separate SEO strategies for each site, and potential fragmentation of brand identity.

Choosing the right approach depends on factors like target audience, resource availability, and overall business goals.

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Technical Considerations in WordPress Multi Language Adaptation

Adapting your website to multiple languages involves several technical considerations to ensure functionality and user experience.

Overview of Technical Aspects

  • Character Encoding:
    • Use Unicode (UTF-8) encoding to support a wide range of characters from different languages.
    • Ensures that characters and symbols from all languages display correctly.
  • Text Direction:
    • Some languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, are read right-to-left (RTL). Your site’s design must accommodate this, flipping layouts as necessary.
  • Language-Specific Design Considerations:
    • Account for variations in text length between languages, which can affect layout and design.
    • Consider cultural differences in color meanings, imagery, and layout preferences.
Technical Considerations in WordPress

Understanding the Role of hreflang Tags and Other SEO Considerations

  • Hreflang Tags:
    • Use hreflang tags to tell search engines about the language and geographic targeting of a webpage.
    • Helps in serving the correct version of your site in search results.
  • SEO for Multilingual Sites:
    • Each version should be optimized for SEO relevant to that language and region.
    • Maintain consistent quality and depth of content across all languages.
  • Local Keywords:
    • Conduct keyword research for each language to optimize for search terms used by your target audience in different regions.
  • Sitemaps and URLs:
    • Create separate sitemaps for each version.
    • Use clear URL structures that indicate the language and region, for example, using subdirectories (example.com/en/, example.com/es/).

By carefully considering these strategic and technical aspects, you can effectively adapt your website to be multilingual, enhancing its reach and accessibility to a global audience. The key lies in balancing the user experience for each language while maintaining the overall integrity and objectives of your website.

User Experience in Multilingual Websites

Creating a WordPress language-diverse website goes beyond just translating content; it involves crafting a user experience (UX) that resonates with diverse audiences. Ensuring that visitors have a seamless and intuitive experience regardless of the language they choose is crucial for the success of a multilingual site.

User Experience in Multilingual Websites

Ensuring a Seamless User Experience Across All versions

  • Consistent Navigation and Layout:
    • Maintain a consistent layout and navigation structure across all versions to provide a familiar and intuitive user interface (UI).
    • Variations in text length and direction should be accommodated without disrupting the overall design and navigation flow.
  • Cultural Sensitivity in Design:
    • Be mindful of cultural nuances and preferences in design. Colors, images, symbols, and even fonts might have different connotations in different cultures.
    • Adapt design elements to be culturally appropriate and appealing to each target audience.
  • Language Switcher Accessibility:
    • Implement an easily accessible language switcher, allowing users to change languages effortlessly. This is typically placed in the header, footer, or main navigation menu.
    • Ensure the language switcher is clearly visible and understandable, with languages listed in their native scripts.
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Case-Based Examples of UX/UI Design Adaptations for Different Languages

  • Right-to-Left (RTL) Layout Adaptations:
    • Example: An Arabic version of a website where the entire layout flips to accommodate RTL reading. This includes text alignment, navigation menus, and even mirrored graphics.
  • Cultural Design Adaptations:
    • Example: A Japanese site version might use more minimalistic design and imagery that resonates with local aesthetics, as opposed to a more vibrant and image-heavy design for a Latin American audience.
  • Font and Typography Adjustments:
    • Example: For languages like Chinese or Korean, choosing fonts that maintain legibility even with complex characters, and adjusting font sizes and line spacing accordingly.

In these examples, the focus is on adapting the UI and UX to meet the linguistic and cultural expectations of each audience. This approach not only enhances user engagement but also builds trust and connection with your brand. A well-executed multilingual website can provide a welcoming and satisfying experience, encouraging visitors to explore your site further, regardless of their language or cultural background.

UX/UI Design Adaptations

Content Management and Maintenance

Efficiently managing and maintaining content across multiple languages is a key challenge for multilingual websites. It requires a strategic approach to ensure consistency, accuracy, and timeliness in all versions.

Strategies for Managing and Updating Content Across Multiple Languages

  • Centralized Content Management System (CMS):
    • Use a CMS that supports multilingual content management. This allows for centralized control over all versions, ensuring consistency across the site. We recommend opting for WordPress development services.
    • Regularly update and review content in all languages to maintain accuracy and relevance.
  • Consistent Content and Brand Message:
    • Maintain a consistent brand message across all languages, while allowing for cultural adaptations. This involves careful coordination between content creators for different versions.
  • Efficient Workflow for Content Updates:
    • Establish a streamlined workflow for content creation, translation, and publication. This includes setting clear roles and processes for content writers, translators, and editors.
  • Quality Control and Localization:
    • Implement quality control measures to ensure that translations are not just linguistically accurate but also culturally appropriate.
    • Consider localization, which goes beyond translation to adapt content for cultural nuances and local preferences.
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Tools and Plugins that Can Assist with Multilingual Content Management

  • WordPress Multiple Language Plugins:
    • Plugins like WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin) or Polylang provide robust tools for managing multilingual content, including translation management and language switching.
    • These plugins allow you to translate every part of your site, including posts, pages, tags, categories, and themes.
  • Translation Services Integration:
    • Some tools offer integration with professional translation services, facilitating high-quality translations directly within your CMS.
  • Automated Translation Plugins:
    • Plugins like Google Website Translator can offer automated translation solutions. While not as accurate as human translation, they can be useful for basic content translation needs.
  • Content Synchronization Tools:
    • Tools that help synchronize content across different versions, ensuring that updates or changes are consistently reflected in all languages.

Managing multilingual content effectively involves not just the right tools, but also a well-thought-out strategy that addresses the complexities of multiple languages and cultures. By leveraging WordPress CMS capabilities and specialized plugins, you can create a workflow that ensures your multilingual site remains cohesive, current, and culturally resonant

Tools and Plugins

Case Study: ProCoders’ Website Localization Project for the Israeli Market

We at ProCoders had to create a new website targeting potential clients in Israel. The primary objective was to design the website using the same WordPress theme as our main site. This approach would allow any improvements made to the theme to be automatically reflected across all their websites.


  • Right-to-Left (RTL) Layout Adaptation: The main challenge was adapting the website layout for Hebrew, a language that reads right-to-left. This required a significant alteration in text and element positioning, changing from the standard left-to-right format.
  • Font Compatibility Issues: During the development, it was discovered that one of the fonts did not display Hebrew characters correctly. This necessitated a switch to a different font family that supported the language.


  • CSS Adjustments for RTL: The lead developer suggested specific CSS modifications to facilitate RTL layout. This included using padding-inline-start instead of padding-left, text-align: initial instead of text-align: left, and inset-inline-start for positioning. These changes enabled the website to support RTL text alignment and element positioning natively.
  • Font Family Replacement: A different font family was chosen that was compatible with Hebrew, ensuring proper display of text in the website.


The strategic CSS adjustments resulted in significant time and code space savings. The website maintained its native look and feel for an RTL layout without extensive code overhaul.

The project was completed within a week. The smooth adaptation was attributed to the foresight in designing the blocks, styles, and site structure with flexibility and adaptability in mind from the outset.

ProCoders successfully launched a Hebrew version of website, overcoming challenges related to RTL layout adaptation and font compatibility. The project’s success showcased the team’s ability to effectively localize a website for a different market while maintaining a consistent theme and style across multiple platforms.

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Are Multilingual Sites Allowed in WordPress?

Yes, multilingual sites are absolutely allowed and feasible in WordPress. The platform is flexible and supports the creation of websites in multiple languages. You can create a multilingual site either by using plugins designed for this purpose or through other methods like creating a multisite for each language.

How Do I Make WordPress Multilingual Without Plugins?

To make a WordPress site multilingual without plugins, manually create pages or posts for each language, like separate ‘About Us’ pages in English, Spanish, etc. Alternatively, use WordPress Multisite, where each site in the network is a different version. Organize these using subdomains (fr.yoursite.com) or subdirectories (yoursite.com/fr/). Manually link pages for language switching. This method requires consistent content management across languages.

Which is the Best Multilingual Plugin for WordPress?

Choosing the best multilingual plugin for WordPress depends on your needs. WPML is robust and flexible, ideal for professional sites needing comprehensive translation control. Polylang suits simpler, smaller websites with its user-friendly interface. TranslatePress offers a visual approach to front-end translation, good for ease of use. Consider factors like your site’s complexity and the number of languages when deciding.


Adapting your website to cater to multiple languages is a strategic step towards expanding your global reach and connecting with a diverse audience. While the process involves careful planning, technical considerations, and an understanding of cultural nuances, the benefits of creating a multilingual website are substantial. It not only enhances user experience and engagement but also opens up new markets and opportunities for growth.

The use of WordPress as a platform for building multilingual websites offers flexibility and a range of options to suit different needs. Whether you choose to use powerful plugins like WPML, Polylang, or TranslatePress, or opt for a manual approach, the key lies in maintaining consistency and quality across all versions. Balancing the technical aspects with an empathetic approach to cultural differences ensures that your website resonates with each segment of your audience.

Ultimately, a multilingual website is more than just a translation of content; it’s an extension of your brand’s voice and an invitation to a global community. By embracing this approach, you position your website not just as a digital space, but as a globally accessible resource, welcoming users from all corners of the world.

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