Expanding your website’s reach into new languages opens up a world of possibilities.  A multilingual website isn’t just about translation – it’s about connecting with a global audience, boosting your visibility online, and building an international brand. 

Here’s why you should consider taking the multilingual leap:

  • Reach a Wider Audience:  Billions of people around the world need to speak your website’s primary language. By offering your content in their native tongue, you unlock vast untapped markets and potential customers.
  • Improved User Experience (UX):  People are far more likely to engage with, trust, and purchase from a website that speaks their language. Providing a localized experience fosters stronger connections and leaves a lasting positive impression.
  • Boosted SEO & Search Visibility: Multilingual websites get an SEO advantage. Search engines recognize your efforts to cater to different languages and may reward you with higher rankings across multiple regions.
  • Increased Credibility & Trust: A multilingual website demonstrates your commitment to a global audience.  It signals that you’re a serious player, ready to serve customers in their preferred language.

Note: Building and maintaining a multilingual website does require extra effort and investment. In the next sections, we’ll guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth transition and maximizing the benefits for your business or brand.

Key Considerations & Planning 

Before choosing tools or translating content, it’s vital to establish a strategic foundation.  Here are the essential questions to answer:

Target Languages: Defining Your Audience 

  • Who Are You Trying to Reach? Analyze your current audience: are there significant groups from specific countries or language backgrounds? Alternatively, are there new markets you’d like to expand into?
  • Market Research: Investigate potential demand for your product or service in different regions. Consider competitor activities – are they already offering multilingual websites?
  • Start Manageable: While it’s tempting to target many languages, it’s often wiser to begin with one or two additional languages. This allows you to refine your process and ensure quality before scaling further.

Content Scope: Deciding What to Translate 

  • Core Pages First: Prioritize your essential pages: homepage, about us, product/service descriptions, contact forms, and any key landing pages.
  • Beyond Static Text: Think about all forms of content: images (alt text), videos (subtitles or voiceovers), downloadable files, and dynamic elements like forms and product listings.
  • Legal Considerations: Remember to translate your terms of service, privacy policy, and any other legal documents relevant to your website’s operation.
  • Evolution, Not All at Once: It’s perfectly fine to start with core content and gradually expand your multilingual offerings over time.

Budget & Resources:  Planning for Success 

  • Translation Costs: The cost of translation varies depending on the languages, amount of content, and whether you use professional services, machine translation, or a hybrid approach (more on this later). Obtain quotes and factor this into your budget.
  • Technical Expertise: Do you have someone on your team who can handle the technical setup of a multilingual website, or will you need to outsource this aspect? This will impact costs.
  • Website Tools: Your chosen tools for translation and website management will also have associated costs (for example, premium translation plugins often have subscription fees).
  • Long-term Maintenance: Multilingual websites require ongoing updates and additions. Budget for continuous translation of new content.

Pro Tip: Using a website builder like Elementor can simplify the technical aspects of building a multilingual site, potentially reducing costs and the need for extensive development expertise.

Choosing a Translation Plugin 

The right translation plugin is the backbone of your multilingual website. It will streamline the process of translating your content, managing different language versions, and providing a seamless experience for your visitors.  Here’s a breakdown of some popular options and how to make the best choice:

Top WordPress Multilingual Plugins

  • WPML: One of the most established and feature-rich plugins. It offers excellent compatibility across WordPress themes and plugins, comprehensive translation management tools, and support for professional translation services.
  • TranslatePress: A user-friendly plugin with both free and premium versions. It boasts a visual translation interface, allowing you to translate content directly on the front end of your website.
  • Polylang: A popular and free option known for its simplicity. It’s a good choice for smaller multilingual sites or ones needing only a few languages.
  • Weglot: A cloud-based solution offering automatic translation as its primary focus. While convenient, it’s important to consider the potential impact on SEO and the reliance on machine translation (which can require post-editing for accuracy).

Key Features to Consider 

  • Automatic vs. Manual Translation: Some plugins provide machine translation, while others require manual input. Automatic translation can be faster but might necessitate quality control, while manual translation offers greater accuracy from the start.
  • Translation Management: Look for a plugin with a well-organized interface for managing your translations, assigning translators, tracking progress, and maintaining version control.
  • SEO Features: Ensure your chosen plugin integrates seamlessly with SEO practices. It should properly handle hreflang tags, facilitate translation of SEO-rich elements like meta descriptions, and allow for keyword optimization in different languages.
  • Elementor Compatibility: Verify that the plugin works smoothly with Elementor. It should be able to handle the translation of Elementor-built pages, templates, and dynamic content.

Factors Influencing Your Decision 

  • Website Size & Complexity: For large or complex websites, a robust plugin like WPML, with its extensive features and scalability, might be the best fit. Smaller sites might find Polylang sufficient.
  • Desired Languages: Ensure the plugin supports all the languages you need. Also, consider the potential scalability if you plan to offer more languages in the future.
  • Technical Expertise: If you’re comfortable with some coding, a plugin like Polylang might be suitable. Beginners might appreciate TranslatePress’s visual interface, while Weglot’s cloud-based approach minimizes technical setup.
  • Budget: While some plugins like Polylang have a free version, more feature-rich options like WMPL or Weglot’s higher tiers involve subscription costs.

Pro Tip: Many translation plugins offer free trials or limited free versions. Experimenting with them in a staging environment can help you determine the best fit for your website and workflow.

URL Structure for Multilingual SEO

How you organize your website’s URLs plays a crucial role in how search engines understand and rank your multilingual content.  The main options are:

1. Subdirectories 

  • Clear Separation: Each language version resides in its own subdirectory, making it easily identifiable for both users and search engines.
  • SEO Benefits: Potential for better localized search rankings, as search engines can associate subdirectories with specific countries or regions.
  • Recommended for Most Sites: This approach offers greater flexibility and control, making it ideal for larger multilingual websites or ones aiming for strong SEO in specific target markets.

2. Subdomains 

  • Possible Technical Advantages: Historically, subdomains were sometimes considered as separate websites, potentially helpful if you want to target completely different markets with very distinct content.
  • Less Common Now: With search engines becoming more sophisticated, the SEO benefits of subdomains have remained the same. They can also introduce technical complexities in management.

3. Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) 

  • Strongest Geographical Signal: ccTLDs provide the clearest indication to search engines that you’re targeting a specific country (like Spain with .es).
  • Maintenance: Requires purchasing and managing separate domains, increasing costs and complexity. Best suited for large corporations targeting well-established international markets.

hreflang Tags: The Essential Glue

Regardless of your URL structure, hreflang tags are vital.  These HTML attributes within your website’s code tell search engines about the different language versions of a page.


  • <link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/about-us/” hreflang=”en” />
  • <link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/es/about-us/” hreflang=”es” />

Purpose: Helps prevent duplicate content issues and ensures search engines display the correct language version to users based on their location or search preferences.

Choosing the Right URL Structure & Implementing hreflang

Most websites will fare best with subdirectories for their multilingual setup.  Some translation plugins can automatically handle hreflang tag generation. However, it’s essential to double-check their implementation and accuracy for the best SEO results.

Pro Tip: If you’re using Elementor, its built-in multilingual features and compatibility with top translation plugins often streamline the process of setting up your URL structure and handling hreflang tags.

The Translation Process 

Here’s where you decide how to get your web content translated accurately and efficiently. You have a few main options, each with its pros and cons:

1.  Manual Translation

  • Highest Accuracy: When quality is paramount, human translators provide the nuanced understanding necessary to capture the true meaning and tone of your content.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Skilled human translators can adapt your website not just linguistically, but also with cultural awareness.
  • Downside: Costs & Time: Manual translation is typically the most expensive option, and scaling it for larger websites can be time-consuming.

2.  Professional Translation Services

  • Quality & Expertise: Professional services offer access to experienced translators specializing in different languages and industries. They can handle large volumes of content while ensuring accuracy.
  • Streamlined Workflow: Professional services often provide their own project management tools, simplifying the process of ordering translations and managing revisions.
  • Finding the Right Partner: It’s important to find a reputable translation agency. Look for industry certifications, positive testimonials, and experience with website translation projects.

3.  Machine Translation (with Human Editing)

  • Speed & Cost-Efficiency: Machine translation tools like Google Translate or DeepL can rapidly translate large amounts of text. This can be a starting point for getting content into different languages quickly.
  • Limitations: Machine translation should always be followed by careful human post-editing. Errors in tone, grammar, or cultural context are common when relying solely on automated tools.
  • Use Cases: Machine translation might be suitable for less critical content like user comments or internal documentation, where speed outweighs the need for absolute accuracy.

Translation Workflow: A Practical Approach 

  1. Content Prioritization: Begin by translating your core pages, essential product descriptions, and any high-traffic content.
  2. Tool Selection: Decide if you’ll use a professional service, machine translation with post-editing, or a hybrid approach depending on your budget, content volume, and quality requirements.
  3. Project Management: If using translators (whether in-house or external), establish clear communication channels, deadlines, and a system for tracking revisions.
  4. Quality Control: Implement a review process before translated content goes live. Ideally, this should involve a native speaker of the target language for the most accurate feedback.

Pro Tip Many translation plugins integrate directly with professional translation services, making it easier to order and manage translations directly within your WordPress dashboard.

Getting It Done with Elementor

Elementor’s features, flexibility, and translation plugin compatibility make it an excellent choice for creating multilingual websites.  Here’s how it enhances the process:

Elementor’s Built-in Multilingual Features 

  • Translation-Ready Design: Elementor’s visual interface, widgets, and theme builder give you precise control over the layout and design of each language version, ensuring a consistent look and feel.
  • Global Widgets: Create reusable widgets (headers, footers, sidebars) and easily sync content or translations across different pages on your multilingual site.
  • Dynamic Content Translation: Elementor allows you to translate dynamic content elements like forms, custom fields, and content generated by plugins.
  • RTL Support: Properly display right-to-left languages (like Arabic or Hebrew) with automatic adjustments and styling capabilities.

Integrating with Translation Plugins 

Elementor works seamlessly with the top WordPress multilingual plugins. Here’s a look at how the integration works with popular choices:


  • Translate Elementor-built pages, posts, templates, and custom post types directly within the Elementor Editor.
  • Manage translations of theme strings, widgets, and other website elements.
  • Utilize WPML’s advanced translation management features and access to professional translation services.


  • Visual translation interface for translating Elementor content in real-time on the front end of your website.
  • SEO-friendly features for handling meta descriptions, image alt text, and other vital elements for multilingual search visibility.


Use Elementor to design your templates and then translate content with Polylang’s straightforward interface.

Note: The specific workflow will vary slightly depending on your chosen plugin, but the overall process is made intuitive through the combination of Elementor and your translation solution.

Step-by-Step Translation with Elementor 

Let’s use WPML as an example of a typical workflow:

  1. Install & Configure: Install both Elementor and WPML.  Follow the WPML setup wizard to choose your languages and configure your URL structure.
  2. Create Content: Build your primary language website using Elementor as you usually would.
  3. Translate Pages & Templates:  In Elementor Editor, you’ll see options to add translations for each page or template. This will open a duplicate of the page where you can input the translated content.
  4. Translate Theme & Widgets: WPML provides a separate interface for translating your theme’s strings (text elements), widgets, menus, and more.
  5. Dynamic Content:  Configure how dynamic content is handled (automatic updates to translations, manual translation, etc.), depending on your specific needs.

Pro Tip: Some translation plugins may need addon modules to ensure full compatibility with Elementor.  Check the plugin’s documentation for any specific requirements.


  • Alt Text: Pay attention to the alt text of your images! Translate this as it provides essential context for visually impaired users and also contributes to SEO.
  • Images Containing Text:  If your images have embedded text (like banners or infographics), you’ll need several versions.  There are two approaches:
    • Editing the image itself: Create separate images with translated text, ensuring proper sizing and formatting for each language.
    • Elementor Overlays: Keep a single base image and use Elementor’s text overlay features to display the translated text dynamically on different language versions of the page.
  • Optimization:  Compress translated images to maintain fast loading speeds. Consider using an image optimization plugin or Elementor Image Optimizer to reduce file size without sacrificing quality.


  • Subtitles: Create translated subtitles for your videos. This makes content accessible to a wider audience and can improve comprehension for viewers who speak the language but aren’t native speakers.
  • Voiceovers: For certain types of videos (like tutorials or product demos), consider creating voiceovers in different languages.
  • Hosting: Use a video hosting platform that supports captions or subtitles and allows easy switching between languages.

Other Media

  • PDFs & Downloadable Files: If you offer important documents for download, provide multilingual versions to cater to your global audience.
  • Audio Files: Transcripts or translated subtitles can make audio content accessible to users of different languages.

Pro Tip: Some translation plugins offer features specifically  for managing image or media translations. Explore the capabilities of your chosen plugin for streamlining this process.

File Naming Conventions:  Use clear file naming conventions that include language identifiers to keep your translated media well-organized (e.g., “product-banner_en.jpg,”  “product-banner_es.jpg”).

A Word on Elementor Hosting

Remember, a fast and reliable hosting solution makes a world of difference to your multilingual website’s performance.  Here’s how Elementor WordPress Hosting can supercharge your site:

  • Global CDN: Cloudflare’s Enterprise CDN caches your content across 285+ locations worldwide. That means faster page load times for visitors from different regions, boosting user experience.
  • Optimized Server Stack: Elementor Hosting’s infrastructure is fine-tuned for WordPress sites,  ensuring peak performance even when handling multiple language versions and translations.
  • Security: With built-in website security features and top-tier Cloudflare protection, you can safeguard your multilingual website  from attacks and vulnerabilities.

Design, User Experience, & Beyond 

Language Switcher: Placement & Design 

  • Prominent Placement: Place your language switcher in an intuitive location, like the header or a sidebar. Avoid burying it deep within your site’s navigation.
  • Visual Cues: Use flags or clear language abbreviations (EN, ES, DE, etc.) alongside text labels to make the switcher easily identifiable.
  • Dropdown or Menu Style: Choose a switcher style that aligns with your website’s overall design and available space.
  • Mobile Considerations: Make sure the language switcher remains accessible and visually clear on smaller screens.

Cultural Adaptation: Going Beyond Text 

  • Layout: Right-to-left languages require adjustments to the flow of your design. Some theme builders and Elementor allow you to manage RTL styling seamlessly.
  • Colors & Imagery: Different colors and visual elements can carry distinct meanings across cultures. Be mindful of potential connotations for your target audience.
  • Formats & Units: Use date formats, currencies, measurements, and address layouts familiar to users in their locale.

Multilingual Customer Support 

  • Options: Consider offering support in multiple languages, either through in-house staff or by partnering with external services.
  • Knowledge Base: Translate FAQs, help articles, and documentation to assist users in their preferred language.
  • Tools: Explore live chat translation tools or multilingual ticketing systems to streamline support communication.
  • Transparency: Clearly state which languages you provide support in to manage user expectations.

Legal Documents: Don’t Neglect Translations 

  • Terms of Service: Ensure a qualified professional translates legal agreements to ensure clarity and enforceability in different regions.
  • Privacy Policy: Comply with local regulations like GDPR by providing translated privacy policies for your users.
  • Accessibility: Consider translating accessibility statements outlining how your website accommodates people with disabilities.

Ongoing Maintenance: A Living, Multilingual Website 

  • Regular Updates: As you add new content or features to your primary language website, make sure translations follow promptly.
  • Content Calendar: Schedule ongoing translation tasks to maintain consistency and avoid a backlog of untranslated content.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Provide ways for users to report translation errors or suggest improvements. This helps refine your multilingual website over time.
  • Technical Updates: Keep your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes updated to ensure compatibility and security as your website evolves.

Pro Tip: Some website builders like Elementor offer preview options, allowing you to see how your website will render in different languages before publishing translations live.

Troubleshooting & Optimization 

Common Issues & Solutions

  • Incorrect Language Display: Double-check your URL structure, hreflang tag implementation, and browser settings. If you use a caching plugin, clear the cache after making changes related to multilingual settings.
  • Conflicting Plugins or Themes: Temporarily deactivate non-essential plugins one by one to isolate any conflicts. If your WordPress theme doesn’t explicitly support multilingual features, consider switching to a more translation-friendly theme.
  • Performance Slowdowns: Optimize images for each language version, leverage browser caching, and consider a Content Delivery Network (CDN) – an advantage of Elementor Hosting!
  • 404 Errors for Translated Pages: Verify that your internal links are pointing to the correct language versions of pages and that your permalink structures are set correctly.

Testing & Monitoring Your Multilingual Website 

  • Cross-Browser & Device Testing: Ensure your website displays and functions properly across different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) and on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
  • Native Speaker Review: Get feedback on translations from native speakers to identify any awkward phrasing or cultural inaccuracies.
  • Web Analytics: Monitor your website’s traffic data. Are you seeing increased visitors from your target regions? Watch bounce rates to see if users are engaging with content in their native language.
  • User Feedback: Provide channels for users to submit feedback, report bugs, or suggest improvements related to the multilingual experience.

Optimizing for Multilingual Search

  • Localized Keyword Research: Use keyword research tools to identify the search terms people use in their native languages. Don’t just directly translate keywords – understand the search intent in each target region.
  • Metadata Optimization: Translate your title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt-text, ensuring they contain relevant keywords in the respective languages.
  • Local SEO: If you’re targeting specific geographic locations, optimize your Google Business Profile and consider building citations on local directories.
  • Backlink Building: Aim to acquire backlinks from reputable websites based in the country or region relevant to each language version.

Pro-Tip – Monitoring Search Performance:  Use Google Search Console to track which keywords bring in traffic from different language markets and adjust your SEO strategies accordingly.


Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the strategies, tools, and considerations for creating a website that speaks to a global audience.  By making this investment, you unlock a vast array of benefits:

  • Expanded Reach: Tap into new markets and break down language barriers to significantly broaden your customer base.
  • Improved User Experience: Cultivate trust and loyalty by demonstrating a commitment to users’ needs and their native languages.
  • SEO Advantage: Boost your visibility in search engines around the world and attract targeted, language-specific traffic.
  • Competitive Edge: Set yourself apart in an increasingly globalized marketplace where multilingual capabilities are a powerful differentiator.

Key Takeaways & Next Steps

  • Start Strategically: Define your target languages and content scope before diving into technical implementation.
  • Choose the Right Tools: Select a translation plugin and website-building platform (like Elementor) that streamlines the process and aligns with your goals.
  • Prioritize Quality: Focus on accurate, culturally sensitive translation, whether using professional services or a mix of tools and human editing.
  • Design with a Global Mindset: Consider visual adaptations and provide multilingual support channels.
  • Maintenance is Key: Continuously update translations, monitor performance, and refine your approach.

Embark on Your Multilingual Journey

Creating a multilingual website is an exciting step toward global growth.  By following the principles outlined in this guide, with Elementor’s powerful capabilities,  you can pave the way for international success!