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Polylang Multilingual WordPress plugin allows you to convert your website into a multi-language WordPress site. This will allow you to reach a wider audience with your content. You will have the translations yourself or you can hire translators who integrate directly with the plugin.
First, let's install the plugin.
To install this plugin, log in to your WordPress dashboard, hover over Plugins, and click Add New.
On the next page, type "Polylang" in the search bar. The plugin we want should be the first one on the top left. The picture looks like the head of a parrot turned to the right.
Click the Install Now button, and then click Activate after installation.
There are many add-ons for the Polylang plugin. I encourage you to check them if you need additional multilingual features.
This plugin allows you to add languages to your site in the plugin settings. By adding a language, it adds features to translate any post in that language and adds that language to the sidebar widget.
To add languages, click Languages in the left admin menu. On the next page is a simple form that will allow you to add more languages.
Add as much as you want.
But keep in mind that the plugin does not automatically translate your content. All translations are manual.
Now that you have added languages, click Messages or Pages in the left admin menu of these lists.
You will see the new columns with the country indicators of the languages you have chosen in the header line.
In each line of post or page, you will see a check mark, a plus sign or a pencil under a specific flag of a given country.
The check mark means that the message in this line is in that language.
The pencil means a translation in that language exists and you click on the pencil to edit it.
The plus sign means that a translation does not exist yet in that language. You can click the plus sign to create a version for that language.
It is important to keep in mind that when a post is translated into all the languages you have chosen, there will be a separate message for each language.
For example, if you have 3 different languages for your site, if you translate a message in all these languages, you will have 3 different messages. One for each language.
Once you have translated some messages, you will want to add the sidebar widget to your site so that people can switch from one language to the other.
Go to Appearance, then Widgets. In the Available Widgets section, there will be one called Language Switcher. Drag it into your sidebar and customize it.
Once you're done, go to a blog post on your site and switch languages using the selector to see how it works. It's really cool.
By default, the plugin will detect the language of the visitor's browser and choose that language on your site if it exists. You can change this behavior if you go to Languages, then Settings.
There is more in the Polylang plugin but it will get you started on the right foot.
I hope this information helps you! If you have questions leave a comment below or ping me @WPLearningLab on Twitter.
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