How to Create a Multilingual Website with Divi and WPML

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In this post, we're going to show you exactly how you can create your own multilingual site using the popular WPML plugin. While we focus on Divi for this tutorial, you could easily adapt this method to other themes.
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Need to create a multilingual WordPress website?

Given how connected the world is, it makes sense to offer your site in multiple languages if you’re targeting a global audience (or even just a small geographic area with a multilingual population, like California).

Thanks to WordPress’ versatility, it’s easy to translate your site into multiple new languages, as long as you have the right plugin to help.

In this post, we’re going to show you exactly how you can create your own multilingual site using the popular Divi theme and the WPML plugin. While we focus on Divi for this tutorial, you could easily adapt this method to other themes.

What You Need to Create a Multilingual WordPress Website

To create a multilingual WordPress site, you’ll need the help of a WordPress translation plugin.

WPML, which we’ll use in this tutorial, is a premium translation plugin that comes with a suite of features to help you translate your site.

WPML

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You can use it to translate your site by yourself. Or, it also helps you work with freelancers or outsource your translations to professional translation services. You can even use machine translation to save time translating (while still being able to manually edit those translations).

It comes with features to let you fully translate your site, no matter if you’re using page builders, WooCommerce, etc. In the tutorial below, we’ll specifically show you how you can use it to translate an entire Divi site.

How to Create a Multilingual WordPress Website with WPML and Divi

Now, let’s get into the actual tutorial and I’ll show you how you can create a multilingual website using WPML.

While WPML has different plans, you’ll need the Multilingual CMS package to follow this tutorial.

We’ll also assume that you’ve already installed Divi (or whatever theme you want to use).

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1. Set Up WPML

To keep things lightweight, WPML divides its core features into separate plugins. This modular approach lets you choose how you set things up.

To use WPML with Divi and other page builders, you’ll want to install the following plugins:

After installing, you’ll be prompted to go through a setup wizard where you can configure details such as your site’s languages, your URL format, your translation mode, and decide who will translate your site:

WPML Setup

2. Translate Content in the WordPress Editor (Including Divi Projects)

Translating your posts, pages, Divi Projects, and other post types with WPML is flexible and easy. There are multiple ways you can do it, and it works whether you’ve created content with the native WordPress editor or the Divi Builder.

Translating Your Content Automatically

WPML offers machine translation powered by DeepL, Google, or Microsoft. This speeds up your translating and is an easy, affordable way to translate a lot of content. Plus, you can review the translations and make adjustments as needed.

WPML offers two translation modes. The first is Translate Everything Automatically. This means WPML will translate your whole site for you using machine translation. When you edit content or add new content, WPML automatically updates the translations without you having to think about it.

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If you only want to translate a few key pages, you can select Translate What You Choose. To translate automatically, go to WPML > Translation Management. Pick which posts, pages, and other post types you want to translate, the languages you want to translate them into, and Translate automatically. When you update the page or post, you’ll need to resend it for translation the same way.

Translating Content Yourself

Open the editor for the piece of content that you want to translate. Then, look for the Language option in the sidebar. There, you should see a plus (+) icon, which is a prompt to translate this content into the listed language:

Clicking this plus icon will open the WPML Advanced Translation Editor.

In the editor, you’ll see a list of all the content in this post/page, along with an option to translate each string. Since we’re translating content built with the Divi Builder for this example, WPML also tells us where the content came from. For example, you can see that the “Name” string came from the Divi Form module:

Once you’ve added all of the translations, click the Complete button in the bottom-right corner to go back to your WordPress dashboard.

Sending Content to Translators or Translation Services

If you don’t want to translate content yourself, you can outsource the translations to other users of your site or to one of the dozens of professional translation services that partner with WPML.

To assign posts or pages to a translator, go to WPML > Translation Management and choose the pages and posts you want to translate. Then choose the languages and add the content to the translation basket.

From the translation basket, you can assign your content to specific translators or a translation service.

3. Translate Categories and Tags (Including Divi Project Categories/Tags)

WordPress categories and tags are called taxonomies. In addition to the built-in categories and tags, you can also have custom taxonomies, like the project categories and tags that Divi adds.

To translate all of these taxonomies, go to WPML > Taxonomy translation.

First, choose the taxonomy that you want to translate from the drop-down. For example, Project Categories. Then, you can translate all of those taxonomies by clicking the plus icon:

4. Translate Divi Global Modules, Rows, and Sections

With Divi’s global feature, you can create a single template and then reuse it anywhere on your site. The nice thing is that if you update this module once, those changes will automatically propagate to everywhere where you’ve used the global module on your site.

You can translate a global module, row, or section just like you do a post or page. Open the editor for the global element and click the plus icon in the Language sidebar, or choose the global element from the Translation Management dashboard to send it to a translator:

If you translate an individual piece of content that includes a global module, WPML will automatically pre-fill the global module’s translations so that you don’t need to duplicate your work.

5. Translate Divi Theme Builder Templates

You can use Divi to design the templates for your site’s header, footer, single posts, and archives.

If you are using Divi Theme Builder, you can still translate any static text in those templates using WPML.

For non-static text, you would need to translate the piece of content itself or use WPML’s String Translation (featured later on). For example, if you use Divi to create a blog post template, you would translate the actual blog post content as we showed you in step #2.

Before translating a theme builder template, we recommend giving it a descriptive name while working in the Divi Builder:

Then, to translate it, go to WPML → Translation Management and select the type of template from the drop-down. For example, to translate a Divi Theme Builder header template, you’d choose Header Layout. Then, click the Filter button to update the list.

You can then send the template for translation, or click the Edit link to open the editor page for that template.

6. Translate Menus

To translate menus, WPML gives you two options:

  1. You can create separate menus for each language. This lets you either create the same menu in a different language or change the menu structure based on a user’s language (which can be useful for localization sometimes).
  2. You can “sync” the menus to make them identical across all your languages.

To do this, go to Appearance > Menus and use the plus icon to create a new menu for a different language. Then, if you want to sync the menus, you can also click the option to Synchronize menus between languages:

WPML

Enjoy a completely multilingual website with page load speeds that will keep your users from all over the world happy.

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7. Translate Other Strings (e.g. Theme Strings)

So far, we’ve shown you how to translate pretty much every aspect of your Divi site, from your content to your global modules, menus, and theme builder templates.

However, you still might have some remaining content. For example, content from other plugins, widgets, etc.

To manage all of these remaining strings, you can use the WPML string translation tool by going to WPML > String Translation.

Here, you’ll see a list of all the strings on your WordPress site. You’ll have already translated some of these strings, like text from a Divi Global module. In that case, you’ll see it marked with a pencil icon instead of a plus icon.

To help you find specific strings, you can use the In domain drop-down. For example, this drop-down lets you quickly filter out all of the widget strings:

10. Translate a Divi WooCommerce Store (Optional)

This might not apply to all Divi websites. However, if you are using Divi to create a WooCommerce store, WPML can also help you translate all of your WooCommerce products and strings with their add-on WooCommerce Multilingual & Multi-currency.

The process works much the same as we’ve detailed above, just adapted to WooCommerce.

For example, you can translate WooCommerce products from the product editor, product categories from the taxonomy translation tool, etc. Plus, you can add multiple currencies to your online store.

Check out our detailed tutorial on how to build a multilingual WooCommerce store with WPML for more information.

Create a Multilingual Divi Website With WPML Today

If your website targets a multilingual and/or global audience, it makes sense to create a multilingual website to offer a better experience to your visitors.

With Divi and WPML, you can easily create a multilingual site while still benefiting from Divi’s full visual site-building. However, while we’ve focused on Divi, you can also use this same approach to translate any other theme (or page builder) – it’s up to you!

Do you still have any questions about using Divi and WPML to create a multilingual website? Ask away in the comments!

Do you still have any questions about using Divi and WPML to create a multilingual website? Ask away in the comments!

Colin Newcomer

Colin has been using WordPress for over a decade and is on a quest to test all 60,000+ plugins at WordPress.org. He has been a Writer and Product Review Expert for WP Mayor since 2017, testing well over 150 products and services throughout that time.

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6 Responses

  1. Thanks Colin for this great tutorial I must say that I have never used Divi although I have seen some promotions of it. But I think I will definitely look into it. I was previously a Google translate plugin, but I think it’s best to use this method.

  2. I can see how this would work, but I think the WPML implementation is too complicated.

    I am really satisfied with Falang as a multilanguage plugin. There is also the option Falang for Divi. With that enhancement it becomes really easy to translate all Divi elements in an intuitive way! You can find an extra translation tab in the elements available in page or theme building. In this tab, actually integrated in the Divi workspace you can translate in the exact right spot where you enter text. Divi is complicated enough as it is. Falang for Divi doesn’t add extra complexity.

  3. Hey Colin,

    Thank you for this great tutorial.
    Instaed of Divi if I use Generatepress and follow each and every step mentioned here! Would that be great? Or will it work best with only Divi?

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