WPML 3.4 Streamlines Multilingual WooCommerce Sites

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WPML 3.4 and WooCommerce Multilingual 3.8 introduce an updated user interface and much improved workflow for translating WooCommerce sites. This update comes from extensive usability testing and helps compatibility with many WooCommerce extensions.
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WPML 3.4 and WooCommerce Multilingual 3.8 introduce an updated user interface and much improved workflow for translating WooCommerce sites. This update comes from extensive usability testing and helps compatibility with many WooCommerce extensions.

Setup for multilingual WooCommerce shops

There’s a lot to set up for an e-commerce site and there’s even more to choose when the site is multilingual. Fortunately, there’s a “Status” page that will show you the things that you need to set up.

WooCommerce Multilingual settings page

It will check that you have the required plugins and you’ve completed the basic setup. For instance, almost every multilingual WooCommerce site needs to have translated “store” URLs. From the status page, you can see what needs doing and click on buttons that will let you complete these setup steps.

Translating the shop base URL

If you need, you can also enable multiple-currencies for your shop. This takes multilingual stores a step further, by allowing customers to pay you in their own currencies.

Enabling multiple currencies

With multiple currencies enabled, you can choose to enter pricing separately per currency, or auto-converted.

Translating WooCommerce products

Once you’re done with the store setup, you’ll probably want to get started translating the actual products.

As with anything else that you can translate in WPML, you can choose between several translation options:

  • Translate yourself
  • Setup your own ‘translators’ who will work from inside the WordPress admin or translate with XLIFF files locally
  • Get translation from one of the translation services integrated into WPML.

The developer of the site usually wants to translate herself. These translations are often “dummy”, but so are the products. The purpose is to see how everything works with test content and make sure that the site displays correctly in all languages.

To translate products yourself, go to WPML->WooCommerce Multilingual and click on the Products tab.

Products for translation

Click on the + icon for any of the products to any language. This will move you to WPML’s Translation Editor, where you will see the original and the translation, side by side.

Translating a WooCommerce product

There’s an option to copy everything from the original language. Of course, for real sites, you should translate and not copy all.

Notice that the translation editor shows all the fields that belong to products. You can see that when we’re translating a downloadable product, we will be able to translate additional fields, related to downloads.

When it’s time to translate real products, you should use WPML’s Translation Management. You will be able to create ‘translator’ users and assign translation jobs to them or use a translation service and send everything to them.

Add a translator to the site

One of the great things about these different translation options is that you can combine between them and also switch from one to the other. If you need help with one language, you can use a translation service for it. You can create your own translators for other languages and handle some of the translations yourself.

Translating the product attributes

Many WooCommerce sites use custom attributes. If this is new to you, think about attributes as taxonomy. You use product attributes to organize products by whatever you need. For example, if you’re selling clothings, you would add a ‘size’ attribute. If you’re selling music, you could use a ‘genre’ attribute.

You will see all of the attributes in the WooCommerce Multilingual admin:

Translating product attributes

Click on the + icon next to each attribute to create new translation or the ‘pencil’ icon to edit translation.

A completely localized checkout process

All this translation workflow is completely invisible to your site’s visitors. Visitors will see products normally and your site’s language switcher. When switching languages, visitors will see the products in that language.

Product catalog in Spanish

In e-commerce sites, it’s important to maintain the same language throughout the checkout process. WooCommerce Multilingual makes sure that clients will keep their language in during the checkout, cart, “thank you” page and even in the automated emails sent by WooCommerce.

Cart in Spanish

Checkout in Spanish


As you can see, translating WooCommerce sites just became a lot easier. Previous versions of WPML and WooCommerce Multilingual made it possible, but with more effort. There are already over 10,000 commercial WooCommerce sites running with WPML today. These updates should make both the setup and translation process simpler, allowing more e-commerce sites to go global.

Amir Helzer

Amir is the founder of OnTheGoSystems, makers of WPML and Toolset plugins.

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