Translating a WordPress site is an extremely common process these days; after all, a large proportion of websites are built using this content management system (CMS). It is not a risk-free process, however. Here is how to avoid making blunders and damaging your site’s ranking.
What is a WordPress website?
A WordPress website is a site that uses software created by WordPress as its content management system (CMS).
Using this CMS, you can edit most pages of a website and periodically add new editorial content, such as blogs, for instance.
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WordPress and translation: what you should know
Translation of web pages into different languages is essential to localising a WordPress website, as with any other site.
The term website localisation refers to inclusion of references specific to the language and culture of the country for which you are localising the site. Examples of localisation elements include writing the date in the correct format, including appropriate photographs, and using suitable colours and correct characters.
For instance, an e-commerce website wishing to target an international market will need its product data sheets and technical parameters for goods shipment translated into various languages, and must also consider the currency used in the countries in question.
The first thing you should know is that, when you publish translated versions of the same page, you need to indicate the language into which that page has been translated in the source code, using a particular tag. This means that search engines will be able to show each user the page written in the language of the country from which they are connecting.
Website localisation is quite a complex process requiring extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the target country, but it also ensures a higher ranking for the website.
Another point worth considering is that it is not always strictly necessary to improve a site’s ranking. In some cases, it is sufficient to make the original pages accessible to foreign users. To do this, you can simply install an automatic translation plug-in on the site. The translation will not be perfect, but it will provide users with a general understanding of the site’s content.
One last thing you should know is that these two strategies can be combined. To create a website in two languages, or a multilingual version of a website, you can use the Polylang extension. With this plug-in, you can set a specific language for each page created within the website. If a translated version of a page does not exist, the plug-in will display an automatic translation.
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