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Multilingual e-commerce website WordPress

How to Set Up Your Multilingual E-Commerce Website (in 5 Steps)

Having a multilingual e-commerce site can help you reach a broader audience in a user-friendly manner. Although translating your website has lots of benefits, it can also be quite challenging. Setting up an online store is a large task, and making that store multilingual adds a new level of complexity.

WordPress – the Content Management System (CMS) that we recommend – is an ideal solution for creating a successful e-commerce site. WordPress works great for simple sites right out of the box, and you can add-on enhanced functionality, such as e-commerce features, with plugins.

This article will guide you through the process of setting up and building your multilingual e-commerce website. We’ll start by helping you setup WordPress, then talk about how to choose an e-commerce theme, before finally suggesting some plugins to add multilingual e-commerce functionality for your site.

1. Choose a Host and Install WordPress

WordPress powers over a quarter of the web, which translates to over a quarter of a billion websites. If the numbers alone aren’t enough to convince you, there are a plethora of articles that outline the benefits of using WordPress.

Before installing WordPress, you’ll need to choose a host. Hosts vary greatly, so it’s important to take some time to compare the various options available and find the one that best suits your needs (hosting comparison guide here).

Once you’ve signed up, WordPress is quick and easy to install. Most hosts also offer excellent support should you need help along the way, you can also follow this useful guide.

2. Select a Suitable E-Commerce Theme

Once you’ve installed WordPress, you’ll need to decide on a theme. The theme will provide the overall look of your website and may also offer additional functionality that isn’t built into the WordPress core.

When it comes to e-commerce sites, there are lots of free and premium themes to choose from. If you don’t know where to start, check out this roundup of e-commerce themes. If none of those catch your eye, other places to look are the WordPress.org theme repository, marketplaces such as ThemeForest, and independent theme shops such as Elegant Themes.

Here are two e-commerce themes that caught our eye:

Shopkeeper ($59)

Shopkeeper e-commerce Theme for WordPress

This sleek, modern e-commerce theme will enable you to have your store up and running in no time. It’s easy to customize without the need for any code, so is a great option for beginners.

ShopIsle (Free)

ShopIsle e-commerce Theme for WordPress

If you’d prefer to try a free theme, ShopIsle is an excellent choice. This easy to use e-commerce theme offers a clean, minimalist look with plenty of customization options.

3. Install a Suitable E-Commerce Plugin

Plugins are WordPress add-ons that add new functionality to your WordPress website. There are thousands of plugins available, and it’s important to select them carefully.

When it comes to e-commerce plugins, there are both free and premium options available. This comparison of e-commerce plugins is a good place to start – although you can also check out the WordPress.org plugin repository, and marketplaces such as CodeCanyon.

The most popular e-commerce plugin is WooCommerce, so let’s take a look at it.

WooCommerce (Free)

WooCommerce e-commerce plugin for WordPress

WooCommerce enables you to easily turn your website into an online store. You can sell physical or digital products, and even affiliate goods from online marketplaces. The basic plugin is free, but there are lots of paid extensions available for additional functionality.

4. Translate and Optimize Your Content

If you want to widen your reach and boost sales, making your e-commerce website multilingual is an excellent idea. If you’re trying to decide if this is the right option for you, take a look at this article about the benefits of going multilingual.

One concern that people have when deciding to make their site multilingual is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the art and science of improving your site’s performance in search engine results. SEO is affected by a vast and ever-changing list of factors, and some translation solutions can be problematic, and at worst not SEO compatible.

However, if done correctly – for example, by using our Weglot Translate plugin – going multilingual won’t have a negative impact on SEO. In fact, Google has outlined best practices for multilingual sites, and we follow them implicitly so that your translated pages will be indexed in search engines such as Google.

Weglot Translate (Freemium)

Translate plugin for WordPress e-commerce website

Weglot Translate is a comprehensive translation plugin that automatically detects and translates your website’s content within minutes. You can easily manage and edit your translations within a unique dashboard, and optionally purchase professional translation of select content.

Key Features:

  • 60+ translation languages available.
  • Compatible with most themes and plugins.
  • Search engine optimized.
  • Customizable language switch button.

Weglot Translate is free for small websites under 2,000 words, with one translation language.  If you need more languages or additional words translated, affordable premium plans are available.

5. Offer Currency Conversions on Your Website

If you’re offering your site in multiple languages, chances are you’ll want to offer multiple currency options as well. Conversions enable people to see prices in a currency they understand, helping them to make a better informed decision about their purchase.

One of the most popular plugins for converting currency is the free WooCommerce Currency Switcher, which enables your customers to switch to different currencies and view price conversions in real time.

WooCommerce Currency plugin for WordPress e-commerce website

Conclusion

Making your e-commerce site multilingual can help you reach more customers and boost your sales. However, building a multilingual e-commerce site can be an overwhelming task. Not only do you have to make decisions about which tools to use, you also have to put them into practice.

Using the advice in this article, you can create a highly profitable multilingual e-commerce site. Simply make the most of WordPress and its bevy of handy plugins to build the perfect website. Let’s quickly recap the steps:

  1. Choose a host and install WordPress.
  2. Select a suitable e-commerce theme.
  3. Install a suitable e-commerce plugin.
  4. Translate and optimize your content.
  5. Offer currency conversions on your website.

Do you have any questions about getting your multilingual e-commerce website up and running with WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the author
Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is a professional blogger, longtime WordPress enthusiast and the founder of WordCandy.

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