It is known that WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) in the world. This makes it even more surprising that it does not have the built-in ability to create a multilingual website. Thankfully there are some good options on how to achieve this objective.
As a hotel you should make sure that your website is as accessible as possible to most of your customers. Having your website available in a guest’s native language can be the defining factor for a tourist to book your hotel instead of a competitor.
I have decided to describe 3 popular ways that you can make your WordPress website multilingual.
1. Plugin: WPML ($29-$79)
WPML is probably the most popular plugin for a multilingual WordPress website, even though it is a premium plugin.
Currently there are two pricing plans: $29 and $79, both of which come with one year of free updates and support. This is a plugin that you will want to keep updated, so you will probably have to renew your subscription every year.
The fact that there is a business behind this plugin is a good thing. This is an almost 100% guarantee that the developers will always work on improvements and updates.
All of our themes are fully compatible with WPML.
- Great features and somewhat frequent updates;
- Access to support from developers;
- Flexible plugin settings;
- Affordable price;
- It can be a little difficult to start with, especially for inexperienced WordPress users;
- In rare cases the plugin might behave a little hectic during setup;
2. Plugin: qTranslate (free)
qTranslate is a good free alternative to WPML.
Currently it has over 760.000 downloads in the official plugins repository, with an average rank of 3.7 out of 5 stars.
It is somewhat easier to get started with qTranslate than with WPML, which will win over users that are new to WordPress.
- Easy to get started with;
- It is completely FREE;
- If you decide to disable the plugin, it will leave a lot of proprietary mark-up;
- Being a free plugin, it is not certain how much longer it will be updated by the developer;
- Can be difficult to use on a website with a lot of languages;
3. WordPress MultiSite Installation
WordPress has had this feature since version 3.0, and it allows you to create multiple websites with a single WordPress installation. Here is an excerpt from the official documentation:
A multisite network is a collection of sites that all share the same WordPress installation. They can also share plugins and themes. The individual sites in the network are virtual sites in the sense that they do not have their own directories on your server, although they do have separate directories for media uploads within the shared installation, and they do have separate tables in the database.
The good thing about this option is that you can manage completely different versions for each language, which would be represented by a separate site. Of course this takes more time to set up, but offers much more control in the long run. This would be a good option for big, multinational corporate websites, where each language can be handled by a separate administrator and would have different content.
WordPress Multisite Pros:
- Possible to delegate each language to a certain person or a whole group of people;
- Possible to use a different theme and plugins for each language;
- You don’t rely on a third-party plugin;
WordPress Multisite Cons:
- Much more time-consuming to set up and manage;
- No possibility to automatically inter-connect pages with their translations across the network;
- Websites that are part of a Multisite installation cannot install their own themes or plugins, this has to be done by the main administrator;
Whichever path you decide to take, having a multilingual website is imperative for a hotel. Besides adding an extra layer of comfort for some of your customers, this will immensely help your SEO efforts. Everybody tries to rank for their main keywords in English, but it usually is so much easier to rank for the same keywords in other languages.
Analyze your customer base, check your local tourism statistics and find out where most of tourists are coming from. This will help you plan better your multilingual website.
WordPress Themes & Website Support for Independent Hotels & Inns
HermesThemes is a family-run business that helps independent hoteliers and innkeepers create, maintain and improve their websites. Since launching in 2013 we have helped hundreds of independent property owners to take control and make sense of it all.