How to Add Spanish Language to a WordPress Website

WordPress is a free, open-source blogging software that can be easily utilized by anyone. It is an excellent choice for individuals who want to create a professional-looking blog since it provides them with the tools to do so. Being a free software, it also allows anyone to download and install it on their own server, if they so desire. The key feature of WordPress is the large amount of translatable content that it provides, allowing the user to easily create blogs in other languages. This tutorial will provide you with the means to add Spanish language directly to your WordPress website, enabling your readers to easily find the content they are looking for in Spanish.

The Need For Internationalization

Due to the nature of the web itself, a lot of people, companies, and organizations from all over the world have a vested interest in making the content that is available online as accessible as possible for everyone. WordPress itself is a great example of this, providing support for multiple languages and allowing anyone to easily add more. If your organization, business, or website is outside of North America, this is an excellent opportunity to provide your customers with a more personalized experience by letting them read articles, check out products, or access services in their language of choice. Having said that, the more languages you add, the more complicated things can get, so be sure to prepare yourself for some extra work. Luckily for you, we are going to walk you through the entire process step by step so that you can add Spanish (and any other language you may desire) to your WordPress site with ease.

Step 1: Take Out The Existing Language

The first step to adding a new language to your WordPress website is to take out the current one. This is fairly straightforward, and it is also something that you should have already thought about doing. If you have used WordPress before, you may have noticed that the software comes with a default option set for the language. This needs to be changed to make room for the new language. The easiest way to do this is from the WordPress dashboard. From there, click on Settings and then on Languages. From here, you can choose the languages that you wish to support and remove the ones that you do not need. In this case, we are going to remove English (default) and put Spanish (desired) as the default language. The same process needs to be followed to change the other options, especially the Country option, which should reflect the country nearest to your website’s location. (For example, if your website is set up in Canada, the Country option should direct users to the Canadian site rather than to the American or British ones.) Once you have changed all of the language options to your desired settings, click on the SAVE button at the top right to make your changes effective. This is particularly important if you are switching from English to Spanish as the default language, as users may not understand why their content is not being displayed in the language that they have chosen. They may also have trouble expressing themselves in the new language, which can lead to problems with the content that they produce.

Step 2: Extract The Blog’s Raw HTML

In order to add Spanish to our example blog (see the preceding tutorial for the full walkthrough), we will need to download the source code of our blog. You can do this from the dashboard, again using the Settings > HTML option. This will pull up a screen where you can enter the FTP credentials (usernames and passwords) for your server. Once you have logged in, click on the Downloads button to begin extracting the blog’s HTML. This will take some time, so be patient.

Once the HTML for your blog is downloaded to your computer, you can begin the process of importing it into WordPress. First, create a new post in WordPress, naming it something like «Importing Blogger Content to WordPress». Next, open up the post in Microsoft Word (or any other word processing program) and save it as a.html file. This will make it easier to upload the file to your WordPress site. Next, upload the blog’s HTML to your WordPress site using the WordPress importer tool. This tool is located under the Settings menu in the dashboard. Once you have logged in, click on the import button to begin uploading the blog’s content. This is where most of the work will take place, as the content will need to be converted into a format that WordPress can understand. Some of the items that you will need to check during this process are:

  • Use the right tags
  • Check the spelling
  • Update the photos
  • Translate all the content
  • Add a description to every photo
  • Check the formatting
  • Remove all the HTML
  • Remove all the PHP
  • Add a few SEO keywords

Step 3: Translate All The Content

The next step is to translate all the content on your blog. This is going to be a time-consuming process, so be sure to take your time over it and do not rush through it. The first step is to login to your WordPress dashboard and then click on Tools at the top right. From there, you can switch to the Translate option and start translating the content. You can also click on the button at the top right to switch between languages. You will notice that the content is automatically translated for you, but you can always go back and manually edit what has been translated for you. You will also need to take care of the content that has been imported from your blog. This is where things can get a little difficult, as you will need to review all the content and either translate it or leave it as-is. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to do this by yourself, so be sure to enlist the help of a professional translator if you want your content to be of good quality.

Once you have completed this process, all of the content on your WordPress site will be available in Spanish. You can continue adding more languages, as outlined in the preceding step, or you can opt to take a break and come back to it later. (It is highly advisable to create a separate blog for each language that you support, as it will make the process of adding more languages a lot easier – as we will see later on.)

Step 4: Check For Errors

Once you have added all the content and translations that you can, it is time to check for errors. Click on the word RESET at the top right of the dashboard to take you back to the home page. From here, you can click on the Check For Errors button to run a quick spell check on all the content. (You will need to have at least the Free version of WordPress to be able to use this tool.) Once this is completed, click on the Save button at the top right to have your WordPress dashboard updated with any errors that were found during the checking process. This is an important step to ensure that everything is correct, as errors can easily be edited once they are pointed out. It is also a good idea to run a more thorough check after you have added a new language – this will ensure that any mistranslations that may have occurred do not remain unnoticed.

Step 5: Tweak The Design

The last step in the process of adding a new language to a WordPress site is to make some small design tweaks. If you are the type of person who is comfortable with Adobe Photoshop, you can go through this step and make some adjustments to the theme (or logo) that you are using for your blog. If you are not the type of person who is very good with Photoshop, you can hire someone to help you out with this step – as it is not that difficult. (Be sure to ask for help if you are stuck.)

The hardest part of this entire tutorial is over. You have just successfully added Spanish (and any other language) to your WordPress site. What’s next?

The sky is the limit. You can add more languages, more photos, more content, and make your blog even more user-friendly and attractive. By creating a separate blog for each language, you will ensure that your WordPress site will be available in multiple languages, and your audience will be able to find what they are looking for. Plus, you can take this opportunity to promote your other blogs on your new WordPress site.

What’s important is that you followed the steps outlined above. Remember: this is not a special skill. You can literally learn to do this in your spare time. And if you ever want to upgrade your skills, you can even take online courses to further develop your translation abilities. With a little bit of effort, you can make your WordPress site multilingual and greatly benefit from the experience.