How to translate e-commerce sites with WPML

Laura Mangels
A.C.T. GmbH



Currently, WordPress powers 43% of all sites on the World Wide Web. So it’s not surprising that it’s also a popular choice among e-commerce business owners.

WordPress is compatible with plugins like WooCommerce, which makes creating professional e-commerce websites simple.

It can also be used with translation plugins. This allows you to open your e-commerce site to other languages and enter the global marketplace.

In this article, we’ll show you how easy it is to translate your online shop’s content using WPML, the leading multilingual plugin for WordPress.

Creating a multilingual e-commerce site

It’s only natural to want your website to grow and thrive in the global marketplace. A broader audience can bring you more sales and more conversions.

But for global visitors to become paying customers, they first need to understand what it is you’re selling.

As a business owner, you want the process of creating a multilingual website to be simple, but complete. After all, you’re already busy enough. The last thing you need to deal with is:

  • Incomplete or missing translations
  • Poorly implemented multilingual SEO
  • A translated site that is difficult to use
  • An improper URL structure

By using a translation plugin like WPML and a partner translation service like ACT, you can give your customers an easy-to-navigate online shopping experience complete with high-quality translations.

Translating your e-commerce site with ACT Translations and WPML

Thanks to WPML’s integration with ACT Translations, you can manage your translation jobs from one place, without needing to leave your site’s admin.

Using WPML’s Translation Management Dashboard, you can choose which posts, pages and products to translate. Plus, you can always track the progress of your translations.

When your translation service finishes translating your site’s content, WPML will make sure you receive your translated content back.

Getting ready to translate your e-commerce site

To send everything your WooCommerce site has to offer for translation, install and activate the following plugins:

  • WooCommerce
  • WPML core plugin and WPML String Translation add-on
  • WooCommerce Multilingual & Multicurrency add-on*

*The WooCommerce Multilingual & Multicurrency add-on is included with your WPML Multilingual CMS or Agency account. You can download it from your Account page.

Translating your products

With WPML and the WooCommerce Multilingual & Multicurrency glue plugin, you can translate your entire e-commerce site, including:

  • Products, posts and pages
  • Product variations and attributes
  • Categories and tags
  • Product images
  • Cart and Checkout pages

In the example below, we’ll show you how to send your products to ACT Translations:

1: Go to WPML → Translation Management and use the drop-down in the search section to filter through the content you want to select for translation. In this case, we are filtering for Products.

2: Tick the boxes next to the products you want to translate and select the languages you want to translate them into. Then, click on the Add selected content to translation basket button.

3: Navigate to the Translation Basket tab. Review the items you are sending for translation and select ACT Translations as your translation service.

Reviewing content for translation and sending it to your translation service

4: Click on Send all items for translation.

Your products may have categories, tags, attributes or other custom taxonomies assigned to them. ACT will receive them for translation together with your product content.

You can translate posts, pages and custom post types by following the same steps.

Translating the Add to cart button and additional texts

By default, WooCommerce comes with a few pages. These include the Shop, Checkout and Cart pages. When you install and activate the WooCommerce Multilingual glue plugin, you are prompted to go through the steps in the setup wizard. During this process, WooCommerce Multilingual creates the translations for the default WooCommerce pages, including the ones listed above.

However, you may be using a custom theme or plugins. In this case, you might need to take a few additional steps to translate your store pages and the elements on them, like the Add to cart button.


An example of untranslated button text

You can translate these texts using WPML’s String Translation. Here, we’ll show you how to send the Add to cart button text for translation:

1: From your WordPress dashboard, go to WPML → String Translation.

2: Using the In domain dropdown menu, choose the domain for the theme or plugin these texts come from.

3: In the Search for field, enter the text you want to send for translation and click the Search button.


Searching for texts to translate in String Translation

4: Check the boxes next to the strings you want to translate and select the language(s) you want to translate them into. Then, click on Add selected content to translation basket.


Selecting strings for translation and adding them to the translation basket

5: You can now go to the Translation Basket and send the chosen strings to ACT.

Keep in mind that every website has some additional texts that don’t come from posts, pages or products. Examples of this are widget texts, admin texts, menu elements or additional texts from your theme and plugins. These texts are also known as strings, and you can translate them by following the steps above.

Wrapping Up

To reach more consumers and expand into the global market, you’ll need to translate your e-commerce site. When you use the right translation plugin, you can make sure your multilingual journey isn’t an overwhelming experience.

As the most popular multilingual plugin, WPML does more than just translate your content. It makes translating your content and keeping your translations up-to-date easy.

And the best part is, you don’t even have to leave your site—a few simple clicks is all it takes for you to send your online store’s content to your translation service.

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