Creating A Multilingual Website: A Beginner’s Guide

Web Design | February 17th 2014

If your business or service addresses an international audience, you’ll quickly find that having a multilingual website increases your ability to reach your target markets. Rather than reproducing your website in various languages, Wix has your back with a quicker way to create a multilingual website that will appeal to your site visitors wherever they may be.

The simplest way to create a multilingual website is to use one of our ready-made templates designed especially for this need:

“Tokyo Design” in English & Spanish or “Tokyo Design” in English & Portuguese

Tokyo Design

“Accountant” in English & Spanish or “Accountant” in English & Portuguese

Accountant Template

These templates are a great way to start even if your site is in different languages from what’s offered, because our designers have already created the multilingual structure for you.

If you prefer to use another Wix template, you can create a multilingual site yourself in a few simple steps. Here’s how:

Step 1: Create the Main Language Website

Start by creating a website in your main language, the one you expect the majority of your visitors will use. This guide will take you through the basic steps of creating your very own website.

How to Create a Multilingual Website

In order to direct site visitors to the various languages you offer, you will now need to create a customized menu.

Step 2: Add a Custom Buttons Menu

Here’s how to do it:

  • If you are working with a template that has a built-in navigation menu, start by deleting it.

Delete Menu

  • In the left menu in the Wix editor, click “Add” >“Buttons & Menus”> and select a style that works for you

Add Buttons

  • Place the button wherever you want on the page.
  • Click on the button > copy > paste on the page
  • Place the new button right next to the one you already added. Use rulers to align them parallel to each other.

Duplicate Buttons

  • Add as many buttons as you need to create your website’s menu.
  • Change the button names to match the pages they link to by clicking on the button > “Button Text”.
  • Link the buttons to the pages that you’ve created on your site. Click on each button > “Link to” > “Page” > click on the relevant page.

Link Buttons to Relevant Pages

  • Group all the buttons together, and copy and paste them to all of the pages on your website.

Step 3: Add Pages in Other Languages

Here’s where Wix saves you tons of work. Instead of recreating all of the pages in different languages, simply duplicate and then translate them:

  • In the left menu of the Wix editor, click “Pages” > “Settings” > “Duplicate”.

Duplicate Pages

  • Give the duplicated page a name in the new language you’re adding.

Rename Pages

  • Repeat for all the existing pages of your website.
  • Translate the texts on the duplicated pages to the new language.

Translate the Text on Pages

  • Once they’re all translated, create a custom button menu in the new language (simply repeat step 2).

Create a Translated Menu

Be sure that each translated menu links to pages in the matching language.

Step 4: Add Language Icons

Once you have all the languages set up on your website, you should now add icons to direct your website’s visitors to their language of choice.

You can do that by using flag icons that correspond to the languages you have:

  • Click “Add” > “Image” > “Clip Art”.

Add Clip Art

  • “Change Clip Art” > click on the “Free from Wix” tab
  • In the left hand menu > “Flags” and choose the one you wish to add to your website.

Choose Your Flag from the Free Library

  • Now click on the flag you added and choose “Link to”.
  • Click on “Page” and choose the homepage of the additional language you set up.

Link Flag Icons to the Right Home Page

  • You can do the same with text links. Add a text box for each language e.g. EN, ES, PT, DE, etc. > link each box to the homepage of the relevant language.

Remember: You need to add an icon or text for each language you have on the site, even the main one.

Once you have all the various language buttons set up, group them together, click on them and choose “Show on all pages” – to make sure that your visitors can always navigate to the language of their choice.

Make Sure your Flag Icons Appear on All Pages

Congratulations, Felicitaciones, herzlichen Glückwunsch! You have yourself a multilingual website ready to be published.