How to create a bilingual blog at WordPress.com

How to create a bilingual blog at WordPress.com
How to create a bilingual blog at WordPress.com

Today at the request of several regular readers of the blog, who have contacted me via email asking me to talk about it, I will speak of setting up a blog in more than one language on the WordPress.com platform, as is the case with this blog you are reading, which is in Spanish and English and already told its advantages and motivations. I hope to answer their questions, and also, to publish it helps someone else.

But before we continue, I will say that the most common and flexible to do, is not WordPres.com but with WordPress.org and WPML.org plugin (WordPress Multi Language), at least in my experience, because it allows absolutely all we want. And not only to create a multilingual blog, but for a website with so many languages ​​we want, controlling all perfectlly.

But despite this, for me WordPress.com has been the most convenient to have my personal blog, for allowing me to use the best content management system, which is WordPress, without having to spend time that I have not the technical aspect: updates , backups, upgrades, etc, although if it means sacrificing other aspects PRO to my personal blog and for the moment, I think it is still the best option.

That said, I will reveal the “secret” involved, and that is, is just being that natively WordPress.com does not have that option available, and I, in one way or another wanted to have a bilingual blog, or in more than one language, I looked for ways to at least look like it, but really is not. I explain.

If you look, the Spanish version of this blog, is: ivarsmas.wordpress.com, and the English version is: ivarsmore.wordpress.com, with it you will realize that they are actually two completely different blogs that only vary of 2-3 letters in the user name: ivarsmAS and ivarsmORE, which in turn is WordPress.com the blog subdomain.

Then we only have to clone the aesthetics, both the template and images, such as widgets on the side, with exactly the same order and configuration so there is no perceptible difference. As well as static pages, and menu setup order. Here’s an important detail, because to do so we have to use Menus option, which are within the Appearance section of our left side menu of WordPress administration. Not leaving that this menu include customizable link to another language, referring to the other version and pointing internally to URL of another blog and vice versa. And only we would not forget to write in the two blog posts in each language .. 😉

Jokes aside, it is advisable to combine more user experience as a whole, reinforcing with a Facebook fan page for the blog, and the Twitter user with the same aesthetic, name and so on, because as I said before, are inseparable trio. Although in my case I have a Facebook page just for the blog, there may be cases that are interested in using to locate options for countries Facebook pages for each article go to the corresponding country version, but that’s another topic.

Perhaps you expected something more sophisticated or elegant, but rather is a way of finding a solution to get what we want. Although the day WordPress understands this need and lack permits involved and natively, it will be great. As well I think the result is not bad at all. What do you think? Do you like it? Would you have been some doubt? If so ask me in the comments please.

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21 thoughts on “How to create a bilingual blog at WordPress.com

  1. Muchas gracias por la idea. No sé cómo no se me había ocurrido, pero es definitivamente una buena idea hasta que a wordpress o cualquier otra plataforma se les ocurra ayudarnos un poquito con esto. Yo estoy pensando en crear un blog, pero tenía motivos para hacerlo en inglés y motivos para hacerlo en español, y esto es un truco muy bueno para tenerlos ambos (sin tener que mezclar ambos idiomas en el mismo blog). ¡Gracias!

    1. ¡De nada! Me alegro de que te sirviera Raquel, quizás no es la solución definitiva, pero si una bien válida para muchos casos. Por cierto, me ha sorprendido tu apellido, cuando se confunden con mi segundo apellido, suelen decirlo así como el tuyo: Ivars Mars, y no sabía porqué, pero ahora lo voy entendiendo.. 😉

  2. Hi Ivars,
    this is indeed a cool topic..I’m also trying to create a multilingual blog but my problem is ahed. I don’t know if I have to create another blog or just a subdomain for the existing blog. In the latter case I don’t even know how to do it…
    Thanks a lot for your help

  3. Hola! Estoy intentando hacerlo pero no consigo hacer que la página en cuestión sea “custom”. Tengo que modificar el código para hacerlo? Solo uso la versión web de wordpress. No plugins ni nada.
    Algún otro modo de hacerlo? Se que escribo tarde pero agradecería la respuesta. Un saludo!!

  4. Hi Ivars, could you explain me how did you clone your blog from one language into the other? I mean, how did you format your second blog in order to make it look like exactly the same as your first blog? Did your format it by hand, or used any type of cloning? I was able to import all the content (posts/pages/media, etc), but not the format (background image, header, widgets, etc).
    Thanks!

      1. Thank you for your answer Miguel. That’s what I will have to do, to edit the configurations/styles by hand. Muchas gracias!

  5. Hola, Miguel! De todas las opciones que he leído, la tuya es la que más me hace sentido. Muchas gracias por la información! Una consulta, yo ya tengo un blog en español con su dominio propio. Cuando haga la página en inglés, tengo que comprar un subdomain de ese dominio que ya tengo? O solo compro otro domain absolutamente independiente? Gracias de antemano!

    1. Hola Andrea, dependerá de donde tengas alojado tu WordPress, si está en WordPress.com o en un hosting propio con WordPress.org. Los subdominio normalmente no se compra ni se venden, sino que el proveedor de dominios te deja crear los que quieras a partir de tu dominio registrado, porque son como sub-conjuntos del dominio. Como mucho, si son muy restrictivos limita el número máximo de subdominio a crear, pero nunca he visto que se cobre por crearlos o tenerlos. Una vez creado, algo como: en.monsieurbabette.com o como prefieras, tan solo has de apuntarlo al blog de wordpress.com en inglés o a la instalación en inglés igual que hacías con el original lo apuntaste a la versión española. Espero haber ayudado.

      1. Hola, Miguel! Muchas gracias por tu respuesta. Haré entonces un subdominio con un nombre similar. Lo único que no me queda claro fue lo que me comentaste al final, sobre “apuntarlo al blog de wordpress.com en inglés o a la instalación en inglés igual que hacías con el original lo apuntaste a la versión española”. Te agradecería muchísimo si me lo pudieras clarificar. Mi sitio está en wordpress.com

      2. Si, básicamente es tener dos blogs independientes, de los cuales lo único que tienen en común es la plantilla (diseño) y link al otro y que tienen cada uno el mismo contenido del otro traducido, pero internamente son dos cosas distintas y separadas, solo que con la url: monsieurbabette.com apuntan al blog con contenido español y en.monsieurbabette.com apuntan al blog con contenido inglés. Si tienes dudas de como apuntar un dominio o subdominio, lo mejor es consultar con el soporte técnico de tu proveedor de dominios que ellos te explicarán, porque en cada proveedor puede haber algunas diferencias que nadie mejor que ellos para explicarte.

  6. hi Miguel! This is exactly the post I needed to find… thank you!! I was thinking to get WP.org with the tranlsation plugin in order to have both languages under one page (but scared of maintaining the technical aspects of my blog indeed), but you talk in a nice way about the option I choosed and therefore somebody is confirming it is a good idea 😉 me I created a blog in cz and fr (later also eng), I got voyagegourmand.org as a base (cz) and the custom menu for the language linked to another wordpress.com site and vice versa. But I created two FB fan pages (one for each blog)… maybe I will do it easily as you do, and not to have it as a schizophrenic separately 😉 but I am still searching on how Google deals with those kinds of blogs… thanks for you post – I found it randomly but it is extremely useful to me!!

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