How to Build a Multilingual WordPress Hotel Website

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How to Build a Multilingual WordPress Hotel Website

How to Build a Multilingual WordPress Hotel Website


Building a multilingual WordPress hotel website Building a WordPress website from scratch may seem intimidating for one who is not
acquainted with the platform. Powering almost a quarter of the global web, WordPress is now a considerably advanced system, which means more ways of doing things, more stuff to choose from, and more topics to learn. But once this
initial steep learning curve is overcome it becomes very easy in the future to
create a new site or maintain an update an existing one, which is a valuable talent to gain in today’s world. This is not a detailed tutorial of building a
Wordpress site. There is plenty of information on that on the internet, like the video tutorials on YouTube and other channels. This is rather more of a
general layout of building a WordPress site, and especially one for hotels, not
covered in other resources. Step 1: Choosing a theme This is the most
difficult and comprehensive step of building a WordPress site. There are two
alternatives; free themes at the wordpress.org site, and premium themes or
in other words, paid themes at the various themes shops. Both options have
advantages and drawbacks. Premium themes are generally less recognizable and
therefore offer a more unique design. They usually have better help documents
and support. Free themes on the other hand, offer little to no support or documentation. Moreover they may ask for an attribution
link in return or offer limited features, which will result in having to buy additional ones. After deciding to continue with a free or premium one, it comes to actually
selecting the theme. Both WordPress site and online shops include a search
feature which can be used as a quick way of finding a suitable theme, by simply
typing in: “hotel” Following this method however would mean missing out on many nice themes which are not specifically designed for hotels, but can be easily
customized for them, since hotel websites typically do not
require much. This brings us face to face with a huge number of alternatives. In reality however, few of these can actually be used for a multilingual
hotel website. This is because WordPress is not a naturally multilingual system and requires plugins to become so. We can download plugins for this, however only
a fraction of the themes can support them. As a result of this, our selection criteria switches to finding the plugin that will be used for making the site multilingual. The most famous and perhaps the most developed of the multi-language plugins, is a premium plug-in called WPML. A search on the wordpress.org site for free plugins, on the other hand, yields a handful of results. Some of
those make automatic translations, while some require multi installations. For
this tutorial we leave these systems aside, and concentrate on plugins that are for manual translations and single WordPress installations. Of these Polylang stands out with a higher number of users, better ratings and user friendliness. After deciding on the translation plug-in we come back to finding the theme which supports it. There are a number of ways to do this; reading theme details, typing in the individual plug-in name in the theme
search box, and typing in words like multilingual or multi-language in the theme search box. A satisfactory number of decent themes can be found this way. However if a right to left language will be used on the site, like Arabic or Persian, then things get more complicated. Most themes even when they support
multilingual plugins may not support right-to-left languages. In that case,
right to left or “RTL support” in short, becomes the new selection criteria, and to find those special themes, we have to use the search functionality of theme
shops and carefully read theme details. Having narrowed down the choice to
themes which can work with the required languages, it then comes down to
comparing individual themes one by one. At this step, design and user experience
are the first things that come to mind. Some themes look really attractive and
tempting, but it should not be forgotten, that this is with the demo content on. It is crucial to imagine the theme with the hotel content on, when making the buying
decision, as it may not look as nice then. As soon as the number of candidate games are chosen for design and user experience, they must be checked for, speed, security, responsiveness, browser compatibility and search engine friendliness. Many themes offer information as to how and whether they satisfy these conditions in their detail pages, and it is a good idea to read those
carefully. There are also many online tools developed to check some of those
attributes. The alternative however would be relying on the theme producer, overall customer ratings, and reviews of the theme, and the theme selling shops, which
make a basic filtering of what they are selling. WordPress itself also links to
some premium theme sites that stick to the GPL policy which can be taken as a reliable measure. In addition to those the current number of users give an
important clue to the themes popularity, and therefore trustworthiness. WordPress
makes this known by the “active installs number”, and theme shops usually announce
the number of sales. Themes with a very low number even when they have high ratings, are risky, because they have not been checked by many users. More widely used themes are also more likely to be updated and supported in the future, as there is a wider community expecting this service. In addition to checking reviews and ratings, it is a good idea to check the support forums as well, to see what kind of problems are arising, and how fast these problems, if ever are
addressed. While doing this research, it is quite
likely to come across a phrase called “framework “. Frameworks can be seen as
flexible templates from which many individual themes can be derived. From our perspective, this does not much change the things we’re supposed to do, apart from a possible amount of small extra payment for the framework. Step 2:
Installing WordPress This is the easiest step, because almost all hosting providers offer applications to install WordPress with the click of a button. You can watch our previous video; “Guide to building a hotel website”, for the basics of choosing a hosting provider. Some providers nowadays are also offering
plans special to WordPress. If one of those is chosen then it will not be
necessary to perform the installation as it will come ready. Usually called
“managed WordPress hosting”, these plans offer some advantages, like speed and
automatic updates, but cost more. Step 3: Customizing WordPress We will not go
into the details of customizing WordPress, as there is tons of information
about that on the Internet. In addition to the general features of WordPress all
themes have their own specifics when it comes to customization which can be
learned by trial and error, or by referring to theme documentation. Video
tutorials would also help. And if you can find a whole video tutorial for that
specific theme, taking you from the beginning of WordPress installation to the end, that can be jumping over the wordpress learning curve in a few hours. As soon as it is installed, it is a good idea to go to “settings” at the WordPress admin panel, and change the permalink setting to “post name”. Permalink settings determine how website URLs will look like, and the default permalink setting
with the question marks which WordPress comes with, is not the most SEO friendly one. While at the settings section, it is worthwhile to go to the “discussion setting” as well, and disable comments, since this feature is not necessary in a
hotel website. This will substantially decrease the possibility of spam and therefore the necessity for anti-spam plugins. If there’s going to be a blog page, then it is possible to allow comments for that page particularly from its own page settings. After that comes theme installation and
activation. In a free wordpress theme, installation consists, simply of searching the theme at the “appearance” section of the admin panel, and then clicking “activate”. Otherwise, it is necessary to download the theme from the seller’s site, and then upload. Some themes may require individual plugins to work
or more than one file being uploaded. All of those details are normally specified
in the theme documentation and instructions. At this step, it is a good idea to install the rest of the plugins that are going to be used, before installing the multi language plug-in. The list of necessary plugins changes
according to individual needs, and what is expected from the website. For example if you want to collect emails of your guests to send newsletters, then a newsletter or
subscription plug-in will be necessary. Apart from that the following plugins are
must-have for any hotel website: A backup plug-in to backup the website once it is
built, and later occasionally when there are updates. A caching plugin, which temporarily stores website data in caches to increase website loading speed. An SEO plugin, which enables optimizing the site for better search engine
ranking for specific targeted keywords. A sitemaps plug-in, which creates sitemaps
of the site for better search engine visibility, and finally a statistics plug-in
to keep track of who’s visiting the website. The following plugins may be
necessary depending on the functionality expected from the website and those
offered by the theme. A contact-form plug-in, if the theme does not have a
contact form of its own, a pop-up plug-in, to announce special events, campaigns and offers with a pop-up from time to time. A social media plug-in, to keep in touch with visitors online. A newsletter or subscription
plugin for email campaigns. A security plug-in to protect the website from attacks, and finally a content delivery network or image optimizer plugin, to further increase website speed. After these, the multi-language plugin
can be installed. Once this is done, it is a good idea to check and confirm the compatibility of the theme, before beginning customization. Like themes, the rest of the plugin should also be compatible with the language plug-in. Luckily if a particular plugin does not satisfy this, there are many alternatives. And finally, when we are sure that everything is working properly, we can begin customizing the site and adding content. This was a short tutorial on
building a multilingual WordPress hotel website. For more detailed information
and links to mentioned resources, the PDF document of this tutorial can be
referred to, by clicking the link in the description section or here. Thank you
for watching

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