Multilingual Site Implementation and Permalink Changes for Efficient WordPress SEO

Just as in any other platform, WordPress too has a few quirky issues that require attention. Here are a couple of WordPress SEO solutions to common problems that could help you out.

In case you require your WordPress site to be promoted in multiple languages then for instance, you would want www.yourwebsite.com/de/ to provide a German translation to visitors. However, WordPress does not offer an in-box solution for multilingual site implementation and you will need to use the following methods to solve this issue.

You can visit this link, http://codex.wordpress.org/Multilingual_WordPress to view 5 methods offered to help you set up a multilingual site on your own. Mentioned below is one easy method that you can consider. The trick is to insert all required translations such as French, German, or any other language into a single post or page and then allow WordPress to display the matching translated page automatically depending on the selected language.

You merely need to buy the WordPress Multilingual Language plugin at wpml.org and follow the installation guide. There are several advantages to using this plugin since you will firstly find it very easy to manage all your content when it is on the same post. You will also be able to add any new language with ease. In addition, content duplication can also be avoided since the plugin implements hreflang tags automatically on all pages. The plugin is also easily configurable by enabling you to utilize language directories as well as domains or sub domains.

Another issue, especially for those users that are using versions older than WordPress 3.3 is drastic loss of speed whenever their blog post permalink structure begins without a number. This problem escalates as the blog grows in size and the WordPress team too has confirmed this problem in earlier versions of WordPress.

In case you are using WordPress 3.3 or a later version, then a SEO solution for implementing permalinks is to opt for /%postname%/ or even /%category%/%postname%/. However, in case you are still using an earlier version then you need use the following method to change the permalink structure to avoid facing speed issues.

However, modifying permalink structure will cause WordPress to automatically issue a 302 redirect instead of the much-more search engine friendly 301 redirect. This could harm your rankings. Here are 2 simple solutions to avoid this problem.

The first solution is to update your .htaccess file in case you only plan to move to the permalink structure with /%postname%/. The updated .htaccess file will now be able to handle 301 redirects without any problems.

You can use tools offered at yoast.com to get the .htaccess code snippet. You need to click on the bottom of the page on “Generate Redirects” and then fill up the displayed form, before finally clicking on “Generate Redirect” to get the required code. Next, you need to copy that code to the beginning of your original .htaccess file and update your permalink structure to /%postname%/ by using the WordPress interface.

Now, all you need to do is to check if only a 301 redirect is activated to redirect all old URLs to new ones. You can use the redirect tool found at internetofficer.com to check the same. However, remember to take a backup of your old .htaccess file before you update it so that you can revert back to the original file in case of any problem.

However, if you do not wish to use /%postname%/ then you can use other WordPress plugins instead of modifying your .htaccess file. One impressive WordPress 301 redirect plugin can be found at wordpress.org/extend/plugins/redirection/ and it is offered by John Godley. This simple tool allows for implementation of 1-to-1 301 redirects while also providing 301 redirects automatically. You can also create redirect rules based upon regular expressions. Best of all, this plugin uses the WordPress interface to provide a simple solution.

All you have to do is to install this plugin before you modify your permalinks. Once you have made the required changes, you merely need to confirm that the 301 redirects work in the desired manner.

There are several other solutions to help you in multilingual site implementation as well as in making permalink changes, but the above are SEO friendly as well as easy to implement. Try them out and post your comments on your experience.

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