I have an existing site in English for which I need to create a German version. I have found several tutorials on how to create a multi language site from the beginning, but I am interested to know how, if at all, the process would be different for doing this with an existing site. From my research, it appears that I need to create English and German language menus for the site, and then duplicate the content. Is the process different if an entire English language site exists? Can anyone recommend a tutorial or something along those lines?

  • I have done this many times. It's almost a similar procedure with setting it up from scratch - but this time you have to be more careful if you do this on a production site, as till you complete certain steps, you might experience issues and have the site look broken on the front-end. Next week I have to do this again on another website. I could create a brief step by step procedure at that time and come back to post it here.
    – FFrewin
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 16:05
  • I just went through this myself.
    – nizz0k
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 9:36
  • ok well done then - I didn't have the time to do so this week - I will also review your answer if I find the time.
    – FFrewin
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 10:59
  • Much appreciated, I realize I glossed some of the details, but this worked for me.
    – nizz0k
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


So, the process is fairly involved an will require a number of steps. It is much less tedious to plan a multi-language site from the beginning, than to implement another language later. I recommend getting translations for your content in advance. These are the steps I went through to get satisfactory results.

  1. Install the desired languages through Extensions -> Languages.
  2. Configure and add your Content Languages in the Languages Menu.
  3. Enable the Language Filter Plugin. Optionally add an enable the Language Code module for better SEO.
  4. Create Language Conten categories and recreate your existing categories for each language.
  5. Rebuild your menus. This is probably the most involved step because you will have to recreate your Main Menu in your "Main" language and then rebuild those menus for the additional language(s) you want to add. I found that using "Saves as a Copy" was really helpful in duplicating the pages. Remember to assign menu specific home pages and associating each page with its translation. To finalize the process you will have to add modules to each menu in the menu manager.
  6. Translate/Add/Remap your content. You will need translations of every piece of content you want to display. Then you need to add the content, label it with the appropriate language, and associate it with the "Main language" versions. This will include creating new Language categories and subcategories. I also had to save copies and re-label a number of my modules to maintain language consistency. This also meant applying translations to a number of Custom HTML modules, and a few of my own modules.
  7. Add the Language Switcher Module.
  8. Iteratively check the site for consistency. As an FYI, any pages that don't show up in the menu it should is probably not categorized in the correct language.

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