Category: Blog

All you need to know about dedicated hosting

Hosting may have once been a distant, technical concern, but these days it’s central to operations. Businesses have demands for web resources that are much higher and shared hosting may not make the grade.

Going it alone on a server is the natural progression, but could this bring with it too many responsibilities?

We decided to take a closer look at this particular type of hosting to find out exactly what it involves for the user, and if it’s best suited to your business and web projects.

What is dedicated hosting?

Illustration with book and server

With most types of hosting, you will be sharing either one server or a network of servers. But this is not the case with dedicated server hosting, as each user has a whole server to themself. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

So what does this mean if you are the owner of dedicated hosting? Quite simply, you will have complete control of their hosting in terms of setup, configuration, and management. It includes root access, which is a direct way into the hardware with privileged control. You will be able to manage the operating system and software.

This is great news when it comes to security, as you can take complete control of your setup and implement the solutions that meet the security requirements of your operation. Added to this is the fact that being completely isolated on your own server means that you can take full control of your security.

But with the extra freedom and control, dedicated server hosting inevitably brings greater responsibility. Of course, you will need the technical expertise to configure and manage your server, as well as the ability to select, install, and manage the most appropriate security solutions. For small and medium-sized businesses, these are typically services that are provided through external consultation.

When do you need dedicated hosting?

illustration with timer, shield and gaming controller

Naturally, anyone that requires hosting services could appreciate the benefits of a dedicated server. But for which organizations and requirements are they typically the most suitable?

  • High traffic websites: If you need higher speed and reliable uptime, you will benefit from having a more powerful server to yourself, higher management capabilities, as well as increased CPU, RAM, and disk usage capacity. This could be the case if you are running an e-commerce platform. This could also be suitable for resource-intensive web applications that need to run, install, and use the software, OS, and CMS of their choice.
  • Streaming: As streaming is more demanding for resources like bandwidth, memory, and storage, you will likely find a dedicated server with high disk capabilities to be the best choice for streaming content.
  • Security: Dedicated servers are better suited to those with a requirement for configuring security, as well as higher resources. This calls for the technical ability to do this, and it could apply to medium to large companies that manage high amounts of data.
  • Database servers: Companies that host their own databases with a high volume of incoming / outgoing requests, which may be used for BI, or as part of CRM or ERP software. This has the effect of lifting the load from the server where the website and application files are stored.
  • Remote working environments: Organizations with employees working remotely will find the use of a dedicated server will be beneficial for storage and backups. It may also be necessary to store knowledge base and server-based tools for task management and distributed file storage.
  • Backup management: For every working environment or web-based project, dedicated servers provide the optimal backup service for improved security, disaster recovery, and business continuity.
  • Gaming hosting: It is a great idea to have a dedicated server in this sector, and gaming platforms have the option to host games that are distributed from the server or as web applications. It is also possible to organize online gaming environments for a multi-player experience. If you are in the gaming industry then it’s probably best to get a dedicated server that will offer more in terms of processing power, storage, and memory.
  • Sandbox and training / testing applications: For those that need isolation in the sandbox environments for testing new features without impacting real customers. This may involve load testing and stress testing to determine if the website is up to scratch.
  • Other increased demands: These may include telecommunication services such as private VOIP or those with high backup requirements.

Factors to consider when purchasing a dedicated server

Illustration of different server options

There are a number of things that may affect whether you choose Dedicated Hosting, or which provider or plan you go for. These include the following.

Audience size

The choice of buying a dedicated hosting server may be driven by the number of visitors you expect to receive, and how much this may vary over time. It is more commonly the best option for mid-size enterprises, websites with intensive marketing activities, businesses with large product catalogs, streaming platforms with large audiences, gaming platforms, and hosting resellers.

The advantages of dedicated servers are applicable to businesses with a range of audiences, with the common factor that avoiding disruptions during presentations or business-critical events is of paramount importance.

Management

Dedicated Hosting users have the option of taking on all management tasks by themselves, which may include migration, configurations, storage, and security. These tasks will be much greater than those found with shared hosting, due to the complex nature of the full configuration of dedicated servers. If you have an internal system administrator these extra management tasks will be easier to handle.

There is always the option of outsourcing this extra workload to a specialist. Alternatively, certain hosting providers offer management plans with different levels of services provided, so users can choose the level that suits their specific needs and technical ability.

Customer support

When you choose a hosting provider, you need one that is responsive to your needs and values ​​you as a customer. This means keeping the dialogue open at all times and not just when you’re about to make a payment.

You should be aware of everything included in your support, the type of support, the hours covered, and any additional expenses that may be incurred. If you run into difficulties when making the migration, or at any point down the line, hours could be wasted at critical times if your hosting provider doesn’t deliver on customer support.

As the costs are higher for dedicated hosting, it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to exactly what customer support includes.

Cost structure

Generally speaking, dedicated hosting comes at a higher cost but with increased predictability in costs. Dedicated hosting providers offer a range of different tiered pricing options, with the inclusion of various services. Some providers will offer a greater range of pricing options and more flexibility in terms of the resources made available to users.

It’s important to thoroughly research each dedicated server to understand what is included in the deal in terms of technical specifications, such as CPU, RAM, storage, and backup. You may also need to consider licenses, control panel, firewall, and how easy it will be to upgrade when this is necessary.

Server location

Not all dedicated hosting providers will offer the chance to choose the location of the server used for hosting. However, this can make a considerable difference for businesses with audiences in different regions, such as Europe and Africa, or North America. When your server is closer to your audiences then latency is lower and you will enjoy a faster internet service.

Final thoughts

As more organizations have higher demands from their web platforms, it’s no surprise that more are opting for dedicated hosting. But there are many points to consider when you choose a dedicated server, and it’s important to find one that ticks all the boxes without making a significant sacrifice.

Planning and management are essential when making the migration to dedicated hosting, but with the right provider, disruption can be kept to an absolute minimum.
If you’re interested in a service that excels, Namecheap’s Dedicated Hosting is unique as our servers boast newer configurations, while we also offer flexible management, excellent customer service, and competitive prices.


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wpadmin May 30, 2022 0 Comments

EasyWP turns 5: Journey to the Clouds and Above

We’re celebrating a special milestone in EasyWP’s journey to the clouds and above: it’s our 5th birthday!

To celebrate, we’ll be sharing fascinating insights from three people who dreamed, conceptualized, and crafted their way to lightning-fast and super affordable managed WordPress hosting.

EasyWP was the brainchild of Namecheap’s former Chief Cloud Officer Matt Russell, who has since stepped away from the “frontline” but is enjoying watching its ongoing story from the sidelines.

Nicola Ballotta (Director of Namecheap Cloud), Domonkos Cinke (Head of Namecheap Cloud Infrastructure), and John Fazioli (Frontend Lead) were all there from the beginning. And although today’s vision of EasyWP is in the hands of the EasyWP product team, you can’t deny the influence of these cloud innovators had on democratizing WordPress by making it affordable and accessible to all.

It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years since we first launched EasyWP. And it wasn’t long before our pricing structure was the first thing to hit the headlines:

  • Why is Managed WordPress so cheap?
  • What’s wrong with it?
  • Is it really Managed WordPress Hosting?

We responded by explaining that we’d done the hard work already. By opting to build our own in-house cloud platform, we containerized WordPress. By using commodity hardware and open-source software, we were able to deliver true Managed WordPress at a fraction of our competitors’ costs. By democratizing WordPress, we gave everyone the right to express their ideas online – and make it affordable.

And we’ve never wavered on this mission. EasyWP now powers over 116,000 websites and is growing fast. Namecheap has always stood for a free and open Internet, and this is reflected in our approach to making WordPress more accessible to all.

The idea behind EasyWP hosting

The original team behind EasyWP had the vision to make managed WordPress hosting accessible and affordable to all. Fazioli explains a different type of hosting, where “most of the complicated stuff is completely hidden from the end-user.” The goal was to create a solution where people could create a WordPress website literally in just a few clicks.

In the beginning, the ideas behind EasyWP were just that: ideas. But after working with WordPress for a long time, the intuition soon translated into actionable plans.

“We knew a lot of agencies and freelancers that were working on WordPress, but most of them were not technicians,” Fazioli said.

These real-world insights provided the stepping stones to gathering more tangible user feedback through forms, social media, and customer support. Fazioli goes on to say,

“We started to tailor our infrastructure in a better way and learned a lot from our customers, focusing on what the customers really need, instead of working solely on features.”

Key Features of EasyWP hosting

One of the key benefits of EasyWP is in the name: it’s easy. But does the simplistic nature of EasyWP mean a lack of features?

“This is something we’ve been continuously working on over the past few years,” Fazioli points out. “In the beginning, you could only do the basics, but now you can change the domain, set your SSL, update descriptions, back up your files, and much more.”

Based on our own proprietary hardware on the Namecheap Cloud, EasyWP doesn’t need to rely on services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud. This results in significant cost savings, which are passed on to our customers in the form of affordable WordPress hosting. With an uptime of 99.9% and speeds 3x faster than WordPress on traditional shared hosting, users can expect an ‘always live’ experience with lightning-fast performance.

Another significant milestone was when the team started to use the new EasyWP infrastructure. Although this was not visible to the end-user, it was a huge step forward.

Surreal moments in the EasyWP journey

A particularly memorable night for Fazioli in the EasyWP journey was when they flicked the switch and opened EasyWP to the rest of the world:

“Ballotta was calling me in the middle of the night to resolve an issue – and that’s when we realized we needed to set up customer support, fast.”

Another surreal moment for Fazioli was the anticipation of meeting his team members in person:

“We were all working remotely, so there was a quiet fear among us before we all met up. But that fear quickly disappeared when we realized the people we’d loved working with remotely every day were just as incredible in person! ”

Using the customer as a guide

Although EasyWP has come a long way, the platform is continuously being worked on to improve the customer experience. Fazioli notes,

“I think we need to improve the interaction between the current dashboard and the website. Although customers can do a lot from the dashboard, they still need to complete a few backend tasks. ”

The team can’t wait to improve the user experience, add new tools, and enhance product stability from a product perspective.

“I don’t think we should change the foundations around EasyWP – but we like to let the customer guide us,” says Fazioli.

Building with leading-edge technology

Ballotta, who was initially the Product Owner of EasyWP and now Director of Namecheap Cloud, recognizes his team’s role in today’s vision of EasyWP:

“We support the platform from a technology standpoint, but the EasyWP product under makes all the product decisions and designs.”

He continues,

“Basically, the idea behind EasyWP was to build a product that was very reliable, easy to use, with leading-edge technology.” It wasn’t an exact science, but instead, a mixture of experience and gut instinct. We worked on building a good technology stack with affordable hardware – which would result in lower prices for our customers. ”

Reflecting on the success of EasyWP, Ballotta says:

“In just five years, EasyWP is already competing with major products on the market and becoming a recognized brand. Once we start adding even more features, such as a staging environment and automatic backups, I think EasyWP will really stand out. ”

Looking back and reaching forward

Cinke gives his perspective on what EasyWP is achieving for our customers and what to expect next:

“We’ve always wanted to provide security, protection, reliability, and speed to our customers, Cinke explains. “Setting up and operating EasyWP, and working on this scale, we’ve learned a lot when it comes to speed and reliability.”

He adds,

“We’re working on the third generation of EasyWP, which will improve background services even further, provide faster speeds for end-users, and enable us to develop new features faster.”

Landmark EasyWP moments

A particularly fond moment for Cinke was seeing the first customers subscribing and creating their dream website. And another landmark was when the team started the second generation of EasyWP hosting.

Reflecting on what makes EasyWP stand out over similar platforms, Cinke highlights that EasyWP does not rely on an external cloud provider, resulting in lower prices for the customers.

Cinke goes on to say:

“We’re now equipped with a lot of experience and design principles that we didn’t know at the beginning. We started with something, and through several iterations, we achieved our goals in terms of speed and stability – something that’s really important for our customers. ”

Realizing we’ve made it!

When asked if the team succeeded in its mission to “democratize WordPress” and make it accessible and affordable to all without compromising on performance, Cinke promptly responded: “I do, and we will continue to follow this approach.”

As we mark the occasion of EasyWP’s 5th birthday, it’s clear the story has been one of passion, commitment, and ambition. We’ve heard valuable insights from the people behind the super-fast web hosting service – from their original visions to landmark moments – to where they envisage EasyWP heading in the future.

At this point, it feels apt to end with a message from Matt Russell, former Chief Cloud Officer at Namecheap and EasyWP’s Founder:

“Before EasyWP, Managed WordPress was expensive and out-of-reach for many web pros and webmasters who wanted the benefit of a holistic WordPress experience – but without the high price tag. As a result, we set about democratizing Managed WordPress, and our revolutionary approach to building our own Cloud Tech allowed us to build an incredible WordPress experience at a fraction of the cost of those around us. I am proud of what we accomplished with EasyWP, and on its 5th birthday, I’m excited to see it grow and power more and more of the WordPress hosting ecosystem. ”

Has the EasyWP story inspired you? Learn more about EasyWP and start setting up your WordPress website, or hop over to LinkedIn to read our full Q&A for even more insights.


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wpadmin May 26, 2022 0 Comments

Multilingual WooCommerce and How to Sell Worldwide

Having a WooCommerce store that sells internationally is great. But having a multilingual WooCommerce store that sells internationally while also providing visitors with product descriptions they fully understand and are completely optimized for international SEO is even better!

And it’s not only to improve your customers’ experience — it’s also great for business too.

Studies show that nearly 80% of shoppers would much rather buy from online stores that provide content in their native language. Meanwhile 40% won’t even consider making a purchase if the language is foreign to them.

And if we think about it, it makes complete sense. People want to understand what they’re buying. They need to be certain of their acquisitions and when they don’t fully understand a language, they won’t trust the business enough to actually spend their hard-earned money on it.

So why risk losing potential clients simply because they don’t fully understand your product descriptions or store policies? What if your products are exactly what they’re looking for but they just don’t know it yet because they don’t speak your language?

The Benefits of Multilingual WooCommerce

Reach New Markets

When you turn your eCommerce store multilingual, you open your virtual doors to a whole new market that’s full of new ways to position your business internationally and compete with big names from your industry or niche.

Even if you’re doing great on the local market, extending to new, bigger markets is always a good idea. If you have the possibility to provide your services or products to buyers all over the world, why wouldn’t you?

After all, more people reached = more potential conversions.

Build Credibility and Earn Customer Trust

As I said before, most people have trouble trusting a website they don’t fully understand. That’s why by offering your site in your customers’ native language, you improve its credibility in their eyes.

When you eliminate the language barrier, visitors are less likely to feel uneased at purchase since misunderstandings are less likely to happen. This gives them a more comfortable user experience and more reasons to trust your brand.

Woman watering a plant growing a magnifying glass

Boost SEO and Grow Organic Traffic

With a single language site, you can optimize your web pages so that they rank well in Google using SEO best practices. Ideally, this would help your website get discovered by new users and get valuable organic traffic.

But this is not an easy job. The competition is quite high for English sites and, if your website is not very well established, it could get pretty hard to check those top positions in SERPs.

When you turn multilingual, the results you get from your SEO efforts can rise to a new level as well. With multilingual SEO, you can have each of the translated versions of your site’s pages rank separately for each language. Not only is the competition lower for non-English websites, but this way you can also target users searching Google in their own languages too.

People might be already searching for products similar to yours but in their own native language. All those people might translate to brand new organic traffic (or even conversions) on your site using multilingual SEO.

WooCommerce is Translation-Ready

And finally, because WooCommerce is inherently localization and translation-ready, the process of turning your shop multilingual will be extremely simple.

All you need is a good multilingual plugin and a few minutes to set it up and you’re good to go.

WooCommerce has already been translated into lots of different languages. This means that all of the content that comes with the plugin (such as “Add to cart” buttons) is probably already available in your desired language. You’ll just need to install your multilingual plugin of choice and download the specific WooCommerce language pack.

Moreover, WooCommerce also lets you easily configure different types of payment methods (like PayPal) and pick a default currency. You can even sell in multiple currencies, but you’ll need a multi-currency extension for that.

How to Turn WooCommerce Multilingual

So, now that you know why you should turn your eCommerce store multilingual, let’s talk about how you can do it.

To get started, you’ll first need a multilingual plugin. That’s the best way to work around translating your store since it’s pretty fast to do, it’s SEO-friendly, and it required zero technical skills.

In this tutorial, we’ll be using TranslatePress, an easy-to-use, and highly intuitive translation plugin. Using this plugin for website translation, you’ll be able to quickly and easily edit your translation with the help of a visual translation editor that works something like this:

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Step 1: Install and Set Up the TranslatePress Plugin

So, first, let’s get the TranslatePress plugin on your WooCommerce store.

If you’re on a budget and one additional language will suffice your online store, you can get away with the free version of the plugin, available for download at WordPress.org. If, however, you want multiple additional languages and other extra functionalities, you can always pick one of the premium TranslatePress licenses.

Once your chosen version of the plugin is uploaded and installed on your WooCommerce store, you can move on to setting it up. First, in your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings >> TranslatePress and, in the General tab, add your new languages. Search for your desired language in the “All languages” section and then click “Add”.

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Again, if you’re using the free version you’ll be able to add one secondary language, that’s two languages total for your online shop. For unlimited languages, choose one of the premium plans.

Next, scroll down to the “Language switcher” section and choose your preferred type of switcher and how you want it displayed.

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You can also choose a combination of any two or even all three switchers at the same time.

Step 2: Enable Automatic Translation (Optional)

Now if you’re in a bit of a hurry or simply do not have the time to manually translate all of your site’s content, you can always use TranslatePress’ automatic translation functionality.

This is a completely optional functionality, but it sure helps get things done, especially when you have a shop with lots of products listed. If, however, you’d prefer to stick with manual translations, feel free to skip to the next step.

So, to activate it, navigate to the Automatic Translation tab in the TranslatePress settings and choose “Yes” in the “Enable Automatic Translation” dropdown. This will open up the rest of the settings.

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Next, you’ll have to choose your preferred translation engine. Google Translate is available with the free version of TranslatePress, while DeepL comes with any premium license of the plugin. Regardless of which service you choose, in order for the automatic translation to work, you’ll need to retrieve an API key. So, here are step-by-step tutorials on how to do that for both Google Translate and DeepL.

Limit Machine Translation

While TranslatePress does not charge any money for automatic translation, your chosen translation engine might, depending on how much content there is to translate. So, if you’re on a strict budget, make sure to set a limit on the daily translated characters from the “Limit machine translation/characters per day” section.

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After you save your changes, navigate to a page you want to see translated, from the front end. Switch to the additional language (or one of them if you have multiple) from the language switcher and see the magic happen.

The page will be automatically translated and those translations will now be stored on your own server. This ensures that TranslatePress only retrieves the translations from the translation engine once and thus prevents load time increases. Once the page is translated, you have full control over those translations and are even able to manually modify them if needed.

Step 3: Translate Your WooCommerce Content

The next step is manual translation. Now, if you chose to go with automatic translations, this is where you’ll be able to go in manually and tweak any translations that don’t sound right to you. If not, you’ll be able to translate everything from scratch.

Whether you’ve enabled automatic translation in the previous step or not, this step will work in the same way. The only difference is that if you’ve used automatic translation, the translation fields will be pre-filled with the translations received from Google Translate or DeepL.

Translate WooCommerce Shop Page

So, first off, let’s tackle the WooCommerce shop page translation.

For all front-end translations, TranslatePress offers a convenient visual interface that lets you preview your website live while translating. This way, you never have to worry about how your shop would look like once translated, and you can also see each string in context.

Start off by navigating to your online store from the front end, while logged in to your WordPress dashboard. With the TranslatePress plugin installed, you’ll now be able to see a “Translate Page” button in the WordPress admin bar.

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Clicking that button will take you to the visual translation editor. Here you’ll see a preview of your site on the right side of the screen and a translation sidebar on the left.

If you want to see your edits live, right as you translate, you can choose to display the language you are currently editing in the live preview. This way, when you translate a piece of content, the preview will update instantly with your translation.

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To translate any piece of content on your shop page, all you have to do is hover your mouse over any string and click the pencil icon that shows up.

Now you’ll be able to input your translation in the sidebar to the left, under your secondary language field, like so:

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Don’t forget to hit “Save Translation” once your string is translated.

With this exact approach, you can easily translate any piece of content visible on your site, including menu items, page titles, product titles, and so on.

As you’ll probably notice if you’re using one of WooCommerce’s default languages, some of the strings will be translated right from the start. These are strings that come with the plugin and are automatically added to your site by WooCommerce itself once you add a secondary language. You’ll notice that the pencil icon is green in this case, as opposed to blue, as it is with the other user-generated strings.

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These strings can still be edited by clicking the green pencil icon that appears on hover, if you’re not happy with WooCommerce’s choice of words, 

If you can’t see these default WooCommerce string translations, just go to Dashboard >> Updates and scroll to the end of the page to update your translations.

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If there are still no translations to be updated, the language you’ve chosen might not be supported by WooCommerce. In this case, you’ll have to translate everything yourself, either automatically or manually.

You can check this official list to see if WooCommerce has already been translated to your specific language.

Translate WooCommerce Products

Now, when it comes to WooCommerce Products, the process is pretty much the same. Navigate to a product page you want to translate and click the “Translate Page” button.

Next, click the pencil icon on any visible string on the WooCommerce product page and input its translation in the sidebar.

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Again, you’ll probably see that some content is already translated, such as the “Add to cart” button, but you’ll still be able to edit those strings too.

Moving forward, you can translate the product description, product category, and any additional information the product page may contain, in the exact same way.

You can even “translate” your images if you want to display different media for each language. Simply hover over an image, click the pencil icon, and then input another image in the sidebar.

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Translate WooCommerce Cart & Checkout Page

In order to translate your WooCommerce cart page, you’ll need to go ahead and add an item to your cart from the front-end. Then, navigate to the cart page and open the translation editor.

Once you’re here, you’ll be able to translate everything using the exact same approach.

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When your cart is empty, your cart page will only display some default WooCommerce messages and buttons. These should be automatically translated if the specific WooCommerce language pack is installed.

If you want to edit those default strings, simply empty your cart right from the live preview, in the translation editor and edit them like usual.

To translate your WooCommerce checkout page, after adding at least one item to your cart, proceed to checkout. Once you’re on the checkout page, you can once again click the “Translate Page” button and start editing your translations.

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And finally, you can of course do the same for your WooCommerce account page and any other page of your eCommerce store.

Translate Important WooCommerce SEO Elements

For all of the functionalities I’ve presented above, the free version of TranslatePress works just fine. But for this last step, you’ll need the SEO Pack add-on, available only with a pro license of the plugin.

This add-on extends the functionality of TranslatePress to SEO elements (such as SEO titles and meta descriptions) and URL slugs.

To enable the add-on, go to Settings >> TranslatePress >> Addons tab and click the “Activate” button to the right of the SEO Pack add-on

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With the add-on active, you’ll now be able to access SEO metadata and URL slugs, right from the translation editor.

Simply open the strings dropdown and look for the “Meta Information” section. Now you’ll be able to select and translate the SEO page title, meta description, image alt tags, social share tags, and even URL slugs.

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Turn your WooCommerce Store Multilingual Today

Ready to go multilingual with your WooCommerce store? You sure should be after this easy tutorial!

Take your online shop to the next level and reach untapped markets today! All you need is an intuitive multilingual plugin, just like TranslatePress, and a few simple steps.

You can try TranslatePress for free by downloading it from the WordPress repository or, if you long for unlimited translation languages and extended functionality, you can pick your preferred premium plan.

Do you still have questions on how to create your own multilingual WooCommerce store? Let us know in the comments below.


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wpadmin May 25, 2022 0 Comments