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How to Build a Feature-Rich Multilingual Website in CodeIgniter

How to Build a Feature-Rich Multilingual Website in CodeIgniter

With the rapidly growing diversity of internet users, many businesses are building multilingual websites to expand their reach. From reaching out to consumers in markets like India to selling globally, a multilingual CodeIgniter website development brings many benefits. And CodeIgniter has emerged as a favorite framework when it comes to multilingual web development.

Even with a comparatively smaller footprint, CodeIgniter has an impressively loyal user base. Thanks to its unique features and elegant design. While the trend of building a multilingual website in CodeIgniter is getting mainstream, you might initially find it a bit intricate. And that’s where this blog post intends to help you. Read on to learn the nitty-gritty of building a multilingual website using the CodeIgniter framework.

A step-by-step guide to building a multilingual website

  1. Download the CodeIgniter framework
  2. Build a multilingual website using CodeIgniter
  3. Configure the settings
  4. Add the preferred languages
  5. Add language hook

Download CodeIgniter 

You can download the CodeIgniter framework by visiting the CodeIgniter website. The download is available in a zip file. CodeIgniter 3 has a 2MB download, which includes a user guide. The latest version, CodeIgniter 4, is even smaller: 1.2 MB alongside a 6MB user guide.

First, you need to unzip the file and put it in the root directory of your web browser. In case you already have a XAMPP file installed, rename it as a multilingual app in CodeIgniter. Then put the folder in the “htdocs” or www folder.

When you install the CodeIgniter framework, you’d get an application, a system folder, and other files. CodeIgniter’s application directory comprises a core, controllers, libraries, views, hooks, and languages, among other elements.

Build a multilingual website in CodeIgniter 

It’s the step in which you actually start writing the code for a multilingual website. With CodeIgniter, you get an outstanding performance that helps you write high-quality code for building a multilingual website.

Start creating the multilingual website by opening the project directory in your preferred code editor. We recommend using Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code for superior code quality and productivity. It enables you to quickly debug codes and launch them into the running app. Besides, Visual Studio Code is incredibly customizable and extensible.

Configure the project

Project configuration is a crucial step before you head into developing the website. Below are the main steps for configuring your solution.

Changing the base URL

You need to open config.php in application/config.php and go to the specific line, base_url. And then change it to:

$config[‘base_url’] = ‘http://localhost/ci_multilingual_app/’;

Remove the index.php

The URL for the controller contains an index.php in CodeIgniter. You need to remove it before moving ahead in the process. It will also make your URL SEO-friendly.

Here’s the how-to remove it:


open the root directory and create a “.htaccess” file. Follow these steps to add this code into the file:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php/$1 [L]


Edit index_page by removing the PHP file

You also need to remove the index.php file from the index_page configuration. Open config.php from the folder application/config and then go the code line.

$config[‘index_page’] = “index.php”

$config[‘index_page’] = “”

Autoload URL helper and libraries

The URL helper and libraries enable you to make the URL better in terms of web visibility and functionality. The libraries enhance the overall capabilities of the code.

Open autoload.php in the config folder and go to:


Then change the code to:

$autoload[‘helper’] = array(‘url’);

Follow the same steps for autoloading libraries:

$autoload[‘libraries’] = array(‘session’);

Create Language Translation Files

To enable multilingual capabilities on your website, you need to create files for all the languages you want to include. First, open the application/language directory and create language files with the welcome message. For instance, if you want to create a Spanish translation, you need to make a folder named Spanish in the application/language folder. Then, create a file named content_lang.php within the folder.

Configure language hooks

Multilingual websites require hooks for the newly added languages. To define the hooks, you need to open the hooks.php file in the config directory. The define the hook using the below command.

$hook[‘post_controller_constructor’] = array(

‘class’ => ‘LanguageLoader’,

‘function’ => ‘initialize’,

‘filename’ => ‘LanguageLoader.php’,

‘filepath’ => ‘hooks’


After adding hooks, you need to create a language loader class for the multilingual website in CodeIgniter code. You can create a “LanguageLoader.php” file in the application/hooks directory.

Add code to the controller

For adding code to the controller, create a Welcome.php file in the controllers’ directory. Then remove the existing code and add the code. Following this step, you need to switch the language function in the welcome controller.

Update the View file & run the app

To update the view file, open welcome_message.php in the Views directory and replace the code. Now you’re all set to run the application in your favorite browser. Use the below command to run the app:


Wrapping up

Demands for multilingual websites will only grow in the coming years. Whether you’re a web developer or a business owner, creating a multilingual website in CodeIgniter has immense business potential. It not just enables you to reach a wider target audience but also increases your brand’s acceptance. At CodeIgniter India, we build impeccable multilingual websites per the specific requirements of your business. We have a team of exceptionally skilled web developers and designers to custom build solutions for you. You can also hire CodeIgniter developers from us to build a development team of your own.

Frequently Asked Question

Frequently Asked Question

How much does it cost to build a multilingual website in CodeIgniter?

The development cost for a multilingual website in CodeIgniter depends on what kind of website you need. Costs are lower for a website with basic themes and features. If you need a high-performance site with more advanced features, the cost will be different.

How long does it take to build a multilingual website?

There’s no predefined time for building a multilingual website in CodeIgniter. It varies widely depending on the type of website and design elements being used. The best way to know an estimated time is to consult experts. CodeIgniter India delivers stunning website designs within a short development time.

How does the team maintain communication with international clients?

We have a client-friendly communication process in place for every client. You can easily reach out to us via email, phone, Skype, WhatsApp, etc. Our customer support team responds quickly to every query and request.

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