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Best WordPress Multilingual Plugins

WordPress has become one of the most popular open source Content Management Systems, and now powers and supports more than 60,000,000 blogs and sites from all over the world. Since WordPress is so widely used all over the world, there is an inherent need for site contents to be displayed in different languages. Now with eCommerce sites also being constructed with WordPress, it is quite important to make one single site with multiple language compatibility. This can make the sites usable for people speaking different languages. Multilingual plugins from WordPress are developed for this very purpose.

WordPress has become one of the most popular open source Content Management Systems, and now powers and supports more than 23% of the world’s websites.

Since WordPress is so widely used all over the world, there is an inherent need for site contents to be displayed in different languages. Now with eCommerce sites also being constructed with WordPress, it is quite important to make one single site with multiple language compatibility. This can make the sites usable for people who speak different languages. Multilingual plugins from WordPress are developed for this very purpose.

Some of the best WordPress multilingual plugins and their features are listed here:

WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML)

wpml

WPML comes with an easy setup of 40 languages right out of the box. Apart from that it allows the users to add their own language as and when needed. It also allows the users to add different variants of languages like Mexican Spanish, Canadian French, etc. It is also capable of making one single WordPress installation work fully as a multilingual site.

Features of WPML:

  • Variant languages compatibility: Allows users to add their own language even if it is a variant of another language.
  • Powerful translation management: Manages the translation by itself without creating any additional interference from the users.
  • Multilingual CMS: It works well with Multilingual Content Management System sites powered by WordPress.
  • Theme and plugin text translation: WPML’s revamped String Translation will translate all texts that are not included in posts, pages and taxonomies (such as widgets). Not only that but the new String Translation means your page load times will be reduced by more than 50% while using the plugin.
  • Translation of comments from the visitors: It automatically translates the comments of the visitors or subscribers into the preferred languages. Both site owners and other viewers can get the benefits of this facility by and large.
  • Multilingual E-Commerce: WPML lets you easily build and run multilingual e-commerce sites with WooCommerce. It shows you which texts need translation and builds the complete translated store for you.

Download WPML

Weglot

Weglot

As the highest-rated WordPress multilingual plugin on the WordPress Directory, Weglot is loved and used by thousands. Created to simplify your translation process – the Weglot translation plugin gives you a reliable and easy way to take your website from local to global in minutes. Weglot works by translating, detecting, and displaying the content of your website instantly. Install Weglot, select your required language(s) and watch as Weglot does the hard work for you – you’ll have a multilingual website in less than 5 minutes. Then, use Weglot’s simple interface to manage and edit your translations or order additional manual translation if required. Multilingual SEO is also a big priority with Weglot. Language-specific subdomains, are automatically added hreflang tags and translated metadata to ensure you’re searchable within your new markets. Key benefits include:

  • Simple and quick set-up
  • Multilingual SEO best practices (including language subdomains & translated metadata)
  • Compatibility with any theme and plugin (including WooCommerce)
  • Automatic and human translations
  • A unique dashboard with an ‘in context editor’, easily edit translations & invite teammates to collaborate on projects
  • Expert support: a fully dedicated technical support team at your disposal

Try Weglot out for yourself with their 10-day free trial

TranslatePress

TranslatePress is a really easy to use WordPress translation plugin that lets you translate your entire site directly from the front-end. The interface allows you to translate the entire page at once, including output from shortcodes, forms, and page builders. It also works out of the box with WooCommerce.

TranslatePress’ list of features includes:

  • Translate all your website content, directly from the front-end
  • Works with ANY theme or plugin (no extra compatibility required)
  • Support for both manual and automatic translation (via Google Translate)
  • Customizable language switcher
  • Support for dynamic (gettext) strings added by WordPress, plugins, and themes
  • WooCommerce compatible
  • Translation blocks: translate larger blocks of HTML with a single translation, by joining multiple translation strings together
  • GPL & self-hosted (built the WordPress way)

The premium version includes the following Pro Add-ons:

  • Multiple Languages (for adding as many translation languages as you need)
  • Automatic User Language Detection (first-time visitors will be redirected to their preferred language based on browser settings or IP address)
  • SEO Pack (for boosting your multilingual ranking, includes Yoast SEO sitemap support)
  • Translator Accounts (create translator accounts)
  • Navigation Based on Language (helps you configure different menu items for different languages)
  • Browse as User Role (helps you navigate and translate your website just like a particular user role would. Useful for dynamic content that appears for particular users)

Download TranslatePress

Multilingual Press

multilingual-press-plugin

This plugin from WordPress is highly recommended by the satisfied users. This plugin works perfectly with single sites as well as WordPress multisites, and there is also a Pro version with additional features as you can see below.

Features of the free version of Multilingual Press:

  • It uses a customizable widget to link to all sites and you can set up unlimited site relationships in the site manager.
  • It offers a Language Manager with 174 editable languages.
  • View the translations for each post or page underneath the post editor.
  • Show a list of links for all translations on each page in a flexible widget.
  • Translate posts, pages and taxonomy terms like categories or tags.
  • Add translation links to any nav menu.
  • No lock-in: After deactivation, all sites will still work.

Some of the added features of MultilingualPress Pro:

  • Support for custom post types.
  • Automatically redirect to the user’s preferred language version of a post.
  • Edit all translations for a post from the original post editor without the need to switch sites.
  • Duplicate sites. Use one site as template for new site, copy everything: Posts, attachments, settings for plugins and themes, navigation menus, categories, tags and custom taxonomies.
  • and much more…

Download Multilingual Press

Polylang

Polylang allows you to create a bilingual or multilingual WordPress site. You write posts, pages and create categories and post tags as usual, and then define the language for each of them.

The translation of a post, whether it is in the default language or not, is optional. The translation has to be done by the site editor as Polylang does not integrate any automatic or professional translation service.

Here is a quick overview of the features on offer for Polylang:

  • You can use as many languages as you want. RTL language scripts are supported. WordPress language packs are automatically downloaded and updated.
  • You can translate posts, pages, media, categories, post tags, menus, widgets, etc.
  • Custom post types, custom taxonomies, sticky posts and post formats, RSS feeds and all default WordPress widgets are supported.
  • The language is either set by the content or by the language code in the URL, or you can use one different subdomain or domain per language.
  • Categories, post tags as well as some other metas are automatically copied when adding a new post or page translation.
  • A customizable language switcher is provided as a widget or in the nav menu.
  • The admin interface is multilingual too and each user can set the WordPress admin language in his/her profile.

Download Polylang

Transposh WordPress Translation

transposh-wordpress-translation-plugin

Transposh translation filter for WordPress offers a unique approach to blog translation. It allows your blog to combine automatic translation with human translation aided by your users with an easy to use in-context interface.

It offers a number of features, all of which can be seen below:

  • Support for any language – including RTL/LTR layouts.
  • Unique drag & drop interface for choosing viewable/translatable languages.
  • Multiple options for widget appearances – with pluggable widgets and multiple instances.
  • Translation of external plugins without a need for .po/.mo files.
  • Automatic translation mode for all content (including comments)
  • Professional translation by One Hour Translation.
  • Use either Google Translate, MS Translate or Apertium backends – 92 languages supported in all.
  • Automatic translation can be triggered on demand by the readers or on the server side.
  • RSS feeds are translated too.
  • Takes care of hidden elements, link tags, meta contents and titles.
  • Translated languages are searchable.
  • BuddyPress integration.

At the moment of updating this post there was an issue with WordPress.org, so the latest update of Transposh can be downloaded from their site.

Download Transposh WordPress Translation

qTranslate X

qtranslate-x-plugin

This plugin is a descendant of qTranslate. While the back-end database framework is left almost intact, the design of editors is drastically changed and improved to be much less vulnerable to WP updates.

Instead of seeing multiple lines per each language for title, qTranslate-X provides language switching buttons, which once pressed, change all the text fields to be filled with the language chosen. The instant language change happens locally in your browser without sending an additional request to the server.

Here is a quick overview of some of the free version features:

  • One-click local switching between the languages – Changing the language as easy as switching between Visual and HTML.
  • Language customizations without changing the .mo files – It stores all the translations in the same post fields, while it shows it to the user for editing one by one depending on the language to edit chosen.
  • Multilingual dates out of the box – translates dates and times for you.
  • Theme custom fields can be configured to be translatable too.
  • Comes with a number of languages already built-in – English, German, Simplified Chinese, for example, and many more.
  • Choose one of 3 Modes to make your URLs look pretty and SEO-friendly. – The simple and beautiful /en/foo/, or nice and neat en.yoursite.com, and everywhere compatible ?lang=en.
  • One language for each URL – Users and SEO will thank you for not mixing multilingual content.
  • Supports unlimited number of languages, which can be easily added/modified/deleted via a comfortable Configuration Page.
  • Custom CSS for “qTranslate Language Chooser” widget configurable via its properties.
  • Menu item “Language Switcher” to enable language choosing from a menu.
  • Use Google XML Sitemaps v3 for qTranslate plugin to rebuild your XML sitemap for better SEO support.

Download qTranslateX

These plugins are quite powerful in handling the language compatibility of the users. All blogs and websites are directly related with these plugins. However, the eCommerce platforms with WordPress will be experiencing the best advantages of these plugins.

And if you’re looking for web hosting services for your websites, check out SiteGround, who provide fully managed WordPress services and have a 24/7 multi-lingual support, that includes WP themes and plugins assistance.

UPDATE: This post was updated in June 2015. Some plugins were removed due to not being updated for over a year, while others were added to the list.

Jean Galea
Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the Mastermind.fm podcast. His personal blog can be found at jeangalea.com.

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25 Responses

  1. You left out stella! http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stella-free/

    I enjoy Stella because it’s simplicity, though you will need the pro version to localize your theme. I also use WPML as it covers basically everything, the only downside of WMPL is that it clutters the admin interface tremendously. It’s quite ‘boombastic’ so to say. Q-Translate I’ve used, but quickly abandoned.

  2. Media library of languages: The plugin creates a global library for languages for all blogs and sites powered by WordPress.

    Would it be possible for the post to be updated regarding the no longer existent feature of a shared media library in Multilingual Press? We still have customers having read this article purchasing a pro license and being disappointed as the feature has been removed. (Not indicating the disappointment is the article’s fault, of course.)

    Thanks!

  3. Hi. I think WPML is the best multilingual plugin for WordPress (with great support) and Polylang the best free plugin. I didn´t know about Stella plugin but it looks like very easy to use. I have to check it.

    Thanks for the article!!

  4. Thanks for the overview!
    I’m looking for a plugin to implement a multilingual wordpress install.
    Currently I have 3 different installations for my website and it is really a pain in the neck!!!
    Based on your article I’m going to give a try to qtranslate, hope for the best.
    If it doesn’t work I’ll move to WPML

    1. Please don’t use qTranslate it is now an outdated project and we need to update this post to reflect that. Go with WPML and save yourself some trouble.

  5. Thank you for sharing nice collection of WordPress multilingual plugins and their features. It really helped me to choose one best.
    I would like to share with you this best WordPress multilingual plugins list here:
    1. qTranslate Plus
    2. Polylang
    3. xili-language
    4. Ajax Translator Revolution WordPress Plugin

  6. Hi I’m new in wp translation, I already installed Polylang but how can I translate my site to other language or I need to do it manually creating new posts/pages?

  7. Hi, I’m interested in creating a website for my business that will be available for viewing in two languages. (Basically, it will have two flags in the upper right corner. The default version will be in English but by clicking on the other flag the visitor will switch all the pages to that other language). Can this feature be implemented in any theme or only specific ones? I noticed some themes (Responsive, Hathor, etc.) are “translation ready” but I’m not quite sure if that is what I am talking about here. How difficult is it to set up a website in two languages? Would I need to create (or recreate) the same pages (and all the content) in the two languages or is there a way to do it a bit easier and quicker? Thanks for any input you may have on this subject.

    1. Yes you can use any theme that is WPML compatible. Just ask the theme developer if you are not sure. One can copy over the content and images between languages to have a quick starting point to work off from.

  8. Thank Jean for your useful article!
    I think to buy WPML for my web site http://www.studiogiovanelli.org, but I don’t know if this plugin works also in the home page. For example Qtranslate X uses the sidebar, and if in the home page there osn’t any sidebar you can’t manage the languages. Please, which plugin do you suggest in order to allow me to mangae also the home page without sidebar?
    Thank you, Francesco

    1. You can use Polylang Free version with Say what? pro. I Say what? pro is compatible with polylang and can handle any translation for any language.

  9. You said MultilingualPress works on single wordpress sites but it only works on multi-sites. You might correct that.

  10. Thank you for this article!

    For my wordrpress website, I need a plugin than will allow users to switch from one language to another (content being already translated and submitted my me, of course).

    So, I don’t need translation, but an language switch option. What plugin is easiest and best for that purpose?

    Thank you in advance!

  11. Hello Jean, thanks for your article. I know it is now 3 years old, but Transposh hasn’t been updated for years. Maybe you could add a small notice for users. I think it is crucial to build a multilingual site on a maintained plugin solution.

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