Making your WordPress website available to everyone in the world, regardless of the language they speak, is a great way to build your brand, increase your email subscriber list, and deliver great content to a larger audience base.
Creating killer content, optimizing your website, becoming mobile-friendly, and marketing the right audience is not always enough. You are probably missing out on a lot of visitors by not making your website multilingual. Luckily, there are plenty of great (and affordable) WordPress plugins on the market that can help you make your site multilingual.
Today we will take a look at a wide variety of WordPress plugins to help you manage your translated content.
WPML is a premium multilingual plugin solution that has grown in popularity because of the robust features it offers. Depending on the pricing plan you choose, you can manually translate all of your content or have it done automatically. You can also hire world-class translators to help you out. As an extra bonus, WPML can connect you with professional translators that come at an affordable rate.
- Integration with WooCommerce makes it the only multilingual plugin automatically translating your WooCommerce products and information.
- Technical support in a variety of languages is available and regular updates come included at no extra cost.
- Easy to use with minimal configurations.
- Works well with any WordPress website that uses WordPress API.
- Use on unlimited sites with one purchase.
- All content is SEO optimized and is indexed separately to ensure best practices and consistency.
- Over 40+ languages available with option to add your own using the intuitive WPML language editor.
- It’s not free. Although with three different price points, all at reasonable rates, it may be worth it for your website.
- Potential admin slowdown (that does not affect your website); although this is currently being addressed by the developers.
Altogether, WPML is the best multilingual plugin option available for managing your translated content. For instance, most developers test their website’s multilingual capabilities using WPML which lends to its reliability. In addition, WPML’s company offers superior support, has a strong standing in the WordPress community, and is growing as a company that will last for years. Despite the cost factor, the features provided really make for high-quality translations that are easy for you to manage on the back end so your visitors can enjoy your content on the front end.
TranslatePress main differentiator is that it allows you to translate all your site content directly from the front-end, using an intuitive visual translation interface. You simply hover over a certain string, click it and enter it translation. The changes can be seen in real time.
- Really easy to use for beginners looking to make their site multilingual
- Due to its front-end translation approach, it works out of the box with any theme or plugin including WooCommerce or page builders
- Supports both manual and automatic translation (via Google Translate)
- It’s SEO friendly, offering support for page slug, title, description, as well as social graph information. The HTML lang attribute is properly set.
- The free version is limited to 2 languages only (bilingual websites)
- Full multilingual SEO support is offered in the paid versions
It’s a nice and intuitive approach to translating your WordPress site, especially for non technical users. It has some paid add-ons for things like automatic language detection or setting up translator accounts.
Google Language Translator
Google Language Translator is a free WordPress plugin, not brought to you by Google itself, but built on top of the popular Google Translate translation tool. This plugin offers you the option to add a simple shortcode into posts, pages, or widget areas that you want automatically translated.
- Very simple to set up with little to configure.
- Support of over 80 languages powered via Google Translate.
- Offer site visitors an easy way to switch languages.
- Inline or vertical layout options for the best visual appeal.
- Google branding can be turned off.
- Automatic translation so no need to manually translate content or hire a professional translator.
- Automatic translations mean potential translation errors which can cause content to read incorrectly.
- Search engines may consider translations spam if indexed.
- Some users claim the plugin causes issues with their back end admin area translating into other languages. The solution requires extensive coding which not everyone is comfortable with.
Altogether, if you are looking for a cost effective and quick translation solution, Google Language Translator is a great option. Despite some of the disadvantages of using an automatic translator, it still gets the job done.
Get Google Language Translator Here
Lingotek is another free multilingual plugin for WordPress websites. It uses cloud-based localization and translation for managing your multilingual website. This includes sourcing translations from automatic machine-powered sources, opting for community involved translations, or tapping into Lingotek’s marketplace of over 5,000 linguist experts for hire. As a result, you simply write your content and choose your language; the plugin does the rest.
- Cost cutting and consistency are achieved using three translation solutions.
- WordPress admin language is interchangeable.
- Use as many languages on your website as you want.
- In-progress page checks of content in the process of being translated.
- You must register an account with Lingotek.
- Automatic translations are free only up to 100,000 characters.
- Community based or automatic translations leave room for translation errors.
- Professional translating can be expensive.
Lingotek is a solid solution if you are on a tight budget and are not concerned with the occasional translation error. However, if you take advantage of the three translation solutions, chances are your content will be translated accurately.
Weglot, a free WordPress plugin, claims to be the easiest way to manage your multilingual WordPress website. For example, it provides automatic translations, much like Google Translate. However, it also has a unique dashboard for you to make manual corrections which is beneficial for accuracy. In addition, Weglot gives you the option to purchase professional translation services if your budget allows for it.
- No coding knowledge required and over 60+ languages available.
- Fully compatible with all WordPress themes and plugins.
- Both automatic and manual translation options for maximum accuracy.
- SEO friendly and indexed by Google.
- Free for websites under 2000 words with one translation language, which is limited.
- Even some of the premium plans are for one website only and have strict word limits.
While seemingly promising at first, Weglot falls short having such a limited amount of words with the free plugin. However, if your budget allows, automatic translations and the ability to manually fix errors might be worth a premium purchase.
Translator is a lesser known free multilingual plugin that provides a unique way for your site visitors to see translated content. Utilizing a translation button, Translator translates your website into hundreds of languages quickly and efficiently for viewers. Again, much like Google Translate, Translator relies on automatic, machine-powered translations via Google Translate.
- Automatic translation button is added to the top of each post.
- Simply select the languages you wish to include for your viewers.
- Stylish button can be customized to match the look of your website.
- SEO optimized and using best Google multilingual practices so your site translates well.
- Automatic translation errors may confuse readers.
- Will not work easily for those who have websites with no widget areas.
In the end, this simple plugin is good for any website with widgetized areas, though it has few reviews. Therefore, you should try it for yourself and see if it suits your needs.
WPGlobus is one of many multilingual plugins in a set ready to help you manage your translated content. The main focus of WPGlobus is to provide you the tools to manually translate all of your content. There are several other free plugins that work alongside WPGlobus that you can check out here. Additionally, there are some premium extensions that can help you translate an online shop.
- Free with several free add-ons for getting the best translated website possible.
- Compatible with many popular WordPress plugins.
- Display admin interface in different languages.
- Add many languages to your website with custom combinations of flags, locales, and language names.
- No automatic translation ability; manual translation is time consuming or costly if you don’t have knowledge of several languages.
- Manual translations limit language displays.
- Though a WooCommerce premium extension is available, again, reaching a large audience with hand translated content may be difficult.
This extensive plugin has a lot of potential but still only caters to a select group of website owners. Only those with the knowledge, time, or budget to manually translate all of their content can benefit from it. However, this plugin does lend itself to accuracy with manual translations presumably performed by native speakers.
There are so many different multilingual plugin choices to pick from for your WordPress website. And most of them offer a variety of helpful features and translate effectively.
While the plugin that you choose will depend on things like budget and features, it is important you think long-term. Choosing the most superior translation plugin, WPML, will cost a little money upfront but will provide several benefits. Among those are top quality translations, excellent support, and a ton of features the free options simply cannot.
That’s why investing in WPML will be your best bet in the long run. WPML will build you brand, boost conversion rates, and increase sales. But most importantly, WPML will provide your global website visitors the very best user experience possible.
Have you used a multilingual plugin on your WordPress website to expand your global presence and reach viewers from around the world? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!
Thank you for reviewing WPML. Version 3.5.0, which was released last week, makes the site’s admin a lot faster.
There were two issues causing the admin dashboard to load slow:
* String Translation would load thousands of strings for any admin screen
* The WPML Widget would pull content from our CDN to show recent news
Both have been completely resolved. If anyone sees anything slower with WPML, we now consider this as a bug and handle right away.
I hope this helps.
What about “qTranslate X” ?
Have you been looking into that plugin?
I have been using it a few times but would like your opinion 🙂
Hi Lars B,
Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out this article on expanding your WordPress website’s reach using a multilingual plugin.
I am not too familiar with qTranslate X, though I have heard of its predecessor qTranslate.
That being said, I just gave the WordPress Repository a quick look and must say upon first glance, this plugin does seem quite promising (as you and I would both agree, a 4.9 rating is stellar!). I think it is interesting they implement the multilingual field feature into the plugin so that various parts of your website can appear translated into different languages. I am wondering if you utilize this on your website? I am curious how this approach differs in a positive and/or negative way as opposed to Polylang or WPML’s approach of translating the same content on separate pages.
Let me know what you think!
~ Lindsay 🙂
I’ve used this plugin to one website – and my experience is that works well. The website owner has even created several language versions with ease (and without my help)
I didn’t try Polylang or WPML
I do not how good it is compared to the ranking in Google