With so many websites on the internet, it is not easy to stand out and create a space for yourself. One of the easiest ways to do so, even if you do not have much to differentiate yourself is having a multilingual website.
With a multilingual website, you can reach a wider audience. The Internet is for the world, and not everyone understands English. Researches show that 72% of the consumers spend most of the time on their native language website.
Not just that, a multilingual website positively impacts SEO and appears in Google Search in different languages. Although Google, Binge, and Yahoo are the most popular search engines across the globe, many countries have their separate search engines in local languages. Having a multilingual website will help you appear in those search engines as well.
Assessing your needs-
When it comes to translating your website, you have three options-
1. Manual – There are multilingual plugins that allow you to manually add the multilingual content on your website. The positive side of adding manual text is that the accuracy is 100%. However, it requires a lot of effort in translating every section. If you decide to hire someone to do the task then, it may cost you time and money as well.
2. Automatic – The other alternative is to have a plugin that translates your website automatically. It’s quick and easy but prone to errors.
3. The third alternative is to have a solution that does the bulk of the job automatically and allows you to make minor changes manually.
5 Best WordPress Translation plugins
Weglot is a premium cloud-based service that works with WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, and many other content management systems.
As soon as you connect your WordPress site to Weglot, it translates your entire site, including details like metadata, description, titles, etc in minutes. Weglot does it using machine translation. If there are minor changes that you wish to make, you can do it manually in its user-friendly cloud interface. You can also outsource the task of translation correction to professional translators.
Weglot follows the best multilingual practices, and all the translated pages are automatically indexed on Google.
Thus, it is one of the most user-friendly and hassle-free option to translate your website quickly.
Since every good thing requires effort and discipline, it comes with a price. Therefore, Weglot is a paid option, but it has a free trial that allows you to translate 2000 words into one language. Another point to consider before you buy Weglot is its recurring cost. While all other plugins in this area come with a one time cost, Weglot charges its users yearly.
Free trial- limited by 2000 words and 5000 pageviews
The paid plan starts at €99/year.
WPML is a premium plugin that can translate your pages, posts, and even your theme’s text. It is one of the oldest and most popular plugins for translating a WordPress site.
The plugin has a solid social proof as it is used by more than 1 million websites and comes with over 40 languages.
The primary focus of the plugin is to enable you to add translation manually. Although there is a provision for automatic translation as well. The user-friendly interface with side by side editor allows you to easily translate the text.
The translation manager in the plugin allows you to
- Create a translator profile for your in-house or freelance translator, or
- Connect to third-party translator services
The translated content is SEO-friendly and can be indexed by Google. The plugin allows you to take the control of translated URLs and lets you translate the page meta etc.
The pricing plan starts at $29 and goes up to $159. The plugin doesn’t offer any free trial or free plan, but all the paid plans come with full support and a 30 days money-back guarantee. So, even though there’s no freemiun, you’re still at a zero risk.
If you’re on a shoe-string budget and looking for a free plugin that can get the job done, then G-Translate is a good option.
But here’s an important point to consider that the paid and the free version does not use the same technology. The free version uses Phrase-Based Machine Translation by Google Translate, while the paid version uses Google Translate Neural Transactions which are very accurate. So, your experience as a user will be different for both the versions of the plugin.
The free version of the plugin allows you to add a dropdown from where users can choose and select the country and then translate the content using Google Translate. Although it’s free and sets things up quickly, it has some cons.
The free version of G-translate, unlike the paid version, doesn’t include the multi-lingual SEO and SEO- friendly URLs. Therefore, Google cannot index the translated version of your site.
Moreover, the accuracy of automatic translation is another big concern in the free version. On the other hand, the paid version has a provision for manual editing in case you want to change anything in the translated version.
A free version is available.
The paid version starts at $7.99/ month.
With more than 500,000+ installations, PolyLang is another popular free plugin for WordPress site translation.
The primary focus of the plugin is adding translations manually. However, automatic translations are also possible with the tool. For automatic translation, the tool integrates with a language service.
The tool offers 39 languages and can translate all your pages, posts, menus, widgets, etc. The free version allows you to translate in the following two ways-
- Using string translation editor for important strings like site name, tagline, etc.
- Using a separate WordPress editor interface for individual content pieces.
Upgrading to a pro version allows you to translate the URL slugs also, keeping the translation on the same URL.
A free version is available.
The paid plan starts with €99 for a single site license.
Another popular plugin with 1+ million active installations is Loco Translate. It allows you to translate your theme and plugins directly in the browser.
If you’re looking for translating your site into your local language (not multi-lingual) or if you’re not finding your local language in the above-mentioned tools, then Loco Translate is the tool for you.
The main focus of this plugin is translating your site into your local language. The tool does not have the language switcher, which means it does not translate your site into multiple languages.
With its PO editor, you can translate the content string by string. Here’s a step by step guide on how to setup Loco Translate plugin by folks over at MeridianThemes.
I hope with this post, you have a fair idea of what type of options are available in the market and what should you look for while choosing a translation plugin for your WordPress site.
Let me tell you that if you’re looking for one best solution that you can simply download and start using then there’s none.
Since everyone has different requirements there’s no such solution that fits all. But we have tried to cover a variety of plugins for different requirements.
If you’re looking for a free (yet powerful) plugin, then you can go for PolyLang.
Looking for a premium plugin that is user friendly and hassle-free? Go for Weglot.
You can also try and test what works for you best.
Related reading: 7 of the Best WordPress Landing Page Plugins