Have you been thinking about whether to create a multilingual WordPress site? Well, if so, read on because here is everything you need to know about it and the best tools to implement it.
An analysis by Web Technology Surveys, also known as W3Techs, concluded that 53.3% of all websites on the Internet use English, which makes it the primary language on the web, but despite this, you need to stop and ask yourself an important question: are English speakers the only audience I want to attract to my website? If the answer is no, it means that whether you have a blog, online store, portfolio, or other, you should integrate a multilingual WordPress plugin.
Below you’ll find a complete breakdown of the 5 best multilingual WordPress plugins, but before we dive into the list, we want to make sure any questions you may have about translation plugins are answered.
What Is a Translation Plugin?
A WordPress translation plugin is a tool that helps you translate your site’s content into different languages, allowing visitors from any region to use their preferred language.
WordPress multi-language plugins are divided into two categories: self-translation and automatic machine translation.
Automatic machine translation plugins use a translation API such as Google Translator to translate your site’s content. Despite this, while highly evolved and improved, automatic translations may still show some errors. Also, bear in mind that some of these plugins will not allow you to manually edit the automatic translations or others will require you to pay an added fee to unlock that feature.
On the other hand, self-translation plugins demand time and work but they are an infallible instrument for delivering first-class translations, and with them, you will be able to incorporate your style and tone into your site’s content. Just note that compared to the latter option this one could increase the sum of your costs if you end up having to hire a professional translator service.
Why You Need a Multilingual WordPress Website
If you want your site to be known internationally then a multilingual WordPress website is a must, but let’s be honest, creating or translating content in multiple languages doesn’t sound appealing, on the contrary, it’s time-consuming and there can be mistakes along the way that may drive your desired audience away due to lack of readability. That is why, as a WordPress user, the solution for you is to start using a translation plugin.
And let us not forget about the benefits of WordPress multilingual SEO (search engine optimization). Multilingual websites are more likely to rank better in search engines and to be easily discovered in multiple locations around the world.
The 5 Best WordPress Multilingual Plugins
Now that you have decided to create a multilingual WordPress site so that people can enjoy the content you share in their native language, here is the list of the top 5 translation plugins.
Price: different tiered plans starting at $39/year
WPML is one of the most favored multilingual plugins with over a million websites worldwide. Its user-friendly interface allows users to effortlessly manage multilingual content and add translations throughout the website.
It offers extensive functionality by allowing you to not only translate your website, but also your plugins, menus, taxonomies, themes, custom fields, and much more.
The translation options you can use with WPML are Google Translate, Deepl, or Microsoft Azure, but you can always stick to manual translations or outsource the work to third-party services that WPML supports. Although it gives you options to structure your URL as an SEO-friendly website the downside of this WP plugin is that it only offers around 40 language options, and the automatic translations are very limited.
2. Polylang Pro
Price: the Pro Version for a single site license is $99, but the base plugin is free
Polylang aims to assist you in effortlessly setting up a bilingual or multilingual site with its simple interface to translate WordPress posts, taxonomies, menus, and widgets on your site, but it does not offer support for translating your WordPress theme and if you want to have E-Commerce support you will have to upgrade to Polylang Pro.
This multilingual WordPress plugin enables you to choose as many languages as you need, can be integrated with Lingotek Translation to help automatic translations, and offers SEO-friendly URLs for each language, as well as a language switcher for your site via a widget in the sidebar.
If you are looking for a WordPress multilingual plugin that offers more than one hundred translation languages, Weglot is just what you are looking for. This efficient language switcher is a cloud-based translation platform that can be used with WP, BigCommerce, and Shopify, among others. In addition to its automatic translations, you also have access to professional translators.
Price: plans start at $17/month and may vary by subscription level, but there is also a free version
Weglot is one of the most popular multilingual WordPress plugins with over 50k users thanks to its convenient and visual structure, efficient translations, and some remarkable attributes, including WooCommerce management, a language switch button, and SEO-friendly URL support just to name a few.
There are five paid plan options, with the first one starting at $17/month and the top one at $769/month. There is also a free plan that allows you to translate 2,000 words into one language.
Price: different tiered plans starting at $99/year
You will find that MultilingualPress is different than other language switcher tools, this is because it uses an integrated WordPress multisite network for each language instead of the classic WordPress setup, and it creates different versions of your site.
The latest version of MultilingualPress allows users to manage taxonomies, pages, custom fields, and more in one place with the help of the Advanced Custom Fields plugin and is optimized for WooCommerce.
There are over 800+ languages available to use and you can also add more depending on what you need. MultilingualPress is also very suitable for all users as it’s easy to navigate through its interface, where you can manage all your translations in one place.
If all the above sounds good to you, you will surely be happy to know that MultilingualPress automatically redirects users to their preferred language based on their browser language. It may be a bit more expensive compared to other website translation plugins, but it is well worth the money.
Price: tiered plans start at $7.99/month, but a free version is available
Price: free but tiered plans start at $7.99/mo.
This last plugin will aid you in having multiple languages on your site with the use of its Google Translate API. Google Language Translator uses the classic Google Translate button that can be displayed wherever you want on your site. It offers over eighty languages, allows users to change language views, provides automatic Google Analytics integration in addition to language translation, allows you to hide Google’s top frames, and includes multilingual SEO support so your website can have a higher global ranking.
The free version is quite useful for all languages and unlimited automatic translation, but if you want access to multilingual SEO and editing translations you will have to sign up for a paid plan.
- TranslatePress (Starting at $7.99/mo)
- Loco Translate (Starting at $5.95/mo)
- GTranslate (Starting at $9.99/mo)
- Multisite Language Switcher (Free)
- Prisna: Google Website Translator ($50/life)
Certainly, multilingual websites will make your content more accessible and discoverable, and help you connect with a wider audience, so a language switcher is certainly an essential and worthy tool.
We hope that this guide was helpful and remember that the best WordPress plugin is the one that fully adapts to your website’s needs and budget.