The Polyglot team at WordPress does a great job of making the Content Management System (CMS) accessible for speakers of many languages. However, when it comes to your site’s content, they can’t help you. Given this, there are plenty of multilingual plugins you can use to help get your content in shape.
For the most part, multilingual plugins have similar functionality. However, each has its own quirks that suit different applications. Choosing the right one boils down to assessing your needs, finding plugins to meet them, integrating your chosen plugin into your site.
In this post, we’re going to look at three great multilingual plugins for your WordPress website. Before this, let’s discuss what a multilingual plugin is and why they’re vital for your site.
A Primer On Multilingual Plugins
For the unaware, a multilingual plugin simply translates the content of your site into another language of your choosing:
In fact, many sites that target a global audience will have a site translated into many languages. End-users can select their desired language using a dedicated ‘switcher’ on the site:
At a basic level, this is all you need to know. However, if you’re looking for a suitable multilingual plugin, you’ll need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.
What to Look for In a Good Multilingual Plugin
Unfortunately, choosing a suitable plugin isn’t simply a case of picking the first one and going on your way. There are a few key elements a solid multilingual plugin will have:
- Robust content detection, so that all of the words on your site can be translated without your stepping in.
- A quick installation process, so you can get to work on translating your site.
- A large number of languages to translate your content into.
There may be more subjective requirements on your end. However, ticking these boxes will make sure you’re off to a great start.
3 Powerful Multilingual Plugins for Your WordPress Website
Now, let’s take a look at three leading multilingual plugins. We’ll talk about what makes each one a front-runner, and also offer you some advice on what tasks it’s best suited to.
First off on our list of multilingual plugins, we have Weglot. It’s a multilingual WordPress plugin that’s fully compatible with all themes and plugins including those with a WooCommerce store.
It offers over 100 languages to translate your content into and takes only a few minutes to set up and begin using. After you’ve installed Weglot, you’ll get a first layer of machine translation to work from.
You’re able to manage and edit all of your translations through a custom dashboard, and there are a few extra perks too. For example, you’re able to make manual edits to your translations using an in-context editor that allows you to edit in a live preview of your site.
You can also collaborate with others on your content through the Weglot dashboard. There are also a few extra translation management tools like a glossary to add translation rules to, the option to exclude certain URLs from translation, add the possibility of translating your URL slugs.
It’s not just the content on your website that Weglot takes care of. It’s also set up for multilingual SEO meaning your newly translated website will be visible on international search engines. Multilingual SEO features include language subdirectories, automatically implemented hreflang tags, and translated metadata.
In all, Weglot is a great full-solution multilingual plugin that allows you to set your translation quality, can be implemented in minutes and gives you access to a sleek and simple dashboard. There’s a free version for websites with 2000 words or under and paid plans start at €9.90 a month per year. There’s also a ten-day free trial, so you can see just how well Weglot integrates with your existing site.
The WordPress Multilingual Plugin (more commonly known as WPML) is an ‘elder’ among translation plugins. It’s compatible with practically every theme and plugin that uses WordPress.
While there are only 40 languages supported, you’re able to use the WPML language editor to add your own. What’s more, you’ll have to set up the built-in language switcher before you use it. This gives you a good level of customization, but isn’t instant, and you’ll have a greater setup time than with other solutions.
WPML will be ideal for those partnering with a translation team, and if you have time to get things up and running to your liking. Prices begin at $29 per year, although the lowest tiers restrict the functionality of WPML. For the full set of features, you’ll want to go with the highest tier at $159.
Our final multilingual plugin is Polylang. This is a similar proposition to WPML, except there is a free tier available. You’re able to translate practically all of your site’s content and use the built-in language switcher as necessary, either in your navigation menu or as a widget.
It’s built on high-performance and ease of use. You’ll find it integrates seamlessly into your WordPress dashboard and has hardly any affect on your site’s speed.
However, pricing is much more expensive than either Weglot or WPML. Polylang Pro begins at around $120, although if you want to translate a WooCommerce store, you’ll also need the specific add-on, again priced at $120. However, there’s a bundle on both of these items for around $170.
Making your site accessible is key for capturing a high number of users. However, this means your site may need some extra functionality in the form of a plugin. When it comes to adding a greater number of languages, a suitable multilingual plugin is just the ticket.
This post has looked at three powerful multilingual plugins. Here’s a recap of each one:
- Weglot. A great all-around multilingual plugin that takes no time to set up.
- WPML. This plugin is a good solution for translating a site if you have the time to customize it.
- Polylang. While the functionality is solid, and there’s a free tier, the premium pricing is much more expensive than the competition.
Are you considering a multilingual plugin, and if so, which one is floating your boat? Let us know in the comments section below!