People are more inclined to respond when something is offered in their native language. It is the same case with websites. People love to browse websites in their preferred native language.
So, it is highly recommended to add multilanguage option on your website. However, adding Multilanguage can be quite a hassle, and require a lot of programming knowledge and coding on many platforms.
Not in WordPress!!
On WordPress, there are many plugins to easily add multilanguage option to your website without any coding.
In this post, we will be looking at top WordPress plugins that allow you to add multilanguage option to your website in a simple way:
WPML is the most popular WordPress plugin for adding multilanguage option in the industry. It is compatible with Gutenberg block editor, classic editors, and other popular page builders.
In WPML, you have two options for translating your site: Translate Everything or Translate Some. WPML allows you to translate all front-end content/strings, whether they are posts, pages, menus, widgets, taxonomies, custom elements, and fields from themes and plugins.
You can choose any one of Google Translate, Microsoft Azure Translator, or DeepL Translator to automatically translate the content, and then review those translations for improvement.
Like the name, it translates everything on the website, which you can proof-read and improve the content if the translation is not satisfactory. WPML also offers translation reviewers for hire. The reviewers will check the translations and correct them.
Under this setting, WPML will be continuously translating every content you add or edit on the website.
Content types translated by Translate Everything:
- Taxonomy terms that are assigned to posts or pages
- WooCommerce products
The translation is only one-way, i.e., only the content written in the primary language will be translated, not vice-versa.
Some websites might only need to translate specific pages or posts where they want translation under their own control. You can translate the content yourself if you are fluent in the second language or hire professional translation service.
By default, the language switcher is added to the footer. You can customize the language switcher on WPML > Languages → Language Switcher options.
Steps with WPML
- Purchase WPML plugin and download the plugin from your WPML account.
- Upload the plugin on your website
- Specify essential settings on setup wizard
- Choose your site’s languages
- Choose your URL format (eg: https://yoursite.com/es/, https://es.yoursite.com/, or https://yoursite.es/)
- Register WPML by entering the API key
- Choose your translation mode (Translate Everything or Translate Some)
- Start translating through professional translation service, individual translators, or yourself.
The most basic option is Multilingual Blog. In this option, the features are minimal. You will only get one production site and three development sites. There are no side-by-side translation editor, automatic translation, string translation, page builders support, and other features.
To get the best service, you will have to buy Multilingual CMS. In this option, you will get 90,000 translation credits.
Weglot is probably the easiest way to translate your content into multiple languages. Weglot will scan the whole website and translate the content using machine translation. As is often the case with machine translation, most content could be below par in terms of intention and engagement, so you should review the content once again and manually edit the content wherever necessary.
Unlike most translation plugins, Weglot is cloud-based and has a separate external dashboard that needs to be accessed from its website.
To connect the Weglot dashboard to your website, you need to enter API key on the Weglot tab on your WordPress dashboard.
Steps of Weglot:
- Install Weglot plugin from your WordPress admin dashboard and select translation languages.
- Log into Weglot’s external dashboard, copy the API key, and enter that key on Weglot tab on your WordPress dashboard. This will connect your website with Weglot.
- Weglot scans the website and automatically translates the content into selected languages.
- Log into Weglot’s dashboard, proof-read the content on Weglot’s external dashboard, and improve the content wherever necessary (from Visual Editor or side-by-side translation table list).
You will get 10 days free trial. You don’t need to enter your credit card details to get free trial. In the free version, you get 2000 words, one language, and one website, while in Pro version, you get 200,000 words, 5 translation languages and 3 websites.
TranslatePress works with Gutenberg, classical editors, and other popular Pagebuilders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and more. You can also translate your website pages’ and posts’ metadata with TranslatePress.
TranslatePress has an add-on – SEO Pack – which allows you to translate URL slug, Page Title and Description, Image alt tags, Facebook Social Graph tags as well as Multilingual Sitemap support (for all popular SEO plugins).
The Free version only allows one translation language. To add more languages, you will have to buy Premium Version and install Extra Languages Add-on. The premium version allows you translate all plugin and theme strings, and website’s metadata.
TranslatePress stores the translation in the user’s own server database.
Steps with TranslatePress
- Install TranslatePress from WordPress.org plugins store.
- Specify your default language and translation language.
- Start translating the content on the pages by hovering over the element and clicking ‘pencil’ or ‘+’ icon. The translated strings synchronize everywhere on the site, and the translation appears everywhere on your website.
- Alongside the content, the strings coming from the plugins and themes can also be translated. For popular plugins like WooCommerce, the strings are automatically translated with TranslatePress.
- For plugins whose strings are not automatically translated, you can manually translate them by hovering over the content element and editing them.
- To use automatic translation, you will have to use Google Translate or DeepL at an additional cost.
The different pro add-ons come only with Personal, Business, or Developer license holders and cannot be purchased separately.
You can test out the demo before deciding to buy TranslatePress.
Polylang plugin works in multisite system. It comes with a list of more than 90 predefined languages. You can also add your regional language that is not provided by Polylang by uploading the .mo language file. (In layperson’s terms, .mo file is a language file understood by machines while .po file is human-readable.)
You can either manually translate the texts, use automatic translation, or hire professionals provided by Polylang.
To add language switcher, go to Appearance>Menus, click on Screen options on the top right of your screen, and check the ‘Language switcher’ checkbox.
Unlike other plugins, Lingotek plugin is required for automatic translation.
- Install Polylang plugin from WordPress.
- Go through Setup Wizard: The first language you choose will be your primary language, and the following languages will be translation languages.
- Select if you want to translate media data like title, alt tag, description, and caption.
- The existing website does not have any assigned language. So, assign the language of your website; otherwise, your content might not be displayed on the front end.
- Start translating content text and strings.
- Upgrade to Polylang Pro for more premium features.
PolyLang offers both Free version and Pro version. Polylang Pro costs €99.00 for one site, €198 for 3 sites, €297 for 5 sites, and €495 for 25 sites.
This plugin uses Google Translate automatic translation service for translation. While WPML, Polylang, and TranslatePress use the user’s own server database, GTranslate is cloud-based, which means the translations are done and stored on their own database.
It works for multisite, so different subdomains, domains, or subdirectories can be used for different languages.
There is also a feature that can be enabled where users will get translation when they hover their mouse over the content.
- Install and activate ‘Translate WordPress with GTranslate‘ plugin.
- In WordPress dashboard, go to Settings>GTranslate, and start your translation process by adding the languages.
- Choose your default language.
- You can activate the translation on menu, footer, sidebars, etc. You can customize it to show flags, text, or flag and text on a dropdown menu or list style.
You can get a free trial for 15 days. In the paid version, URL translation is available, and different languages can be put on different domains (eg:- domain.es), and those websites are search engine indexable.
On MultilingualPress, separate sites are used for different languages using WordPress multisite network. So, different versions of your site appear for specific languages.
For an eCommerce store, multiple stores are created for each language.
MultiLingualPress also identifies the user’s browser language and recommends their preferred language.
Examples of Multisites (not necessarily using MultilingualPress plugin)
- Subdirectory – BBC News (https://www.bbc.com/hindi, https://www.bbc.com/arabic, https://www.bbc.com/mundo)
- Subdomain – Match Dating (https://au.match.com, https://uk.match.com, https://fi.match.com/)
–> Because the sites are created in subdomains or subdirectories, the translated content is not hampered even after uninstalling the MultilingualPress.
Before setting up MultiLingualPress, some configurations and setups are needed in the website’s WordPress directory, and .htaccess file.
Creation of new duplicate sites in desired secondary languages can be done quickly after installing MultilingualPress plugin.
- Allow multisite configuration in WordPress directory
- Install multisite network on the WordPress admin dashboard’s Network Setup.
- Enable the multisite installation by adding code snippets to the .htaccess file. (*Detailed steps on how to create and set up multisite network by MultilingualPress)
- Buy MultilingualPress plugin
- Upload MultilingualPress plugin on your WordPress website
- Activate MultlilingualPress plugin by entering Master API Key and Product ID on the license tab (My site>Network Admin>Settings>MultilingualPress). You can find the key and ID inside the customer account.
- Set up settings as required on your whole site, post, and taxonomies.
Besides the 3 pre-made packages, you can also contact the MultilingualPress team for a custom package that suits your business and fulfills your needs.
Making your website multilingual can do wonders for your site. It can be a long and laboring process, especially if you have lots of content, but in the end, it’s rewarding. These popular plugins will help you make your website multilingual in WordPress without coding. Choose the best plugin for you, make your website multilingual, and see the positive changes on your site.