A multilingual website means a site that can be available in many different languages of the world. The internet has erased the physical boundaries. Of course, you can use a complex service that includes copywriting, translation, and proofreading all in one from a specialized company. But if that's not your style, you may want to look into the tools that are available today.
The development and support of multilingual websites require software, as well as the processes and the methods to manage the web content. Creating and maintaining a multilingual website is more expensive for website owners. The best alternative for that is the multilingual WordPress plugins to translate your site.
As we know that WordPress is not multilingual by default. We need to embed plugins to make it support different languages. Let's go through the top 7 hand-picked multilingual plugins for WordPress:
Since 2007, WPML is the most popular multilingual plugin. It is a paid plugin and comes with one year of premium support. It allows you to create multilingual websites. The regular WordPress installation can be used with WPML. This plugin handles all the different translated versions itself. WPML multilingual plugin can be used to translate pages, custom post types, taxonomies, custom fields, posts, websites, plugins, and WordPress admin.
It is also compatible with a myriad of themes and plugins and is often updated by WordPress webmasters.
The plugin is great in many aspects but if you love simplicity then WPML might not be the choice for you. This WordPress multilingual plugin has a bit complicated structure and needs to hook WordPress functions and filter them to make only those contents displayed that match the language. Plus, you need to manage some additional tables, to hold the translation grouping.
WPML can be used to translate over 60 built-in languages. You can even add other languages by yourself.
- Available in both multilingual blog and CMS versions.
- Affordable professional translation.
- Reliable support.
- Compatible with most WordPress themes.
- Many kinds of language switchers.
- It is not free.
- A little bit complicated
Polylang works in a similar way as WPML. This WordPress multilingual plugin creates separate posts per language and connects them. It lets you translate tags, media, posts, pages, menus, categories, widgets, etc. Polylang also provides a customizable language switcher as a widget. It also allows the URL structure to be set for each language via subdomains or domain per language. Polylang works with most of the WordPress themes and fully supports RTL languages.
Polylang uses a similar way to works with themes and plugins as WPML.
- Available for free as well.
- Language switching facility is available via menu or widget.
- Available in both pro and free versions.
- Supports RTL and most of all WordPress themes.
- Use a separate domain or subdomain for each enabled language.
- Its features are not robust.
- Translation has to be done manually.
MultilingualPress is a free WordPress multilingual plugin that can connect several websites with each other and allow visitors to read the website content in more than 174 languages. MultilingualPress plugin can easily translate pages, taxonomy terms, and posts. The MultilingualPress allows to set the main language for each site, create a connection, and start writing. Translation links to any navigation menu can be added by the website managers.
This plugin does not change the existing database. The details of the relationships between translated content are stored in two specialized and highly optimized tables instead (one for posts and terms, one for site relationships). You can safely drop those tables, and all the other tables will stay intact, all the existing content will stay available. No other WordPress multilingual plugin offers this amount of data integrity.
- It is free.
- Supports more than 174 languages.
- It does not translate the menu and categories.
One important thing is the author has released a new version 3 of the plugin, which is a complete version 2 refactoring. The code is based on PHP 7 and hence is state-of-the-art. However, not for free available on wordpress.org! You have to purchase it on multilingualpress.org.
Some info about MultilingualPress v3
MultilingualPress is the only multilingual plugin based on WordPress multisite. Thus, per language version, content, appearance, and functionality can be designed completely differently. This is especially helpful for international websites and also great for performance-optimized websites because we only load one language per web page.
Our plugin comes with over 800 languages by default. The Language Manager allows the creation of a completely new language or the adaptation of an existing language and its characteristic parameters according to user needs.
Above all, MultilingualPress 3 simplifies the management of multilingual webshops with WooCommerce and allows you to link and translate products, categories, taxonomies, and vouchers in the same way as it does with standard taxonomies. The WooCommerce support will be further enhanced in the next updates.
And also the user interface and the Gutenberg compatibility has been improved so that working with MultilingualPress in the backend is even more fun.
Furthermore, the output of hreflang for the linked pages was added to x-default. MultilingualPress multilingual plugin automatically inserts respective link elements in the header area of each language page. We have attached great importance to the correct output of the language for search engines by MultilingualPress.
It should also be mentioned that with the new version 3, version 2 has been completely revised. This means that you can not easily update from version 2 to version 3. A migration tool is already on the roadmap for early 2019. So if you start a new project, version 3 is your best bet. If you already have a WordPress multilingual website with the MultilingualPress Version 2 then you can go ahead and update to version 3 later.
In addition, this WordPress multilingual plugin is not for free available on wordpress.org, your readers can purchase it on multilingualpress.org.
Currently, the following licenses are available for Multilingual Press 3:
- Standard - For 1 multisite, $199
- Developer - For 5 multisites, $299
- Agency - For 25 multisites, $599
Each license also includes the support of version 2.
- Easy management of multilingual websites and webshops in a WordPress multisite
- Individual design of different language versions
- Easy language site creation by duplicating already existing sites and adapting them
- Link and translate default content and custom post types
- Especially optimized for use with WooCommerce to create multilingual shops
- Multilingual SEO: output of hreflang and x-default for the linked pages
- Great performance thanks to multisite and PHP 7 - leads to better SEO
WPGlobus - Multilingual Everything!
WPGlobus is said to a keynote of a plugin family for multilingual WordPress sites, which includes separate add-ons such as WPGlobus for WPBakery TinyMCE, Visual Composer, WooCommerce WPGlobus, and WPGlobus Plus. This plugin enables selective translation of the texts residing in the wp_options database table. WPGlobus Translate option needs to be used when the active theme or the third party plugin has its own options panel, where you enter texts.
See the plugin in action here:
- Enables you to add languages to your site.
- Includes automatic SEO features for translated content.
- The user can switch between languages.
- Compatible with page builders!
- Tools to manually translate posts.
Weglot Translate – Translate your WP website
Weglot automatically translates your content into more than 60 different languages. Weglot WordPress multilingual plugin works with all WordPress themes and plugins. It also allows you to use both automatic and manual translations: get an automatic translation to get started, and then refer to an expert to get checks and edits.
Weglot's workflow makes for an extremely efficient translation process, which ensures you get cost-effective but extremely accurate translations.
You'll also enjoy SEO best practices, including separate pages for each language you add so that these can be properly indexed by Google, and you get additional search clicks from international visitors.
Weglot is trusted by more than 20,000 websites. The setup is remarkably simple, taking under five minutes to get an automatic translation of your website lives. No coding is required.
- Quality plugin with no coding required.
- Easy to use – five-minute setup.
- Mix automatic translations with manual editing.
- Easy access to translation professionals.
- Great for SEO.
- Free tier supports one language, and up to 2,000 words.
- Free trial is available for 10 days.
TranslatePress - Translate Multilingual sites
It is a WordPress plugin that will make a translation of your site an easier process. The interface allows you to easily translate the entire page at once, including output from shortcodes, forms, and page builders directly from the front-end. It also works out of the box with WooCommerce.
TranslatePress is really simple to start and no extra add-ons to install and no compatibility issues with other plugins. This WordPress multilingual plugin supports about 221 languages and is SEO friendly plugin.
See the plugin in action:
- Translate everything from the frontend.
- It includes SEO support for multilingual sites.
- If you want to boost SEO, the free version is not the right choice.
BOGO is a straight-forward multilingual plugin for WordPress which uses the built-in multi-language feature of WordPress. It expands the capability to let easily build a multilingual WordPress site. It expands the capability to let you easily build a multilingual blog on a single WordPress install. BOGO is a solid, reliable, and conflict-free multilingual plugin.
BOGO is created by the author of the very popular Contact Form 7 plugin!
- Enables to switch admin panel language.
- Provides language switcher widget.
- Allows creating a new post for each article.
- Low theme support.
- Not robust.
These are the top 7 multilingual plugins to translate your WordPress website to another language. These plugins help to add translated content to posts, pages, menus, widgets, and many more.
Among these WP multilingual plugins, Weglot, Polylang, WPML, and TranslatePress are more popular so we have made a comprehensive review of them here.
Multilingual plugins are the best option to have a custom WordPress development website, that can support multiple languages and can reach out to customers all around the world.
Harshal Shah has impeccable experience as being the CEO of Elsner Technologies PVT. LTD - WordPress development company that offers multiple web development services to global clients. He also writes major informative articles and blogs on motley topics relevant to various CMS platforms. This can help the readers to know new things about web development and they can get new ideas to build & optimize a website online using various web development tools and techniques.