If you run a multilingual site, whether it be a simple blog for a multinational organization or an e-commerce hub that sells products across the world, the need for WordPress translation plugins is evident. Every day millions of people go about their daily online business through English, even though it’s only a second language for them. It naturally affects the perception of content and alters the way they may perceive or interact with your brand or site.
Though they might seem like a lot of extra hassle or indeed quite daunting if you haven’t used them before, there are some huge upsides to the effect WordPress translation plugins can have on your site.
There are multiple WordPress translation plugins to choose from to integrate with your CMS, providing automatic or human translated versions of your content and helping you to manage it all.
That’s why we wanted to share our 10 favorites with you.
So here’s our rundown of the best WordPress translation plugins around in descending order (always save the best for last!):
Ceceppa Multilingua is a WordPress translation plugin which focuses on the content management aspect for users who already have their content in multiple languages. The interface is specifically designed to simplify the process of publishing and editing different versions of the same page, with the added advantage of separating posts and pages to allow for alternate URLs and targeted SEO.
One-Click switching between your various languages and translations
Redirects browser depending on user’s language
Edit all your main content and translations easily with a Quick Edit mode
Customizable and SEO friendly URLs
Host separate pages on different URLS to enhance different SEO strategy
There are many different functions you can desire from your translation plugins, and Transposh covers an important one in the form of crowd-sourced translation and correction. This free plugin allows your site or blog to be automatically translated into more than 90 languages with the option for native language users or followers to edit your pages to improve them. This functionality can easily be limited to permission-based editing, but it is a great way for multinational communities who share a common space to interact with the same content in their native tongue.
Interactive editing and correction from users
Drag and drop interface for choosing languages
Readers or administrators can request automatic translation
Professional translation option also available
Search facility available in translated languages
A regularly updated and oft-downloaded WordPress translation plugin, xili-language is perfect for managing multilingual versions of themes according to a post author’s language. It specializes in adapting and optimizing themes for speed and usage through various languages and thus is compatible with a wide variety of very popular themes. With an active design team and peer support, the glitches with the non-native instructions are easily ironed out.
Easily readable and usable interface
Author can choose language of dashboard
Multilingual switching between different languages on a theme
Automatic conversion according to language of post
Concentrating on usability and ease of navigation across multisite WordPress entities, Multisite Language Switcher provides an efficient, free and quick multilingual language manager for any large-scale and multi-domain site. With the ability to move quickly between multiple subdomains or folders you can keep a handle on all the various translations of pages, categories, custom post types, tags, and taxonomies.
Scaled for use across multisite projects and multiple domains
Optimized for speed through switching languages
Manage all necessary translations and custom layouts
When looking for WordPress translation plugins that work straight out of the box and are simple to get the hang of early on then, there are few out there better than Prisna. It has a variety of customizable looks and layouts. Its support center is always on hand for any queries, so you always feel like you are dealing with a product that’s a cut above the rest.
The only reason it appears lower down the list is due to the price ($50) which isn’t that prohibitive for the quality of the product but might be out of reach for some users.
Select what needs to be translated or let it translate everything
All translations are search engine indexed to improve SEO in target language
91 supported languages
Ability to modify all translations
Easy to use and customizable admin panel
One of the most important factors to consider when getting a WordPress translation plugin is how fast it is going to be able to be at switching between different language versions, load times and its scalability for high-volume traffic. To this end, MultilingualPress comes into its own. It has a straightforward and lightweight interface. You’re not wasting time while also allowing for great functionality across an unlimited number of sites.
Unlimited connections and site relationships
All translations can be accessed and modified through a single post editor
Separate URLs for better, language-specific SEO
Flexible widget displaying all translated pages and unfinished translations
Even after it has been removed you won’t lose your data or have it garbled
4. qTranslate X
To deal with fast-paced and constantly changing multilingual content, qTranslate X chooses a different route to other popular WordPress translation plugins which create separate pages or sites. Instead, it automatically translates the selected elements on the page itself, either as directed by the user’s browser language or if manually chosen. There are many advantages to the system, even though others may still prefer the separate site path, qTranslate is very well put together and is well worth checking out to see if it is the right option for your page or site.
Many languages already available on start-up
Wide range of third-party add-ons built around the platform
No need to change .po/.mo files, all pages stored locally but displayed separately according to language
Single-click switch between languages
Polylang is a hugely popular WordPress translation plugin that makes it very easy to combine and manage a multilingual version of your site. Customize Posts and pages as per each user’s language profile. You can link them easily to other add-ons providing manual or automatic translations for your content. It provides easily navigable features for all custom pages, tags and taxonomies leaving you with a fully functional site in whichever of the supported languages you desire.
Supports custom versions of posts, post types, tags and RSS feeds
Language can be set specifically in the URL or can be a separate domain
Interface can also be multilingual according to needs
Automatic downloading of language packs and RTL language scripts according to user
Built on Google Translate, GTranslate is one of many WordPress translation plugins which use the popular free service to provide multilingual options for all the major languages of the world. Around since 2008 and with more than half a million users it is one of the most popular plugins. It’s a free service. The plugin provides instant site translation for users. It incorporates Google Analytics for the website owner to understand the usage of their website. A powerful tool for anyone wishing to maximize their site’s accessibility on a multilingual level.
Automatic Google Translation
Hides Google frame and “Suggest Better Translation” tab
Translates sites, pages and posts as users move through site
Gives paid option to increase functionality such as manual corrections and enhanced or translated URL structures
So we’ve come to our final and favorite of all the WordPress translation plugins out there, and it’s worth waiting for. Though it is a paid option ($29 – $195), it is the best choice for anyone who’s serious about running a fully functional and efficient multilingual site. It has many great features associated with the other plugins listed here. It stands out when it comes to focusing on the accuracy of the translation. Pages are quickly assigned to “Translators,” overseen by “Editors” on a per job piece, while the company behind it, On The Go Systems, also links it seamlessly with its sister translation service, ICanLocalize, for quality translations of your content. Other professional translation services can also be integrated.
For any business or user looking to reach a multilingual audience, targeted language WPML is the most professional option and makes converting your site into a multilingual enterprise as easy as a few clicks.
Compatible across hundreds of traditional themes
Customizable for more than 40 languages on set-up with the option to add as many as you want
Specific e-commerce and professional packages available
Easy to access professional translation services with variable levels of oversight and notifications
Development and support team is highly active and available for support requests
Simple installation and translation access, designed for businesses who want outsourced translation on demand
As you can see, there are a lot of great WordPress translation plugins out there to choose from. At the end of the day, it will be the individual needs of your site that matter most when making a choice. If you’re looking for a plugin that will help you manage multiple users inserting and updating different language versions of the same content something like MultilingualPress or Ceceppa Multilingua would suit better for smaller sites. You might need a more robust option like Multisite Language Switcher for larger operations.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the possibility of providing manually translated content you can integrate a plugin such as GTranslate which will utilize Google Translate to automatically convert your posts or pages dependent on the user’s language. For professional users or e-commerce businesses the paid options of Prisna and our favorite translation plugin, WPML, allow speedy access to professional translators to make sure your content is as efficient and SEO friendly as possible.
Despite all the choices available, no two users will have the same needs for their sites so we recommend browsing through the features of the available WordPress translation plugins to find out for yourself what will work best for you. It’s a multilingual world out there; it’s time to embrace it!