Translation does more than convert words of one language into another. Internationalization-ready websites rank higher on search engines.
But more than that, it gives the impression to your audience that you do, in fact, care about who they are; that you respect cultural and linguistic differences. It makes websites feel less alien and more familiar. That’s the kind of feeling your written word (read: website content) should definitely strive to elicit from the audience.
Essentially, if yours is a business where location isn’t an upsetting factor in delivery of product/service, translation is one of your best bets at reaching wider audiences. This brings us nicely to this post, where I have listed 7 best translation plugins for your WordPress websites.
Built with Google Translate, Google Website Translator is a basic translation plugin. It’s easy to setup and it’s a good option to start with. It has just the right amount of features to make a beginner feel at ease.
- Supports 80+ languages.
- Style customization features (for translation toolbar on front end).
- Optional flags to mark each language.
- Great performance – Adds barely any bloat to WordPress
- Active development and updates.
This plugin doesn’t translate content. No, Ceceppa Multilingua gives you a handy way to manage your translated content’s SEO properly, which is the next best thing.
- Integrated within WordPress admin dashboard
- Unique Custom URLs for separate languages (so that search engines don’t flag you for duplicate content)
- Helps make widgets translation-ready
- Supports custom post types
- Shows up on front end as widget
If you are managing the digital equivalent of a multinational as a WordPress multisite network, MultilingualPress is your best friend. It handles translations and gives you an easy way to manage them
- Supports 170+ languages
- Capable of handling and connecting translated posts on different websites (within the same network).
- Language Manager for entire network as well as individual posts
- Translates WordPress taxonomy
- Automatically links to translated versions of a post
Like Ceceppa Multilingua, Multilanguage is another way to manage your translated content, but doesn’t do translation itself.
- Supports 75+ languages, which can be extended by editing the plugin’s php file.
- Integrates with WordPress’ TinyMCE editor to let you add translation while writing
- Management on individual posts’ level, complete with metadata
- Shows up as widget on front end
- Translatable plugin dashboard (to make contributors happy)
Another plugin which assists your localization drive is WPGlobus.
A free core plugin with some really stunning free and premium add-ons, WPGlobus gives you the tools to manage multiple languages with ease. The free add on for TinyMCE even makes it easier for your contributors to create and publish content in different languages.
- Helps translate posts and widgets
- Automatic SEO for translated content (prevents duplication and more)
- Lets you choose how it shows up on front end: drop down menu or widget
- Lets you translate the entire admin dashboard
Alright, now we’re talking.
WPML is the plugin everyone knows about, even if they don’t exactly know what it does or why so many premium themes love to mention compatibility with this plugin in their feature list.
WPML handles translation and management, so that’s two birds with one stone right there. The prices range from: $29-195/year depending on blog, CMS, and more variables that you may need to cover.
- Supports 40+ languages (extendable)
- Flexible options – Depending on your plan, the plugin can handle translation of posts, taxonomy, menus, custom fields, widgets, themes, and more.
- Language detection feature for visitor’s browser.
- Easy management for human translation via CMS version. Also connects to professional translation service providers
- Active development
Another all-purpose translation solution is Polylang. It also supports human translation and lets you manage all of the accompanying jazz (reviews, notifications, etc.) via LingoTek add on.
- Supports 40+ languages (complete with admin dashboards for each)
- Translates posts, custom post types, taxonomy, widgets, themes, et al.
- Optional language detection feature for posts
- Supports subdomains for individual languages
- Shows up on front end as widget
I won’t deny it: there’s a world of difference between human and machine translation. But we just have to deal with the harsh mistress that’s reality. It’s not ideal, but sometimes it’s just more practical (and economical) to have machines translate your website’s message.