As we know that WordPress is not multilingual by default. We need to embed plugins to make it support different languages. Since, the concept of “global connectivity” is growing at a rapid pace, businesses need to create ways for communicating with others easily and in the most “seamless” way.
It’s not surprising that there is a large chunk of people who do not speak English. In fact, we often find a lot of people in support forums who converse in different languages. To make sure that your website attracts people globally, it is worthwhile to make it friendly for those who do not speak English. One way to do is by building a localized version for your website for each region or country or you can use plugins to make it automatically support the language of the country it’s being browsed.
In this post, we will show you some top-notch WordPress plugins that will help you turn any WordPress site into a multilingual site.
Transposh is a great plugin that can automatically translate the content of your website into 82 languages. The plugin is easy to use and seamlessly translates your content, RSS feeds, along with hidden content such as titles, meta descriptions and so on.
With the plugin, your content will be automatically translated as per the visitor’s language, although, you can also provide a widget asking your visitors to set the language as per their choice. The process simple, you only need to select the languages you want to appear on the widget with the help of a drag and drop option, which in turn asks people to select their preferred language.
However, there are some downsides of this plugin as some customers have complained that it stops translations in some situations or give 404 error when changing languages. In such kind of situations, you need to deactivate and activate the plugin again, and check whether everything runs smoothly or not.
WPML is a premium WordPress plugin and has been around for quite a while now. The plugin is what all you need to easily build and run a multilingual website. It comes complete with the support for 40 languages, plus, you also have the facility for adding language variables such as local dialects, by using the language editor.
With WPML, you’ll be receiving three pricing plans- Multilingual Blog, Multilingual CMS and Multilingual Lifetime. The blog and CMS are updated yearly. The plugin is fantastic enough to translate the page, posts, custom types, taxonomies and even themes. It is also compatible with a myriad of themes and plugins and is often updated by the WordPress’ webmasters.
The plugin is great in many of the aspects but if you love simplicity then WPML might not be the choice for you. The plugin has a bit complicated structure and needs to hook WordPress functions and filter them to make only those contents displayed that matches the language. Plus, you need to manage some additional tables, to hold the translation grouping.
Note from Rilwis: WPML is so popular that it becomes a kind of standard for WordPress themes and plugins. At the moment, it’s the most popular and completed solution for multilingual problem. I highly recommend using this plugin in your websites.
Multilingual Press is an awesome WordPress translation plugin designed to link multiple websites with each other. The plugin allows you to set the main language for each site, connect all of them, and write for them. It enables you to translate your website into 174 different languages. Each translation of a page can be viewed under WordPress the post editor. The plugin is also available in the pro version, with some additional collection of features such as automatically redirecting your visitors to the translated content, provides support for custom types, and offer several other useful settings in the back end.
As we know that free things are hard to find perfect, Multilingual Press also has its own set of flaws.
And the major one is the loss of performance, database garbaging, and in some of the cases, your data model might get changed without your knowledge.
This statement above is not true. As described by the plugin’s lead developer – Thomas Scholz (also known as toscho in the WordPress community): 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, on 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 plugin offers this amount of data integrity. See the comment for full description, very interesting!
Note from Rilwis: I haven’t used this plugin yet, but the idea of using MultisSite for each language is brilliant! Worth taking a look.
qTranslate is a free and the most WordPress plugin used for making your website multilingual. It is quick to install and easy to use. From its dashboard, you can easily add your default list of translations from the 17 languages and also integrate new ones.
It provides a very seamless way for translating different posts, pages, within post editors, and helps you get rid of the tiring process of creating separate post for each language.
Talking about the downside of qTranslate, being a free plugin, you can be sure of how much longer the plugin will be updated. Plus, using it on a website that supports a lot of languages is a bit complicated.
Xili-Language is a great WordPress plugin that helps you create and manage a multilingual website with ease. The plugin is a great way to determine the languages of multiple pages and posts, and works amazingly with bilingual and multilingual websites.
The plugin does not translate your website, but makes sure that each post and content that has been published in different languages on the website is provided with an adequate language support.
It also displays a widget on your sidebar showing a list of languages that your website supports. And, as soon as a visitor clicks on a language, it displays the range of articles which have been published in that language.
Xili, just like qTranslate mixes up all the content together in the database, which poses a big challenge. Plus, the plugin is targeted for professional WordPress developers having a deep understanding WordPress network.
Stella is a dynamic WordPress plugin that lets you create a multilingual website easily and effectively. The plugin is a great way to display multilingual content in the best possible manner. Stella enables you to seamlessly switch between different languages; and you can also add or remove languages from the admin area.
The plugin allows you to localize both the main post as well as post-related content such as categories and tabs. With Stella, it is also easier for your readers to switch between different languages.
This free WordPress plugin lets you add a language widget with up to 81 fags anywhere on your website. It also displays a drop down menu to show the list of all the languages supported by the website. You can also add a widget on posts and pages using a shortcode, and on themes as well with the help of PHP functions.
One of the best advantages of using Google Language Translator is its ability to effectively manage multiple languages directly via Google accounts and tracking site traffic through Google Analytics.
However, the plugin has its own flaws as well. It makes mistakes and sometime the quality of translation varies from language pair to language pair.
Translation plugins are one of the best ways to give a touch of Internationalization to your business. They are perfect to encourage a good user experience, regardless of which language they speak or which country they belong to.