The easiest solution to translate your WordPress website is to install a plugin (= an extension). The problem is, there are dozens and dozens of plugins on the market, some paid, others free. It’s not easy to make your choice and find a plugin that meets your needs and expectations.
In this article, we present 5 excellent WordPress plugins for translating your website (two paid and three free).
A historical player, WPML is the benchmark WordPress plugin for website translation. It is the most mentioned translation tool in the WordPress community, and the most used (several hundred thousand sites have adopted it). This plugin, paid, is published by OnTheGoSystems (to which we also owe the professional translation agency ICanLocalize) .You can also access the agency’s service via the dashboard of your WordPress site, once WPML installed.
WPML supports more than 40 languages. You can even add language variants (Canadian French or Mexican Spanish, for example), via the language editor. WPML allows you to translate all the content of your site: articles, pages, widgets, menus, categories, keywords, tags, etc. You can organize the translation of your website in the same domain, in subdomains or in different domains.
This plugin enjoys a very high reputation mainly because of the quality of the support (only in English), but also because of the continuous enrichment of its functionalities. WPML is compatible on a large number of WordPress themes (list of themes compatible with WPML) and on versions of WordPress 3.0 and higher. Note that in WordPress theme libraries, we often see the mention WPML-ready, which indicates that the theme is compatible with the plugin. That says a lot in passing about the plugin’s notoriety… With WPML, you are sure not to make mistakes. It’s great value. We have had the opportunity to use it several times, and have little to complain about either in terms of functionality or ease of use.
Here are the pricing details for WPML:
You have the choice between three licenses: Multilingual Blog, Multilingual CMS, Multilingual Lifetime CMS. The latter does not add anything compared to Multilingual CMS, except that you do not have to do any annual renewal: it is a lifetime license. In the other two cases, you must renew your license every year. If you are running a simple content site or blog, the Multilingual Blog license is sufficient. Note that in all cases you have a 30-day satisfied or refunded trial period and that the licenses allow you to translate an unlimited number of websites (with a single installation).
qTranslate X (formerly qTranslate) is a free translation plugin, also well established in the WordPress landscape. This is probably the best known free plugin. It is renowned for its ease of use.
You can choose from 17 languages. Unlike other translation plugins, qTranslate X allows you to translate your articles (posts) and pages from the page / post editor, without having to create a separate page / post per language.
Like WPML, qTranslate X also offers a (paid) professional translation service (Web Translations) from the dashboard, using “human” translators.
qTranslate works on a “quicktag” technique, which you must add in all fields to translate (Title, Meta Description, content, category…). It is possible to change the language while editing the article, in order to simultaneously create the different multilingual versions (you only have one ID per post). The theme is translated in relation to the .mo and .po files.
Transposh is also free and allows you to combine automatic translation and manual translation. The plugin supports 82 languages. Its particularity is that it gives visitors to your site the opportunity to translate parts of the content (obviously with the possibility of reworking the translations downstream). If you do not want every visitor to be able to contribute, you have the option of managing the list of contributors. Automatic translations are carried out by Google or Bing (your choice). Transposh is a WordPress plugin very easy to install, configure and use: you choose a default language (French for example), then languages of translation. You then integrate a widget on your website with small flags that allow the user to switch from one version of the site to another in one click. Transposh is a “single site” plugin (on this point, see the little reminder below). Some cool features of Transposh:
The “auto-detection” mode which allows the Internet user to automatically land on the version of the site that corresponds to his language (via the hreflang tag).
The possibility of indicating texts that should never be translated.
The ability to vary the display of content depending on the versions of the site.
4 Multilingual Press
Multilingual Press is the third (and last) free plugin in this selection. It is based on a multisite approach. As a reminder, there are two ways to manage multilingual: monosite, or multisite. In the first case, the different language versions of your website are on the same domain. In the second case, you have a separate site (= a domain) for each language, and therefore a network of sites. Obviously, if you do not use the multisite system to translate your website, we advise you to turn to other WordPress plugins. The other 4 plugins presented in this article are “single site” extensions.
Multilingual Press manages 174 languages. Once Multilingual Press is installed, the plugin automatically generates versions of your posts and pages translated into the languages you specified. This is convenient because it allows you to create your multilingual site translation almost instantly or almost instantly. Afterwards, make no mistake, you will probably need to go back to machine translations.
Note that Multilingual Press is also available in a paid version: Multilingual Press Pro, which gives access to support and updates to the plugin (annual license of $ 99). To learn more about the features of Multilingual Press, read this article.
Weglot is new to the world of website translation plugins. He has made a lot of talk about him, because of his innovative character. Several tens of thousands of websites have already adopted it. Easier to install and use than WPML, Weglot supports over 60 languages. Weglot is chargeable and, like many of the plugins discussed in this list, offers professional translator services.
Ease of use is one of Weglot’s first assets: you can make your site multilingual in minutes, by adding a language selection button, without technical knowledge. Weglot allows you to automatically translate your website in a few minutes but also and above all allows you to efficiently manage the manual translation of your content, channel after channel, page after page, all from the Weglot interface linked to your WordPress site via a API (you do not manage your translations from your WordPress back office, this is one of the peculiarities of Weglot). Note that Weglot also integrates, in addition to WordPress, with BigCommerce and Shopify. The other strengths of Weglot are its functional richness, its SEO-friendly side (the plugin respects Google’s best practices) and the quality of customer support (in French!). For a detailed overview of Weglot’s features, read this article.
Here are the prices of Weglot:
The prices are rather high. Weglot is positioned on a clearly high-end niche, and as a SaaS software rather than a simple plugin. As you can see, the prices vary mainly according to the number of words and the number of languages.