A Deep Review of Top WordPress Translation Plugins
In the era of globalization and digitalization, you should need a website with multilingual support. Using plugins to translate a WordPress website is one of the most popular practices amongst web developers. Translation plugins are also becoming more and more competitive by the day as they are trying hard to meet all the various user needs. In this article, we will dive deep into the several reviews and comparisons of some of the most popular plugins.
We will be talking about WPML, and the free versions of Polylang, TranslatePress, and Weglot.
Important Aspects of Choosing a Translation Plugin
One of the most important criteria for choosing a translation plugin for WordPress sites is the number of languages it supports. The plugin needs to support all your desired languages that should include Right-to-left languages (RTL), Latin, and much more.
Moreover, multilingual websites have a lot of readers from various parts of the world. Having more language support on your website can put you at an advantage for worldwide business expansion. This makes it important for you to check all the supported languages for your website.
Most multilingual WordPress plugins support two types of content:
- Basic Content that contains posts, themes, page URLs, and much more.
- Advanced content that includes the translation of image URLs, WooCommerce pages, custom fields, post types, page builders, and more.
Currently, there are 2 popular Translation methods used for translation plugins.
- Manual Translation is for translating all contents manually. It is almost like writing another language version of the website to replace the original.
- Automatic translation means that a WordPress plugin automatically translates the entire website content with its available dictionary.
While each method has its pros and cons, plugins can often combine both forms of translation for your website which can put you at an advantage.
Additionally, some plugins provide other translation services to meet all the requirements of the user. A third-party translator can help you in participating in manual translating while providing professional translational services.
It is one of the very important factors that affect the translation experience of users. A friendly user interface will help you translate or connect with your language needs easily and quickly.
Now that we have learned about the criteria for evaluating a translation plugin for WordPress sites lets dive into the specifics of each one:
The free version of Polylang supports over 90 languages including several RTL languages. Additionally, you can simply add your custom languages into the plugin for your site.
Using Polylang you can access only one style for a language translation button. It is a widget that you can place in the menu, footer, sidebar, or any other widget areas on your website.
Polylang supports the translation of content from themes, articles, pages, media, page builders, and more.
Especially, unlike other WordPress plugins, Polylang translates menus by creating a separate version for each language. The section is located in the Menu section of WordPress making it convenient to find.
Additionally, for translating WooCommerce pages, you need to purchase a premium extension called the Polylang for WooCommerce.
Setting up and installing the Polylang plugin is a quick and easy process that takes only a few clicks. However, there is no search bar in the language selection section making it difficult and time-consuming for users to find the languages manually.
The free version of Polylang allows you to manually translate all the pages. To add automatic translation to Polylang, you need to install a third-party plugin called Lingotek Translation
The method allows you to add the automatic translation plugin when you need it. The choice for an automatic translation helps you to avoid the redundancy of an unused feature in your website. Lingotek Translation is also a free plugin that includes professional translation services. Moreover, the plugin installation can take up some extra space on your website.
Polylang has a very easy and familiar interface for the users. To translate the content of the pages or posts, you just need to create a translation and connect it to the original version. You can do this in the WordPress Editor Interface while in the development process.
Translating tags, categories are easier for you to access as they are in the Tag, Category section of the Admin panel.
If you are not creating custom languages for TranslatePress with additional code, the free version of TranslatePress offers you the support of more than 120 languages including RTL.
TranslatePress can translate almost anything from the content of themes, plugins, menus, page builders, and URLs. The plugin can even translate shortcodes, WooCommerce pages, and Gutenberg blocks which the free version of Polylang does not support.
Installing and using TranslatePress is one of the fastest things you can do on WordPress Development. However, the TranslatePress plugin setup is a bit more complicated compared to Polylang. On the other hand, the language settings of TranslatePress are more convenient compared to Polylang as it can search languages faster too. You have up to three options for displaying the language transition button on your website.
In addition to creating a multilingual site by manual translation, the plugin also allows an automatic translation mode. In the plugin settings page, you can just link the site to Google Translate with Google API Key.
With TranslatePress, you can manually change the content of the automatic translations. This function is available for content that has not been published yet. This is a special and advanced feature that TranslatePress offers compared to other plugins.
The most outstanding feature of TranslatePress is translating all the content in the Front-end. This helps you keep track of your translation results visually, easily, and saves your time during WordPress development. Moreover, the translating interface is quite similar to the familiar Customized interface. Therefore, you will get used to the process in an easier manner.
WPML supports over 60 languages including RTL. you can also change or add custom languages to the plugin while developing your website.
You can translate almost any content such as widgets, taxonomies, custom fields, categories, menus, URLs, page builders, and more.
However, the number of supported content for translation depends entirely on the package you buy. In the Multilingual CMS and Multilingual Agency packages, you can translate the content of WooCommerce pages, page builders, and custom fields.
WPML does not have any free version. It means that you need to purchase one of the following packages:
- Multilingual Blog,
- Multilingual CMS, and
- Multilingual Agency.
Depending on your requirements, you can choose your package, each package provides you with a different set of plugin features. After activation of all the plugins, you come across an instruction page to install and connect to your WPML account. It is simple to understand.
WPML’s language transition button can be placed in 5 different styles and is very flexible. WPML offers the highest number among all the translation plugins we are talking about.
WPML supports more translation methods than any other plugins. The plugin allows automatic translation, manual translation, and allows users and third-party plugins to translate too.
Allowing other users to translate is authorizing other users in WordPress to be translators regardless of their role in the WordPress development. Additionally, WPML allows users to use other professional 3rd party translation services too.
WPML has the most variety in translation methods. It is one of the best plugins that are suitable for individuals, organizations, and all professional WordPress sites (we use WPML for F5 Studio’s website because we provide the WordPress development services for many companies which are located in the USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Israel and other countries).
WPML’s translation interface is quite similar to Polylang. Both of the plugins work in the WordPress editor. However, WPML only generates translations in the editor and you have to translate the content on the backend as well through the Page Translation tools in the plugin.
The translation interface is very simple and makes it easy for you to translate on WPML compared to other translator plugins. Although simple, post formatting can be a difficult endeavor as the fields for translating are very small.
To translate a taxonomy on WPML, you need to go to the Settings section on the plugin. Unlike WPML, Polylang uses the Taxonomy section in the Admin panel for the translations. The interface of WPML is very balanced and clear.
Weglot supports over 100 languages including RTL in its WordPress translator plugin. However, it only allows a limited number of translations in its free version (2000 words per language).
Moreover, Weglot does not have the additional functionality of incorporating custom languages in the plugin.
Weglot supports translating a variety of content including all posts, webpages, themes, plugins, page builder contents, URLs, and more.
Weglot scans all the text on your website front-end and translates it word by word. The process is seamless and allows you to experience a hassle-free translation of all your themes without worrying about compatibility.
You have to set up the plugin by creating a Weglot account and acquiring the API key. Although it can be time-consuming, the process is entirely very easy. In particular, language selection is very easy on Weglot with its advanced search features.
After you have completed setting up the plugin, the options to configure and customize Weglot appear. The options are organized in a long list and not divided into any tabs. You might find difficulty in completing this step of the setup process.
Weglot supports only one style for a transition button that is placed on the bottom of the screen.
Weglot combines automatic and manual translations into one. Unlike other plugins, when you set up and connect your Weglot account, your website automatically translates itself without any additional setup. Moreover, you can edit the translations manually just like TranslatePress. One additional feature of Weglot is that you can edit the translations even after they are published. The plugin reloads and optimizes the webpage according to your changes.
The advantage of Weglot is the ability to combine automatic and manual translations in one plugin at the same time. As automatic translation is not always 100% accurate, it is important to have the ability to review and double-check the translations for mistakes or changes.
Weglot does not translate in the front-end or the back-end. Alternatively, you need to have a Weglot account for all your translations.
The interface of Weglot is amazing and clean. It has 2 tabs placed side by side in a symmetrical pattern for users to easily compare the original content with the translated. This also makes editing the translations easy and quick.
We hope that reading the reviews of the most popular translation plugins for WordPress websites will help you choose a plugin for your site. Each plugin has its own set of advantages and disadvantages compared to others.
While some do not fit your requirements, there has to be a plugin that fits your requirements perfectly. Consider your budget, website features, and other development requirements before you choose the best translation plugin. If you want to get a professional multilingual website for a business you can hire our professional WordPress development services. You may have a look at our portfolio and Behance profile to make sure of the validity of our words.