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7 tools and 3 tips to create a multi-language website in WordPress

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7 tools and 3 tips to create a multi-language website in WordPress

Today, thanks to the Macedonia Phone Number List, the world is totally global. In our day-to-day life, it is already a common practice to share experiences with people from any part of the planet, so it is increasingly important to learn languages ​​to better move around this world without barriers.

Another aspect that has been most influenced by this breaking of digital borders is business. Years ago it was practically unthinkable that a company with few workers could do business with another on the other side of the globe ; today that is more than normalized.

Macedonia Phone Number List

The need arises to prepare our digital businesses for the different languages that our clients can speak, and therefore many businesses have decided to create a website from scratch with this premise or adapt the one they already have to turn it into a multi-language website.

In this post I am going to break down everything you need to know to understand the secrets of a website in several languages and I am going to show you which ones are the best options for me depending on how you want to plan your website.

How to create a multi-language website
As I just told you, having a multi-language website is practically an obligation if you plan to cover countries or markets that have languages ​​other than the original one for your business.

But translating a website does not simply consist of copying and pasting the same texts from one language to another or going for a walk through Google Translate to do the work for us. Do not.

Translating a text also implies a work of cultural adaptation for the market we want to address, since perhaps we should not express ourselves in the same way for a potential client from Spain as for one from Great Britain, for example.

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Two ways to create a multi-language website
When considering creating a website in several languages, we must sit down and think about what influence and weight the content will have in each of them and decide what type of website or websites we need.

Yes, I said “webs” in the plural. Why?

Imagine a company with an Forex Email List store that sells screws. Do you think that the website of this company could be translated literally and be valid?

In principle it seems that both the static texts of the web and the online store could be translated practically literally.

Now imagine that a digital newspaper decides to launch a translated version of its news portal. Do you think a literal translation would be enough? I will give you the answer: no.

Why? Well, because there are types of websites whose versions in different languages ​​do not have to be the same. Or they even need to use different domains, so they would have to have different facilities. In addition, the type of audience may vary or there may also be news that does not necessarily have to have its “counterpart” translated. You see the difference?

In the case of the screw company, we could set up a single website and add a plugin for multi-language websites. And in the case of the newspaper, we could choose to create a multisite in WordPress and manage each website in a way, let’s say, independently.

Option 1. Simple web
A website whose content can be “cloned” and translated relatively easily is usually created with a single WordPress installation and a plugin for multi-language or machine translation websites is added.

It is the most common and practical way to create a website in several languages.

Option 2. Web multisite
On the other hand, we have the creation of a multisite, which has been a network of sites, which will allow us to have a main WordPress installation and then create independent secondary installations, which will be managed from the main installation.

One of the things I like the least about multisite websites is that the different websites are not linked to each other. They can share some global aspects, like theme and plugins, for example, but, in essence, they are different websites.

Another thing I don’t like is that there are WordPress plugins that are not prepared for multisite sites and can cause problems.

Languages ​​in WordPress. MO and PO files
The main legs of any WordPress website are the CMS itself (it would only be missing), the theme or template, and the plugins.

Each of these elements can have its own translation files. These files can be in MO and PO format .

I am not going to go into technical details -it is not the objective of this post-, but the fundamental difference between these two formats is that PO files can be edited by a human being and MO files are encoded files that are managed by the server where it is hosted. the web to show the translations of the texts.

If at any time it occurs to you to translate the text strings of WordPress, a theme or a plugin, you could download the specific PO file to your hard drive via FTP and translate it with the free Poedit desktop tool and then upload it again .

multilanguage wordpress website

Difference between machine translation plugins and manual (or human) translation
Wrongly, many people believe that a plugin to create multi-language websites translates the website automatically without having to do anything.

There are plugins of this type, yes. What happens is that an automatic translation is not going to be as accurate as we would like, so, unless you do not pay much attention to this, I would recommend that instead of using an automatic translation plugin you use a manual translation plugin ( or human).

What is the difference between them?
Automatic translation plugins usually create translated pages by pulling, as a general rule, from the Google Translator database, which, as you know – although it has come a long way in recent years – is not a 100% accurate translator.

On the contrary, what manual translation plugins do is that they create the necessary ecosystem in the WordPress backend so that later you can add the translated texts in the necessary places manually.

The 7 best translation plugins for WordPress
As the decision on whether to choose an automatic translation plugin or a manual translation plugin will be in your hands, I am going to show you below the best options for each of the types, as well as some “mixed” option that offers both. modalities.

If the result of the translation is not something that worries you excessively, you can opt for automatic translation plugins that do the work for you, thus saving you significant time.

On the contrary, if you want a fine and professional work, I recommend you use a manual translation plugin and add the texts yourself.

Let’s see the plugins!

1. WPML
WPML is perhaps the most popular manual translation plugin (and in general) for creating a multi-language website.

multi-language web in WordPress plugin wpml

Its versatility and power are well known in the WordPress community, although one of its cons is that its configuration is not as intuitive as other plugins.

It also has the disadvantage that it does not have a free version , so many people end up opting for Polylang, a very similar plugin that does offer this option and that I will show you below.

One of the most remarkable aspects of WPML is its translation management dashboard , in which you can assign roles to different translators or manage pending translation jobs.

multi-language web in WordPress plugin wpml

It has a translation editor where you can translate text strings and see the progress.

The default installation brings more than 40 languages, although later you can add the ones you want from a wide variety.

One of the strengths of WPML is its integration with WooCommerce. With it you can translate simple and variable products, attributes, taxonomies and any other aspect related to your online store.

Main features:
Compatible with the most used WordPress themes and plugins.
Compatible with WooCommerce.
In addition to pages and posts, it translates menus, widgets, taxonomies and any other WordPress element necessary in language management.
Translation of custom post types and custom fields.
It allows translating strings in themes and plugins (PO and MO files).
Browser language detection (Hreflang tags).
It allows to use subdomains or different domains for each language.
It has an option for automatic translation.
It has professional translation services.
It has support in Spanish.
Free version: not available.

Paid version from $ 79 / year ( access prices here )

2. Polylang
Polylang is a manual translation plugin that is theoretically below WPML in some respects (and I say theoretically because it doesn’t seem that way to me), but it has come to occupy a place that WPML has left free: the free version.

multi-language web in WordPress polylang plugin

This plugin has the most important options to create a multi-language site with all the laws. Translate pages and posts, taxonomies, menus, widgets, media, custom post types, custom fields, and theme and plugin strings.

Polylang has 4 different versions :

Free multi-language website.
Multi-language web Pro.
WooCommerce multi-language online store with Polylang Free options.
WooCommerce multi-language online store with Polylang Pro options.
multi-language web in WordPress polylang plugin

Main features:
More than 100 languages ​​available.
It allows to use subdomains or different domains for each language.
Browser language detection (Hreflang tags).
Customizable language switcher selector.
Image management by language.
Allows import of WPML data: WPML to Polylang .
Integrated with Lingotek’s translation service.
Free version: available

Paid version from $ 99 / year (see prices here )

3. Weglot
Weglot is a plugin that combines machine translation with manual translation and is a very versatile option.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, the complete automatic translation into the language we have chosen is generated and then it can be manually reviewed on your website.

multi-language web in WordPress plugin weglot

It is a very simple and easy-to-use plugin that combines the power of WPML or Polylang with an automatic option.

One of the drawbacks I see with Weglot is that the translations are hosted on their servers instead of your own WordPress.

You have two editing options :

List of translations: everything is translated through a list.
Visual editor: live text editing on the web design.
Main features:
The free version includes 1 language and 2000 words.
It has +100 languages.
Compatible with most WordPress themes and plugins.
Allows you to edit translations from an administration panel.
Prepared for SEO optimization.
It detects text strings and translates them automatically, both for content and WordPress, plugins and themes.
Customizable language switcher selector.
Browser language detection (Hreflang tags).
Offers an option to hire professional translators.
It has integration with the Yoast SEO plugin.
Free version: available

Paid version from € 9.90 / month ( access prices here )

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4. TranslatePress
TranslatePress combines manual and machine translation options .

The automatic function is integrated with Google Translate and, on the other hand, the plugin has a very remarkable function that allows translating text strings directly from the web frontend , in an environment very similar to the theme customizer.

multi-language web in WordPress translatepress plugin

With the manual option of TranslatePress, you will be able to select the different text objects in the design environment itself and add their translations through a sidebar, which will be translated in real time.

Main features:
Compatible with the main WordPress themes and plugins.
It is integrated with
It is compatible with Gutenberg and the most popular visual mockers.
Translate dynamic WordPress strings, themes, and plugins.
The language selector can be added anywhere thanks to a shortcode.

5. Lingotek
Lingotek is a cloud machine translation plugin for WordPress (although it can also be used with other platforms).

It has a dashboard in which to create different projects and thus be able to translate the contents of the different pages.

multi-language web in WordPress plugin linkgotek

It also offers the option to create manual translations and is integrated with the Polylang plugin , in fact, it only works with Polylang installed and activated.

multi-language web in WordPress plugin linkgotek

It has three types of translations :

Automatic: translate your website automatically thanks to the Microsoft Translate API up to 100,000 characters. You can then manually edit the translations.
Community: if you want to create an internal network in WordPress so that several people can translate text strings, you can do so thanks to the Lingotek Workbench option.
Professional : you can hire one of the more than 5,000 translators that Lingotek puts at your disposal or use your own agency.
multi-language web in WordPress plugin linkgotek

Main features:
Full integration with Polylang.
More than 250 languages ​​available.
Translate both pages and posts as well as media, taxonomies, widgets and other WordPress elements.

6. GTranslate
GTranslate is a plugin that will allow you to translate your website automatically using the Google Translate service.

The free version is quite simple and limited, so the difference with the paid version makes them look like totally different plugins.

 

Once the plugin is installed, you configure the necessary options and the language selector will automatically appear in the place of the web you choose.

 

With the paid versions, you will be able to access SEO optimization options to position your website in different languages ​​and to manually edit translations, among other things.

Main features:
It has +100 languages.
Automatic translation via Google Translate.
Browser language detection (Hreflang tags) (Pro).
Customizable language switcher selector.
Compatible with WooCommerce.
Manual text string correction (Pro).
Image management by language.

7. Loco Translate
This plugin is totally different from the others, as it is designed to translate internal texts from the WordPress core, themes or plugins.

 

I usually use it as a complementary plugin when some of the conventional translation plugins resist a string of text, which can happen.

Some of the most common cases are the typical phrases ‘Read more’ in the blog, ‘Leave a comment’ in the comments of an entry or ‘Send’ in the send button of some forms, which will surely give you more than once. they have generated headaches to translate them.

 

The good thing about Loco is that you can open the PO language files of the different elements of your website and see the progress of the translation into the language you want to complement it manually.

Main features:
Easy handling and updating of texts.
Free up to 2000 words.
Translations are added manually.

3 tips when creating a multi-language website
Now I am going to list you a list of recommendations that you should take into account when creating your website with several languages and that it looks good.

1. Don’t neglect SEO OnPage on your multi-language website
There are several aspects of SEO OnPage (internal SEO) that we must take care of in any website with a single language, such as, for example, the URL, the H1, H2 … headers, the metadata or the ALT text of the images.

We must also work on these elements in the different places where we must add a translation, so that they can also position properly in Google in each of the languages.

2. Be careful when creating a multi-language website with an online store
Creating a normal multi-language website has its substance, I know from experience, since creating a multi-language online store will test your ability to integrate all the contents of the web; I also know that from experience.

You must bear in mind that if you create the online store, for example, with WooCommerce, you will have to take care of the aspects of the configuration of the store itself, the information of the products, the categories, the attributes, etc. so that they are applied correctly according to the language chosen by the user.

3. If you use a visual layout maker, check the compatibility with the translation plugin
Nowadays it is easier than ever to design web pages in WordPress thanks to visual builders like Elementor , Divi or Beaver Builder.

Before using a translation plugin, check that it is compatible with your visual layout designer , as sometimes you will want to use, for example, design templates for the blog or online store that may not be interpreted correctly by the translation plugin and apply well to all languages.

Conclution
Creating a multi-language website is somewhat simpler than it may seem a priori, so from here I send you a message of peace of mind.

The most important part of any web page -as you may have read or heard at some point- is the content (more than the tools), so you must pay due attention so that your texts are in accordance with the public that is going to consume them. .

Machine translation plugins are like the snake in the Garden of Eden, and the temptation to use them can defeat us because in a tris we would have our multi-language website ready, but I would opt for human translation options, for that reason to ensure an optimal result.

What did you think of the post? Do you have any doubt left? I read you in the comment section!

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