The demand of having a multilingual WordPress website is high due to the business owners who want to reach more potential clients worldwide. Fortunately, many multilingual WordPress plugins are available on the market. The developers are in a race to provide WordPress users with performance optimized and user-friendly multilingual solutions.
Must say that having a multilingual website is not an easy job as you will need to devote time, sweat and money in the translation process. This is why you need to make sure that the multilingual plugin that you will choose will satisfy all your needs.
In this post, we are setting some standards that you must have for your multilingual plugin of choice. Worth mentioning that shifting from one multilingual plugin to another is a tricky task. I have worked on migrating from one WordPress multilingual solution to another. Trust me it is not easy as the different multilingual plugins don’t work in a similar fashion and thus store the contents of your website in the database in various schemes.
“How to Choose a WordPress Multilingual Plugin” Checklist
Let’s take a look at the “How to Choose a WordPress Multilingual Plugin” checklist you need to go over before making your purchase decision:
- Posts and Pages Translation
- Categories and Tags Translation
- Media Translation
- Menus and Widgets Translation
- Slug translation
- Themes and Plugins Translation/Compatibility
- Professional Translation Integration
- Multilingual SEO
- Right to Left Language Support
- WooCommerce Support
- Automatic Machine Translation
When you think about translation your WordPress website the first thing that comes to your mind is translating your posts and pages as they make the majority of the content of your site.
Translating the categories and tags and connecting their translations to their relevant posts in the default language shouldn’t be done manually. The multilingual plugin should take care of synchronizing and attaching every translated post to it’s correct translated category or translation.
WordPress media metadata are textual elements that require translation.Thus, your multilingual plugin of choice should offer you the translation of the Media Title, Image ALT text, Caption, and Description.
Your menus and widgets translations need to be synchronized across the different languages of your websites and link to their translated page/post.
This is a must have option if you want to have a good search engine optimized website. As search engines would index the different versions of your website, you will want to give your pages the slug in the correct language.
No doubt that your theme and plugins will display textual elements on the website’s front-end. You will want your multilingual plugin to allow you to translate the different texts found in the theme or plugin PHP and JS files.
Worth mentioning that purchasing multilingual ready themes and plugins make things easier. As the developers tend to implement internationalization standards, that makes translating the theme’s and plugins’ texts flawless with your multilingual plugin of choice.
Yes, you can translate your website yourself! but this is not always the case. As the websites vary in content size, website owners tend to hire professionals to translate their website content. Your multilingual plugin of choice should allow you to manage the translation process without any difficulties. The option to send your different website contents to professional translation services through an easy to use interface is a plus.
As you will be having different versions of your websites in different languages. You will want search engines to index them in the same fashion. Translating the different SEO attributes is not an option, it is a must! You must double check what multilingual SEO options your plugin will offer you along with its compatibility with the different SEO plugins.
Arabic and Hebrew are both right to left (RTL) languages. If you are planning to translate your website to any of these languages or other RTL languages, make sure that your multilingual plugin supports that. Taking into consideration picking a theme that supports RTL and that is compatible with your multilingual plugin of choice to load the correct CSS files in the theme.
Having a multilingual eCommerce website is definitely an important strategy for business owners to reach new markets and expand their business. Before buying, check the WooCommerce compatibility of your multilingual plugin.
The automatic machine translation is not accurate and will require revision. Yet, it is a good option to have as it will speed up the translation process.
There is no doubt that good support is always a plus for any theme or plugin that you will purchase. When it comes to multilingual plugins, support is a must as the multilingual plugins are relatively complex and would develop bugs throughout the process of translation your website.
I wouldn’t mind picking up a free multilingual plugin if it satisfies all my needs! Yet, a free plugin won’t do the trick. When it comes to professional multilingual plugins, your options are limited, which allows you to easily compare what suits you best. At the end of the article, we will provide a comparison between the top multilingual plugins available in the market.
Multilingual Plugins Comparison
In the table below we are comparing 4 multilingual plugins available on the market. please note that we are comparing the pro version of each of the below plugins (qTranslate doesn’t have a paid version)
|Features||qTranslateX||Polylang Pro||Multilingual Press Pro||WPML CMS|
|Posts and Pages Translation|
|Categories and Tags Translation|
|Theme and Plugin Texts Translation|
|Site Title and Description Translation|
|Integration with Translation Services|
|SEO Attributes Translation|
|Themes and Plugins Compatibility|
|Price||Free||€99/year - Single site||$99/year - Unlimited sites||$79/year - Unlimited sites|
Deciding which WordPress multilingual plugin to choose for your website is not an easy job! Once you translate your website using a specific plugin, this will be a no turn around point. As migrating from one multilingual plugin to another is a risky thing to do. Before you make your decision, make sure to go over the checklist in this article and decide what options you want your multilingual plugin to have.