WordPress is probably the most popular publishing platform now and it is known for its ease of use and high extendibility. With WordPress comes a powerful system that makes it simple to translate text in themes and plugins. However, it does not support websites with multi language content out of the box. It is not impossible though, but you will have to add multilanguage features using WordPress language plugins.
Building a multilingual website can be quite a challenge and you need to consider carefully how to organize your content and what features you need.
Generally, there are two overall approaches to consider for translating content (posts, pages, etc.):
- Manual translation of all your content into the available languages. This makes sure your content is high quality, but comes with high maintenance and cost.
- Automatic translation of your content into several languages without human review. This is the low budget option, but is comes with a significant risk that your content will not be perfect in all languages.
Translating texts in themes and plugins is also important if you want a 100% translated website. This task should not be underestimated as most CMS themes, blog WordPress themes and plugins have hundreds of text snippets worked into them. To make this work for your website users you will also need a solution for switching the WordPress localization.
Once your overall translation strategy is in place you need to consider how the content language is selected. Do you want to present your multilingual content by providing your visitors with an option to switch from one language to another? Alternatively, do you want the language to be automatically set based on the web browsers language?
It goes without saying that all WordPress language plugins are not the same. You have to remember that all plugins have their own advantages and disadvantages, and you have to know your requirements well and match them to the features available. In addition, whenever possible review comments, ratings, support options and release dates.
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Ajax Translator Revolution WordPress Plugin – MORE INFO
Translator Revolution Plugin for WordPress is popular, user-friendly and highly customizable. It integrates directly with your WordPress Admin System. It is easy to get startet with this translation ready plugin (.po and .mo files available) – installation guide (with HD Videos included.
You can translate everything, or precisely select and/or exclude sections from the web pages. Exclude entire pages, posts and categories. The plugin will remember visitor’s selected language and allow you to show both flags and country names, or just one of these.
Ajax Translator Revolution DropDown WP Plugin – MORE INFO
Translator Revolution WP Plugin is a user-friendly, highly customizable WordPress translation plugin. It works making it simple to get started, but powerful enough to create highly customized translator setups.
Easy Translation Manager for WordPress – MORE INFO
Easy Translation Manager also allows you to translate pages, posts,post tags, post categories, custom post types, menus and even your theme and plugins. Your visitors can easily choose their preferred language from a drop down in the sidebar, or you can automatically set the language based on the web browsers language.
xili Language – MORE INFO
This CMS design ready language plugin will allow you to manage and create multilingual WordPress website with your choice of theme. The theme language can be selected automatically according to the semantic used in your displayed post, page or articles. This plugin has a new interface that has a list of links and titles to aid in writing articles and translations. To further help in writing, you can choose the language for your dashboard. Custom taxonomy is used by xili language in specifying the language of page, custom post and post. The theme folder contains .mo files. You can use this language plugin in both standalone and network mode WordPress installation.
Polylang – MORE INFO
This language plugin will let you create categories, post tags and write posts and pages as usual, and then it will define the language for every one of them. Polylang translation is optional and the professional or automatic translation is not integrated. However, the plugin supports RTL languages and you can use as many languages as you like. WordPress languages are updated and uploaded automatically. With Polylang, you get the ability to translate pates, posts, categories, media, widgets, menus and post tags. This plugin also supports all WordPress default widgets. When adding a new page translation or post, post tags, categories and several other metas are copied automatically.
Bogo Language Plugin – MORE INFO
Bogo will let you create multilingual WordPress websites easily. The plugin assigns a language for every post. It will not make additional custom table on the database, which is in contrast with some WordPress language plugins.
BuddyPress Multilingual – MORE INFO
This language plugin will allow you to build BuddyPress multilingual sites. Both the child blogs and main site can become multilingual and it can work with multi or single site BuddyPress installs. Your website guests can select their language and make multilingual content. In addition, they can also choose the language for the admin individually. BuddyPress Multilingual requires WPML. It hooks with the language API of WPML for its multilingual functionality.
Multisite Language Switcher – MORE INFO
This is another simple, friendly and powerful multilingual plugin. Multisite Language Switcher will help you manage the content of your multilingual multisite installation.
WordPress Multilingual Plugin – MORE INFO
WPML is indead a simple and powerful plugin that makes it easier to create and manage WordPress multilingual sites. The plugin has more than 40 languages included in the default, and you can also add your own variants such as Mexican Spanish or Canadian French. Any plugin or theme that utilizes WordPress API is compatible with WPML and the company behind provides full plugin support.
Theme Blvd WPML Bridge – MORE INFO
WPML is a powerful plugin for creating a WordPress multilingual site. Responsive WordPress themes from Theme Blvd already integrate pretty well with WPML, but for an even more seamless experience, they have created this free plugin.
If you have experience with WordPress language plugins or have a certain, useful plugin that is not included in our list, please let us know. If you are looking for a WordPress language plugin or wondering if you are using the right one for your site?
Anders is Co-founder of Tripwire Magazine. He is into WordPress topics, Web design, Web-development and also interested in SEO and Online Marketing. He has started Splashmagazine.com and he’s also writing for other blogs. Anders is a passionate blues musician and a family-man, as well.
[…] by the folks down Applied Language Solutions. If you reach more key languages e.g. with help from WordPress plugins it will increase the amount of potential […]
Thanks Andy for including WPML. One of the strengths of WPML, which we’re especially proud of is the translation management capability. Adding languages to a site is great, but the big work starts when translating content. WPML includes a complete system for managing translations, making this work a lot easier. It supports translator roles and includes a translation editor, inside WordPress. This way, translators can do their work without having to learn anything about WordPress administration. They only translate texts and WPML constructs the translated content. To make this complete, WPML lets webmasters easily send content to translation services and… Read more »
Another one, which is really good and powerfull: qTranslate