WordPress is used around the world by people who speak different languages. It is available in many languages and supports localization and translation standards which make it easier for themes and plugins developers to make their contributions translation ready. We have previously written about how to translate WordPress themes and plugins. In this post we will talk about making your website content translatable in different languages so that visitors can read content in their own language.
Manually Add Translate Tools to Your WordPress Website
Google translate is probably the most easier way to add a translation tool to your website. Go to Google Translate Tools and generate a code snippet for your website. You can configure the utility to select specific languages, and how the translate tool is displayed on your website. Currently, you can have an inline dropdown menu, a tab which you can adjust to display on lower right or left, or upper right or left corners of your webpage, or automatic display. Choosing the ‘Automatic’ option will show a translation bar on top of your website if the user’s browser language settings differ from your website’s language attributes.
Once you have generated code, copy paste into a sidebar widget on your website. If you are using the Tabbed or Automatic display options then you can paste the code into any widget area because the translate utility will automatically appear on the location specified in the configuration or when the language of website and the browser differ. For Inline display option, the translate utility will appear into the widget you paste it in.
Another simpler alternate is adding the Simple Translate Widget, which allows you to add a widget into any widgetized area (sidebar usually) on your website . When a user selects a language from the drop down menu, the widget takes them to Google Translate showing your page translated into the selected language.
Ajax Translator Revolution WordPress Plugin
- Translate posts, pages and sections on any page.
- Choose between Flags or Name of languages.
- AJAX powered smooth transitions between translations.
- Comprehensive Admin panel with lots of configuration option that give website administrator full control over different aspects of the plugin.
- Remember visitor’s last chosen language and then display the translated versions by default upon next visits.
- Control the look of the translation bar with CSS and Custom templates.
Gtranslate WordPress Plugin
Gtranslate is a powerful translate tool which is available for all popular publishing platforms including WordPress. Gtranslate uses both Google and Bing translate for the translations. One of the main features of Gtranslate is SEO friendly URLs for translated pages and posts. This feature could increase your site’s visibility if someone is searching in their own language and you happen to have a translated post in their language which meets the search terms.
- Comes in Free and Paid versions so you can try before buying.
- You can improve translations in the pro version.
- Choose between Google or Bing Translate.
- Integrate your Google Analytics with the plugin to track user activity on your website.
- Support is available through official plugin forum.
- Different layout options available including text drop down menus, flag drop down menus, horizontal menus with flags or text only option.
SEO Translate Plugin for WordPress
SEO Translate also known as Fox Translate, is a free WordPress plugin that uses Bing Translate API to translate your content in upto 30 different languages. The plugin creates an optimized URL structure for each language, stores that information on your webserver and adds the language urls into your sitemaps. It works well with Yoast’s WordPress SEO and Google XML Sitemaps plugins. This plugin is particularly useful for website owners who want to increase their site’s visibility into different regions.
- The main feature of SEO Translate Plugin is obviously search engine friendliness. It creates optimized URL structure for translated languages allowing your site to index for those languages and appear in search results.
- Requires Microsoft Bing App ID which can be easily created from Bing Developers Site.
- Easy to install and configure.
- Option to choose languages you want to display.
- Translation bar can be placed at the top of each page on your website, above the posts, below the posts, and above the pages.
- You can also add a list of languages available in the sidebar using SEO Translate widget.
- Free support available on plugin website.
Polylang – WordPress Plugin to Create Multilingual Websites
WordPress is used by many multilingual websites which publish content in different languages. Polylang is not exactly a translation tool but it allows you to create a website where you can publish content in different languages. For example you can publish a single post into five different languages. Or create sections of your website for each language, or maybe even open your website to users and allow them to translate posts and pages on your website. Polylang does not automatically translate your posts and pages, it is not a machine translation tool.
- Choose a language for your posts in the post edit area.
- Create posts into different languages.
- Run a truly multilingual website.
- Search engine optimized url structure for different languages.
- Language switcher in widget or navigation menu.
- Add as many languages as you want.
- Supports localization and internationalization standards, works really well with localized and internationalized WordPress themes and plugins.
- Automatically downloads WordPress language files.
- Supports RTL languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Hebrew.
- Extensive documentation packed with the plugin, active community support available.
- Plugin admin interface is available in 10 different languages.
English is considered by many as the default language for the web. Most websites do not add tools to translate their web pages thinking that people who want to translate their page into other languages can do so by using browser extensions or by reading their content through Google Translate. On the other hand some website owners think that making it easier for their content to be translated will increase their page views and brings new audiences to their website. I personally think that websites in languages other than English can certainly benefit a lot by adding translation utilities.