On the lookout for the best WordPress translation plugins for your site? If so, keep reading.
It’s a common misconception that most people in the world understand English to a certain degree. But, even if that were true, why should they be forced to read websites in English all the time? Furthermore, you miss out on a considerably larger audience by offering your website only in one language.
You may now be wondering how you can reach speakers of other languages when you don’t speak more than one language fluently yourself? Well, a WordPress translation plugin can be a great place to start.
What does a WordPress Translator Plugin Do?
Many people automatically assume that WordPress as a platform is only available in English. In fact, you can install the platform in your language and create websites in any tongue you wish. However, if you need your site to cover more than one language, there are plenty of plugins that can turn it bi- or even multilingual.
Two main types of language plugins exist:
- Self-translate: Also known as multilingual plugins, these need the content to be translated and entered manually. While this can be time-consuming and possibly require the services of a professional translator, the results are generally excellent, assuming the translation is correct.
- Auto-translate: These make use of online translation services such as Google Translate. These plugins can consume less data storage than self-translate ones as the translation is often ‘on-demand.’ However, automated translations are not always perfect.
Some plugins offer the best of both worlds in that they use an online translator initially but then allow you to make corrections and tweaks as appropriate.
Choosing the Right Translator Plugin
Which plugin you decide to use very much depends on what you are trying to achieve.
If you just want to create a clone of your website for use in one or two other markets, it would probably be better to opt for a self-translate and have the translations done professionally. However, if you need to cross many borders – for example, if you have an online store – then an auto-translate one would probably suit you better.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind when choosing a WordPress language plugin for your site:
- Firstly, try to choose one optimized for SEO, as it is rather pointless flinging the door open to speakers of other languages if they cannot find your site.
- Secondly, bear in mind that not all themes and plugins are translation-ready. Therefore, make sure you check before installing any language plugin. And it is also sensible to backup your site so you can roll it back should something go catastrophically wrong.
Our Suggested WordPress Translation Plugins
We will now give you our handpicked selection of plugins to help you translate your WordPress website quickly and easily. All work with version 5.7.2 of WordPress (most are compatible with 5.8) and recently updated.
Article Continues Below
Weglot may not be as popular as Loco Translate or Polylang, but with more than 50,000 active downloads and an average user rating of 4.8/5.0, it does have a significant following. That’s not surprising, really, given that it allows you to translate your website super-quickly into over one hundred languages without any coding experience.
Weglot is SEO optimized to help your site perform well in searches regardless of the language used. It utilizes Google Translate to do the translations, and the great thing about that is Google is constantly learning to improve the quality of its translations.
Pricewise, Weglot is free for websites under 2,000 words needing only one translation language. However, as that will encompass very few sites, we will focus on the paid plans. Depending on the subscription purchased, some or all these features will be available:
- Automatic content detection and translation
- No duplicate websites required
- First layer of machine translation from providers such as Microsoft, DeepL, Google, and Yandex ensure high speed
- Visual translations editor for manual amendments – allows you to see how the translated pages will look
- Order professional translators directly from within Weglot.
- Multilingual glossary for storing terms, phrases, brands, and product names to keep translations consistent
- Private Mode to make edits before publishing
- Auto-redirect visitors to display your pages in the visitor’s language based on their browser settings
- All website content can be localized and translated, including email confirmations and pop-ups
- Multiple team members
- Custom languages
- Up to 10 translated languages and 1,000,000 words (dependant on the plan purchased)
- Support and updates
Four paid plans are available: Starter (€99/year), Business (€190/year), Pro (€490/year), and Advanced (€1,990/year). Monthly payment options are also possible, and you can have a free trial of any plan. A further plan, Enterprise, is also available. That costs a whopping €4,990 per year, but it does offer bespoke features and targets much larger businesses.
WPML is a premium-only plugin that is available directly from the developer rather than the WordPress plugin directory. It generally targets businesses and web agencies looking to build multilingual websites in WordPress, but bloggers are also covered. It comes with powerful tools that enable you to translate not only content but themes and plugins too.
Three plans are available. The most basic is called Multilingual Blog, which is clearly for making blogs multilingual. This plan costs $39 per year and gives you the following functionality:
- Translate posts, pages, custom types, menus, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies
- Standard translation controls
- Automatic browser language detection
- Twelve-month performance guarantee
- Unlimited manual translations
- One website included
- Discounted annual renewals
- Support and updates
Two further plans are available. Multilingual CMS costs $99 per year, and Multilingual Agency comes in at $199 per year. Both these plans add the following features on top of the Multilingual Blog plan:
- Supports WooCommerce, multilingual E-Commerce, and page-builders
- Translate custom fields, widgets, theme texts, and plugin admins
- Manage attachments in different languages
- Multi-user translation management
- XLIFF interface
- Auto-translation with 2000 credits between any language pair per month included
- Up to three websites (Multilingual CMS) / unlimited websites (Multilingual Agency)
Despite being a premium plugin, WPML does provide some beneficial features at a reasonable price.
TranslatePress is a very popular translation plugin with over 100,000 active downloads and a user rating of 4.6/5.0. It features a handy visual translation interface that enables you to translate entire pages quickly and easily. What’s more, it is compatible with WooCommerce, so it is perfect for eCommerce store owners wanting to reach other parts of the world.
Even in its free version, TranslatePress comes stuffed with some great features, such as:
- Compatible with all themes and plugins
- Live preview of translated pages in the editor
- Translates images, sliders, and other media as well as regular content
- Manual and automatic translation support (integrates with Google Translate API)
- Language switchers can be placed anywhere via shortcodes, as WordPress menu items, or as dropdowns
- Gutenberg support to translate blocks
- Ability to translate only specific paths or exclude content from translations
- Facility to publish content in your default language only until all translations are complete
- Keyboard shortcuts
Three premium versions are available: Personal (€79/year), Business (€139/year), and Developer (€199/year).
- Use on several sites depending on the plan purchased
- More advanced interface
- Google Translate integration
- Add-ons for SEO and multiple languages
- Further add-ons (Business and Developer plans only)
- Updates and premium support
As with Loco Translate, Cool Plugins offers an add-on called Automatic Translate Addon for TranslatePress that automates the website translation using machine translation tools like Yandex Translate and Google Translate.
The free plan of this Loco Translate gives you the following key features:
- Up to 2,000 translations, two private projects with 1,000 translatable assets, and ten languages per project
- Collaborate with unlimited translators
- Integrated translation editor in the WordPress admin panel
- Google, Microsoft, DeepL, and Yandex translation API integrations
- Create or update language files from within your theme or plugin
- Extract translatable strings from within your source code
- Compile native machine object (MO) files without requiring Gettext on your system
- Portable object (PO) features including comments, references, and plural forms supported, plus source view with clickable source code references
- Save custom translations to a protected language directory
- WordPress locale codes built-in
- Keyboard shortcuts for the PO file editor
Three paid plans are available: Pro (€6.96/month), Business (€19.95/month), and Agency (€29.95/month). These add the following additional features:
- Up to 5,000 / 25,000 / 125,000 translations respectively (extra can be purchased if these limits are exceeded)
- Unlimited private projects, translatable assets, and languages
What’s more, an add-on called Automatic Translator Add-on for Loco Translate is available from another developer, Cool Plugins, which machine translates WordPress plugin or theme translation files automatically, significantly enhancing the power of this plugin.
A whopping 1,000,000 active installations of Loco Translate are in operation, and users have rated it an excellent 4.9/5.0 stars in the WordPress plugin directory.
Polylang is a WordPress translation plugin that makes the process of creating a bilingual or multilingual site super simple. You begin by creating posts, pages, categories, and tags as you normally would. Then, you simply need to define the language for each. The translation of a post, whether it is in the default language or not, is optional.
The free version of Polylang offers the following features:
- Unlimited languages with RTL language script support
- Automatic download and updating of WordPress language packs
- Translate all elements such as menus, widgets, posts, pages, categories, tags, etc. as well as custom post types and taxonomies
- Language is set by the content, language code in the URL, or using different domains or subdomains for each language
- Automatic copying of specific metadata (e.g., categories, post tags) when adding a new post or page translation
- Ability to add a customizable language switcher in the navigation menu or as a widget
- WPML API compatible
For $99 per year for one site, Polylang Pro adds:
- Translate slugs in URLs
- Translations can share the same slug in the URL
- Duplicate posts across languages
- Languages can be enabled or disabled
- REST API Support and extra integration with ACF Pro
- Premium support
If you wish to use automatic translation or a professional translation service, Polylang’s developers suggest using the Lingotek plugin as an add-on. However, we have not included Lingotek in this list as it has a relatively poor review score of 2.8/5.0 stars.
Polylang has over 600,000 active downloads, and it has attracted a user rating of 4.7/5.0 stars, making it a safe bet for making your website multilingual.
Google Website Translator
As you may have guessed from the name, Google Website Translator uses Google Translate to translate your website into over one hundred different languages automatically. Best of all, it won’t cost you a single penny.
The key features of this simple plugin include:
- Clean design that complements the appearance of any site
- Straight forward setup and configuration
- Responsive language switcher for any type of user device
- Supports all inline and tabbed styles of WordPress
- Select from any of the languages offered by Google Translate
- It can be used either with shortcodes or as a widget
- Ability to manually adjust the automatically translated text
- SEO friendly with virtually zero impact on page loading speed
- Import and export configurations and settings for easy transfer to other sites
While Google Website Translator is a free plugin, for a one-off payment of $50, you can add a lifetime of support and updates. The plugin has attracted a respectable 4.5/5.0-star user rating, and over 10,000 active downloads exist.
Available in free and premium versions, GTranslate boasts an impressive array of features that combine automatic and human translations to minimize costs and do accurate translations as quickly as possible.
The free version of the plugin provides features like:
- Option to hide the ‘Suggest better translation’ pop-up and the Google top frame
- Google Analytics integration
- Translate posts and pages, categories, tags, menus, widgets, themes, and plugins
- Support for right to left languages such as Arabic
- Floating language selector and language bar with lazy loading country flags in the menu and alternative flags for certain countries
- Display language names in their native alphabet
- Google language translator widget
- WooCommerce shop translation
Premium versions of GTranslate cost between $7.99 and $37.99 per month. These prices include some or all the following features depending on the plan purchased:
- Bi- or multilingual
- Unlimited words and page views
- Multilingual SEO including Yoast compatibility and schema.org microdata translation
- Neural translation for enhanced translation quality
- Search engine friendly URLs
- URL structure can be sub-directory (sitename.com/es/) or sub-domain (es.sitename.com) based
- Ability to add hreflang tags for translated alternatives
- Manual editing of automatic translations
- URL, metadata, JSON object, and AMP page translations
- Media translations
- Centralized translation cache to help improve translations over time
- Language hosting, e.g., sitename.fr, sitename.de, etc.
- WooCommerce compatible
- Live chat support
Over 300,000 active downloads of the plugin are currently in operation. Additionally, it has an impressive user rating of 4.9/5.0.
While a free version of MultilingualPress is available in the WordPress plugin directory, it is not up-to-date, so we will not consider it here. However, the premium version is still alive and kicking and is available directly from the developer’s website.
MultilingualPress differs from most other translation plugins in that it uses WordPress Multisite. That means only one language per site is loaded, whereas most other multilingual plugins load all languages but display only one, hindering site speed and performance.
Three plans are available: Standard ($99/year), Pro ($299/year), and Agency ($599/year). All plans are identical apart from the number of languages and Multisites supported by each. Key features of the plugin include:
- Translate default WordPress content, including posts, pages, etc., and custom post types
- Auto-redirect visitors based on their browser settings
- Automatic hreflang support
- Compatible with page builders and Gutenberg
- VIP Go compatible
- WooCommerce compatible
- Advanced Custom Fields plugin compatible
- SEO friendly, including Yoast synchronization (using add-on)
- Ability to duplicate a site as a full copy of an existing one
- Language manager with over 800 default languages.
- Drag and drop languages into menus to create a custom language switcher
- When deleting a post or page, you can simultaneously delete the corresponding translations
- Ability to use top-level domains per each language, e.g., yoursite.fr, yoursite.de, yoursite.co.uk, etc.
- Support and updates
MultilingualPress has been around for over six years now, and over 200,000 downloads exist, making it one of the most popular WordPress multilingual plugins on the market.
Do You Have a Favorite WordPress Translation Plugin?
Having the facility to offer your WordPress site in one or more languages can pay huge dividends thanks to the much wider audience it will be able to capture. As shown in this article, it is possible to achieve this automatically using readily available online translation services such as Google Translator, or they can be done manually for improved accuracy. It is also possible to do them automatically but with the option to make manual corrections.
Is your website already bi- or multilingual? If so, how have you achieved that? Are you using a WordPress translation plugin to translate it into several languages automatically, or do you do it manually as you only offer one or two alternative language options? Which translation plugins are you using, and do you have a particular favorite? Please do share your experiences with other WPLift visitors and us in the comments section below.