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WPML Plugin Review (2021) & Setup: A Powerful and Dynamic Translation Solution

Last Updated on September 7th, 2021

Published on May 11th, 2020

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Are you establishing a website on WordPress and do you want people from across the world to discover it? In order for you to achieve that, you’ll need a multi-language tool on your website where other people can easily connect to you, no matter what country and nationality they are.

Most people will prefer visiting a site with a language that they can understand, otherwise, they’ll not be interested. There is a huge collection of free and premium plugins on WordPress which serves as a solution to this dilemma but WPML stands out among them. We all know how well-liked this plugin is and most experts really recommend this plugin to WordPress users. In this review, we’ll introduce what WPML is, its features, pros, and cons and why you should get this one. Here is the WPML Plugin Review and Setup. 

What is WPML?

WordPress Multilingual Plugin or also known as WPML was launched last 2007 by OnTheGoSystems. If you use WordPress for a long time, you’ve certainly heard about this plugin. It is one of the most popular and recommended translation plugins by many WordPress users and experts.

As the name implies, it is a dynamic multilingual plugin that allows your WordPress content like pages, custom post types, theme strings, widgets, page builder content, taxonomies, menu items, and everything included will be translated into different languages. WPML is also inexpensive despite the premium translation service it offers. If you are emerging on the WordPress scene, WPML will certainly fit your preferences. A diverse audience may cause a language barrier and to prevent that from happening, WordPress WPML only needs a single website without the need to install WordPress on different domains. 

WPML Pricing

WPML costs may vary as it has three different premium plans aside from the multiple add-on modules that you can purchase here. It comes up with annual rates. The first one is the “Multilingual Blog” or the basic plan that allows 1 site which costs $29, next is the “Multilingual CMS” which is the popular option as it includes everything from the Multilingual Blog and can translate WooCommerce websites and supports 3 sites which cost at $79 and lastly, the “Multilingual Agency” that comes up with unlimited websites that you can register plus, everything from the CMS package is included and costs at $159. 

Whatever you choose from these advanced plans, it also unlocks support for custom fields, WooCommerce, and page builders. It also unlocks translating widgets, translating texts in theme and plugins admin, manages attachments in different languages, and lets you assign translation work through multi-user translation management. 

There is no number of how many words that you can translate, however additional costs may occur if you use WPML’s automatic translation. The cost for each translated word may vary, depending on the translation engine you use. For Google Translate, it costs two credits per word. For Microsoft Azure, it costs one credit per word and for DeepL, it costs four credits per word. It may be costly but WPML only charges for the total number of words translated in a particular month. Compared to other translation services, WPML is cost-effective. It offers six different tiers in its monthly credit system that you may consider getting if you’re using the automatic translation. 

  • If you’re a CMS and Agency license holder, it comes up free with up to 2,000 credits
  • $2 up to 5,000 credits
  • $7 up to 15,000 credits
  • $15 up to 50,000 credits
  • $17 up to 100,000 credits
  • $72 up to 500,000 credits

If you use WPML’s automatic translation but you’re holding different websites, you don’t have to worry as WPML allows you to share your credit quota between all of your websites with a monthly limit so you don’t go beyond the budget. 

  • $29 good for 1 year support and updates with unlimited languages and words for 1 website
  • $79 good for 1 year support and updates with unlimited languages and words, plus 2000 credits between any language pair every month for 3 websites
  • $159 good for 1 year support and updates with unlimited languages and words, plus 2000 credits between any language pair every month for unlimited websites

If you’re not satisfied with WPML’s services, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee for all of your purchases and upgrades made. In addition to that, WPML offers a wide collection of documentation that you can access and open for everyone where the developers have detailed explanations for every FAQ and video tutorial on how to use WPML’s features. 

Key Features

  • WPML is compatible with lots of themes and plugins on WordPress
  • It supports search engines which are optimized for Multilingual SEO and allows you to have full authority on what URL format you want for subdomains, directories or parameters. 
  • WPML comes up with 60 pre-configured languages and if a certain language is not included, you can add that language through the WPML’s languages editing settings.

Pros

  • WPML is inexpensive despite the number of features it offers and one of the most frugal solutions for translation.
  • Upon purchasing this plugin, expect outstanding support from the developers and has a volume of forums to read. It also comes up with frequent updates and bug fixes.
  • If you frequently use plugins and WordPress, it won’t be difficult to configure as its user interface is easy to use.
  • This plugin has RTL support

Cons

  • WPML barely gets the automated approach on translation. In that case, you must take into consideration that you need to be “hands-on” and you’re capable of manually translating the key areas on your website. It might be too overwhelming and complex for first-timers.
  • This plugin uses a large database and can be bulkier if you’re managing larger networks or websites and because of that, it may cause your website to slow down.
  • Unfortunately, you have to pay to use and experience its features and services. 

WPML Plugin Installation & Setup

After listing down all of WordPress WPML’s key features, pros and cons, we can now proceed with the Installation and Setup. 

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WPML comes up with a user-friendly interface that allows users to configure its settings quickly and easily to create a multilingual website. To make it happen, go to WPML’s website and choose a premium plan for your needs. After choosing the best plan for your needs, download the plugin then install it. After activating the plugin, it will take you to a step-by-step setup wizard through the configuration process. 

By default, WPML will automatically detect your website’s language it uses. If you’re fine with your current language, you can now proceed to the next step. 

In proceeding to the next step, you can now select what languages you’re going to use on your website. 

There are 60-preconfigured languages available for you to use. After choosing the languages you need, the next step will proceed to the Language Switcher wherein you can arrange the order of the chose languages and create changes for your languages. 

You can also configure the following from the language switcher like the menu language switcher, widget language switcher, and footer language switcher on your website. You can also choose where to place the links of your languages on your website.

You can also choose a particular menu or widget for each type of language switcher. You can select how it looks and edit its position, flags, colors, and styles. 

After configuring everything you need on the Language Switcher, you can now proceed to the next step which is Compatibility. In this section, you can enable these settings by selecting the “Send theme and plugins information, in order to get faster support and compatibility alerts”. In that way, you will help the developers improve the plugin and to troubleshoot any problems that may occur in the future. 

After enabling the setting in the Compatibility Report, you’ll now proceed to the Registration. By reaching this step, you will need to enter the license key from your WPML account. In order for you to get the license key, go to WPML’s website, log in to your account, and look for the license key. Enter the key and click the Register button. You need to register your license key to get the latest updates for your plugin.

Take note that WPML allows you to transfer a license to clients and if you register every website you have, WPML gives you one website license for free. That’s so generous.

If you tend to be forgetful, don’t worry as WPML will notify you by sending you reminders on your WordPress plugins page if you’re not receiving security updates. 

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For the last and final step, you need to enable the Toolset Types. If you are CMS and Agency license holders, you must enable the WPML components for that website and that includes the String Translation, Translation Management, and Media Translation. 

After enabling all of these, you can now click the “Install and activate selected plugins” and you are now good to go. 

If you already purchased a license for WPML, don’t forget to visit the downloads page and download the core version as it is necessary. 

Before anything else, the WPML Components mentioned are the three additional plugins if you purchased a CMS or Agency License. These additional features help enhance the performance of your multilingual websites. 

The first one is the String Translation. This one allows you to translate interface strings directly from WordPress without using .mo files. Static texts but also the user-generated texts outside the posts including tagline and SEO data are also translated. The second one is Translation Managements. This is where the admin manages the Translator role with the designated translation work. And lastly, the Media Translation. This one allows you to take control of what images to display for every language. 

For advanced multilingual websites, there are other WordPress plugins that are recommended. Toolset Types is the default plugin for every user. For multilingual sites, it allows you to set up custom post types, custom fields, and taxonomy. But other plugins such as Sticky Links and CMS Navigation are again, available to the Agency and CMS license holders. What Sticky Links does is, when you change the permalink structure, hierarchy, and page slugs, it counteract internal links from breaking while CMS Navigation gives additional elements in navigation like breadcrumbs trail, dropdown menus, and sidebar navigation.

While Sticky Links and CMS Navigation do their job, it doesn’t offer any leverage for WPML. 

You can always have the choice to install another add ons that depend on your requirements and needs. There are other useful add ons for WPML that you can consider getting. Other add ons are displayed on the compatibility plugins section that is supported and will be shown on the downloads section. The function of the compatibility plugin is to make sure that WPML will work as well with other solutions. 

One of them is the BuddyPress Multilingual. If you already have a BuddyPress Website, you can easily translate your website and make a multilingual social network site. Another one is WooCommerce Multilingual. You can easily market your business as it allows translation on every content from your WooCommerce like the products that you sell, the categories section, the fields, and attributes. By using this add-on, you can now sell products to a diverse range of buyers, from different countries around the world. If you’re interested in what other add ons WPML offers, you can always check the official WPML website

On every plugin, a description is always available to keep you informed and at the same time, to help you better understand how each plugin works. 

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After installing everything you need, let’s set up and begin translating your website to the different languages you desire. 

Setup

Translating content in WPML is easy and straightforward. Let’s begin translating your posts by selecting Posts then, All Posts. You’ll see all of the posts you have and the number of posts for every language. 

Besides the title of every post, you’ll see a + or add a button for every language you’ve added. Click one of the add button/s to start a new translation process. By doing so, it will open a new post editor with the language name and flag which will be seen at the top, and a Language Meta Box beside (right side) 

Add content that needs to be translated on the box. If you’re translating WordPress post types such as blog posts, under the box, you’ll see the “Multi-Language Content Setup” option. It gives you options to configure on a certain post type if you want it to be translatable, translated, or not translatable. 

The Language Meta Box allows you to duplicate the content and images to another language. It also shows the current language of your page. 

You have so much control over WPML when it comes to translations. You can copy the content from the original article and overwrite, change images, change the page template, edit your URL slug, and everything you need, depending on your preferences.

If you want to see all of the content for a certain language, you can use the Language Switcher to filter content which can be found at the top of the page or at the list of published pages below.

After configuring everything needed for your website, hit Publish and see your website live. And that’s it. WPML is a very straightforward plugin. However, if the translation process didn’t go well, you can contact their support or read their extensive forums to find answers or look for additional information.

Verdict 

There are other translation services in the market that offer solutions but nothing is on par with the WPML features and capabilities it provides. Given that you need to pay for its services, you cannot get the same value it gives compared to other plugins which makes it a cost-effective and dynamic tool when it comes to translation solutions. WPML offers a variety of payment plans and credits that will help users allocate their money without going beyond the budget. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t find its services helpful. 

As for its features, what we love about WPML are the add ons. You have the freedom to select what add ons you need to install. In that way, the WordPress database is not bloated and slow loading time will be prevented for a smooth, lightweight website. Another amazing feature it has is Translation Management. You can manage and assign work to colleagues or third-party companies or use the automatic translation service if you are not into hands-on solutions. WPML also has a user-friendly interface that you can get your hands on easily. If you want an optimized SEO website, WPML is SEO friendly which makes it appealing for search engine bots. 

Overall, WPML is a powerful and dynamic solution that enables content translation to different languages conveniently based on your site needs. No doubt that this plugin is the most popular among the other plugins on the market and the most recommended by WordPress experts and users because of the feature it gives. If you want to create a multilingual site for your business, social networking site, or just your personal blog, you should check this out. Ciao!

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A team of WordPress experts that love to test out new WordPress related software, WordPress plugins and WordPress themes.