A blog or a website that can be viewed in many languages has an obvious edge over the competition. Where traffic on one site is restricted by a single language or a few of them, the other site with several languages available knows no linguistic bounds. There’s probably nothing super simple about translating your WordPress website into different languages, but there is a plugin that can help facilitate the process. It’s called WPML.
WordPress Translation Plugin
Yep, WPML – short for The WordPress Multilingual Plugin – is a plugin that can make it easier to translate your website. However, it is not something that does the translating for you. Consider it as a helping hand of sorts.
What Does It Do Then?
WPML puts translation-related things concerning your website in perspective. The plugin allows you to choose from over forty languages you can enable for your site, and logically divides website areas necessary to be translated. When you have finished translating these bits, the plugin will create a new URL for that site area that corresponds with the new language.
Here’s how to make your WordPress blog multilingual very easily, as it says in the title: make use of your site users as translators – you can assign different translating tasks to people with different language skills. That way you do not have to do everything yourself. However, if you do not have anyone up your sleeve, you can make use of the translator armada at ICanLocalize or the ranks of WPML itself. The plugin also allows you to translate the theme’s text files.
I must say, this WordPress translation plugin does not come very cheap. It has three packages you can choose from. The first one is the Multilingual Blog – it contains basic translation functions (translate menus, custom fields, tags, categories and so on), but does not support translating, widgets, texts in theme, and many more premium features. It also prevents you from amassing your own team of translators from available users. The package costs $29 and requires a yearly renewal of the licence (which will cost an extra $15)
The Multilingual CMS comes packed with all features necessary for advanced translation management, CMS navigation, sticky links support, XLIFF interface and more, but costs $79 per year. To renew the licence, you have to pay $39.
The Multilingual CMS Lifetime costs $195 and is a one-time pay containing all of the features.
I deem this plugin worthy of notice, but I’m not really satisfied with the price. But hey, after all it’s your money and you’ll be the judge. Whatever your decision about this plugin will be, keep in mind that as your website rises in popularity, you will need to consider adding additional languages for people to view our website in. Sure, you might think that if you have two or three languages covered then everything’s cool; but when you have ten languages covered, each one of them with a huge amount of people who speak them?! Man, then you can say “everything’s cool”.
You can check out my full article on WPML as well if you have the time.