Apr 23, 2021
10 Best WordPress Translation Plugins 2021: Free and Paid
If you want to reach a wider audience with your website, it’s important for it not to be limited by language barriers.
65% of people prefer accessing content in their language. Additionally, 40% won’t buy products from websites in other languages.
While WordPress doesn’t come with built-in multilingual features it is still relatively easy to create a multilingual website. WordPress provides a wide selection of translation plugins to choose from.
These may offer functions like automated translation and integrations to improve your workflow. Some more premium options may even include additional tools that help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and add eCommerce-specific features.
Keep in mind, however, that choosing the best WordPress translation plugin for your site will mainly depend on your individual needs and budget.
In this article, we will cover the best features of the ten best WordPress translation plugins in 2021 to help you launch a multilingual website.
What Is a Translation Plugin?
A WordPress translation plugin translates your site’s content into multiple languages, allowing visitors to browse the website in their preferred one.
Translation plugins for WordPress usually fall into one of these categories: automatic machine translation and self-translation.
The first type of plugin uses a translation API, such as Google Translate, to translate your website’s content. Even though these automatic machine translations have improved over time, they might still contain mistakes and misused words.
Keep in mind that some plugins do not allow you to edit automated translations, while others require that you pay extra to access that kind of function.
Compared to automatic translation, using a self-translation plugin requires a lot of work, but it is one of the surest ways to produce high-quality translations.
With this type of plugin, you can edit the translations and adjust them to fit your style. However, you might need to hire a professional translator, increasing your total costs.
If you only intend to translate buttons, menus, and simple text, the automated translation plugins are an excellent choice.
We included both types of WordPress translation plugins in our list, so you’ll be able to find a tool that fits your budget and offers your preferred translation methods.
The Best Free WordPress Translation Plugins
These are some of the best WordPress translation plugins that you can download for free to create your multilingual website.
The GTranslate plugin by Translate AI Multilingual Solutions is a freemium WordPress plugin. It uses the Google Translate API to translate your WordPress site automatically.
It supports over 100 languages, making it more flexible than many other translation plugins. It also provides unlimited words and pageviews, which is an excellent feature for sites that need to translate a lot of content.
GTranslate is also an SEO-friendly plugin. It also offers two custom URL structures to choose from, helping you manage the translated content. The customizable language-switcher widget is a feature that will let your customers switch languages with ease.
This plugin’s free version is an excellent option for all WordPress users. However, features like editing machine translations, language hosting, and search engine indexing are only available in its paid plan, which starts at $7.99/month.
Google Website Translator is a plugin made by Prisna. It is open-source software that people can use for free to create their multilingual websites.
Similar to the GTranslate plugin, it lets you translate your content automatically with Google Translate to over 100 languages.
Google Website Translator is easy to use, and it doesn’t limit the number of words you can translate. It is also a lightweight plugin so it will not affect your page speed.
However, Google Website Translator Plugin isn’t very flexible. It cannot translate your website’s URLs, which puts your posts at a disadvantage when it comes to search engines. Another downside is that it does not allow you to edit the translated content.
Loco Translate is a freemium WordPress translator plugin targeted at developers.
It has a simple user interface for translators to work on, allowing them to focus on their work entirely.
Loco Translate is mainly used to translate themes and plugins from your WordPress admin area. However, when the themes or plugins release their new versions, you will have to update the translation manually as Loco Translate doesn’t automatically update it for you.
The plugin is free for up to 2,000 translations. Loco Translate’s paid version is available from $5.95/month, and, besides unlimited translations, it also offers unlimited languages and revision history.
Xili Language is one of many WordPress translation plugins available for free to help you create a multilingual site.
It will translate your content and themes into any language right from your dashboard. Xili Language supports both single WordPress websites and multisite networks.
Install this plugin to translate pages, custom posts, categories, and many other essential WordPress attributes. It uses custom taxonomy to label the languages in each content post and page.
Xili Language also allows you to assign several languages to one page or post. It is suitable for small sites with little content, but it might be inconvenient for bigger websites since it doesn’t offer any automatic translation features.
Lingotek Translation is a free WordPress translation plugin that aims to simplify the process of creating and managing a multilingual site.
You can translate pages, posts, categories, and other aspects of your WordPress site to any language of your choice.
Lingotek provides many great options. The first is manually translating the content yourself or collaborating with your employees. All the work is done using the Lingotek Workbench, a text editor for translating and reviewing content.
The second method utilizes a commercial API from Microsoft Translator to automatically translate your content. Lingotek’s machine translation will translate up to 100,000 characters at no additional cost.
The last method is to outsource your work to a professional translation service. The process is transparent, so you can see how the translation is progressing. Once translators complete their work, the translation will be instantly downloaded and published on your website.
Even though it provides several translation methods and a convenient user experience, Lingotek lacks SEO support.
TranslatePress is a freemium WordPress translation plugin. It can translate content, media, custom post types, WordPress themes, plugins, and more.
Like Lingotek, TranslatePress supports both manual and automatic translation. Users are free to add a language switcher to their website, giving visitors a chance to adjust the language settings to fit their preferences.
A unique aspect of TranslatePress is that it lets users translate directly on the front-end. The live-preview feature also makes it easier to go back and forth between languages when translating. This way, you can quickly spot mistakes and edit them as you go.
TranslatePress doesn’t link you directly to translation services, which can be an inconvenience if you’re looking to outsource your translations.
If you want extra features such as translator accounts and the possibility of translating meta information, you’ll need a premium plan. You can purchase it from €79/year for a single site.
The Best Paid WordPress Translation Plugins
If you’re looking to translate a high volume of content or rid yourself of the limitations of free plugins, check our recommendations for the best WordPress premium translation plugins.
1. Polylang Pro
The Polylang Pro plugin allows you to translate the posts, menus, categories, and even the WordPress widgets of your website.
What’s especially great about the Polylang plugin is that it allows you to add as many languages as you want. You can conveniently separate the translations into subdirectories, subdomains, or even different domains based on language.
To help visitors quickly change to their preferred language, it is also possible to add a language switcher in the navigation menu or as a widget.
Polylang Pro also gives you the option to integrate Lingotek as an add-on. It will make it easier for you to manage your translation projects since it will provide access to automatic and professional translation services.
Polylang Pro is available for €99 for usage on one site.
Weglot is a popular paid plugin for people who want to quickly create a multilingual WordPress site. It supports more than 100 languages and will let you easily translate your website with the help of a simple interface.
Weglot focuses on automatic and manual translations. Depending on what your target language is, it will allow for integration with the best automatic translation providers such as Google, DeepL, and Microsoft.
It also offers two translation interfaces. One is a side-by-side interface that displays the original language right next to the target language. This gives you the context of the translation, making it easier to modify it.
The second is a visual translation editor that shows you a live preview of the website’s front-end, allowing you to conveniently translate the text.
Weglot also comes with a translation management system so that it’s easier for translators to manage their projects and collaborate. If you don’t have enough people on your team, Weglot provides a translation service that you can commission directly from the dashboard.
However, Weglot is less flexible in terms of URL editing. It only offers the feature in its top-tiered plans, which start at €199/month.
To access its other features, Weglot provides more affordable options, starting at €9.90/month for one translated language and up to 10,000 words.
WPML is one of the best translation plugins for WordPress. Its functionality is extensive, as it allows for the translation of a website, its theme, plugins, taxonomies, strings, custom fields, and many more fields.
This plugin comes with its own translation management system. It lets you assign translator roles to other users without giving them admin access and pair translators with specific languages.
You can also translate manually or outsource the work to professional translators as WPML allows you to connect the website to third-party services.
It also gives you three options when it comes to URL structure to ensure an SEO-friendly translated website.
However, WPML only comes with around 40 language options, which is significantly less, compared to other paid translation plugins.
WPML automatic translations are also very limited, providing only 2,000 credits/month at no additional cost. The value of each credit depends on the machine translation software you choose. If you use up all the credit, you have to pay as you go.
For $29/year, you can get the Multilingual Blog bundle. The yearly renewals cost less than the initial price, making it a great investment in the long term.
MultilingualPress lets you separate your translations to different sites based on their language using the WordPress multisite network.
This creates different versions of your site, which is great if you want to expand while including specific local content.
MultilingualPress lets users manage their custom fields and translations in one central place thanks to its compatibility with the Advanced Custom Fields plugin.
If you own an eCommerce site, the plugin allows you to easily create multiple stores and translate your posts. MultilingualPress is also optimized for WooCommerce, making it great for enterprises who want to expand their market.
In addition to that, there are more than 800 languages available when you first download the plugin. You can keep adding more languages as you go.
Based on the user’s browser language, MultilingualPress will redirect them to their preferred language as well.
MultilingualPress is a bit more expensive when compared to other multilingual plugins. Its top seller is the Pro plan, which includes six languages and three multi-sites for $299/year.
Benefits of Multilingual Websites
There are a few reasons why you should consider having a multilingual site, the main ones being localization and SEO.
Language can be a barrier that keeps your products away from potential customers. People might be aware your brand exists, but you also want them to know more about your products and the unique features they offer.
Localizing content is a great way to bridge the gap. If your WordPress website provides multiple options, visitors can choose whichever language they feel most comfortable with.
Besides, being on top of SEO can help businesses get the edge over their competitors.
When you use a particular language, your WordPress website will compete with other sites that do so. Depending on the language you choose, you may have less competition in the search engines.
It also allows you to focus your SEO strategy on region and language-specific keywords. Ranking higher in search engine results means your WordPress website is more likely to be noticed, resulting in a wider audience.
Creating a multilingual WordPress site is an excellent investment for your business. It helps your site reach a wider audience through localization, helps your content rank higher in search engine results, and helps your site stand out from the competition.
There are many multilingual plugins to choose from, both free and paid. If you are still unsure about which WordPress plugin to go for, our top recommendations are:
- Best free translation plugin: GTranslate. GTranslate is a free plugin that requires minimal management. It is easy to use and extremely convenient for quick translations.
- Best paid translation plugin: WPML. It offers a wide variety of features at a reasonable price. WPML grants you total freedom when translating your site, which is excellent for developing your multilingual website to its full potential.
In the end, the choice for the best WordPress translation plugin depends entirely on your website’s needs and budget.
Let us know in the comments below which plugin you end up choosing.