With a lot of the online world being non-english speaking it makes a lot of sense to have a multi language option on your site. Even in Canada and the US the second languages are French and Spanish so not catering to people that speak these languages means lost visitors and sales. WordPress has a lot of great plugins, some are free while others you have to pay for to enjoy the features that are included in professional versions but sometimes this can really be money well spent.
Today we are going to look at four solid WordPress plugins that will give you the power to get your WordPress site to a place where multi languages are supported. I will break them down by the costs and the pros and cons of using each.
Cost: between $29 and $195 depending on license type
Pros - This plugin is probably the most user friendly and easiest to use so if you aren’t looking for a whole lot of coding to customize your WordPress theme, WPML is probably going to be your best choice. Also, it allows you to customize the pages on your WordPress site in the languages you want and you can choose to localize your WordPress theme or not.
Cons - This is probably the most expensive WordPress plugins that you could purchase. That combined with the fact that most other WordPress plugins are free will probably keep you away from using this one.
Cost: Free to $3.95
Pros – This plugin add the Google Translate widget to your WordPress site which will allow your visitors to select the language they want to view the page in without having to go over to Google Translate.
Cons – This plugin relies solely on the functionality of Google Translate to translate your pages by offering an on page widget that allows you to select your language. Given that you can use Google translate functionality without this plugin it isn’t the best plugin outside of offering an on page clickable widget. Also if you are going to buy the Pro version its not really worth it because it offers additional widget positioning and some other uninteresting features like Google Analytics integration.
Pros – One of the biggest pros besides the fact that this is a free plugin is that it works with localizable themes using the themes localized (.mo) files to translate pages on your site. According to the developers behind Xili the plugin “provides an automatic selection of language in theme according to the language of displayed post, series of posts, page or articles.”
Cons – There is a fairly steep learning curve to developing your WordPress site with Xili. If you aren’t a developer I would probably steer clear of this one as its highly customizable through coding. Amateurs need not apply however it you are a web designer or developer you should be able to overcome any hurdles you face.
Pros – This plugin combines automatic translation and human translation so that you can source the best translation of your pages from users with an in-context interface. This in-context interface works by allowing users to highlight and suggest changes to text they see when on your website.
Cons – This plugin will have a bit of a learning curve to understand how it works with your WordPress site. The way that the in-context interface works can be a little confusing to use as well and could throw some users off of using the plugin entirely.