Mark our words: translation will be a priority for blogs in 2018.
With an estimated 27.5% of the top websites being powered by WordPress, most of the big players out there already know that in order to make a world-wide impression, you have to be able to communicate to the world first. And with WordPress hosting more and more ecommerce services than ever before, the ability to reach out to a wide audience is growing even more important for those who want to compete with those big players.
And with the WordPress platform being free and open, there are of course a lot of translation plugins options out there to suit the needs of almost anyone, from the small time blogger up through to the “big leagues.” A staggering, daunting, intimidatingly large number of options, actually.
Want to know the difference, and find out which one is best for you? Read on…
ConveyThis launched back in 2008 as a simple copy-and-paste widget that could be added to your website to instantly translate it using Google Translate.
Ten years later, times have changed, and the brand-new ConveyThis Translate plugin for WordPress has just launched in 2018, featuring an even simpler user interface, the ability to edit the translated text for a highly accurate and fully localized experience, and SEO-friendly URL-prefixing options to help make sure your foreign-language content is crawlable and indexable by search engines.
With so many great features and tiered pricing that ranges from free (for small websites) up to enterprise-level subscription plans, it’s no wonder we ranked ConveyThis #1 on our list.
Polylang is a powerful and simple plugin that works well for many site setups. Its easy configuration makes it perfect for beginners.
And with over 300,000 verified installations, Polylang is a popular choice for bloggers.
The Weglot “multilingual plugin” offers decent “out-of-the-box” translation and allows you to edit them to help tweak the results displayed to your visitors.
One of the more useful functions is the ability to block specific URLs an words from translation.
Launching only back in 2015, Lingotek is relatively new on the WordPress translation scene, but has gained rapid popularity in its short lifespan.
Lingotek is a plugin that piggybacks off the Polylang plugin listed above—you must have Polylang installed in order to run Lingotek. What Lingotek provides is a small suite of features that supplement the Polylang plugin, including off-site maintenance and machine, crowdsourced, and professional translation options for blog content.
Loco Translate is a solid translation option for those with the right technical skills. The plugin utilizes PO files, which store the original text and translations separately and then links them together by matching unique identifiers for each segment of text, then swapping them out on the original page. Traditionally, you would use third-party software to import the original text and export the translated PO file, but Loco has made things a bit simpler by including a built-in editor with the plugin.
The WordPress Multi-Lingual Plugin is a premium plugin which features a lot of options for translating not only blog content, but also for sites using WordPress as a CMS, and also includes theme and plugin support as well. It’s a well-rounded plugin and has great support.
If you already have translations for your blog content, or have access to someone who can provide it, qTranslate may be a good option. A bit daunting for beginners, qTranslate features many detailed configuration options which will help experienced users get the most out of their translated content. One downside is that it hasn’t been updated frequently over the past few years, so compatibility with future versions of WordPress may be hit or miss.
Like Loco Translate, Xili Language uses PO files to store translations of content, which means if you update a post or fix a typo you’ll need to go back and update the source text in the plugin as well as submit a new translation for it manually. It does include some good features, like translators being able to work directly from the WordPress admin panel, and having their translation interface displayed in their native language.
Transposh is one of the oldest WordPress translation plugins out there, but unfortunately has not kept up updates or testing for the last 3 major releases of WordPress. In its heyday, its best features included machine and professional translation as well as Buddypress integration.
Did we miss any? If you know of another translation plugin that offers something new or different, let us know in the comments!