English is the main language used on the Internet. However, it doesn’t hurt to make your site content available in multiple languages. The fastest way is to translate WordPress site automatically using available WordPress automatic translation plugin.
The rewards for translating content are well worth the time and effort. If a visitor can navigate and read site content in his native tongue, the site will be more appealing.
This is especially important for companies who sell products and services to customers in different countries worldwide. You can increase your global reach as you continue to grow and expand your business.
But the thought of owning and operating a multilingual website can be rather intimidating at first. Fortunately, several WordPress translation plugins are available that allow you to translate your site into different languages successfully.
Translate WordPress Site Automatically
There are three primary ways in which a site’s content can be translated:
- Manual – A professional translator can be hired to translate your entire site. You could also perform this task yourself if you have the knowledge and time to do so.
- Automatic – Your site can automatically be translated using machine translation.
- Combined – A machine translation can be used to translate site content, while a human evaluates and changes translations as needed. This is done so that no essential information is left out and to confirm that all translations have a logical flow.
Different methods each have their own advantages and disadvantages:
- Manual – This is usually the most accurate option. However, it can also take more time and money to complete.
- Automatic – This is often the fastest way to translate your site. Just keep in mind that there may be certain information that either can’t be properly understood or translated poorly.
This post will show you how to translate WordPress site automatically using the best WordPress automatic translation plugins available.
Weglot vs WPML vs Polylang
- Free Version
- Basic translation controls
- Translation Management
- Menu translation
- Menu sync
- Translate pages created with page builders
- Translate site title and description
- Translate theme and plugin texts
- WooCommerce support
- Integration with translation services
- Flexible language URLs
- Quiet translation mode
- SEO features
- Theme compatibility
- Plugins compatibility
- RTL editing
- Gutenberg ready
- Automatic machine translation option
- Number of available languages to translate using automatic machine translation
- Visitor language redirection
- Multisite support
- Possibility to add team members
- Translated pageviews statistics
- Export & Import translations
- WPML MULTILINGUAL CMS PLAN
- $79 for three sites/yearly
- MULTILINGUALPRESS STANDARD PLAN
- $199/yearly for one site
- POLYLANG PRO PLAN
- 99 EUR/year for one site (~$120)
- WEGLOT PRO PLAN
- 490 EUR/year for three sites
- Available only in Enterprise and Corporate plan.
NOTE: For more info, you can check detailed Weglot vs WPML comparison.
Best WordPress Automatic Translation Plugins
Automatic translations are never going to be always 100% completely correct. There’s nothing wrong with that. It only takes a few minutes for your site to be translated automatically. Manual translations can sometimes take several days, weeks, or months to complete.
There are plenty of helpful auto-translate WordPress plugins that you can use. Weglot, WPML, Polylang, and TranslatePress are some of the available options.
The translation plugin that you select should allow you to translate Widgets, Plugin strings, Page builder information (if you’re currently using a page builder), Theme strings, Custom fields, Taxonomies, and other relevant content. Also, you need a translation plugin that will provide you with friendly search engine optimization translation.
1. Weglot Machine Translation
Weglot is one of the most commonly used translation plugins to automatically translate WordPress site. Users love its search engine optimization readiness, ease of use, and ability to work well with other plugins and themes.
The plugin uses machine translation to have your site translated in a matter of moments. You can also order professional translations or manually translate site information if you wish. Yandex Translate, DeepL, Microsoft Translate, and Google Translate are the four major machine translators that Weglot uses.
Weglot does more than just translate websites. It will add a language switcher to the site. This convenient feature allows site visitors to quickly convert site content into the language they wish to read. Clicking on the flag icon is all that it takes.
You have complete control of your content. Weglot can automatically translate the site, but you can also always manually make changes. Default settings will show machine translations first, but you can opt never to show machine translation. If that’s the case, you’ll have to approve or change/replace any translations before they appear on your website.
Automatic translation is Weglot’s default setting. However, you can still refine translations in the following ways:
- Professional translators can be hired to translate all of the site’s content. These translators can be found in the Weglot dashboard and are provided by some of their trusted translation business partners.
- You can edit any machine translations that need to be corrected. You can also make these changes from your Weglot account.
- Team members or freelance translators that you add via your Weglot account can help with translation.
Weglot will implement machine translation to translate all information on the website as soon as the plugin has been installed and activated. This helps to make your site easily readable in different languages with search engine optimization in mind.
Weglot also translates content found in plugins and your site theme. It doesn’t need any additional integration or other functions to achieve these tasks. For more information about Weglot, its features, pros, and cons, be sure to check my Weglot review.
- Weglot is highly rated in the WordPress plugin repository.
- You can integrate Weglot with your site either using a script or a WordPress plugin.
- Weglot automatically detects and translates SEO metadata, media, dynamic content, and other site content.
- Weglot works well with all content management systems and most apps, plugins, and themes.
- The intuitive interface allows you to evaluate and edit any translated content manually.
- You can work with your team to ensure all content has been translated correctly.
- Professional translations can be ordered if needed.
- The plugin supports more than 100 different worldwide languages.
- Weglot uses Google’s best practices for search engine optimization in terms of multilingual SEO.
- All translated pages will be indexed properly.
- You can set a default language for the website.
- Flags can be shown on site.
- Offers CSS customization.
- Auto redirects can be set based on the browser language.
- AMP pages can be translated.
Weglot comes in a free and paid version. There is also the Weglot WordPress plugin in the WordPress plugin repository. You’ll need an API key once the plugin has been installed and activated. The API key is available free of charge. It can be acquired by visiting Weglot’s website and creating an account.
Weglot free version has certain restrictions:
- You can only translate in one language.
- A maximum of 2,000 words can be translated.
The free version can be seen as a sort of free trial edition of Weglot. It works well, but it can’t do everything that you want. I recommend using the premium version if you want to experience the full functionality and features that this auto-translate WordPress plugin has to offer.
If going with a paid plan, there are several premium options. Pricing for each plan depends on:
- The number of words that you want to translate, and
- How many languages you want your site content to be translated into.
Premium plans can be paid on a monthly or annual basis. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, you will want to select an annual plan. This way, you only pay for 10 months instead of paying for 12 months of usage.
2. WPML Automatic Translation
WPML is one of the most popular WordPress translation plugins on today’s market. It can be used to quickly translate all pages and posts on your website into multiple languages.
The plugin allows you to translate site content by submitting it to experienced translators, translating yourself, using your own translators, or using WPMLautomatic translation called Advanced Translation Editor. These options allow you to translate content either manually or automatically.
Here’s how each option works:
- Translating content by yourself: All you need to do is to go to your site’s WordPress dashboard and translated content where needed.
- Using your own translators: Translator Management feature allows you to assign Translator roles for different users. Each of these assigned users can then translate content on the website.
- Using an experienced, professional translation service: You can automatically connect with third-party professional translation services. You can achieve this by using the Translation Management module.
- Using WPML machine translation Advanced Translation Editor: The editor supports most world languages. It can be used to translate particular parts or entire page all at once automatically.
Previous WPML editions didn’t have the automatic translation function. Users had to either work with outside translation services or translate content manually.
WPML version 4.0 introduced the Advanced Translation Editor feature. Just keep in mind the following facts when using WPML automatic translation:
- The WPML auto-translate feature can only be used on custom post types, posts, or pages. It can’t be used for any information that was translated using the WPML string translation interface. This feature was created specifically for website pages and posts.
- Automatic translation will only occur for an individual page, one at a time. It won’t automatically translate content for all of your site pages or posts all at once just by clicking a button.
The Advanced Translation Editor breaks content into sentences. This allows the editor to keep track of all the translated text in the translation memory across the whole site.
If there are repeat sentences anywhere on site, the Advanced Translation Editor will automatically apply the saved translations when you translate the page. This saves time and money as you won’t need to translate the same sentences multiple times. For more info, you can check my WPML review.
WPML doesn’t have a free version. However, it does have several pricing options that are very affordable for most budgets. The plugin comes in the following paid plans:
- Multilingual Blog $29/year – The Multilingual Blog edition allows you to translate all of your posts and pages. However, it cannot be used to translate widgets, theme strings, custom fields, eCommerce, or navigation content. It can be used on one site.
- Multilingual CMS $79/year – This edition allows you to translate all information on the website. It can be used on up to three sites.
- Multilingual Agency $159/year – This version has all the previous plans’ features. The only difference is that it can be used on as many sites as you want.
Each of the paid plans listed above has a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can have your money fully refunded in that period if you are not satisfied with the plugin.
You need to know that WPML automatic translation function isn’t entirely free. Based on your website’s size, you may have to pay additional cost in addition to whichever one of the three available paid plans you’ve selected.
WPML provides 2,000 free automatic translation credits for Multilingual Agency and Multilingual CMS packages. These credits reset monthly. You’ll need to buy more credits after your monthly free allotment has run out. Automatic translation credits are determined according to the translation engine that you choose.
There are three translation engine options:
- Microsoft Azure – costs one credit per word translated.
- Google Translate – costs two credits per word translated.
- DeepL – costs three credits per word translated.
The highest quality, most natural translations are provided by DeepL. Google Translate is second best in terms of overall quality. Google Translate is also the default translation engine. You can opt to disable certain translation engines that you don’t plan to use or assign the translation engines you want to use regularly.
Sites that only use 2,000 credits or less monthly can receive automatic translation free of charge. The following translation fee structure applies for websites that use 2,000 credits or more each month:
- Up to 5,000 credits = $2
- Up to 15,000 credits = $7
- Up to 50,000 credits =$12
- Up to 100,000 credits = $17
- Up to 500,000 credits = $72
3. Polylang Automatic Translation
Polylang allows you to translate much more than just categories, media, pages, posts, and tags. You can also translate URLs, widgets, custom taxonomies, custom post types, and navigation menus.
You can start translating once a language switcher has been added and your language are created. Polylang works well with the WordPress admin interface and integrates content duplication across languages for an efficient workflow.
Polylang doesn’t use any confusing shortcodes or lengthy tables. Instead, it relies on the pre-established taxonomies, or primary features, that are already included in WordPress. It works with many popular cache plugins, and Polylang won’t hurt your site’s performance or need a lot of memory to accomplish tasks.
The plugin accommodates open graph tags and HTML reflang tags for multilingual search engine optimization. Moreover, it offers the possibility to use, at your option, one directory, one subdomain, or one domain per language. Polylang is very SEO-friendly and works with most major SEO plugins on the market today.
You can only translate the website manually via the WordPress dashboard with Polylang’s core plugin. You’ll need the Lingotek Translation plugin to access additional features and have Polylang automatic translation option. Some of those functions include:
- Machine translation can be used to translate the site automatically.
- Your own translators can translate site information.
- You can use an outside third-party translation service to translate site content.
Lingotek Translation is a free WordPress plugin. You can find it in the WordPress repository. Once this plugin has been installed and activated, you can take advantage of its translation and cloud-based localization services.
It offers community, professional, and machine translation solutions to simplify the maintenance and operation of a website with content in multiple languages. It also makes it easier to increase reach into new global markets. It saves money, makes your site languages more consistent, and helps make your brand, products, and services available to more potential customers in less time.
You can have machine translation for up to 100,000 characters for free. You will need to set up a Lingotek account and install their plugin before you can use this feature.
- RTL languages are fully supported. Your site can be in as many languages as you want. WordPress language files are automatically downloaded and updated as they are available.
- Widgets, post tags categories, media, pages, posts, and menus can be translated. You can also translate post formats, custom post types, sticky notes, and custom post taxonomies. All default WordPress widgets and all RSS feeds are completely supported.
- Post tags, categories, and certain other meta types are automatically copied when a new page or post translation has been added. You can even synchronize them between translations of different posts.
- Static front pages, permalinks, and multisite are supported.
- You can access the language switcher in the navigation menus or via widget.
- Loco Translate and Poedit are required to translate plugin and theme content.
Polylang is one of the most used WordPress multiple language translation tools. It comes in free and paid plan option. Pro version costs 99 EUR. Polylang Pro provides you access to premium support and other advanced features.
You can also buy the Polylang WooCommerce package for 99 EUR. This allows you to translate WooCommerce tags, grouped and variable products, attributes, pages, categories, etc.
For 139 EUR, you can purchase the Polylang Business Pack. This option combines the Polylang for WooCommerce and Polylang Pro plugins in the same bundle. You get to use all of Polylang’s features to create an impressive multilingual WooCommerce website.
The free version can be ideal for people who are creating their first sites or are cost-conscious. A premium plan is a better choice for those who want to upgrade as their projects succeed and their businesses continue to grow.
WordPress Automatic Translation Plugins Conclusion
Machine translation is good for providing a primary translation level. Think of it as giving you a head start with your website localization project. It’s up to you to select your next step.
If you don’t like machine translations’ quality, you don’t have to display them. They can serve as an initial translation. Most pro translators use at least one machine translation layer. You can keep translated pages private until you’re satisfied with translations. You can launch the site in multiple languages to the general public when the time is right.
Translation plugins can help you expand into new markets and localize your site. They are effective tools for everyone trying to reach audiences in various cultures or companies attempting to increase revenue by introducing their products and services in new countries and markets across the globe.
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