WPML Multilingual Plugin
- Affordable price
- Integration with WooCommerce and many other plugins
- Menu translation
- Translate pages created with page builders
- Translate theme and plugin texts
- Integration with translation services
- Gutenberg ready
- Little learning curve
To most site owners having a site in multiple languages is a daunting task. This is why in this WPML review I will be showing that it doesn’t need to be difficult. It is very important to be able to communicate with potential clients in different markets and parts of the world.
Although we still see the internet as a primarily English focused language territory, it is never a bad idea to reach to others in their mother language. This is the reason why a multilingual plugin for WordPress is so crucial for many.
There are several great WordPress language translating plugins including WPML, TranslatePress, Polylang, and Weglot. In my opinion, WPML is the most popular professional plugin solution to display your site in multiple languages.
After all, you don’t want to develop a multilingual site only to discover that a few months down the road, you have to switch plugins due to poor performance or lack of technical support. In this WPML review, I share my opinion as to why I think WPML is the best choice.
WPML Review – What Is WPML?
WPML is a multilingual WordPress plugin. WPML allows pages and posts to be translated into other languages. WPML is by far the most well-known translation plugin on the WordPress market today.
It’s important to note that WPML doesn’t translate your content. It rather gives you the ability to translate, either by yourself or via sending your content to translators.
If you need an automatic translation of your content, then check out Weglot. Or you can use WPML machine translation Advanced Translation Editor. Most language plugins translate page content as well as blog posts. You can check best WordPress automatic translation plugins post where I compare WPML,Weglot and Polylang automatic translation.
However, there are other things that must be translated for you to have a truly functional multilingual site. Those include Widgets, Taxonomies, Theme strings, Menu items, Plugin strings, Custom fields, and Page builder content (if you use page builders).
Once you install and activate WPML and chose your primary language, you can choose from 63+ languages to translate your website into. It’s just a matter of ticking the checkboxes next to the flags, plus you can remove a language later if you wish.
There are also some basic styling options, and you can also use custom CSS to tweak the look. Once the languages have been selected, you can start translating your post and page content.
When editing a post, a new Language panel appears on the right-hand side. Clicking the plus icon next to the flag creates a copy of that article in the particular language you’ve chosen.
You’ll also be able to tell from the list view in WordPress whether a translation exists for every article on your site. It’s important to remember that if you have not translated a particular page, it will revert to the default language. So, for everything to work well, you’ll need to spend the time creating language versions of all content.
What Are The Reasons To Choose WPML?
WPML has the capability for you to assign your translators the user translator role so that others can translate/edit content for you.
You can even utilize a professional translation service via WPML’s Translation Management module, which connects you with third-party professional translation services.
WPML offers a functional and straightforward translation interface. If you are doing your translations, you can easily do so in the WordPress editor. If you’ve used other plugins for language translation, you may have had to work with the dreaded .po files.
While these files are very functional and a good way to translate a website, they are not the easiest to work with. Not the most user-friendly method.
People who work directly with .po files find themselves continually going back and forth, endlessly comparing the .po file table to the website to figure out whether the content has been translated.
It is certainly not fun. WPML offers a great visual interface so you can edit your content seamlessly as you see it, without having to delve into the .po file.
Another nice feature is that you can easily create translated versions for each new post you create in your main language. This is easily done via the editor’s sidebar. A new page will pop up, and you can enter the translated content there. WPML offers traceability, too, by marking these posts as translations of the original main content.
WPML even provides a well-regarded multi-currency plugin for WordPress. Users can add a currency switcher, configure exchange rates, add various currencies to their WooCommerce store, etc.
WPML comes with a suite of addons along with the core plugin. Installing the core plugin is always necessary, whereas you can choose to install other addons as per your requirements. Some of the most useful WPML addons are:
1. WPML Translation Management
You can properly manage translation on your site with this addon. You can add your translators, give them a Translator role, and assign them translation work. You can also use different translation services as WPML integrates with the web’s leading translation services.
2. WPML String Translation
This addon lets you translate interface strings directly from within WordPress without using .mo files. You can translate not just static texts, but also user-generated texts outside posts including the tagline and SEO data.
3. WPML Media Translation
With this addon, you can use your WordPress media gallery in different languages. It lets you control which images to display for each language.
4. WooCommerce Multilingual
Using this addon, you can build a multilingual eCommerce site. It allows you to translate all of your WooCommerce content including products, variations, categories, fields, and attributes easily.
5. BuddyPress Multilingual
You can translate your BuddyPress website and create a multilingual social network site with this addon. You can learn about all of WPML’s addons by visiting the official WPML website.
Does WPML Provide SEO Friendly Translations?
So you are probably thinking at this point If I am going to go to the trouble of translating my entire site into multiple languages, does WPML ensure that these translations are SEO-friendly?
Yes, it does. WPML has capabilities that will let you optimize your SEO for multiple languages on your site. This feature is another aspect of why WPML is such a great product. It will make sure that your site ranks in the search engines. It is accomplished this in several ways.
First, WPML creates a separate URL for each translation version of your original content. Even so, translations are still linked together for traceability purposes.
Sitemaps retain the correct pages so that they will pass the Google webmaster validation. Search engines will easily understand the site structure so they can drive the appropriate traffic to the correct languages.
WPML does not force you to go with a single URL structure. You have three options:
- Subdirectories – yoursite.com/vi/content
- Subdomains – vi.yoursite.com/content
- Parameter – yoursite.com/content?lang=vi
These are pretty standard, and you can choose the one that works best for your site, without worrying that it will impact your SEO. URLs are automatically rewritten for internal links, which optimizes Google’s ability to crawl your entire translated site. Even your URL slug is translated, and you also can control how your URLs appear.
WPML also offers SEO plugin support to help you set things like titles and meta descriptions for all your translated content. The plugin automatically rewrites category and menu links so that they have the correct translation. These are often overlooked by other multilingual plugins.
WPML Pricing Plans
WPML is not a free plugin, but that is ok. After all, you should expect to pay for such a power-packed plugin. The prices are very reasonable.
There are three versions of the plugin:
Multilingual Blog – $29
This version allows you to translate posts and pages but not the navigation, widgets, custom fields, eCommerce, theme strings.
Multilingual CMS – $79
With this option, you can translate everything. Use on three sites.
- Multilingual Agency – $159
You get all the features. You can use on an unlimited number of sites for one year.
Regardless of which one you purchase, you have a 30-day money back guarantee. No questions asked.
Now, I want to distinguish a bit the Multilingual Blog and CMS plan, so you know exactly what you are getting. The basic language translator is available in both the blog and CMS version.
You choose your languages and start translating content. It is that easy. I already mentioned that WPML comes with over 60 languages, but you can easily add your language variants (think Mexican Spanish or Canadian French).
WPML offers an easy setup page where you can adjust your site’s multilingual settings. Both the $29 and the $79 versions offer multilingual packages that work with nearly all WordPress themes.
The CMS version offers some advanced capabilities that the blog version does not have. First, the CMS version has more powerful translation management tools.
You can use the Translation Dashboard to send content for translation and can see the status of all your translation jobs.
The CMS version also offers the Translation Editor which allows you to take one of your users and turn him into a translator for your site. These users can only see the specific translation jobs you want to assign to them.
If you have an e-commerce site, the CMS version is the only one that offers the multilingual e-commerce capabilities.
Your product pages can be easily translated, as can your shopping cart. WPML shows you what text needs to be translated and also builds a completely translated store as you go.
It starts with the product listing and continues with the shopping cart, checkout process, and even the purchase confirmation email. If you want a translation for certain themes and plugin texts, this is only available in WPML’s CMS version.
The WPML plugin will translate text coming in from your plugins and your theme, meaning you won’t have the hassle of editing those dreaded .po files I talked about earlier.
WPML offers a string translation interface in the admin screens that allows you to translate text coming in from other plugins directly.
There is also Multilingual Agency plan for $119 which has all features of Multilingual CMS plan. The only difference is that it allows you to install WPML plugin on an unlimited number of sites.
WPML vs MultilingualPress vs Polylang vs Weglot
- 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 redirectionYour site's visitors will automatically be redirected to translated information according to their browser's language preferences
- Multisite support
- Possibility to add team members
- Translated pageviews statistics
- Export & Import translations
- WPML MULTILINGUAL CMS PLAN
- $79 for three sites/yearly
- WPML itself doesn’t add team members but you can WordPress users or use third-party plugin.
- You can use XLIFF files
- MULTILINGUALPRESS STANDARD PLAN
- $199/yearly for one site
- There is option for integration with Google Translate API
- MultilingualPress doesn't handle team members option. But you can add new users using WordPress integrated option.
- POLYLANG PRO PLAN
- 99 EUR/year for one site (~$120)
- If you connect it with the separate Lingotek Translation plugin you can use machine translation.
- WEGLOT PRO PLAN
- 490 EUR/year for three sitesPlans range from 9.9EUR to 499 EUR per month
- Available only in Enterprise and Corporate plan.
NOTE: Above mentioned information may be inaccurate. Plugins get updates and changes so for the most accurate information visit official website.
Overall, each of these three plugins does an excellent job of giving you the ability to create a multilingual WordPress website. They each support a large number of languages and allow you to upload additional language files to expand your options.
Each plugin can detect the language of your visitor’s browser and automatically display your content in that language (provided you’ve already translated your content into that language). All plugins also give you the option of displaying language switchers on the front end of your site.
These multilingual plugins work in slightly different ways and offer varying levels of functionality. However, overall, the result is the same. If set up correctly, they will allow your visitors to view your content in the translated languages.
When it comes to recommending a plugin, WPML is generally easier to use than the other two and is by far the most powerful option.
The fact that you get access to email support as part of your purchase makes it the recommended choice for important sites, more complicated projects, or those who prefer having someone to turn to should any problems arise. With prices starting at $29, it will be the preferred option for many website owners.
Polylang and MultilingualPress are both good free options if you don’t need the extra features and functionality or access to premium support.
In short, if you have the budget, WPML will likely be your best bet. It has more features, and the price includes access to the support team. However, if you’re looking for a free multilingual plugin, both MultilingualPress and Polylang are both more than capable options.
Weglot is somewhat different from other tools mentioned here. Weglot automatically translates content in over 100 languages. You can than manually edit, nad make corrections if needed.
Weglot works with WordPress, BigCommerce, Jimdo, Shopify, and other platforms. Each premium plan that Weglot offers gives you access to professional translators if you decide to use them.
It offers limited free plan, and paid plans depending on how much content you need to be translated. You will need to use the Weglot account dashboard to edit translations manually and keep track of all translated content because Weglot doesn’t create new pages that can be edited in WordPress.
You can check Weglot vs WPML comparison for more details on how these two plugins are different.
WPML Review Final Conclusion
Nearly one million sites use the WPML plugin, so that speaks of popularity and quality of the plugin. Plugin often gets updates, and there is extensive documentation and tutorials available if you get stuck.
They even release their updates ahead of WordPress version updates. If there is ever a security issue, the team responds immediately to it. This plugin offers many beneficial features for your site, and with a 30-day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
WPML integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce as well as other plugins, popular with businesses such as Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms. I highly recommend it as a choice for your multilingual site needs.
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15 thoughts on “WPML Review (2023) | WPML vs Polylang vs MultilingualPress vs Weglot Comparison”
I’ve been using WPML for almost a year – I’m not here to dump on it, as a developer I recognize that part of the problem is how WordPress is structured, especially once you start adding custom fields, custom post types, and taxonomy – not to mention, the usage of third-party visual builders like Elementor.
The challenge being these are exactly that – “third-party”, so the integration is never as seamless as native functionality.
So I would say, that my experience of using WPML is mediocre – because the site I built uses all parlor tricks you (ACF, Custom Post Types, Elementor), so you kind of end up with a hot mess if you think about it, and having to rely on WPML to do all kinds of synching heavy lifting.
Having said that – WPML to me considering how long it’s been around still feels very unpolished as a tool both from the front-end, lack of a clear user workflow meaning you’re not quite sure what it’s doing and generally speaking, my experience with their support reflects those above points.
They are generally very helpful and responsive, but there’s all the tell-tale signs of an adequate application at best, coupled with a tool having to wrangle all these third party integrations.
My last “warning” to any translation tool users such as WPML or WeGlot, is that you will be relying on their API for everything. Their API does go down once in a while, meaning if you have a busy site – you’re stuck waiting to do anything.
Translation is a complex space – i’m glad there are tools around, there’s no perfect solution.
Thank you for sharing your experience with WPML. It can help orders when deciding if they should use WPML or not.
i installed wpml on multiple sites and i can say:
when you want to ruin your page install it!
your benefit is: sites are down, the translation editor dont work with sitebuilder elements, support dont know or cant read, you are between this shit and your client who inserts tranlations again and again and they disappear! i forgot the rest but its just crap, believe me i invested WEEKS!
WPML is an outrageous piece of c..
I have installed it on two websites, and on both I encountered many problems with WPML messing the layout, braking sections, producing errors and grinding the site to a halt.
At every turn, I ended up spending many hours trying to resolve things. Every chat with support involved and endless procession of deactivating plugins,. creating Sandbox sites, deactivating and changing themes, sending a ticket etceteras.,….
Sometimes a fix was found, but inevitably I ran into an issue that could not be revolved.
Their usability is a total disaster. I am sure that a lot of problems – and subsequent support time – could be avoided with a better user interface and -flow.
So I ended up removing WPML from both sites – deciding I’ll just cut my losses. Looking for alternatives now.
One site I built with Flatmore
The other in Gutenberg, with Kadence theme (of which WPML support said it wasn’t tested with their plugin. WTF)
Thank you for sharing your review of the WPML plugin. It is unfortunate that your experience is not the best, but it can help others when deciding if WPML is a good choice for their needs.
Woocommerce + WPML is a nightmare… In fact as soon as your website is more complex, WPML slow so much the website, it’s incredible! It at least double the number of query to the DB…
The only alternative I see is Polylang and MultilingualPress.
MultilingualPress should be the fastest as in fact it uses the Multisite capacity of WP, so each language is a different website…
Anyone tried it?
Totally agree with all the mention points above. Woocommerce + WPML is a nightmare..
Lots of bugs, conflicts, etc..not mention the heavy database (strings & stuffs…)
but it works, it can work (I have it installed on many clients sites)…Looking for an alternative but didn’t take the step yet.
Ill consider Gtranslate pro for only Frontend translation only maybe.
WPML is just the worst translator plugin over the market
Nothing work correctly :
– if you work with page builders, footer, header, archive and singles won’t work
– If you work with custom post types, nothing will work.
– if you work with basic functions of wpml itself, it will bug as well
In fact the right question is : what is working with WPML ?
I am still wondering…
From my experience and usage I can’t agree with this. Though there can be issues, WPML works no matter if you use page builder, Gutenberg, classic editor, custom post types, etc.
Can you further elaborate reasons for your statement? It could help other users.
This is quite interesting as I wonder if it works with other page builders, such as Elementor, Visual Composer, WPBakery, or even your other standard content block page builder (Other than Gutenberg or the classic editor).
This is a review written by a person who did not have any experience with real WPML/WooCommerce site. It is a disaster! If you wish to have your site compete with turtles – go for WooCommerce/WPML combo.
Actually, I have WPML purchased and use it in combination with WooCommerce.
I totally agree. WPML is the best choice to the turtle racing competion. Unless you have 5 test products in your shop @KASA (?).
But @IREK – what is the best alternative in your opinion? I need to chose something else, because I do not want to muddle through thousands of unnecessary strings to translate and options again.
Cam WPML translate automatically? An example site pls
yES, you can use WPML machine translation Advanced Translation Editor.