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Best WordPress Translation Plugins: Must-Have Features in '24

In 2022, around 43% 1 of websites are hosted on WordPress. There are numerous WordPress translation plugins available, both paid and free. Each has different features and is suitable for different companies. Therefore, It is challenging to select the right WordPress translation plugin for businesses. 

This article explains: 

  • 3 reasons to use a translation plugin for your WordPress sites. 
  • 5 key considerations when choosing a WordPress Translation plugin. 
  • Top 7 translation/multilingual plugins for WordPress sites. 

To help e-commerce companies make smarter investments.

What is a translation/multilingual plugin?

A translation plugin, also known as a multilingual plugin, is used to make website content available in more than one language. It includes elements on your web pages, such as titles, buttons, and content. Machine, human labor, or both can be used to translate a website.

3 reasons to use a translation/multilingual plugin on your website

1. Expand customer base

Approximately 60% 2 of the content on the Internet is in English. Although English is the most commonly used content language on websites, only 26% of internet users are native English speakers (see Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Most common languages used on the internet

Around 26% of internet users worldwide are native English speakers.
Source: Wikipedia

It is critical to include multiple languages in order to reach new customers in new countries. If you can’t decide which languages to prioritize for your website, you can use web analytics tools to understand which ones will benefit you the most. The below image shows which countries sent the most traffic to AIMultiple for August (see Figure 2). You can analyze your website’s traffic regularly and identify the top countries that send the most traffic to your website. Assume your website’s primary language is English, and Germany is the second most important country sending traffic to your website. Making your website available in Germany will help you educate potential customers about your offerings. 

Figure 2:  aimultiple.com pageviews by countries for August

According to Similarweb, the most traffic to AIMultiple sites in August came from India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Source: Similarweb

2. Improve search engine ranking

Making your website available in multiple languages aids search engine bots, also known as crawlers or spiders, in crawling and indexing your web pages. This way, your website will appear for relevant search terms and rank higher on search results.   

However, there is one thing you should keep in mind when translating your website. You must include hreflang tags on your website to assist Google in indexing the most appropriate language version of your page. Hreflang is an HTML attribute that informs search engines such as Google that you have multiple versions of the same page in various languages (see Figure 3). Thus, search engines will be aware that you have created a new page in a different language and will show your audience the correct version of your website.

Figure 3: Explanation of hreflang components

The hreflang tag is an HTML attribute that informs search engines that you have multiple language versions of the same page.

The following are the results for the same search query in two different languages. When you search “IBM,” the search engine, in this case, Google, will display the official website in the United States (see Figure 4). The second image is the French version of the same website (see Figure 5).

Figure 4:  Search result for “IBM official website” query

Figure 5: Country-based language version of IBM website

3. Reduce bounce rate

 Bouncing visitors are those who visit your website and then leave so early without interacting. You can integrate an analytics tool like Google Analytics into your WordPress site to check your bounce rates. According to research, 73% 3of consumers prefer to read product and service reviews in their language. A multilingual website will improve your foreign audience’s user experience by providing localized content and supporting them in their purchasing process.

Selecting the best WordPress translation/multilingual plugin

1. Check which languages the plugin supports

You can check the plugin’s website to see which languages are supported. When deciding which translation plugin is best for you, it is important to consider your current and future needs. Choosing a plugin with a large number of supported languages will benefit you in the long run. 

2. Choose which translation method to use 

There are two methods to expand your website into more languages. These include: 

  1. Machine translation: Google Translate, Microsoft Translator and Amazon Translate are one of the most well-known examples of machine translation. Artificial intelligence is used in machine translation to learn languages and automate translation. The entire translation process is automated, with no human intervention. It makes the translation process fast but less reliable. Because machines are unable to recognize nuances in text, they decontextualize the content. The most common types of machine translations are rule-based, statistical, and neural. You can choose which type of machine translation solution is best for you based on your needs, budget, industry, and amount of data.
  2. Human translation: Human translation involves experienced and professional real translators. They manually translate web pages. Compared to machine translation, you should not expect a faster turnaround or a lower cost with this method. Your content, on the other hand, will be translated more accurately and naturally because all words are converted into another language using 100% human translations.
  3. Hybrid translation: The hybrid translation method combines human and machine translations to improve content accuracy. It is not always efficient to rely solely on machine translation or human translators The ideal solution would be to combine machine and human translation. Although machine translation is faster than human translation, it cannot understand context or cultural nuances. Human translators review and edit the output of machine translation.

3. Determine which content on your website requires translation

You must determine which pages of your website need to be translated. After you’ve identified the web pages you’ll translate, whether the entire website or just a few single web pages, go through them to see what kind of content they contain. Your websites might contain different content, such as blogs, whitepapers, user forums, or product pages.

It will help you decide which translation method is required to translate these pages. For example, it would be right to use human translation or neutral machine translation+human editing for pages that contain customer feedback, reviews, or ratings, such as product pages, to capture the intended meaning.

4. Check the budget available for a translation plugin

There are free and paid WordPress translation plugins. You can determine pricing and version based on your needs. Here are some essential criteria to consider when deciding which pricing plans are best for you: 

  • What will you use the translation plugin for, such as personnel, business, or development? 
  • How many web pages are you planning to translate? 
  • What additional features do you require?

5. Specify additional features based on your needs

Here are a few features to consider when selecting the right translation solution for you and your team:

  • Translated words: The capacity for translated words varies by translation plugin.The total number of words you can translate with a translation plugin is referred to as translated word capacity. URL(s), images, and links are not counted in your word count. A word count tool can help you determine how many words are on your website.
  • Multilingual SEO: Multilingual SEO plugins allow you to translate the meta title and meta description. 
  • Translated URLs: This feature allows you to translate slugs in website URLs. 
  • Projects (websites): The number of websites that can be used with the same translation plugin.
  • Popularity: Product ratings and reviews are the most important factors influencing customer purchasing decisions. Before making a purchase, 77%

Top 7 translation/multilingual plugins for WordPress sites

Figure 6: Comparison of 7 different WordPress translation plugins

We compared the top 7 translation/multilingual WordPress plugins for multiple features and pricing models.

Further reading

If you have further questions about choosing the best WordPress multilingual plugin for your needs, reach out to us:

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Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Gulbahar Karatas
Gülbahar is an AIMultiple industry analyst focused on web data collections and applications of web data.

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