Website translation

Comparative Analysis: Best Free and Paid WordPress Translation Plugins of 2024

Comparative Analysis: Best Free and Paid WordPress Translation Plugins of 2024
Merve Alsan
Written by
Merve Alsan
Merve Alsan
Written by
Merve Alsan
Reviewed
Merve Alsan
Reviewed by
Updated on
October 23, 2023

Using a website translation plugin can make the cumbersome task of translating a website faster and more manageable compared to professional translation services. However, not all multilingual plugins are created equal. Each comes with its unique capabilities, pros, and cons, in terms of translation quality, SEO compatibility, customization, pricing, and CMS suitability. 

In this article, we'll give you a comprehensive review of several noteworthy WordPress plugins, including Weglot, GTranslate, Polylang Pro, and MultilingualPress - outlining their key features, advantages, and potential limitations to help you make an informed decision.

But there are a few things you should know before you choose a plugin: 

  • Plugin translations might not be completely perfect. Lots of plugins rely on machine translations alone, which is why they’re so fast. But you might want to tweak some wording, edit translated sentences, or adapt translations to match your brand’s tone.
  • You may not get the control you need over your site. You might want manual, human translation on a few essential pages to perfect your brand’s messaging. Many plugins don’t offer this much control or customization.
  • They may not be doing anything to help with SEO. Plenty of website translation plugins stick to translating your site’s copy, but they don’t help you with SEO. They don’t help translate metadata, tags, alt tags, categories, or URLs, and they don’t create subdirectories or subdomains for all the translated versions of your site. Your translated site won’t rank for its translated keywords in Google without those SEO features.
  • It may not work with your site. Plenty of the plugins available online are for WordPress only. And while 43% of all websites are hosted on WordPress, you may need a multilingual plugin that works with a different content management system (CMS). If that’s the case, your list of options becomes shorter.

We know about these headaches firsthand. At Weglot, we’ve helped over 70,000 websites translate their content into 100s of different languages.

To help you save time, we’ll outline which features you should be looking for in a plugin, and then we will list 4 of the best WordPress multilingual plugins available. 

Try Weglot for free

5 Things You Need From Your Multilingual  Plugin

Before we review any specific translation plugins, we want to cover which features will benefit you most when translating your site. 

Here are the 5 things you’ll need from your translation plugin:

  • Automation, meaning you can translate your site quickly without manually going through every word. But this automated translation—also known as machine translation—also needs to be reliable. And that brings us onto…
  • Accuracy, because bad translations of key pages will cost you customers. Machine translation can’t always be 100% perfect, which is why you need a website translation plugin that lets you edit the copy and choose your translation quality. 
  • Customization, so you can display different language choice options on your site in the way you want. And so you can choose which pages or sections you don’t want to translate. The best translation plugins give you control over the user experience. 
  • SEO features, allowing you to translate your metadata and on-page SEO elements, as well as letting you create a subdirectory/subdomain for each translated website version.
  • Affordability and scalability, so you don’t end up paying extortionate prices for a single site. And if you’re running an ecommerce site with hundreds of product pages and categories, you don’t want to be paying per page. 

With these 5 things in mind, let’s look at some of the best website translation plugins around right now. We’ll start with our own, Weglot.

1. Weglot: The Website Translation Plugin That Works for Any Site

Weglot stands out as a versatile website translation solution, integrating seamlessly with platforms ranging from WordPress and Shopify to Squarespace and WooCommerce—and even with bespoke site developments. Here's a glimpse of what you get with Weglot:

  • Speedy translation: With Weglot's automatic machine translation, you can have your website speaking over 110 languages in mere minutes. This rapid translation process is made possible through Weglot's integration with multiple translation providers, including DeepL, Google Translate, and Microsoft Translator. This means that your content can be translated swiftly and eliminates the need for time-consuming manual translations.
  • Full website translation: It’s not just the words on your website that get translated, from media translation to URL slugs, translate everything in minutes, no matter whether the content is coming from a 3rd-party plugin or is simply not “visible” to website visitors (e.g. metadata).
  • Full control over translations: Whether you want to invite your own translation team or tap into Weglot’s network of professional translators, it’s all managed within our intuitive dashboard. You can review, edit, and refine translations to ensure they perfectly align with your brand's tone and messaging. This blend of automated and human translation options empowers you to create a localized customer experience that resonates with your target audience.
  • SEO-ready multilingual content: Weglot ensures that each translated version of your site gets a custom URL, enhancing the visibility of your content in search results across different languages. Additionally, it takes care of translating critical metadata, including titles, descriptions, and keywords, optimizing your site for search engines worldwide. This attention to SEO details ensures that your website ranks well in multiple languages, attracting organic traffic and increasing your global online presence.
  • Automated workflow: Put your translation process on autopilot with Weglot's automated workflow. Weglot's system is designed to detect and translate any new content or updates to your site automatically. This means that as you make changes to your original content, your translated versions are kept up-to-date in real-time. This automated approach ensures a consistent multilingual experience for your users and saves you valuable time and effort that would otherwise be spent on manual updates. It's a seamless and hassle-free solution for maintaining a dynamic and engaging localized customer journey.

Weglot's broad compatibility with various platforms and user-friendly interface make it a versatile choice for anyone aiming to make their website accessible to a global audience without getting bogged down in complex translation management.

The starting price for Weglot's comprehensive translation features begins at €15/month, making it a competitive choice for businesses aiming for a global digital footprint. You can also test Weglot’s translation capabilities on your website by signing up for a 10-day free trial (commitment free).

2. Polylang

Polylang plugin

Polylang is another popular WordPress translation plugin, with over 700,000 users who have transformed their sites into multilingual masterpieces.

Here's a snapshot of what Polylang brings to the table:

  • Broad translation range: Polylang isn't just about translating posts and pages. Delve into custom post types, taxonomies, widgets, navigation menus, URLs, and more, ensuring comprehensive content localization.
  • Efficiency meets simplicity: The Polylang dashboard fits seamlessly into the WordPress admin interface. With features like content duplication across languages, you can streamline your translation workflow.
  • Optimized performance: With no reliance on extra tables or shortcode evaluation, Polylang's lean design harnesses WordPress’ core features, ensuring your website's speed remains unhampered.

Polylang also has a diverse range of products to fit your needs, with prices starting from €99 a year.

Key takeaway: If your website resides on WordPress and you're on the hunt for a comprehensive translation solution, Polylang offers a range of products tailored to fit your needs. Note, however, that its scope is limited to WordPress, so those on other CMS platforms might need to look elsewhere.

3. WPML

WPML homepage

WPML, short for WordPress Multilingual Plugin, is a dynamic tool designed to transform WordPress websites into global platforms through it content translation experience.

A snapshot of WPML's offerings:

  • Multifaceted translation: Beyond traditional posts and pages, WPML covers custom post types, widgets, menus, and even admin site texts. This broad translation range ensures every corner of your website speaks to a global audience.
  • Compatibility: WPML has universal compatibility. Any theme, plugin, or page builder that utilizes the WordPress API will run multilingual with WPML. 
  • Ecommerce integration: For online businesses, WPML offers an integration with WooCommerce, facilitating multilingual and multicurrency ecommerce sites. This ensures a fully localized shopping experience, from browsing to checkout.
  • Effective SEO tools: In the era of search engine importance, WPML offers tools for optimizing multilingual SEO. Features include customizable URLs, translation of SEO meta information, and compatibility with top-tier SEO plugins.

WPML adopts a unique credit-based pricing system which, while offering flexibility, can become costly depending on the translation method chosen. This model might be less predictable for those who prefer fixed costs.

As WPML is crafted exclusively for WordPress, if you're using or considering a different CMS in the future, WPML won't be the tool for you.

Key takeaway: WPML is a suitable option for WordPress users seeking comprehensive multilingual solutions, especially those with ecommerce needs. However, its specific pricing model may not suit everyone, particularly those who desire predictable costs or those not on the WordPress platform.

Similar to Polylang, WooCommerce platform users can also use the WPML plugin. 

4. GTranslate

GTranslate WordPress plugin

GTranslate offers a straightforward translation solution powered by Google Translate. Harnessing cloud-based services, it enables quick translation processes for new content, building upon previously translated materials.

  • Comprehensive SEO strategy: With a foundation in multilingual SEO, GTranslate provides unique URLs for each language, strengthening the SEO strategy. The Search Engine Indexing feature ensures major search engines can easily index translated pages. Additionally, the URL Translation feature localizes your site right down to the URLs.
  • Instant machine translation: Upon installation, GTranslate immediately uses machine translation tools like Google and Bing. This ensures timely translation with a certain level of quality tied to these brands.
  • Detailed translation editing: While machine translation provides speed, GTranslate recognizes the need for precision. The inline editor allows users to make manual adjustments to translations, ensuring the final content aligns with their desired message.

GTranslate offers plans starting from $9.99 per month. While a free version exists, comprehensive automatic translation capabilities are reserved for their paid tiers.

Key takeaway: GTranslate provides a functional solution for HTML and WordPress users, blending SEO tools, machine translation, and user analytics. For businesses seeking a deep cultural translation, the manual editing feature might require a closer look.

5. MultilingualPress

MultilingualPress

Developed by Inpsyde, MultilingualPress presents a different take on website translations, emphasizing individual site management per language. This unique approach harnesses WordPress's native multisite capabilities, promising better performance without compromising on user experience.

A snapshot of MultilingualPress's offerings:

  • Multisite-based translations: MultilingualPress operates on the WordPress multisite network, enabling each language to run on a separate site. This not only optimizes performance but also provides individualized settings for each language site, including design and functional variations.
  • Seamless content management: Users can easily manage and synchronize various WordPress and WooCommerce content types, from posts to products, all through a simplified interface. The system allows for effortless content translations across the multisite network.
  • Enhanced user experience: Features like an inbuilt language switcher, automatic language redirection, and domain-specific language allocations provide visitors with a streamlined and intuitive browsing experience.
  • Optimized SEO performance: MultilingualPress is designed with search engines in mind. By focusing on site performance, it ensures higher search ranking potential. The plugin is also compatible with the popular Yoast SEO Plugin and gives users control over URLs and permalinks for a better SEO strategy.

MultilingualPress is priced from $99 per year for a single multisite license.

Key takeaway: MultilingualPress leverages WordPress multisite for performance and flexibility. It's a viable solution for those who want to manage each language version distinctly. However, its unique approach and pricing might not fit everyone's needs and budget.

6. Multilanguage 

Multilanguage

The Multilanguage plugin by BestWebSoft delivers a robust solution for translating your WordPress site into multiple languages. Designed with user experience in mind, it allows visitors to effortlessly switch between languages and view content tailored to their linguistic preferences. 

Here's an overview of some of the key features:

  • Extensive translation capabilities: Manually translate pages, posts, post category names, and even certain parts of menus. With the pro version, delve deeper into translations of custom post types, taxonomies, fields, and other website elements like widget titles and website taglines.
  • Multiple language switcher options: Enhance user experience with diverse language switcher layouts. Whether you prefer drop-down lists with languages and icons, flag icons, or just plain language lists, Multilanguage provides an option that will seamlessly integrate into your site's design.
  • Integration with popular tools and editors: Multilanguage is designed to work with a range of popular tools, including Classic Editor, Gutenberg (Block Editor), Elementor Page Builder, Advanced Custom Fields, and even the renowned Yoast SEO. 
  • Pro Features and advanced customizations: The premium version offers advanced functionalities such as translating post slugs, creating separate menus for different languages, and auto-detecting the user's IP to switch languages. 

Pricing for this plugin starts from $43, which is billed annually.

Key takeaway: The Multilanguage plugin by BestWebSoft offers comprehensive translation solutions for WordPress sites, with features ranging from manual translations to diverse language switcher layouts. However, some advanced features are Pro-exclusive, and there may be compatibility limitations.

7. Loco Translate

Loco Translate

Loco Translate offers a unique take on the WordPress translation process, focusing on in-browser editing of translation files. Instead of just translating content for the end-users, it primarily aims at helping developers translate their WordPress themes and plugins from within the dashboard.

Here's a snapshot of Loco Translate's offerings:

  • In-browser translation editor: Loco Translate includes a built-in translation editor within the WordPress admin. This not only simplifies the translation process but also provides immediate access and edits to translation files.
  • Integration with multiple translation APIs: The plugin supports various automatic translation services, integrating with popular ones like DeepL, Google, Microsoft, and Lecto AI. This enables fast translations.
  • Advanced development tools: For developers aiming to make their themes and plugins translation-ready, Loco offers tools like extraction of translatable strings from source code, native MO file compilation, and support for features like comments, references, and plural forms.
  • User-friendly interface: Loco Translate's design mirrors popular translation tools, with two columns – one for original strings and another for the translation. This simplifies the task and makes it familiar for those who have used translation tools before.

As for pricing, while there is a free version available, Loco Pro plans start at $5.95 per month.

Key takeaway: Loco Translate distinguishes itself by focusing on translating WordPress themes and plugins directly within the dashboard. It's especially suitable for developers wanting to make their creations accessible to a global audience. There’s a free version available, but for enhanced features, one might consider the Pro plans.

8. TranslatePress

TranslatePress

TranslatePress is a WordPress translation plugin that differentiates itself by allowing users to translate directly from the front-end of their site, ensuring full compatibility with WooCommerce, complex themes, and various site builders. It provides automatic and manual translations, appealing both to developers and casual users.

A closer look at its features and offerings:

  • Visual front-end translation: TranslatePress allows you to translate your WordPress site by letting you work directly from the front-end. 
  • Automatic translation: The plugin provides integrations with Google Translate and DeepL, note that you'll need to generate and purchase your own API keys at an additional cost. This gives you a head start, after which you can edit translations manually.
  • SEO optimization: TranslatePress supports translation of page slugs, titles, descriptions, and social graph information. Moreover, it ensures proper setting of the HTML lang attribute and offers multilingual sitemap support for popular SEO plugins.
  • Editorial control and image translation: You can keep your translations unpublished until they're ready, ensuring quality control. Additionally, the plugin allows direct translation of images, enabling different images for different languages, further enhancing user experience.

In terms of pricing and packages, there are 3 main pricing tiers: Personal, Business, and Developer. The cost of these packages ranges from €7.99 to €22.99, billed per month.

Key takeaway: TranslatePress offers an option for those looking to make their WordPress site multilingual, with a front-end translation approach and a mix of automatic and manual translation features. Its tiered pricing structure provides flexibility for various user needs, but its differentiation isn't without its drawbacks, and some users might find more comprehensive solutions more compatible to their needs.

Which Plugin Should You Choose?

Choosing the right translation plugin for your WordPress site is crucial for reaching a wider global audience effectively. There are several key elements to consider when evaluating your options:

  • Compatibility: Ensure that the plugin seamlessly integrates with your platform or any other tools you're utilizing.
  • Ease of use: The ideal plugin should not only be powerful but also user-friendly, minimizing the learning curve and letting you focus on your content.
  • Performance optimization: Speed and efficiency can impact user experience. Opt for plugins that don't weigh down your site's loading times.
  • SEO capabilities: With the goal to reach a global audience, having SEO-ready translated content is paramount. Look for plugins that support meta-data translation and generate SEO-friendly URLs.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, your translation needs might change. It's essential to select a plugin that can evolve with you, be it in terms of languages offered or volume of content.

While the best plugin will depend on individual needs and specific contexts, Weglot offers a comprehensive approach to website translation, making it a strong contender for businesses aiming for an impactful global digital footprint. Always ensure that your chosen solution aligns with your goals and offers the best balance between functionality, usability, and cost.

How to Make Your Website Multilingual With Weglot

Here’s how you can translate your website using Weglot in just three steps. 

FYI: For this guide, we’ll walk you through how to use Weglot with WordPress. While the process is slightly different with other CMS platforms, this gives you an overview of how easy it is to translate your site with Weglot. It’s always super simple, regardless of your CMS.

Step 1: Add the Weglot WordPress Plugin to Your Site

First, you go to “Add Plugins” and type in Weglot. We’re the first plugin that pops up.

Add Weglot plugin to your WordPress website

After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll see a Weglot tab added to your sidebar.

Step 2: Set Up Your Weglot Account

When you click on the Weglot tab in your WordPress dashboard, you get taken to the main configuration screen.

Add API key to your WordPress dashboard

Here you need to input your API key, which we give you when you set up a Weglot account and select the plan you want. We have a free plan for smaller projects and paid plans for larger projects.

Step 3: Pick Your Languages

Finally, you go back to WordPress, put in your API Key from Weglot, select your site’s original language, and what languages you want to add to your site. We have over 110 different languages for you to choose from, as well as custom languages. 

Once you pick your languages, you instantly have a multilingual website on your hands!

When you go to your site, you’ll see a language switcher button where your users can toggle through their language choices.

Weglot language switcher

It’s that simple and fast to translate your entire site with Weglot.

But as we mentioned above, you might want more advanced features that let you manually edit your translations (or get help from professional translators), optimize your site for SEO in different languages, and customize how your site looks.

You can do all of those things with Weglot. Keep reading to learn more.

How to ‍Manually Edit Your Translations 

Perhaps some parts of your translated pages need tweaking, or there’s some specific phrasing you need to use for your brand. 

With Weglot, it’s fast and simple to make manual edits to your translations. 

You can access all translations from your Weglot Dashboard:

Translation list

You can filter through your content by selecting a specific URL or by typing in a phrase you want to find. Then, you can make any edits as necessary to your translation. When you make an edit, it gets automatically saved on your site.

Find translations

You can also use our Visual Editor. This gives you a look at your live site. You can click anywhere there’s translated copy and manually edit the translation. Once you click “OK” the translation is saved.

Visual Editor

And if you want a professional translator to do the translations, you can order that service through Weglot.

How to Customize How Your Site Looks 

With Weglot, you can customize where your language button is displayed and how it looks, and you can also pick which (if any) pages you want to exclude from your translations.

Let’s look at how you do this in WordPress.

On the Weglot tab in your WordPress account, you can select how your language switcher will look. This includes picking whether or not it’ll be a drop-down box, whether or not you’ll use flags, and more.

Language button design

You can pick where on your site you want your language button—in the menu, as a widget, or somewhere else.

Back in your Weglot account, you can also exclude which parts of your website get translated, even being as granular as excluding blocks on a page.

Translation exclusions

And finally, you can engage “Auto Switch.” This means your site will automatically redirect visitors based on their browser language. 

For example, if your site is normally in English, with Spanish and German versions, someone coming to your site from a German browser will automatically get the German version of your site. This way, there’s no risk of them bouncing off your site, thinking that it’s only in English.

How to Translate Your Site With SEO in Mind

With SEO in mind, one of the most important aspects of translation is making sure your translated website will rank in the search engines for the right keywords. 

Here’s an example of the benefits of this from one of our customers. The French-Swedish sportswear brand, Ron Dorff, wanted to have its ecommerce site available in multiple languages. It was important they reach a larger audience with their translated content, and that meant making sure their site was optimized correctly in each of its translated versions. 

This is incredibly simple for Weglot users because we follow Google’s own best practices for multilingual SEO, including:

  • Automatically creating a unique URL for each translated site (known as a subdirectory or subdomain).
  • Automatically adding hreflang tags in your source code lets Google know you have translated versions of your website. For example, if Google crawls your English site, it’ll see in the code if you have other translated versions of your site available.
  • Automatically translating your site’s SEO tags and SEO metadata. 

All of this helps your translated sites show up on Google for the right audience.

For Ron Dorff, that means when a French-speaking visitor googles “Ron Dorff Dad t-shirt”, they get directed to Ron Dorff’s French site, while an English-speaking inquiry will direct them to the English site. 

Since translating their ecommerce with Weglot, Ron Dorff has seen a 400% increase in sales, with 70% of those orders coming in internationally.

Video Guides for Getting Started With Weglot

Below, we have quick tutorials that show how easy it is to set up Weglot to translate your website. 

Here’s a video on how you can translate any website with Weglot. 

For more specific instructions, e.g., translating your WordPress website, click the video that fits your needs:

A Brief Video on How to Translate Your WordPress Site 

A Brief Video on How to Translate Your WooCommerce Store

A Brief Video on How to Translate Your Shopify Store

A Brief Video on How to Translate Your Wix Store

A Brief Video on How to Translate Your Squarespace Website

How to Translate Your Webflow Website

Note: These are not the only tools you can use with Weglot. Here’s a video on how you can translate any website with Weglot. 

Next Steps: Translate Your Website With Weglot’s Free Trial

Weglot is an easy to use website translation software that works with any site. You can use it as a plugin with your WordPress site, or add it to any CMS or site that you’re developing.

Regardless of the kind of website you operate, be it a personal blog or an ecommerce site, a competent translation plugin like Weglot can provide multi-language content, make front-end translations, and cater to live previews. It brings the world to your doorstep, attracting a global audience and propelling your search engine rankings. 

Are you ready to start translating your website today? Weglot is completely free for websites that need a single translation with less than 2,000 words, and paid plans start from €‎15 a month. For websites with a larger word count, you can choose a plan that fits your needs. Start your 10-day free trial today.

Weglot is the website translation industry leader on G2
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