Website translation

The Best WPML Substitute: Weglot vs WPML

The Best WPML Substitute: Weglot vs WPML
Merve Alsan
Written by
Merve Alsan
Merve Alsan
Written by
Merve Alsan
Merve Alsan
Reviewed by
Updated on
March 26, 2024

Full disclosure: This blog post is part of a series of articles aiming to help users get the most out of the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML). By giving a realistic and neutral analysis, we hope to help our readers see for themselves whether WPML is the best tool for their website or whether an alternative solution like Weglot would be more suitable.  

When you’re creating a multilingual WordPress website, you need a very reliable translation tool. And while having many translation plugins available is technically a good thing, it can also make it difficult to make the right choice.

In this article, we’ll go deep into two of the most popular translation plugins – the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML) and Weglot. We’ll go into their pros and cons and compare their most important features.

By the end, you’ll have a good idea of how these plugins might fit into the future of your website and how to choose the best possible option for your business.

Exploring WPML: Benefits and Drawbacks

WPML homepage - WPML alternative
WordPress Multilingual Plugin homepage

WPML is a plugin that helps WordPress users manage the automatic or manual translation of website content into 65 languages.

WPML presents several features that make it a reliable translation tool:

  • Automatic machine translation capabilities that help speed up the translation process.
  • Multilingual SEO to ensure that the translated content reaches desired international audiences effectively via search engines.
  • String translation that enables the translation of text originating from other plugin sources or the WordPress admin zone.
  • Translation management dashboard, which supports efficient oversight of translations and translators.

Sounds great, right? However, WPML isn’t without its downsides. For example, to unlock its full potential, you need to use multiple separate plugins, which could potentially complicate the setup process and lead to issues of compatibility.

Another aspect that might not sit well with some users is the cost associated with machine translations, which are dictated by the purchase of credits (we’ll go into more detail on that later). This could inflate the overall expenses for sites with substantial content translation needs.

Finally, although WPML offers an option for automatic translation, it's not as smooth sailing as it initially might seem. You need to manually set it for every page and post unless the "Translate Everything Automatically" mode is activated. A challenge like this can put some users off, especially those who manage websites with a large amount of pages and data to translate.

While WPML offers a powerful and comprehensive translation solution, it might not fit the bill for everyone due to its inherent complexities and cost factors. This is why it’s also important to explore alternatives like Weglot that are receptive to these challenges.

Weglot makes the process of creating a multilingual website easy, even for non-tech users. Its intuitive, user-friendly interface and impressive language support make it a worthy competitor to WPML.

Diving Deeper: Weglot vs. WPML

Understanding the differences between Weglot and WPML is crucial to picking the solution that will suit you best. While both plugins perform the primary task of serving multilingual websites, they differ significantly in terms of usability, translation scope, SEO capabilities, and pricing strategies.

Let’s take a look.

Table comparing the features of Weglot and WPML - WPML alternative

Ease of Use

Arguably, one of the most significant factors when selecting a translation plugin is its ease of use. An intuitive and streamlined setup can make all the difference in the efficiency and smoothness of your website translation process.


Weglot has been designed to automate every stage of the translation workflow and is designed for simplicity.

A great example of this simplicity is the setup process:

  1. Users have to register for a Weglot account to get an API key (it only takes two minutes).
Setting up Weglot on your WordPress website - WPML alternative
The API key for WordPress in the Weglot account
  1. This key is then pasted into the Weglot plugin within the WordPress platform.
Copy-pasting the API key and choosing the original language of your website - WPML alternative
Weglot main configuration in WordPress and API key field
  1. Upon successful connection of the API key and the installation of the plugin, Weglot takes over and automatically translates all website content.
Your WordPress website is now multilingual - WPML alternative
Pop-up message in Weglot to announce the website is now multilingual

Alongside simple setup, managing translations with Weglot is also straightforward. All translations are centrally housed in the Weglot dashboard, where users can collaborate with team members and even engage professional translators.

List of languages your website is translated into on the Weglot Dashboard - WPML alternative
Weglot translation list dashboard

Moreover, the Weglot translation glossary allows users to add specific terms or phrases, ensuring uniformity in translations and saving time on repetitive edits.

Weglot glossary - WPML alternative
Weglot translation glossary

The straightforward setup, management, and overall operation mean that even those without any technical knowledge can effectively navigate the platform.

And if you have any questions about the plugin, the friendly and knowledgeable support team is always there to help, as has been noted by the many positive reviews on the WordPress directory and Trustpilot.

Weglot on Trustpilot
The Weglot plugin on the WordPress directory


If you want to get the best out of WPML, you’ll need three separate plugins:

  • WPML Multilingual CMS: The core plugin that allows you to translate posts, pages, custom post types, and taxonomies.
  • WPML String Translation: Enables the translation of user interface texts that your themes, plugins, and other WordPress functions generate.
  • WPML Media Translation: Allows the use of different media files for different languages. This plugin is included in the Multilingual CMS and Agency pricing tiers.

The plugins are not available in the WordPress plugin search, so in order to complete the installation, you need to purchase them from the WPML website and then upload the .zip files to WordPress.

Add plugin to WordPress - WPML alternative
Uploading a plugin .zip file to WordPress

One important detail to remember is that for effective operation, WPML requires your theme and plugins to be compatible with it. Incompatibility might lead to scenarios where a percentage of your content remains untranslated. For example, texts generated by a non-compatible theme or plugin might be left untranslated or be challenging to locate and translate.

When you get started with WPML, you have two main choices for translation – “Translate Everything Automatically” or “Translate What You Choose”.

Setting up WPML on your WordPress website - WPML alternative
WPML translation modes

Keep in mind that the automatic translation feature only works for posts, pages, and custom post types – you can’t use it for content from the WPML string translation feature. Other than that, depending on your plan, you get a certain quota for automatic translation, and once you go over it, you have to pay extra for the words you need to translate.

The manual translation mode includes selecting all the items, such as posts, pages, and custom post types, on your site that you need to be translated. Then, the selected content is transferred to a dashboard where you can manage each translation, either manually or using WPML's automatic translation function. Translations can be batch-processed or delegated to a translation service, in-house teams, or freelance translators.

Another aspect to bear in mind is WPML's task-specific interface organization. For instance, page/post translations and string translations have their unique interfaces, requiring users to switch between different UIs based on their tasks.


  • Setup efficiency: While WPML offers comprehensive functionality, it involves the setup of three different plugins and requires a thorough check on theme and plugin compatibility. On the contrary, Weglot simplifies this through a single account setup and an uncomplicated WordPress plugin installation. Weglot is also fully compatible with every plugin and WordPress theme, while WPML only works with WPML-ready themes and plugins.
  • User interface and experience: WPML presents a multi-interface layout based on different translation tasks, making navigation slightly challenging for new users. Weglot, on the other hand, presents a sleek, user-friendly, single-interface layout, making navigation easy and intuitive.
  • Translation automation: Although WPML offers full-site automatic translation, it is dependent on manual selection and has a more complex setup. In contrast, Weglot’s fully automated approach offers a more straightforward user experience.

Translation Capabilities

Understanding the translation capabilities of a plugin is essential in making an informed decision. Let's look at the operations of both Weglot and WPML in terms of their translation process.


Weglot takes on a comprehensive and automatic approach when it comes to translation.

Starting with content detection, Weglot thoroughly scans your website to pinpoint all the content to translate, such as posts, pages, menus, ecommerce products, media, widgets, headers, sidebars, popups, and more. This is not a one-off process – every time you add new content, no matter what it is, it will be automatically translated and ready to go.

Additionally, since Weglot is compatible with almost every Content Management System (CMS), including Webflow, Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix, the translated text isn’t restricted to content directly hosted on WordPress. Any content added to your website via external sources, such as lead generation forms, pop-ups, and automated email responses, is also automatically translated.

After the textual content is singled out for translation, Weglot employs the use of three top-tier machine translation providers – DeepL, Google, and Microsoft – to ensure a high standard of translation quality. The way Weglot operates allows it to choose the best provider for your specific language pair dynamically, ensuring maximum accuracy in the translation process.

Weglot automatically stores all the translations in an intuitive, easy-to-navigate central dashboard. This is where you can make human edits, add collaborators to your project, or even order professional human translations.

Weglot Visual Editor - WPML alternative
Example of manually editing a text string in the Weglot Visual Editor

Importantly, Weglot also lets you import and export your translations, ensuring you always have full ownership of your translated content.

Maintaining consistency across your translated text is vital to ensure better localization and maintain brand continuity. Recognizing this, Weglot offers a translation glossary where you can add specific terms, phrases, brand names, and product names that need to be kept consistent across all your translations.


In the content translation process, WPML users can choose their desired items and languages from the WPML translation dashboard within WordPress.

Translating your content through WPML - WPML alternative
WPML translation process

Once selected, these items are added to a “Translation basket”. The Translation basket is like a decluttering tool, bundling all your intended translations together and parking them until you’re ready to start translating, either manually or automatically.

When a translator goes into a page or post for translation, there are two available paths. The first is to do it manually – a method that opens up the text for translation line by line. This method gives maximum control over the translation but takes more time and effort.

The second approach is to implement WPML’s automatic translation feature. Much like Weglot, the automatic mode is fueled by multiple engines: Google, DeepL, and Microsoft.

WPML also provides an option for auto-translating all of a site’s content. Users can flick this switch either during the WPML setup wizard or later, within the plugin's settings. During the setup wizard, users are prompted for their primary language and asked to select additional desired translation languages.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to manually activate the translation of specific components of your site, like custom post types or custom fields. These can be switched on from the WPML Settings page.


Overall, WPML and Weglot offer comparable translation functions for your website. Both excel in automatic full-site translation (though you’ll have to manually request this with WPML), house their translations in a central dashboard, and extend the option for manual editing of individual translations.

Both tools offer granular control, allowing users to edit specific translations when needed. On the other hand, Weglot prefers to reduce manual intervention by using a more automated approach. And, as you’ll have to trigger the automatic translations yourself with WPML, you may risk leaving untranslated content on your website or translated pages that haven’t been updated with new content.

Multilingual SEO Features

The best translation solutions don’t merely enable you to offer your content in multiple languages – they also include multilingual Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features in order to ensure global content visibility. Let’s see how Weglot and WPML handle this.


Weglot's key multilingual SEO features include:

  • Dedicated language URLs for all translated content: Weglot generates unique URLs for each language version of your site and its respective translated content. This is key for helping search engines index and rank your pages correctly in various languages, making your content more accessible to international audiences.
  • Automatic hreflang tag implementation: Weglot automatically adds hreflang tags to your web pages, simplifying the process of informing search engines about the language and geographic targeting of your content. This ensures that the right audience sees the right version of your site.
  • Metadata translation: Metadata, including titles, meta descriptions, and image alt tags, is crucial for SEO. Weglot automatically detects and translates this information, making sure it's accurate and culturally appropriate for your target audience. This helps improve your site's visibility and engagement across different languages.
Filtering text by Meta (SEO) on the Weglot Dashboard - WPML alternative
Weglot metadata translation

By focusing on these features, Weglot streamlines the SEO process for multilingual websites, ensuring that your content is properly indexed and reaches the intended audience without requiring manual SEO adjustments.


Responsive to multilingual SEO requirements, WPML offers a suite of features:

  • The flexibility to customize your translated content's URLs, arranging the data by TLDs, subdomains, and subfolders.
  • Thorough translation of SEO metadata like slugs and titles.
  • Automatic implementation of hreflang tags.

Keep in mind that to get a hold of all the WPML SEO features, you’ll need the WPML SEO add-on, as it’s not included in the base tier.


Both Weglot and WPML can be considered equal when it comes to their multilingual SEO features. Both offer essential benefits like hreflang tag implementation, metadata translation, and dedicated language URLs to help users’ multilingual content perform better in global search engine results. However, to access all of WPML’s SEO features, you need the separate WPML SEO add-on, whereas Weglot includes all multilingual SEO features in all plans.


When considering the expansion of your website's global reach through multilingual content, it's essential to compare the pricing plans of leading translation solutions like Weglot and WPML to determine which offers the best value for your specific needs.


Weglot offers a free trial that extends for a period of 10 days, allowing users to determine whether the service will meet their unique needs. This free trial includes base translation capabilities for a single language (including AI translation and media translation) and editing control and provides access to the multilingual glossary. Participants in the trial can also explore multilingual SEO tools and features for redirecting visitors based on their language.

Following the free trial, Weglot offers a range of scalable pricing plans.

Weglot pricing - WPML alternative
Weglot pricing plans

For $17/month, for instance, Weglot users can translate up to 10,000 words in one additional language. This plan is suitable for small businesses with limited translation needs.

As users upgrade to higher-tier plans, they can gain access to premium features such as custom languages tailored to their audience, capabilities to import and export translations, and enhanced customer support services. Weglot's enterprise plans, offering bespoke pricing and features, provide viable solutions for businesses with atypical translation needs.

See Weglot in action with our 2-minute interactive demo for WordPress


WPML, on the other hand, does not offer a free version of their software. Paid plans start at €39/year, which provides access to standard translation controls. To access the plugin’s more advanced features, including automatic translation, you’ll need the “Multilingual CMS” subscription, priced at €99/year.

WPML pricing - WPML alternative
WPML pricing plans

It’s also worth noting that WPML's automatic translations are powered by translation credits. From a practical point of view, these credits are like tokens you exchange for translations. If Microsoft, Google, or DeepL undertakes a translation, the cost translates into these credits.

Upon subscribing to the "Multilingual CMS" plan, users receive 90,000 of these credits for free. Once these are exhausted, users can buy prepaid credits in bulk (40,000 credits for €50 + VAT; 200,000 for €180 + VAT), or adopt the pay-as-you-go pricing structure, which offers lower cost-per-word.

One benefit of WPML’s pricing to bear in mind is that account renewals are 75% of the original price, rewarding long-term adoption of the plugin for your translation needs.


When it comes to pricing, it’s important to remember that the initial purchase cost does not reflect the total potential spend. While, depending on the plan you choose, WPML's initial investment may be lower, the long-term cost can rise depending on your translation needs, subsequent credit purchases, and the number of hours it takes to set it up and maintain it, especially if you’re an agency working with multiple client sites. This means that Weglot, while typically bearing a higher initial cost, can often be a more economical choice as it’s an all-in-one solution that is easy to set up – taking only a few minutes – and requires almost no manual work to maintain a fully translated website.

It's also essential to evaluate the overall value both solutions offer. Weglot’s higher price point comes with a broader feature range across all plans, including automatic content detection, translation, and multilingual SEO tools, without the need for any other plugins. If your project calls for substantial automated translations and a preference for user-friendly design, the ROI of opting for Weglot could significantly outweigh the price difference.

Choosing the Right Translation Solution for Your Multilingual Website

In this article, we've gone through the capabilities of two highly competent translation solutions – Weglot and WPML. Both offer a remarkable suite of features for anyone aiming to create a multilingual website.

Weglot is known for its intuitive and user-friendly interface, streamlined setup process, and automated functions that simplify website translation and localization. Its seamless operation could be particularly beneficial if you're after a swift and straightforward translation process, even with little to no technical expertise.

WPML is also a solid choice, but it requires a lot more manual work to set up and, most importantly, maintain a translated website. This could be very costly in the future, especially if you manage ecommerce stores with a lot of data and other complex site structures.

Remember, the choice between Weglot and WPML should correspond to your individual needs and the specific requirements of your website. Consider your unique multilingual needs as well as the complexities your website entails when making your choice.

If you’re still not ready to make a decision, why not seize the opportunity to explore Weglot's full capabilities without any risk? Sign up for the free trial today and empower yourself to make an educated choice for your multilingual website.

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