9 Plugins to Create a Multilingual WordPress Website

You’ve worked hard to build your business and you’re making money, but you aren’t satisfied. You’re hungry for growth, and want to reach new audiences. It’s time to expand your market with a multilingual WordPress website.

Transforming your content for speakers of other languages needn’t be complicated. With the right tools, you can build a professional website that will engage a whole new audience.

If you aren’t sure how to optimize your content for the next step in your journey, don’t worry. This post will help you pick the right plugin for your site. You will also discover the best WordPress themes for multilingual sites.

What Should You Look For In A Plugin?

To pick the right multilingual plugin, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions:

1. Does this plugin allow manual translation, automatic translation, or both?

Manual translation, as long as it’s done by a professional translator, ensures that your web pages make sense. This is vital in winning the trust of your site’s visitors. Most people prefer to buy products in their native language, so accurate translation is a sound investment.

Automatic translation is much quicker and less expensive. The downside is that some of your text may not be perfectly translated. Machines are improving all the time, but there is still no substitute for human translation.

Think carefully about your strategy when choosing a plugin. You may wish to compromise by choosing automatic translation for basic pages, and manual translation for more complex content. If so, you will need a plugin that allows you to do both.

2. Does this plugin make it easy to produce SEO-friendly content?

There’s little point in producing a beautiful multilingual site if it won’t be discovered by search engines. Ideally, your plugin should be able to do the following:

  • Add hreflang attributes
  • Translate your URL slugs
  • Produce separate URLs for each translated version of a page
  • Produce automatically-generated internal link rewrites
  • Let you set meta descriptions and titles for translated content

3. Does this plugin have an attractive, easy to use interface?

If you get confused when using a plugin, you aren’t going to get the most from its features. You may also make mistakes in entering your translated content, which will create a poor first impression. Take advantage of free trials if you want to try out a paid version. Make sure all members of your team find it simple to use before committing to a subscription.

4. Does this plugin allow me to translate all of my target content?

Along with posts and pages, you also need to check that your plugin lets you translate page builder content, menu items, taxonomies, plugin strings, custom fields, and any other text integral to the structure of your site. Some plugins operate on a freemium model. You may be able to translate some strings using the free version, but will need to upgrade before you can translate others. This could become costly if you aren’t aware of the limitations.

5. Will this plugin slow down my site?

Your visitors will grow frustrated if your pages are slow to load. Use a speed checking site such as Pingdom to make sure your plugin won’t ruin your visitors’ experience. Check your page’s speed before you install and activate a plugin. After installation, run the test again. If the plugin has a significant impact on the loading speed, replace it with a more lightweight option.


The Best Multilingual WordPress Plugins

1. WPGlobus

multilingual wordpress plugins

The WPGlobus developers have created a plugin that lets you choose which languages are supported on your site. Upon their arrival, visitors will be able to choose their preferred language. WPGlobus is renowned in the WordPress community for being easy to use. It’s also free, which is another key point in its favor.

  • Enable multilingual features of popular plugins, such as All-in-One and Yoast SEO.
  • Quickly switch between administrator interface languages.
  • Set up a menu that allows your site visitors to select their preferred language.
  • Selecting a new language adds a new tab to each Post and Page editor, making it simple to enter content into each.

Note that WPGlobus does not generate automatic translations. You will need to enter translated text yourself. This isn’t necessarily a drawback, because automatic translation often contains errors. Business owners are increasingly coming to value human, rather than machine, translation for better credibility and professionalism.

If you are serious about taking your site to new markets, choose reliable website localization services to help you out. Any mistakes in translation could hurt your reputation, or even cause offense if you are not sensitive to cultural norms and laws.

2. Polylang

Polylang plugin logo

Polylang appears more complex than WPGlobus at first glance. You need to make new copies of your posts and pages, rather than just add new additional fields and tabs. However, despite this initial learning curve, most of the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. More than 400,000 people currently use this plugin.

  • Enter translated text manually using the Polylang dashboard, or use automatic translation by integrating it with the Lingotek plugin.
  • This is the most popular plugin of its type, with over 200,000 users.
  • Available in free and pro versions, with the latter allowing you to translate additional types of content such as URL slugs.
  • Translate page builder content, custom fields, site meta information, navigation menus, URLs, and widget text.
  • Organize the translated versions of your web pages by sub-domains, domains, or sub-directories.
  • Designed to have minimal impact on your site’s performance, requiring little memory to run.

Although the basic version is free, the developer only supports those who upgrade to the pro version.


WPML plugin user dashboard view

WPML is trusted by thousands of multilingual site owners. It’s designed to be a complete solution for constructing a website, and has been tested to ensure compatibility with the most popular themes and plugins.

  • Translate every element of your website.
  • Arrange translated text using sub-domains or sub-directories.
  • Assign translation jobs to WordPress users, and manage tasks from the user control panel.
  • Designed to complement the WooCommerce plugin, allowing e-commerce customers to shop in a localized store.
  • Highlight strings that need translating on your site, so you can identify and check them quickly.

WPML is not available as a free version, but their packages start from just $29. Its well-rounded collection of features and compatibility with other plugins and themes has earned it a well-deserved reputation as an all-in-one solution.

4. TranslatePress

TranslatePress plugin user interface view

TranslatePress automatically translates your entire WordPress site via a simple interface. You do not have to wait until your translations are done before viewing the end result; the work is done in real-time.

  • Designed for ease of use – you can translate your site from the front-end.
  • See a live preview of your site during and after translation.
  • Compatible with all WordPress plugins and themes.
  • Choose Google Translate, enter manual translation, or both.
  • The plugin works immediately with WooCommerce, translating your store to the language of your choice.
  • Select strings to be translated from a simple drop-down menu.

TranslatePress is free. However, you can also elect to buy premium add-ons to enhance functionality. These include an SEO pack, and an add-on that allows you to permit WordPress users who do not have admin rights to translate your content.

5. GTranslate

GTranslate plugin slogan and concept diagram

GTranslate uses Google Translate to generate automatically translated versions of your website. It is available in free and paid versions. With a paid subscription, you can create mirrored versions of your website in multiple languages. This allows pages to load faster, enhancing your visitors’ experience.

  • Visitors can choose their desired language using a simple drop-down menu.
  • The plugin’s JavaScript engine then creates a new version of your page.
  • The free plugin uses statistical machine translation.
  • Paid versions rely on Google neural machine translations.
  • When using the paid version, you can edit the translation manually.
  • 103 languages are supported.

Note that only the paid version, which starts at $5.99 per month depending on your chosen subscription, is SEO-friendly. The free plugin does not generate a new or stored copy of translated content, and it does not change your website’s address.

6. Weglot

Weglot plugin user interface during translation

Weglot automatically scans your site for content, and translates it into your preferred language. You can then use the dashboard to manually adjust the output, or locate professional translators.

  • Compatible with every plugin and theme.
  • Designed for SEO compatibility; Weglot generates translated text that is in line with Google’s recommendations for multilingual websites.
  • Over 60 languages are supported.
  • Weglot automatically detects and translates all strings.
  • You have two choices when editing a translation – either view the original and new text side-by-side, or view a list of strings on the live site.

Weglot relies on subdirectories to generate a new crawlable version of your website every time it translates it. Unlike Polylang and WPML, you cannot organize translations by sub-domain.

Weglot is free if you need to translate up to 2,000 words. If this doesn’t meet your needs, you will need to purchase a premium plan, starting from $9.90 per month. The amount you pay depends on how many views you get every month, and how many words you want to translate.

7. Babble

Babble plugin showing texts side by side

Babble is a free, open-source, easy to use plugin that lets you view original text and a translated version side by side. This makes editing fast. You can use Babble to translate your site into as many languages as you like.

  • Shown to perform 20% faster than other market-leading multilingual plugins
  • Babble is suitable for manual and self-translation only; it does not generate machine translations
  • When you have prepared your translations, place a language sidebar on your site to let visitors configure their preferred settings
  • If you are working with a team, you don’t have to worry about training them in any new technology; Babble slots into your existing workflow

8. Multilingual Press

Multilingual Press plugin statistics

If you want to create several versions of the same site translated into multiple languages, Multilingual Press could be the best plugin for you. It allows you to link all your websites together, and manage each translation from a single dashboard.

The plugin lets you create a copy of an entire site, and edit every translation of a post at the same time. This saves you a lot of time, because you don’t need to move between sites. On the other hand, if you want to make a significant change to one website, you must configure the others accordingly.

  • Easily view all translations for any page or post.
  • The plugin generates lists of all translations on every page for ease of reference.
  • It is compatible with popular SEO plugins, including Yoast SEO and All-in-One SEO Pack.
  • You can use it with the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin too, allowing you to create multiple sites over multiple domains.
  • Compatible with WooCommerce, meaning you can create duplicate versions of your online store in different languages.
  • If decide that you no longer want to use the plugin, you can easily export your data elsewhere.

The plugin is still available for free, but it isn’t compatible with the latest version of WordPress, and is therefore not recommended.

Choosing the Best WordPress Theme for Your Multilingual Site

Your choice of WordPress theme is also important if you are creating a multilingual site. When choosing a theme, you need to consider how best to translate your content, and verify that the theme will be compatible with your proposed solution.

Here are two options:

1. Imperion – Multipurpose Corporate WordPress Theme

Preview of TemplateMonster Imperion theme

Demo | Download | Hosting

Imperion is a flexible theme with a drag-and-drop interface. It comes with several different skins that you can choose from to suit your business. For example, the Digital Skin is perfect if you want to tell the world about your digital products.

The Imperion Shop Skin makes it easy to start an e-commerce store. WooCommerce and social share buttons are included, ensuring an engaging shopping experience.

Imperion comes with lots of plugins to tailor your site to your exact needs. You can let your customers know about the products and services you offer, notify them of upcoming events, help them search your website, and much more.

Finally, Imperion is fully WPML ready, so you can feel confident in expanding your online presence to new countries. The intuitive page builder means you can add manually translated text wherever you like, and edit it any time. Combining WooCommerce and WPML gives you the power to sell to customers in any language.

2. JohnnyGo

Preview of TemplateMonster JohnnyGo theme

Demo | Download | Hosting

Do you run a service business? The JohnnyGo theme tells your prospective customers exactly what you can do for them with its clean, attractive layout. To prove your skill and engage your visitors, you can build a page taking them step by step through your most recent project. If you sell products too, you can add an e-commerce store.

If you provide services in a multilingual area, you can provide content in more than one language by adding TranslatePress, Weglot, or another compatible plugin.

With the Right Tools, You’ll Soon Build a New Audience

Whatever your industry or website structure, you’ll be able to cater to any audience with the help of these plugins and themes. Whether you want to maintain a single site with multiple translations or create a network of websites in various languages, it’s easier than ever to get the results you need.

Have you ever built a multilingual website? If so, what plugins or themes did you use?

Wordpress plugins

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Posting contributed articles about the major web design highlights and novelties. Come across a handful of useful tutorials and guides shared by experts in the web design and online marketing fields.

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