It’s a fact that everything is shifting online. As we try to reach more audiences around the world wide web, it is becoming increasingly important to display our websites in different languages.

To achieve this, you will need a multi-language translation tool on your website where other people can easily  connect to you in their own language, no matter what country and nationality they are.

Most people prefer visiting a site in a language they understand, or else they will not be interested. There are plenty of free and premium plugins on WordPress that offer a solution to this problem, but WPML stands apart from the rest. This plugin is well-liked and most experts really recommend this plugin to WordPress users. This article will introduce you to what WPML is and why you should consider this plugin for your websites.

What is WPML?

WordPress Multilingual plugin, also known as WPML was launched in 2007 by OnTheGoSystems. If you have been using WordPress for a long time, you’ve probably heard about this plugin. It is one of the most popular and recommended translation plugins by many WordPress users and experts. As the name suggests, it is a dynamic multilingual plugin that allows your WordPress content to be translated into different languages.

Key Features

WPML is compatible with lots of themes and plugins on WordPress. It supports search engines that are optimized for Multilingual SEO and allows you to have full authority over what URL format you want for subdomains, directories, or parameters.

WPML comes up with 60 pre-configured languages. If a particular language is not included, you can add that language through the WPML’s language editing settings.

Translate Everything now offers users the ability to translate content automatically.

Pros

  • WPML is inexpensive despite the numerous features it offers and is one of the most cost-effective solutions for website translation.
  • Upon purchasing this plugin, expect outstanding support from the developers. It also comes up with frequent updates and bug fixes.
  • Its user interface is user-friendly.
  • This plugin has RTL (Right To Left) support for languages where sentences start from the right side of the page.
  • ‘Translation Management’ is now merged with the core plugin.

Cons

  • WPML barely gets the automated approach to translation. In that case, you must consider what you need to be capable of manually translating key areas on your website. It might be too overwhelming and complex for first-timers.
  • This plugin uses a large database and can be bulkier. If you’re managing large networks or websites, it may cause your website to slow down.

WPML Pricing

WPML costs may vary as it has three different price plans aside from the multiple add-on modules that you can purchase here. It comes up with annual rates. The first one is the “Multilingual Blog” or the basic plan that allows 1 site which costs $39, next is the “Multilingual CMS” which is the popular option as it includes everything from the Multilingual Blog and can translate WooCommerce websites and supports 3 sites which costs $99 and lastly, the “Multilingual Agency” that comes up with unlimited websites that you can register plus, everything from the CMS package is included and costs $199

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All packages also unlock support for custom fields, WooCommerce, and page builders. It also unlocks translating widgets, translating texts in theme and plugins admin, manages attachments in different languages, and lets you assign translation work through multi-user translation management.

There is no limit to the number of words you can translate, however additional costs may occur if you use WPML’s automatic translation. The cost for each translated word may vary, depending on the translation engine you use. For Google Translate, it costs two credits per word. For Microsoft Azure, it costs one credit per word and for DeepL, it costs four credits per word. It may be costly but WPML only charges for the total number of words translated in a particular month.

Compared to other translation services, WPML is cost-effective.

  • $39 for 1-year support and updates with unlimited languages and words for 1 website
  • $99 for 1-year support and updates with unlimited languages and words, plus 90,000 credits between any language pair every month for 3 websites
  • $199 for 1-year support and updates with unlimited languages and words, plus 180,000 credits between any language pair every month for unlimited websites

If you’re not satisfied with WPML’s services, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee for all of your purchases and upgrades made.

WPML Plugin Installation & Setup

WPML comes up with a user-friendly interface that allows users to configure its settings quickly and easily create a multilingual website. For this, go to WPML’s website and choose a plan that suits your needs. Then, download the plugin and install it. After activating the plugin, it will take you to a step-by-step setup wizard through the configuration process.

After choosing the languages you need, the next step will proceed to the Language Switcher wherein you can arrange the order of the chosen languages and create changes for your languages.

By default, WPML will automatically detect the language your website uses.

WPML provides users the option to format their website language URLs through a language argument in the URL, in virtual folders, or different domains. In this step, you can choose the format when setting up WPML for the first time.

The next step is registration, where you need to enter the license key from your WPML account. You need to register your license key to get the latest updates for your plugin. Take note that WPML allows you to transfer a license to clients and if you register every website you have, WPML gives you one website license for free. That’s so generous.

Once you set up your site, you have the option to customize your site’s language switcher. You can also configure the following from the language switcher like the menu language switcher, widget language switcher, and footer language switcher on your website. You can also choose where to place the links to your languages on your website.

The next step is choosing the translation mode you prefer. There are two options for translating your site. The first option is Translate Everything, that lets you automatically translate your entire site’s content. Meanwhile, Translate Some gives you the option to choose precisely which content you want to translate. The latter gives you more control over what content you want to translate, and who translates it.

Next is improving your site’s translations with some key plugins like enabling Toolset Types. If you are CMS or Agency license holders, you must enable the WPML components for that website and that includes the String Translation, Translation Management, and Media Translation.

Before anything else, the WPML Components mentioned are the three additional plugins if you purchased a CMS or Agency License. These help enhance the performance of your multilingual websites.

  1. The first one is the String Translation. This one allows you to translate interface strings directly from WordPress without using .mo files. Static texts as well as user-generated texts outside the posts, including tagline and SEO data, are also translated.
  2. The second one is Translation Management, where the admin manages the Translator role with the designated translation work.
  3. And lastly, the Media Translation. This one allows you to control what images to display for every language.

For advanced multilingual websites, other WordPress plugins are recommended. Toolset Types is the default plugin for every user. For multilingual sites, it allows you to set up custom post types, custom fields, and taxonomies.

But other plugins such as Sticky Links and CMS Navigation are available to the Agency and CMS license holders. What Sticky Links does is, when you change the permalink structure, hierarchy, and page slugs, it counteract internal links from breaking while CMS Navigation gives additional elements in navigation like breadcrumbs trail, dropdown menus, and sidebar navigation. While Sticky Links and CMS Navigation do their job, it doesn’t offer any leverage for WPML.

You can always choose to install other add-ons that depend on your requirements and needs. There are other useful add-ons for WPML that you can consider getting. Other add-ons are displayed on the compatibility plugins section that is supported and will be shown in the downloads section. The function of the compatibility plugin is to make sure that WPML will work well with other solutions.

One of them is the BuddyPress Multilingual. If you already have a BuddyPress Website, you can easily translate your website and make a multilingual social network site. Another one is WooCommerce Multilingual. By using this add-on, you can now sell products to a diverse range of customers, from different countries. If you’re interested in what other add-ons WPML offers, you can always check the official WPML website.

Is WPML worth using on my website?

There are other translation services that offer solutions, but nothing that is on par with the WPML features and capabilities that it provides. WPML offers a variety of payment plans and credits that will help users allocate their money without going beyond the budget. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t find its services helpful.

As for its features, what we love about WPML are the add-ons. You have the freedom to select what add-ons you need to install. In that regard, the WordPress database is not bloated, which prevents slow loading time for a smooth, lightweight website. Another amazing feature it has is Translation Management. You can manage and assign work to colleagues or third-party companies, or use the automatic translation service. If you want an optimized SEO website, WPML is SEO friendly which makes it appealing to search engine bots. Overall, WPML is a powerful and dynamic solution that enables content translation to different languages conveniently based on what your website needs.

Low Cost Web Agency offers a Business licence of WPML for all multilingual websites that we build and host. We create professional multilingual websites for businesses at a low cost.

Contact us today and let’s discuss about your new multilingual website, so you won’t have to worry about language barriers getting in the way of your business and your customers.