If you’re running a blog or website on WordPress’ CMS and you want to reach an international audience, making your site multilingual is a must. Though WP currently doesn’t have a built-in ability to enable multiple languages, there are some quality plugins – free and premium – to help you reach readers or customers all over the globe.
One of the best things about being online is the ability to reach potential customers, readers and fans on a global scale. This instant, worldwide reach has redefined the way we do business – but not every member of your audience will speak your language.
To make the most of the web’s power to connect with, or sell to, people virtually anywhere on earth, it’s important to engage potential key markets in their native tongue. While previously this might have meant needing to completely recreate your website and pay for expensive translation of all your content, multilingual plugins offer WordPress users the ability to run a multilingual site with a single WP install.
So which multilingual WP plugins should you try out?
WPML is a premium multilingual plugin, designed to make it easy to build and run multilingual sites and blogs, and translate pages, posts, and other content. The default install offers more than 40 languages, and users can arrange different language content in the same domain via language directories, in sub-domains, or in completely different domains.
One of the other cool features of WPML is the ability to translate comments, so when international visitors comment in languages you don’t speak, you can read them and reply. As a premium plugin, the cost runs between $29 for blogs, and $79 for websites.
qTranslate adds user friendly multilingual content management and translation support into WordPress, and supports infinite languages, which can be modified via the configuration page. This free plugin features built-in languages, access to professional human translation, one-click switching between languages, and one language for each URL.
qTranslate has been downloaded more than 896,000 times, and has an average user rating of 3.7/5 stars.
Polylang is another free plugin via the WordPress Plugin Directory, adding multilingual content management support to standalone WordPress sites. WordPress language files are automatically downloaded and updated, so you can translate posts, pages, media, categories, post tags, menus widgets and more.
Polylang has been downloaded more than 117,000 times, and has an average user rating of 4.9/5 stars.
Multisite Language Switcher is a simple, free plugin, designed to help you manage your content in a multilingual, multisite installation. Supported languages include German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and more.
Multisite Language Switcher has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, and has an average user rating of 4.8/5 stars.