Multilingual Plugins for Websites

Laura Mangels
A.C.T. GmbH


How WPML can help with translation

Let’s talk about your website: How many languages do you currently offer web content in, and are you satisfied with the look, feel and style of your homepage? If not, then you should urgently consider what you can tweak to optimize your online content and customer communication as well as to improve the translation of texts and the like.

A study by CSA Research and Kantar found that 65 percent of respondents from 29 countries prefer Internet content in their own language. Four out of ten respondents do not buy from online stores that are not available in their language, and 73 percent would prefer to see product reviews in their native tongue. This sends a clear message: you need to localize to get ahead! The problem is that many popular content management systems (CMS) like WordPress do not offer their users a built-in content translation feature. So what should we do? Translating product and company descriptions, instruction manuals or customer opinions by hand is not an option for most companies for cost reasons and due to a lack of personnel. Instead, they rely on plugins. These optional website tools can extend existing software packages like WordPress or others. Perhaps you also use the term “add-on” or “add-in”?

The plugin generally considered to have the most features and capabilities for translating content in WordPress is WPML. With the help of add-ons like this, you can translate websites, individual posts, user-defined types, taxonomy, menus and much more. Any theme or plugin that runs on the WordPress API can be made multilingual with WPML. In addition, it also supports search engine optimization (SEO) in different languages. This applies to the appearance of the URL and the linking of the various translations. Thanks to the use of WPML, search engines understand the particular page structure and bring the right visitor traffic to the right languages. Fields, widgets, images and media, but also texts in the admin area of the website can be translated using this tool. The translation editor offers glossary, spell checker and translation memory functions. It is also possible to cooperate with a professional translation service.

How does WPML work?

The first step of the internationalization journey of a website – no matter whether it’s an online store, a corporate website or a landing page – is the installation of the language plugin. Some functions are available immediately, others are optional extras. Users can select their favorite translation partner on the WPML dashboard; this service provider then receives a request. The user then uploads the desired files or web page areas to be localized. Then the translation partner analyzes and translates them. The client can continuously monitor the status of the project. WPML contains over 65 preconfigured languages. However, you can also add your own language variants, such as Brazilian Portuguese or Canadian French. WPML allows you to create and run e-commerce websites with WooCommerce in multiple languages and with multiple currencies. For online customers, this means a customer experience (CX) tailored to their needs, from the product list and shopping cart to the checkout and confirmation email – in their own language.

What is the most important thing to consider when using website localization plugins?

A plugin can save a lot of effort and support internationalization, and the fact that a professionally translated website is a must in times of continuing globalization is probably beyond question for most. One challenge, however, is not to leave it at one-time localization, but to check at fixed intervals whether the website still meets the current requirements. Do you need to add new languages? And what about changes to prices, contacts, contacts, products or marketing campaigns? Constant updating is urgently needed, because users expect reliably up-to-date information and news. It is helpful to cooperate with an experienced translation service provider who can provide assistance and respond to individual requirements so that the website is really translated just the way you and your customers want it. And on the part of the plugin provider, support and data security should also be guaranteed. This includes updates to new WordPress versions or minimum requirements to look out for when using WPML.

Why is it important that translations belong to you?

Some website building kits merely host content. This is convenient, but, at the same time, it means that the website is not really yours. Ideally, translations also do not belong on a third-party website, but should remain in your own hands so that you always have access to your content. WPML ensures that websites always work and translations are displayed even if the plugin is no longer being paid for.

Why is it worth relying on a WPML partner?

The language service providers selected by WPML offer tight integration with the plugin: Customers can send content straight from the WPML translation dashboard and then display the completed translations directly on their website. In addition, companies pay only once for the translation of each text, regardless of whether they want to translate new content or update existing content. Before you receive the finished translations, the translation service provider also conducts an internal review to ensure that the translation is correct and accurate. Projects of any size are possible. This means that even small businesses can easily outsource their translation needs.

We are localization and WPML partners and can support you in all the challenges related to translation, SEO, websites, and CMS. You make the important decisions, we take care of the linguistic aspects of your international business.

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