How to Translate Your WordPress Website Like a Pro
As the internet has become more interconnected, ensuring that your website is accessible and user-friendly in multiple languages has become increasingly important. For WordPress websites, the good news is that there are now several plugins available that make translation a breeze. However, if you’re new to the process, it can still seem daunting. In this article, we’ll break down the essential steps you need to take to successfully translate your WordPress website, no matter its size or complexity.
Pick the Right WordPress Translation Plugin
Before you can start translating your WordPress website, you’ll first need to select the right translation plugin. There are several popular options available, each with its own features and price points. The most popular plugins include:
- WPML: A paid solution that starts at just $29 and provides an array of features, including translating SEO metadata, WooCommerce product pages, forms and widgets, and more.
- Polylang: A free plugin that supports custom language widgets, translation of posts, pages, categories, custom taxonomies, menus, and RTL languages like Arabic and Hebrew.
- TranslatePress: A front-end translation plugin that enables users to translate every element of a page or post, including meta descriptions, images, and embedded videos. Users can choose between human or machine translations for added accuracy.
Consider the features and price of each plugin to determine which one is best for your needs.
Translate Your Content
Once you’ve selected your translation plugin, it’s time to start translating your content. Before you begin, make sure your content is concise and clear, avoiding idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms, and wordplays. You’ll also need to translate your metadata, including your title and meta description. You have two options for translating your content:
- Human Translation: You can do it yourself or hire a professional translator.
- Machine Translation: You can use tools like Google Translate, DeepL, or Microsoft Translator. Note that machine translations may not be as accurate as human translations and may require additional editing.
Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to review your translations carefully before publishing.
Test Your Translations
After translating your content, it’s important to test it for errors or formatting issues that may have occurred during the translation process. Check the formatting and layout of the page, including images, to ensure everything looks correct. You may also want to test your translations on different devices and browsers to ensure a seamless user experience.
Let Users Know About Available Languages
When visitors come to your website, they should know immediately that it’s available in multiple languages. Consider adding a call to action (CTA) to your website, such as “Select Your Language,” or displaying the available language flags with language switchers. You can choose to add language switchers in specific places, such as the header or footer, or throughout the website’s content.
Translating your WordPress website may seem like a complicated task, but with the right translation plugin and a little effort, it can become an effortless process. Remember to select the right translation plugin, translate your metadata and content, test your translations, and let visitors know about the available languages to ensure that your website is user-friendly for all.