Four Tools to Translate Website Content

One of the most remarkable aspects of the internet is its ability to connect billions of people all around the world. If you’re running a business or creating content online, your presence can be discovered and appreciated by a truly diverse audience — especially once it’s translated into their language.

Thankfully, you don’t need to speak 100 different dialects to translate website content and reach more people. There are a variety of tools available for WordPress.com sites to translate content into other languages, allowing you to spread your message across the globe. See below for four tools that will help you translate website content into other languages.

1. For beginners: Google Translate

If you’re just starting out with your WordPress.com site, the Google Translate widget is a great way to dip your toe into translation. This free widget requires little effort or commitment on your end. Once set up, it allows visitors to change the language on your site with the click of a button.

Widgets are tools that you can display in the sidebar or footer of your WordPress.com website. You can install widgets, including the Google Translate tool, through your site’s Customizer. Once you’ve set up this translation tool, visitors will see a drop-down menu in your sidebar (or wherever you placed the widget), prompting them to choose a language.

The Google Translate widget is a great tool for beginners, as it requires little technical knowledge and is totally free.

2. For bilingual writers: Polylang

One of the downsides of using machine translation tools like Google Translate is that the resulting text may be imprecise. If you know the language you want your website translated into, you’ll get a more accurate translation by writing the content yourself.

The free Polylang plugin is a great option for multilingual creators, as it allows you to manually translate your site’s pages, media, categories, tags, and more into other languages. You can then add a language switch to your website so that visitors can toggle between the different versions.

While Polylang is free to install, keep in mind that you need a WordPress.com Business plan to install plugins on your site.

3. For established websites: Weglot

If you have a more established website and a budget for translation, you should look into the highly regarded Weglot plugin. This translation service gives you a ton of flexibility, and its pricing is based on how much translation you need.

Weglot lets you choose between machine translation and professional translation, and you can edit the translation any time you want. Plus, it’s free to use if you want to translate fewer than 2,000 words into one additional language (although you’re capped at 5,000 monthly translated pageviews). If you want more languages, words, or pageviews, you can simply upgrade to a higher pricing plan.

4. For unique domains: MultilingualPress

The MultilingualPress plugin is different from the options above because it lets you create unique domains for each website translation. For instance, if you have a French version of your website, it would be yourdomain.fr. This is beneficial for more complex sites, as you’re only loading one language per site, thereby decreasing performance issues.

MultilingualPress offers 174 languages, and you can connect an unlimited number of websites through this plugin. The other major advantage of this option is that there is no lock-in effect; therefore, your separate sites won’t be harmed if you uninstall or deactivate the plugin.

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Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau is freelance writer specializing in digital lifestyle content, ranging from pop culture to smart home technology. Camryn has contributed to popular media sites such as InStyle, Taste of Home, Martha Stewart, Food52, USA Today, The Spruce and more.

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