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Why Brightlines uses WPML to simplify the translation of WordPress websites

By Josian Phillips, 

There are various ways to translate your WordPress site, and you can read all about them in our WordPress translation plugin blog post. Some are good, and others not so much, but it’s hard to know which plugin will be the best for you and your website.

Many plugins have narrow feature sets and some are not kept up-to-date, which can be a real problem when you’re trying to translate content quickly and efficiently. With the wrong plugin, you can end up spending additional money on developers to keep your site working or putting right bad auto-translations – a constant source of frustration.

Fortunately, we’ve tried and tested many of the WordPress translation plugins over the last few years, so we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Here at Brightlines, we’ve made the decision that WPML is the most effective plugin to help your WordPress site run as an efficient multilingual site. Keep reading to find out why we think this is the right choice.

What are the options for translating a website?

When it comes to translating a website, there are a couple of main options. The first is using a proxy translation server with your WordPress site. This creates a virtual mirror of your site for other countries, allowing you to update the pages with translated content. The downside of a proxy server is that the translations aren’t easily picked up by search engines and providing different content for different markets is problematic. This can affect how your website is perceived in each country and, ultimately, the amount of people who visit the site.

The other option is to create a separate installation of your website for each language. That option comes with the added cost of updating multiple sites. Want to change an image across all languages? Then you will have to change it for every language. 10 languages? 10 times!

The WPML plugin allows you to streamline the process; one site, multiple language capability, automatic workflow and still thoroughly searchable for all languages. Take a look at our HREF blog post for more information.

Why do we work with WPML?

In 2018, we reassessed the market on behalf of our clients so that we could advise them more explicitly based on our own research. The outcome led us to identify the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML) as still the best translation plugin for WordPress.

Arguably the most popular plugin, WPML offers a way of streamlining the translation workflow enabling the use of professional translation services that push translations directly to your WordPress site. The plugin allows you to translate all posts, web pages and even custom post types, such as ACF (Advanced Custom Fields). It even works with WooCommerce sites.

So why exactly have we identified WPML as the best translation plugin for WordPress? Well, here are a few of the main reasons:

  1. It only requires one WordPress installation

The WPML plugin can help you create a multilingual website from only one WordPress installation. This saves you the time and effort of spinning up a site for every language. If you want to change an image across all languages, then it only needs to be changed once.

  1. You’re able to run multilingual eCommerce sites

By using WPML, you’ll also be able to streamline the translation of WooCommerce Multilingual, the e-commerce platform for WordPress, in the same way as a standard WordPress site. Using WPML and WooCommerce together is an effective combination for running multilingual e-commerce sites.

WooCommerce also features a Setup Wizard to guide you through the initial steps of configuring your site. So, even if you’re not a developer, you should be able to manage your own multilingual e-commerce site.

  1. Enabling translation for theme and plugins

Unlike a lot of translation plugins, WPML is compatible with most WordPress themes and plugins. The plugin works with pages, posts, ACF (Advanced Custom Fields), taxonomy and menus and is constantly being developed to be compatible with all aspects of a WordPress website.

  1. Reliable support from developers

WPML provides a high level of support for its users. Their team are available 19 hours a day, six days a week, and can offer support in nine different languages. So, when you use WPML, you can rest assured that any questions you have about the software will be answered in good time.

Although WPML offer a solid technical support system for its users, it does not extend to any expertise regarding actually translating the website. If, for example, you have questions about whether your site should be translated, localised, transcreated or all three, it would be best to talk to a professional translation agency.

  1. SEO compatibility

The most used SEO plugin for WordPress, Yoast SEO, is fully compatible with the WPML plugin. The WPML and Yoast SEO development teams worked together to ensure complete compatibility, letting you optimise your multilingual sites in a very simple way. It allows the adding of meta attributes and other vital SEO information to all languages.

  1. Seamless translation workflow

We have left the best feature until the end! Using the WPML plugin in conjunction with a WPML Translation Partner – such as Brightlines Translation – enables the seamless flow of text and translations back and forth between the translation partner agency and your website. Just add the pages you want translated to the basket in the backend and we do the rest. Professional translations pushed directly to your website, no emails, no pasting, no confusion, just an expertly translated website. What are you waiting for?

What next?

If you have a website translation project and you’d like any advice – whether technical or language based – we’d love to help. Please get in touch and our team will be more than happy to offer guidance and direction.

Have a look at our other blogs about WordPress Plugins:

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