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The best WordPress plugins for a multilingual website

Posted by Annemieke, September 17 2013

If you currently have a Wordpress website in one language and are looking to move into foreign markets, it is worth looking into the following plugins which allow you to manage multilingual content. Please note the information offered below is from the Wordpress site and we have not tested these plugins. If you have any suggestions or comments on this list, please get in touch. Email or give us a call on +31 (0)23 - 2024 723.

QTranslate (3.7 out of 5 stars, 816 reviews)

qTranslate was created as an easy to use interface for managing a fully multilingual website. It makes creation of multilingual content as easy as working with a single language. These are some of its features:

  • qTranslate Services – Professional human and automated machine translation with two clicks
  • One-Click-Switching between the languages – Change the language as easy as switching between Visual and HTML
  • Language customizations without changing the .mo files – Use Quick-Tags instead for easy localization
  • Multilingual dates out of the box – Translates dates and time for you
  • Comes with a lot of languages already builtin! – English, German, Simplified Chinese and a lot of others
  • No more juggling with .mo-files! – qTranslate will download them automatically for you
  • Choose one of 3 Modes to make your URLs pretty and SEO-friendly. – The everywhere compatible ?lang=en, simple and beautiful /en/foo/ or nice and neat
  • One language for each URL – Users and SEO will thank you for not mixing multilingual content
  • qTranslate supports infinite languages, which can be easily added/modified/deleted via the comfortable Configuration Page. All you need to do is activate the plugin and start writing the content.

Basic Bilingual (5 out of 5 stars, 2 reviews)

This plugin allows you to set the language of individual posts and pages and to summarize them in other languages.

The excerpts are automatically inserted right before the post content, with the correct language attribute. The correct language attribute is also set on the post titles and original content.

Polylang (4.8 out of 5 stars, 243 reviews)

Polylang allows you to create a bilingual or multilingual WordPress site. You write posts, pages and create categories and post tags as usual, and then define the language for each of them. The translation of a post, whether it is in the default language or not, is optional. These are some of the main features:

  • The translation has to be done by the site editor as Polylang does not integrate with an automatic or professional translation service.
  • You can use as many languages as you want. RTL language scripts are supported.
  • WordPress languages files are automatically downloaded and updated. 
  • You can translate posts, pages, media, categories, post tags, menus, widgets etc. Custom post types, custom taxonomies, sticky posts and post formats, RSS feeds and all default WordPress widgets are supported.
  • The language is either set by the content or by the language code in url (either directory or subdomain), or you can use one different domain per language
  • Categories, post tags as well as some other metas are automatically copied when adding a new post or page translation
  • A customizable language switcher is provided as a widget or in the nav menu
  • The admin interface is of course multilingual too and each user can set the WordPress admin language in its profile

Multilingual Press Free (4.5 out of 5 stars, 20 reviews)

This plugin allows you to connect multiple sites as language alternatives in a multisite. You can use a customizable widget to link to all sites.

It lets you connect an unlimited amount of sites with each other. You set a main language for each site, create relationships (connections), and start writing. A new field will appear to create a linked post on all the connected sites automatically. These are accessible via the post/page editor screen, and you can switch back and forth to translate them.

When you disable this plugin, all sites will still work as separate sites without any data-loss or unwanted output.

Features of the free version

  • Set up unlimited blog relations in the site manager.
  • View the translations for each post or page underneath the post editor.
  • Show a list of links for all translations on each page in a flexible widget.
  • No lock-in: After deactivation, all sites will still work.
  • No free ad hoc support is offered.

Pro Version

The pro-version offers many features to save time and to improve the work flow and user experience:

  • Support for custom post types.
  • Automatically redirect to the user's preferred language version of a post.
  • Edit all translations for a post from the original post editor without the need to switch sites.
  • Duplicate blogs. Use one blog as template for new blogs, copy everything: Posts, attachments, settings for plugins and themes, navigation menus, categories, tags and custom taxonomies.
  • Synchronized trash: move all connected post to trash with one click.
  • Quicklinks. Add links to language alternatives to a post automatically to the post content. This is especially useful when you don't use widgets or a sidebar.
  • User specific language settings for the back-end. Every user can choose a preferred language for the user interface without affecting the output of the front-end.
  • Show posts with incomplete translations in a dashboard widget.

WPLM (5 out of 5 stars, 3 reviews)

WPML makes it possible to turn WordPress blogs multilingual in a few minutes with no knowledge of PHP or WordPress. Its advanced features allow professional web developers to build full multilingual websites.

  • Powerful translation management, allowing teams of translators to work on multilingual sites.
  • Built-in theme localization without .mo files.
  • Comments translation allows you to moderate and reply to comments in your own language.
  • Includes CMS navigation elements for drop down menus, breadcrumbs trail and sidebar navigation.
  • Robust links to posts and pages that never break.
  • WPML is also offering full integration with Gravity Forms, so you can easily translate all the forms on your site as well.
  • ICanLocalize, the creators of WPML, offer commercial support for WPML. This support provides timely and dependable help directly from the developers.

For more information on these and other available plugins to make a multilingual Wordpress site, please go to For comments or suggestions regarding this list, please contact us on or call +31 (0)23 - 2024 723.

  Posted by Annemieke, September 17 2013
  Languages, Multilingual SEO, Website Translation