This post continues our series on how to build a multilingual WordPress website, with a particular focus on learning the “101” of WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin). If you missed Step 2: “Choosing a Translation Ready Theme,” you can find it here. And for your developers, we’ve created a step-by-step training video series that you can access here.
Meet the Most Widely Used Translation Plugin for WordPress
WPML is widely popular for many reasons, not the least of which are that it’s proven, it’s easy to use and it’s not theme or plugin dependent. Right out of the box, it’s ready to go. With a single WordPress installation, WPML provides a comfortable, familiar interface for finding texts in one language and translating them into another language of your choice.
To familiarize yourself with WPML, go to WPML.org. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can see how many languages this website has been translated into (not to mention that WPML comes with over 40 languages). Like we said, it’s proven.
Now let’s head to the Features section of the website, where you’ll be faced with a crucial choice of products.
Choosing the Best WPML Version for Your WordPress Website
There are two versions of WPML: Multilingual Blog and Multilingual CMS. We highly recommend the CMS version. Why? It offers many more useful features for the price, particularly translation management capabilities.
Each translator on your site can get their own workflow through Multilingual CMS, so you can have multiple translators working at the same time. This way, they won’t get in each other’s way, and you can ramp up your translation time.
The CMS version can also optionally translate your theme and plugin texts. Those usually come translated already, but sometimes they don’t, and if you’re making your own WordPress theme and plugins, you may choose WPML exclusively to translate it.
Again, Multilingual CMS is substantially more vital to your WordPress site’s success than Multilingual Blog. Yes, it costs more money, but the value of time is truly incalculable.
Take Advantage of Integrated Professional Translation
Let’s say you need professional translation help after your site’s up and running. Do you really want to give a vendor complete access to your website? With WPML, you don’t have to.
WPML comes with integrated professional translation, which means it’s easy to have a professional translator translate the text on your site without requiring access to your site, without requiring passwords and IT guidance, and without having to email a ton of files back and forth. It’s safe for your company and efficient for your marketing team.
Never Underestimate the Power of Expert Support
Translating a website is a substantial project, with buy-in from multiple levels of your organization. (Which means your C-level team members are watching). You need expert guidance, most often when everyone else has left the office. WPML gives you support 6 days a week, 19 hours per day and in 9 languages. That’s peace of mind.
Having an experienced professional at your beck and call—whether it’s for customer support of development help—is a no-brainer when creating a multilingual WordPress site. This also pertains to the actual translation of your site, of which Acclaro offers substantial experience (and even provides a WordPress Translation Connector for maximum efficiency).
These are the main nuts-and-bolts of WPML. Now that we’ve extolled the virtues of WPML and how they can benefit your Multilingual WordPress website, let’s look at proper installation.
In our next blog in this series, we’ll take a look at how to install WPML property so you can get up-and-running without any hiccups.