How To Make A Multilingual WordPress Site: Best Translation Plugins

WordPress Multilanguage Plugins
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Summary: WordPress by default is not multilingual. This means that you need to add multilingual functionality through a translation plugin, creating a WordPress Multisite installation or using a translation proxy. In this post I show the best options to create a WordPress website in two or more languages, using automatic machine translations or human translations. You can use free or premium plugins (which cost about $79).

(Originally written on June 21, 2014. Updated on January 4, 2015)



OPTION 1. Installing a WordPress plugin in a standalone WordPress environment

1.1. AUTOMATIC Machine Translations: Google Language Translator
1.2. SEMI-AUTOMATIC Translations

1.2.1. Transposh
1.2.2. Ajax Translator Revolution (premium)

1.3. HUMAN Translations

1.3.1. qTranslate
1.3.2. Polylang
1.3.3. WPML (premium)

OPTION 2. Using WordPress Multisite: One website per language

2.1. WordPress Multisite (no need to use network plugins)
2.2. WordPress Multisite + Multilingual Network Plugin

2.2.1. Multisite Language Switcher
2.2.2. Zanto
2.2.3. Multilingual Press
2.2.4. Multilingual Press Pro (premium)

OPTION 3. Using a WordPress theme with integrated multilingual system

OPTION 4. WordPress Localization with translation proxy: Easyling


ANNEX. How to hire professional translators from your WordPress dashboard


There may be different reasons why you need to translate your WordPress website into other languages:

  • You are designing a website in a country that uses multiple languages (in Canada, English and French; in Switzerland, French, German and Italian; etc.)
  • You want to make a Spanish version to sell your products or services in other parts of the world or a Russian version for russian customers.
  • Or just want to have your web page in several languages to reach a wider audience.

Choosing the most suitable translation plugin for your needs will take some time. If you have a look at the WordPress Plugin Directory for a list of multilingual Plugins you’ll find many options.

WordPress does not offer a simple solution for building multilingual websites. There are several ways to make a multilingual site. They can be divided into 4 groups:

  • Option 1: Using a translation plugin in a single WordPress environment (the most common way)
  • Option 2: Using WordPress Multisite environment and a multilingual network plugin
  • Option 3: Using a WordPress theme with integrated multilingual system
  • Option 4: WordPress localization with translation proxy

In this article, I’d like to guide you through the different options available to have a multilanguage WordPress site. Which is the best option? It depends on many factors:

  • Translation – Do you want to use machine translation or human translation?
  • Cost – What’s your budget for the multilingual project?
  • Support – Do you want to have technical support?
  • Speed – How can you provide a good user experience without decreasing the speed of the application?
  • Size – How large is your website?
  • Linking – Does each post or page always have a translation and do they need to be linked to each other?
  • User profile – Are you a website owner, a freelance translator or a language service provider?


  • Since WordPress 4.1 you can change your site language (and install new languages) from the WordPress dashboard. You don’t need to modify WPLANG in wp-config.php file (which has disappeared). Go to Settings > General > Site Language, and select a new language (or install a new one). More info: WordPress 100% In My Language
  • Before starting a multilingual WordPress site is highly recommended choosing a multilingual theme already translated into other languages. More info: A Guide to Choosing a Multilingual WordPress Theme
  • You can choose different URL formats when building a multilingual website. More info in this article: Domain, Subdomain, Subdirectory, Languages and WordPress
  • Also you should implement a multilingual SEO strategy for search engines (Google, Bing, Yandex –Russia- or Baidu –China-). More info in this post: Multilingual SEO for WordPress Sites

OPTION 1. Installing a WordPress plugin in a standalone WordPress environment

You can install a WordPress translation plugin for automatic or human translations in a standalone WordPress environment. Let’s review the most popular plugins.

1.1. AUTOMATIC Machine Translations: Google Language Translator

Google Language Translator - WordPress Plugin

Google Language Translator - Ratings and downloads

Google Language Translator is a plugin that can be used only for automatic machine translations. This free plugin allows you to insert the Google Language Translator tool onto your website using shortcode.


  • It’s the cheapest option. You don’t need to perform the costly task of translating your website or hire a translator.


  • Translations often don’t make sense. Search engines could consider them as spam. What to do in these cases is prevent these translations from being indexed using the robots.txt file and allowing users to request the translation via a widget.

Conclusion: the best option to use automatic machine translations.


More Details


1.2. SEMI-AUTOMATIC Machine Translations

1.2.1. Transposh

Transposh WordPress Translation Plugin

Transposh WordPress Translation - Ratings and downloadsTransposh is a free plugin that allows automatic translations, but with the advantage that it allows you to combine automatic translation with human translation. 82 languages are automatically translated and can be corrected with ease.


  • It’s free and allows you to combine machine translation with manual translations.


  • Automatic machine translations performed are not very accurate so it’s recommended to make manual corrections.

Conclusion: a great option that it allows you to combine machine translation with manual translation.


More Details


1.2.2. Ajax Translator Revolution

Ajax Translator Revolution

Rating Ajax Translator RevolutionIf you are looking for a professional solution for automatic translation Ajax Translator Revolution is probably the best option. It’s a premium plugin that uses Google Translate machine translation service. A total of 63 languages are supported for automatic translation and your site will be translated instantly upon installation.


  • It’s a plugin highly customizable. You can translate everything or exclude sections from the web pages, pages, posts and categories. Show languages flags and names, or just flags, or just names
  • If your theme doesn’t have a widget area in the location you want, then you can use the custom positioning settings to place it anywhere
  • You will be able to edit the translations manually and make your own translations
  • Compatible with WooCommerce, WooThemes, BuddyPress, bbPress and Gravity Forms


  • Automatic translations are not very accurate so it’s recommended to make manual corrections
  • Price. It costs $ 25

Conclusion: the best plugin for automatic translations. Also, allows you to combine machine translation with manual translation


More Details          Live Preview


1.3. HUMAN Translations

1.3.1. qTranslate

qTranslate WordPress Plugin

qTranslate WordPress Plugin - Ratings and DownloadsWith nearly 1,2 million downloads, qTranslate is by far the most popular free plugin for multilingual WordPress sites. This plugin store all languages alternatives for each post in the same post.


  • It’s free. You can switch from one language to another by simple tabs on the edit panel in WordPress.
  • Does not create additional tables in the database.


  • Limited support (qTranslate has been developed and is maintained by only one developer). When a new version of WordPress appears, qTranslate may take time to get a compatible update.
  • It has not been updated since version 3.8.3

I have to admit that I have not had very good experiences with this plugin. Its users give it a score of 3.7 out of 5, a low score.

Conclusion: the most popular free multilingual plugin, but not the best (in my opinion, of course).

(Note: recently has appeared mqTranslate, based on qTranslate, extending the original software with collaborative and team-oriented features, but after testing it I have to say that’s not a good choice)

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1.3.2. Polylang

Polylang WordPress Translation Plugin

Polylang WordPress Plugin - Ratings and DownloadsPolylang is a free plugin that is easy to use with great support. The users give to this plugin a high score (4,8 out of 5), which gives an idea of the quality of this plugin. I think it’s the best free option.


  • It’s free, easy to use, and very light-weight.
  • It offers great support.
  • You can translate posts, pages, widgets, categories, tags, media, menus, custom post types, custom taxonomies, sticky posts and all default WordPress widgets are supported.


  • The plugin has been developed by one person. If the developer doesn’t find the time to keep the plugin up-to-date, you could find your multilingual web site incompatible with WordPress.
  • Documentation can be improved.
  • Some templates don’t work properly with this plugin.

Conclusion: the best free multilingual plugin in a standalone WordPress environment


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1.3.3. WPML (premium plugin)

WPML WordPress Multilingual Plugin

Sometimes free WordPress plugins just don’t offer what you are looking: frequent updates, technical support, the functionality or the look.

WPML is a premium plugin but not very expensive (between $29 and $79 ). In my opinion it is the best option to translate a web page in WordPress. You won’t have to worry anymore about support and updates.

WPML has the support of a company and a team of professional developers, which overcomes the disadvantages of previous free plugins (qTranslate and Polylang). So far it’s the most serious option to work with multilingual WordPress websites. It’s the plugin I use on my projects.


  • No need to worry more about technical support or updates. The documentation for the proper use of this plugin is very complete: WPML manual – A guide for site owners and translators (PDF 13 Mb).
  • It’s very easy to use. With WPML you can translate every element of your website and easily configure domains, subdomains and subdirectories into multiple languages.
  • You can translate all SEO options. WPML lets you do SEO for each language separately with WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin or other SEO plugins (Article: Using WordPress SEO by Yoast with WPML).
  • It supports main WordPress themes: StudioPress (Genesis Framework), Elegant Themes, many Themeforest themes,  etc. The plugin lets you build and run multilingual e-commerce sites with WooCommerce (LIST of Multilingual Ready Themes).
  • Includes a translation management plugin that allows XLIFF interface. You can turn ordinary WordPress users into Translators. Also you can hire world-class translators from within the WordPress admin dashboard, get affordable rates (about $0,09 / word) and enjoy a simple translation workflow.
  • The license is offered for unlimited sites.
  • You can request refunds until 30 days of your purchase date. They will refund 100% of your payment – no questions asked (Refunds Policy). However, you will no longer have access to updates or technical support.


  • It is a commercial plugin that costs $29 on the Multilingual Blog version (annual renewal costs $15) and $79 on Multilingual CMS version (annual renewal costs $39). If you want to purchase a perpetual license must pay $195, but I can assure you it’s worth
  • Create additional tables in the database can sometimes slow the admin panel but not your website.

Conclusion: the best plugin to build a multilingual site in a standalone WordPress environment.


Buy WPML     Free WPML Manual (PDF 13 Mb)



OPTION 2. WordPress Multisite: One website per language

2.1. WordPress Multisite (no need to use network plugins)

Wordpress Multisite Languages

Since WordPress 3.0 it is possible to build a WordPress Multisite installation. It is a collection of sites that share the same WordPress installation. They can share themes and plugins. The individual sites are virtual sites in the sense that they do not have their own directories on your server, although they do have separate directories for media uploads, and they do have separate tables in the database.

This will allow you to create one website per language. The main advantage is that it’s native, using WordPress core functionality, so it’s safe and free to use. This way you can create each website in a different language within your network.

WordPress Multisite Advantages

  • The main advantage over the WPML plugin is that WordPress will be native in every language. This means you can have a primary address (, a subdomain or subdirectory for the Spanish version ( or, one for the French version ( or, etc.
  • If you need to set up multiple sites across multiple domains (,,, etc), you can use the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin as well – as long as the domains are all hosted on the same server.
  • It’s an excellent option for large and complex sites, offering minor compatibility issues without additional costs.

WordPress Multisite Disadvantages

  • It is more difficult to configure and manage:
    • First, you have to create a network of sites by using the multisite feature.
    • Once installed, every time you make an adjustment (themes, plugins, menus, widgets, etc) you must port it to all the websites. If there are just two languages that’s not a big deal, but with three or more it can be a big problem.
    • Also, keep in mind that some plugins an themes do not work properly on Multisite installations.
  • WordPress Multisite was not originally intended for creating multilingual website.
  • Managing translation of content is more laborious because it’s easy to lose track of the contents which have been translated or no.

In this option, you only need to insert a language switcher into the header to being redirected to the homepage when switching from one language to another. Many multilingual websites are very different in each language so it’s not always necessary link contents (posts, pages, categories, tags, etc.).

Conclusion: The best option when each post or page don’t need to be linked to each other


WordPress Multisite


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Another option if you don’t need link contents and you don’t want to use WordPress Multisite: two different separate WordPress installations (English an Russian, for example), with two different domains (.COM and .RU, for example) and two different hostings and IP addresses. This is a good option for local SEO but you’ll have to manage two or more separate WordPress sites. In this case you can use services like InfiniteWP or ManageWP to manage multiple different sites.

2.2. WordPress Multisite + Multilingual Network Plugin

New plugins have been developed to avoid disadvantages of option 2.1.: Multisite Language Switcher, Zanto and Multilingual Press. These plugins allows you to synchronize files in each language. For example, you may want to link the translated content in different languages, to avoid being redirected to the homepage when switching from one language to another. Let’s review these plugins.

2.2.1. Multisite Language Switcher

Multisite Language Switcher

Multisite Language SwitcherMultisite Language Switcher - Rating is a free an easy to use plugin ( that will help you to manage multilingual content in a multisite installation. This plugin enables you to manage translations of posts, pages, custom post types, categories, tags and custom taxonomies. You can use a widget to link to all sites.

With 82.000 downloads, the users give to this plugin a high score (4,8 out of 5). It’s an excellent free option for WordPress Multisite.


  • It’s free and very easy to set up. There are no “pro” features which you have to pay for.
  • It offers great support: 16 of 17 support threads in the last two months have been resolved (June 2014)
  • You can translate and link posts, pages, custom post types, categories, tags and custom taxonomies.
  • If you disable the plugin, all sites will still work as separate sites.
  • Extensions: Multisite Language Switcher Comments (All comments posted on translation-joined pages are showed on all translation-joined posts)

Conclusion: the best free multilingual plugin for WordPress Multisite


More Details


2.2.2. Zanto

Zanto Plugin WordPress

Zanto ratingsZanto allows you to convert webpages in a multisite into translations of each other. It provides a language switcher to switch between the translations of pages, posts, custom types, categories and taxonomies. Also keeps track of what has been translated and provides an easy interface.

It’s a recent plugin (1.626 downloads). After testing I think it’s another great free option for WordPress Multisite.


  • It’s free and very easy to set up.
  • You can translate everything: posts, pages, custom post types, categories, tags, taxonomies, etc.
  • You have a customizable language switcher.
  • Different languages for both: front and backend. Over 60 languages and flags.
  • Integrated support for domain mapping plugin.
  • Each user will have his admin language preferences stored.
  • If you disable the plugin, all sites will still work as separate sites.
  • Plugin documentation and tutorials here:


Conclusion: a great free plugin for WordPress Multisite


More Details


2.2.3. Multilingual Press

Multilingual Press Plugin Review

Multilingual Press - RatingMultilingual Press allows you connect multiple sites as language alternatives in a multisite and use a customizable widget to link to all sites.

You can set a main language for each site, create relationships, and start translating. You get a new field to create a linked post on all the connected sites automatically. They are accessible via the post/page editor – you can switch back and forth to translate them.

With 90.000 downloads (january 2015), the users give to this plugin a high score (4,4 out of 5)


  • It’s a free version and very easy to use
  • Plugin has been developed by a small team that is part of Marketpress.
  • You can set up unlimited site relationships in the site manager.
  • If you disable the plugin, all sites will still work as separate sites.
  • Language Manager with 174 editable languages.
  • It will allow you to view the translations for each post (or page) underneath the post editor.


  • Free version doesn’t support custom post types and many other great features

Conclusion: an excellent free multilingual plugin for WordPress Multisite, but you’ll have to go for the Pro version if you want all features.


More Details


2.2.4. Multilingual Press Pro

Multilingual Press Pro

Pro-version offers many features to save your time and to improve your work flow and user experience. This plugin has the support of a German company (Inpsyde GmbH) and a team of professional developers.


  • You can edit all translations for a post from the original post editor without the need to switch sites.
  • You can duplicate sites. This is a great option because you can use one site as template for new sites. You can copy everything: Posts, pages,  settings for plugins, themes, navigation menus, categories, tags, custom taxonomies and attachments.
  • Synchronized trash: move all connected posts or pages to trash with one click.
  • Change relationships between translations or connect existing posts.
  • Support for custom post types.
  • Automatically redirect to the user’s preferred language version of a post.
  • Every user can choose a preferred language for the user interface without affecting the output of the front-end.


  • It is a commercial plugin that costs $75 (1 domain), $95 (5 domains) and $190 (10 domains). Annual renewal costs $45, $55 and $110, respectively. However, functionality is without time limit. Renewal is only needed if you want an update or support.

Conclusion: the best multilingual plugin for WordPress Multisite.


Buy Multilingual Press Pro


OPTION 3. Using a WordPress theme with integrated multilingual system

AitThemes Multilingual Themes

AitThemes club HomepageThe most common way to make a multilingual website is installing a translation plugin in your WordPress theme. However, recently have appeared WordPress themes that come with an integrated multilingual system.

The best option I’ve found is AitThemes Club, first multilingual themes on the market (according to them).

All AitThemes are multilingual right out of the box. Themes come with built-in multilingual support, no third party plugin is required. You can simply select your language and start building your WordPress website.


  • You can translate everything: pages, posts, custom post types, widgets, categories, etc.
  • You can use the themes in your own native language or create a WordPress website in several languages
  • No WPML or third party plugin is required. Themes come with AIT Languages plugin to create easily a multilingual website
  • All parts of the theme, back-end and front-end are already translated to over 18 languages. You will never handle .po files or do the theme translation on your own
  • Updates, technical support and comprehensive documentation:


  • You only have 14 multilingual themes to choose from (list of themes). However if you use WPML you have hundreds of compatible WordPress themes to choose from (StudioPress, ElegantThemes, many ThemeForest themes, etc)
  • Price. You can purchase single WordPress theme ($ 55) or access to all WordPress AitThemes ($ 165), but you don’t need to spend money with a thrid party translation plugin.

Conclusion: an excellent option to create a multilanguage WordPress site without using third party plugins.


AitThemes      Documentation


OPTION 4. WordPress Localization with translation Proxy: Easyling

Easyling Translation Proxy

A translation proxy works as a layer on top of your site allowing you to manage translated content in the cloud. No additional translated website version is created because the translation proxy works as a layer: it removes the original text from the site and inserts the translated text on the fly.

Easyling is the most popular proxy-based website translation solution. It crawls your web and finds all the pages, posts and texts. Then you can do the translation yourself using live editing or export as an XLIFF file and use your favourite CAT tool.

Once the translation of your WordPress is done, Easyling for WordPress plugin automatically downloads your translations from Easyling, and presents it to your visitors using domains, subdomains or subdirectories.

Easyling for WordPress Plugin


  • Word count and content extraction to XLIFF
  • Translation preview. Works as a layer on top of existing site and translators can view their translation on site in real time and adapt text if needed.
  • Machine translation support
  • Automatic change detection and collaboration workflow.


  • Price. You pay for word count ($1,2 per thousand pages) and for the translation tool ($2,4 per thousand unique source words and $12 per thousand translated unique source words).
  • Users can’t edit pages and posts from the WordPress dashboard.
  • Although it is an intuitive tool, learning takes time

Conclusion: Translation proxy is a great tool and I think is a good option for language service providers


Easyling Website



As you can see, there is no a better or worse solution to have your blog or WordPress site in two or more languages. It depends on many factors: functionality, price, machine or human translations, ease to manage, technical support, SEO, etc.

  • If you don’t want to spend your money with plugins, I recommend you to use Polylang or Zanto / Multisite Language Switcher (WordPress Multisite). If you want support and updates and money it’s not a problem, use WPML (single WordPress), Multilingual Press Pro (WordPress Multisite) or a WordPress premium theme with integrated multilingual system such as AitThemes.Club.
  • If you’re a WordPress beginner user you can use option 1: WPML or Polylang.
  • If you have a small or medium site, use WPML. If you have a large site, use Multisite (Multilingual Press Pro, Zanto or Multisite Language Switcher).
  • If you don’t need to link posts and pages, then go Multisite (no need to use plugins). Otherwise you can use WPML or Multisite + Network plugin.
  • If Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for you, don’t use automated translation. However if you want to use automatic translations, Ajax Revolution Translator is the best choice since allows you also make your own translations.
  • If you’re a language service provider you might want to use Easyling.

In summary, if you want to create a professional, easy to manage, multilingual WordPress website, I recommend you use a professional payment solution with good support such as WPML (single WordPress), Multilingual Press Pro (WordPress Multisite) or AitThemes (multilingual WordPress themes right out of the box). In other cases it may be enough to use a free plugin such as Polylang (single WordPress) or Multisite Language Switcher (WordPress Multisite).


I hope this article will help you to choose the best option for you.


ANNEX. How to hire professional translators from your WordPress dashboard

If you need professional translators for your WordPress website this section may be of interest.

One of the main problems when translating a WordPress website is to find a translation service (or a professional translator) who knows WordPress and also is specialized in the content of your blog, whether it is technical knowledge (engineering, medical, etc) or creative writing experience (marketing content).

There are two professional translation options available (with their pros and cons) for localize your website that are integrated directly into WordPress: TextMaster and ICanLocalize. These services give you access from the WordPress dashboard to a large number of translators (or even writers) who can help you to make your site multilingual or create engaging content for your blog or website.

This way you can manage translations form your WordPress admin panel more efficiently since you avoid having to copy and paste text and you can keep links, images, etc of your original WordPress pages.

1. TextMaster

TextMaster WordPress Translation Services

screenshot wordpress widget TextMasterRecently I’ve been using a free WordPress plugin to order professional translations of some articles of this blog into German ( This plugin has been developed by a startup called TextMaster, that offers professional translation, web content writing and proofreading services by native speakers in more than 20 languages.

This plugin, called WP TextMaster, gives you access from the WordPress admin panel to over 60.000 writers and translators. No matter what translation plugin you’re using. WP TextMaster plugin is seamlessly integrated with human translation plugins (WPML, Polylang, mqTranslate, etc). The plugin is visible in your sidebar when you create or duplicate posts or pages. Once you placed your order for translation, proofreading or copywriting, you’ll see a notification when it is complete. So all you need to do is enable multilingual posts or pages and automatically replace the text in those languages.


  • It’s free to download and with the automatic wordcount feature in WordPress, you’ll see an instant quote before you order
  • You can use it with most of human translation plugins: WPML, Polylang or mqTranslate
  • More than 20 available languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Finish, Polish, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Dutch and Danish. They can also translate between any language pairs on demand
  • Translation rates: Basic $0.039/Word (best suited for basic website content). Premium $0.078/Word (best for SEO web content, web pages and app content)
  • Proofreading service. If you’re not feeling confident about the quality of your web content (maybe you’re not good at grammar), you can have it proofread and automatically reintegrated into your WordPress site ($0.026 per word)
  • Copywriting. It also includes the option to add multilingual SEO web content to your site. Just create a new copywriting order, write your instructions in the body, enter the desired word count, specify your keywords and click Order ($0.02/word)


  • Still does not work in WordPress Multisite installations. In these cases you can send texts using the admin panel of TextMaster
  • You can’t send to translate widgets, categories and tags. What I do is create a post with all these texts, send it to translate and then copy and paste texts in widgets and categories
  • It involves installing another plugin. I recommend disabling the plugin when finished translations

How to use it?

  • Before starting you must create a free account on their website
  • Once the account is created you must install WP TextMaster plugin. In your WordPress dashboard go to TextMaster > Settings, and enter your log in details (email and password)
  • Add credit to your account using your credit card, Paypal or bank transfer. That’s it. You can start ordering translations or proofreading services from your WordPress admin panel
  • Completed translations appear back in your site


More Details


2. ICanLocalize

ICanLocalize WordPress Translation Services

translator-applicationsICanLocalize is the author of WPML, the best known WordPress translation plugin. They know exactly what it takes to run a multilingual WordPress site. Their own site is using WPML and ICanLocalize translations services.

You can receive a translation quote, interview and choose translators, send content for translation and get them back, ready to publish


  • ICanLocalize is fully integrated into WPML. No need to install another plugin
  • You can translate everything (posts, pages, widgets, categories, tags, menus, etc) and you can see an instant quote before you order
  • You can choose your translator from the WordPress dashboard. There are many professional translators experts in different fields. You can find the ones that are best for your website content
  • There are more than 1000 translators and translating between over 45 languages
  • Provides translation and proofreading services


  • This translation service only works with WPML. Note that you may purchase the Multilingual CMS version that costs $79
  • Translation rates are between 0.09 to 0.14 USD / word, depending on the language pairs and required fields of expertise.
  • They don’t provide copywriting services

How to use it?

  • First you must create a free account at ICanLocalize
  • Install WPML (including WPML Translation Management Module)
  • From your WordPress dashboard choose your translators, send content to translation and pay using credit card, PayPal or bank transfer
  • Completed translations appear back in your site.


More Details


This is the third article in the series on WordPress 100% Localized and Translated


  1. says

    Hi, I’m currently the lead developer for Multilingual Press, a plugin to manage multilingual websites on a multisite. So I am biased. :)

    It is more difficult to configure and manage.

    Ease of use is (after the improved performance) the most mentioned benefit our customers report. Language specific themes, plugins and settings are much easier to set up in a multisite, and we are improving our user interface with every version.

    WordPress Multisite was not originally intended for creating multilingual website.

    Well … yes and no. There is a lang_id in the site table, but it isn’t used by the core so far. Looks like it was planned but never completed.

    Managing translation of content is more laborious because it´s easy to lose track of the contents which have been translated or no.

    In our pro version, you can write all translations for a post on the same page, and there is a dashboard widget for missing translations of all posts.

    Another benefit of the multisite solutions: you can try different plugins easily, because all content is still accessible when you turn off the multilingual plugin.

    • says

      Hi Thomas, thanks a lot for taking the time to stop by. Very interesting your comment. I have learned some new things.

      I’m sure you know much more than me about multisite solutions. In this post I tell about my experience. I´ve used multisite solution twice with multilingual websites (one year ago), and I have to say that makes everything harder to manage due to the added complexity of having to setup the same themes and plugins for each site.

      Anyway, I haven´t tested the Multilingual Press pro version (only the free version), so I have not much to say, but I’m sure you´re continuously improving the plugin and I’m sure it´s a great option too.

      ”all content is still accessible when you turn off the multilingual plugin”

      . Yes, that´s true, another advantage of multisite.

      Thanks for your comment

      • says

        In our pro version, we have included a feature to copy one site when you create a new one. This includes all posts (any post type), taxonomies, attachments – and settings: active plugins, theme options and so on.

  2. says

    I have helped clients build multi-language sites, by simply creating 2 wordpress sites and link the navigation back and forth. No need for multi-site – can even customize per culture.. or have an independent domain so the URL can be given to those of that language directly – doesn’t have to be a sub-site.

    Thanks for the plugin ideas!

    • says

      Hi Evely, thanks for your comment.

      Yes, creating two wordpress sites is another solution. I haven´t tried it. How do you link the navigation from one language to another?


      • says

        If you go to the site – you will see that we put flags in the header. You can click back and forth from site to site that way. I just linked each URL to a flag icon.


  3. says

    Thanks for this great review. I am the developer of Zanto WP Translation plugin and there is much more to come from Zanto. I also develop ad-dons for other WordPress multilingual plugins.
    This is a blog I should subscribe to keep up to date with WordPress translation.

  4. Julliana says

    Helpful article with pros and cons for tools, good job! I thought it might be also useful to recommend a good online resource with fresh news about the localization industry for anyone who likes and wants to be informed. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Yves,

      WPML may also be appropriate for large websites, but sometimes creates performance issues, especially if you need to install all WPML addons. WordPress Multisite uses WP core functionality, so performance is better on large websites.

  5. Norman says

    We work with WPML for three years now. It’s the best Multilingual Plugin at the moment, but there are always wordpress, theme and plugin compatibility issues (even when themes or plugins say that they are WPML compatible). Multilingual WordPress Done Right!? Check: The creators of the Babble Plugin just joined Automattic (WordPress), see : so that could bring new light on a true Multilingual WordPress without theme and plugin compatibility issues.

    • says

      Hi Norman,

      I tested Babble plugin a few months ago (the project was very interesting), but the plugin gave me different errors with Genesis framework. Babble plugin uses a Custom Post Type. I’ll give it another chance to see if it has improved. Thanks for the link Norman.


  6. says

    Dear Irena,
    Great article. Helps a lot. Before i decide which combination i will use i need some help…
    I am preparing mentioned website and i need to be in more than a language. I see the light in multisite and switcher but… I need to have Slider, menu and custom fields on different languages as well. Is this possible regarding your experience using this tools?
    Thanks in advance.

    • says

      HI Ivan, thanks you very much.

      Yes, you can have sliders, menus and custom fields in different languages with WPML (single WordPress) and using a Multisite installation (and a network plugin such as Multisite Language Switcher or Multilingual Press)

  7. says

    Dear Irena,

    Very nice write up and thank you for the reviews etc. It is very helpful for new site owners like myself. I started a personal style/lifestyle blog in Jan of this year and a lot of my audience speaks French, How did I know this, I am from an African Country which is bilingual and when I attend a lot of networking events many of the people I have met have told me that they love my blog but they which I could also have my postings in French. So right now I am looking into finding a way to either have a multisite or just translate my posting directly and have an English and then french post right below the English one. Do you know of any translation services that can provide more accurate translations so i could just have an English text post and then a translated French text post below the english post?

    • says

      Thank you very much for your comment. I think the best option for your blog is using WPML plugin and the professional translation service that this plugin provides (called Icanlocalize)

      First, open a free account with Icanlocalize (I invite you here) and then install WPML (premium plugin). ICanLocalize is the author of WPML and runs with professional certified translators. You’ll be running your multilingual website right from within the WordPress dashboard. This way you avoid having to copy and paste text into Word.

      You can use subdirectories or subdomains for your French version (Example: or to separate languages. It is not advisable to mix languages on the same page.

      • says

        Dear Irena,

        Many thanks for your prompt response and for your suggestions (I was away for the holidays so I am just reading your response). I will look into trying the WPML plugin option are you suggested. I will come back with feedback in case others would like to try this options too. Have a great day and thanks again! :-)

  8. Martin says

    Dear Irena
    Thank you so much for your comprehensive and well written post. I found it so useful. I would like to ask your opinion on an idea I have. I wish to set up a site with resources to help people learn languages. I will start with English and later rollout Spanish and then hopefully Russian and Turkish and possibly beyond that, we will see! I envisage having sub-domains for each language. Within the English sub-domain, I will have blog posts and resources. The blog and the text that top and tail the resources will be in multiple languages, and the resources themselves will be in English.
    Within the Spanish sub-domain the same principle will apply (resources in Spanish, rest in multi-language) and I want to have more or less the same blog content and same top and tailing.
    Should I set up a multisite to duplicate content from the English site to the Spanish site (and others in turn) and what would be the best way to manage translations once duplicated?
    If I use subdomains for the learning aspects, what should I use for the multi-language options of each subdomain?

    I hope that is clear and thank you for taking the time to read my question, and once again for your great blogpost.

    • says

      HI Martin, thank you very much!

      You can only duplicate sites with Multilingual Press Pro plugin.

      For every language you have created a site in your Multisite, this plugin will insert an extra Visual Editor to manage translations when you edit a page or post.

      For the learning aspects you have a plugin called LearnDash (translation ready and Multisite compatible) to create online courses.


  9. says

    Dear Irena
    Your very last link in this article is incorrect:
    “…. or Multisite Language Switcher (WP Multisite).”
    You link to Simple Language Switcher in stead of Multisite Language Switcher and I believe that’s not what you intended.
    Nevertheless, thanks for the very good article and other info in your blog, Ard

  10. says

    Hi Irena

    Very nice article and helpful for me in choosing ways to communicate and translate.
    Yet there are more concerns about my social media behavoir. What are your thoughts or recommendations about speaking more than one language in for example facebook, twitter etc?
    I want to reach out to english speaking social media users as well.

    Thommy Andersen

    • says

      Hello Thommy. Thank you very much. Social media in different languages is a very interesting topic. Some things to consider:
      – Some countries use their own social networks. For example, in Russia is more important than Facebook; if your website has a Russian version then you must be in this network.
      – Large companies create social profiles in different languages. For example, @namecompay_es for the Spanish version and @namecompay_fr for the French version.
      – Maintain profiles in multiple languages can be very expensive. This is the reason that have appeared translation services for social networks like Fliplingo
      – If you want to reach the English-speaking market then it is convenient to create social profiles in English

  11. Hilal says

    I am doing a multilangual joboard site for a customer using wordpress and was thinking about using multisite. The issue is that users would exist in English but not in French. So if someone switches from french to English, he would go to another website where he does not exist. The theme I am using does not support WPML (it breaks core features) .

      • Hilal says

        Lets say I create an account on the English version of the site. That account would not exist in the French version of the site because they are two different databases.

        In my case it is a job board website , that also means that I would have to browse job applications in English and French sites separately .

        Thank you!

  12. says


    I currently run this WP Blog, and since I have success with it, I got a new domain to do the same thing but in English.

    In the future besides english I would like to add some other languages, but for now I really need it in English.

    My Blog has about 60 articles with and average of 600 words per article.

    What is the best thing to do? To translate it using a professional company (I don’t have a clue what are the prices to translate that from PT to EN), or is there any kind of program that can translate all my articles in a professional way, even if I pay for it?

    Thank You and congrats, for your excelent article by the way.

    • says

      Hi Rui, thank you very much. There is no software that can translate all your articles in a professional way.
      To translate your website professionally you’ll have to hire a professional translation service. I recommend using TextMaster (mentioned in the Annex of this article). Portuguese to English prices start from € 0.03 / word.

  13. says

    thanks for a great article!

    We want our new site to be available for our local resellers around the World. We have the following requirements:
    -Our local resellers should be able to translate our pages to their native language and when we update a page they should have the update immediately for translation.
    -They should be able to add pages with local information, Contact etc.
    -They should be able to create their own local newsfeed.
    -They should not have acceess to edit our webshop, its part of the site but only for resellers. (woocommerce)
    -They should not be able to see the list with other users.
    -Is it possible to have the texts in a plugin like Revolution Slider in each local language?
    Which solution or method would meet our criteria best? Is a multisite the solution? Anyone having ideas, it would be greatly appreciated?

    • says

      Hi Leif,

      In your case I would say it is better to use WordPress Multisite since it will allow you to separate websites and create local users for each website. Local users could not see other language versions.

      Yes, of course, you can have the texts in each local language with Revolution Slider.


    • says

      Hi Kialaya,

      Thanks for your comment. I did not know this plugin. qTranslate plugin is not updated since January 24, 2014. It is no longer compatible with the latest versions of WordPress For this reason there are new plugins based on qTranslate such as mqTranslate or qTranslate Plus. I’ll add it to the article. Thank you very much¡¡

  14. rach says

    I currently have to sites (two different language, same content) that manage separately and wanted now wanted to have some synergy in place.
    it’s a small site with very little content since I’m just starting out.
    I would like to have the option of make a post in english and it got translated to the second language directly but i could correct the translation manually if needed.
    I’m new to wp, but do have web making background (good old html, php i used to do).
    what’s your suggestion? and along with that, would you also suggest a professional theme that works well with it. (i’m using the site as a financial advising business)

    Thank you.

  15. says

    Dorogaya Irena, i was very glad to see such professional site, mady by pretty woman!
    Is it possible to contact you with mail to be ensured that you will get cyrillyc letters?
    I have only one question – what should i use if i want make multilanguage (Russian, English, Spanish) site for this theme:

    It would be news/reviews site. All translations would be made by human. Design would be the same, but not every post would be translated. Should i use WPML as the best solution for it?

    I also hope that chosen variant will allow me maintain good SEO.

  16. says

    Thanks, this is really useful knowledge for everyone. Machine language translator with manipulate and WPML is nice software. I am very glad to visit this site and read your information. thanks for sharing this useful knowledge.

  17. Anu says

    Hi Irena, nice article and helpful.
    I am new to wordpress. i have developed one website in English like but now client wants a site like for french and for English . clients will add french content to pages, should give option for them to add content . and also in front end should give language (EN | FR ) switcher in header to select languages. how i can achieve this .

    Please help to solve this issue.

    Thanks .

  18. Jan says

    Hola Irena

    Very usefull website, and easy to tell, You know a lot, and all very well explained. I have one question though..:-)

    If I set up a magazine with WPmultisite, in 3 languages, and i speak/write in all 3, would I ever need a translation plugin/Tool ?

    And for the SEO, are You cheering for or for best result..:-)


    • says

      Hi Jan,

      – You’ll need a plugin if you want to connect posts, pages, etc, between different languages
      – Both choices are good. I honestly do not know which is better



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