WPML is by far one of the most popular translation plugins for WordPress.
It has been for plenty of years on the market helping webmaster to create multilingual websites.
But the questions arise, is really WPML the best WordPress multilingual plugin if want to translate our WordPress site.
By experience, as I wanted to create a multilingual WordPress website mainly focused in Spanish and English, I also came out with the quesiton, how can I build a multilingual website?
In that time, I also did my search of the different WordPress plugins that helped out to translate your website and found several, among them I found WP Globus, Polylang, Loco Translate and Gtranslate.
First I gave it a try to WP Globus as it has a free translation plugin plan that was really easy to install and gave me a head start to create my multilingual site.
But then after, I saw that there were some issues that didn’t make it really easy to manage to translate the content, because it generated a certain duplicated form of the content, and if I uninstalled it, it kept the two versions in some sort of brackets in the same piece of post or page, as for example”｛EN｝｛ES｝”, making it difficult later to re-establish the translation.
I was a beginner at that time, and didn’t know pretty well about a good International SEO WordPress strategy, but with research and tests, I found out WPML.
Around 2017, I decided to give it a try to WPML plugin as it was named one of the best WordPress translation plugins available in that time.
And it certainly had a better user experience in comparison with WP Globus, as you can choose the different languages of your preference, it doesn’t create duplicated content, it adds the Hreflangs which are important for International SEO, it was compatible with my WordPress theme at that time, Astra Theme, and overall it helped with the task to translate your site.
It also had the option of additional features such as hiring some professional translation services, but for a beginner that option might be out of sight.
Nevertheless, WPML had its own disadvantages specially with the time that it required to allow you to translate completely a single WordPress page.
As well, it did had an impact on the website speed, making it slower for WordPress users, so in that time a WPML alternative was surging, Weglot, which I gave it a try for a while and where I talk more about my story and the reasons why you should use Weglot, but it also has its negative sides and as WPML started also to push more to use automatic translation and it improved its advanced translation editor, the WPML multilingual plugin became again the option that I wanted to use again to translate WordPress content.
Since 2020 till today, this websie uses WPML wordpress translation plugin, which it certainly has helped us to create a website in multiple languages.
We have content in different languages, around 14, and it certainly has helped us to rank in search engines internationally.
We use the WordPress machine translation integration with DeepL, that has a good quality of translation, better than Google translate.
Overall and following up this article, I share you the main reasons why you should use WPML, specially if you have a content driven website rather than an e-commerce website.
One of the main advantages of WPML is that there are no limits in the amount of words to be translated.
Of course it is worth mentioning that this is in the manual translation, since the automatic translation does have an extra cost different from the yearly license payment.
If you have a content website with plenty of blog posts, then WPML would be a better fit in comparison to other multilingual plugins that have a word count limit.
The way WPML works between manual and automatic translation can certainly help to have a good mix of translations.
Another important thing to consider to translate websites is that every single word is translated correctly.
WPML translation allows to translate every single strings directly from within WordPress.
So if the word that you want to translate doesn’t appear when you use the advanced translation editor, then from the WordPress dashboard you can go directly to the WPML string translation tab to search out for it.
As well, in case that you want to change the Youtube URL or any other website domain pointing to a different language, then you can also do it from this section.
Plus, WPML makes possible to translate WordPress media.
WPML gives the opportunity to choose the languages that you want to add to your website.
There is neither a limit on the languages you can choose, but it is important to take into consideration that the more content with WPML you have translated, also the bigger the size of the translation database will be, since WPML translated content is stored in your server.
If you are aiming to have more than 2 languages for your Website, WPML also is a good option in this case.
DeepL is gaining position of probably one of the best machine translation available out there, since they use machine learning and artificial intelligence which makes more accurate the quality of the translation.
WPML and DeepL integration gives a higher quality to the automatic translation of WordPress.
Certainly, WPML allows to connect with other translation services like Microsoft or Google Translate, but those translation engines are still a bit far of having that good grammar and sense of the translation.
WPML connect automatically with DeepL WordPress API, so basically you don’t have to do any further or complicated programming to set it, as the WPML wizard helps you out to select the type of translation you want for your automatic translation.
WPML offers some credits included on their plans such as the WPML Multilingual CMS and Multilingual Agency, which can help you to automatic translation process, but in case that you don’t really want to use them you still get some free credits every month of around 2,000 credits.
When someone wants to create a multilingual website in their own language plus the languages where they want to get readers and visitors from, International SEO is a really good strategy to gain traffic from different countries.
If you want to implement an International SEO wordpress strategy, then this might be one of the principal reasons why WPML should be in your top list as the best WordPress translation plugin.
There are some aspects to consider when choosing a WordPress plugin to translate a website focused on SEO and those are that it complies with the Hreflangs, Sitemap, Meta Data translation, URL slug translation and of course the content translation.
Hreflang is a code that is added automatically to your website by WPML, which basically states that there is an alternative page or post that is in another language.
Another important aspect for International SEO is to submit a sitemap to the Google Search Console or to Bing Webmaster, and in this case WPML generates automatically the corresponding URL to the sitemap, so that when a user form another country do the search, then the language that will appear is the specific to his query.
Rank Math and Yoast SEO are compatible with WPML, which are helpful plugins for your site to set out the Meta Title and Meta description that will appear on search engines.
WPML support to translate this text from the advanced translation editor, as well as WPML use to translate the URL slug from this section, which is another recommended aspect for International SEO and user experience.
And last but not least and quite obvious that it is important to do the content translation that is optimized and localized for International SEO.
WPML is going to be still one of the best multilingual plugin for WordPress for a while, and as Weglot is pushing strong to be considered the best, there will be differences that some might help to fit better for content websites and other for other types of websites such as E-commerce, portfolio, real estate, restaurant and websites of other industries.
As for my opinion WPML and Woocommerce are still far for being a perfect relationship because WPML does adds size to your database, and in my consideration you want to have a lean and fast hosting server that can be running smoothly without any issues.
In the case of E-commerce stores, we recommend Weglot, as mentioned in the WPML vs Weglot, since it is like hiring a translation team where you don’t really have to worry about translation.
WPML do work with Woocommerce, but there might be the cases that some compatibility issues might appear, specially if you are using some other plugin for your site like Elementor or Divi.
In the case of support, the WPML team usually answers any question and there is also already an information database that might help you if some problem arise, but also it might be some cases where the team at WPML might not fully help you and this might be due to issues not related to WPML.
WPML as a premium plugin to make your site multilingual is a good decision specially for an entire site that is focused on content, as mentioned in our WPML review.