WPML vs Polylang | When to choose a free plugin?

If you are aiming to have a WordPress website in different languages, find out more about two multilingual WordPress plugins, WPML vs Polylang.
Written by
Polylang
Polylang Rating
4.5/5
Recommended for Small Websites
Price per Value
99%
Ease of Use
80%
Translation Speed
90%
Automatic Translation Accuracy
95%
Fast Website Speed
90%
Word Count Limit
95%
wpml-logo
WPML Rating
4.5/5
Recommended for Content Websites
Price per Value
95%
Ease of Use
95%
Translation Speed
85%
Automatic Translation Accuracy
90%
Fast Website Speed
80%
Word Count Limit
100%

Carlos' Opinion -
WPML vs Polylang.

Among the multilingual plugins available out there, I had to give it a try to Polylang.

For my website I use WPML, but for a dummy website I installed Polylang.

The big advantage that I saw on Polylang was that it is free, although for extra features you have to buy extra add-ons.

So for sure, this would be recommended for all those small WordPress Websites that have just a few pages.

You don’t have to spend a cent at the beginning, you just have to spend time installing it.

At first it was a bit confusing, since it users experience at the beginning seem a little bit to old, in comparison on the User Interface that plugins such as WPML or Weglot have.

Polylang also offers an automatic translation, but for this you have to install Lingotek.

You can have up to 100,000 characters for free, but you could also do a manual translation.

As I have mentioned in other articles such as WPML Review or Weglot vs WPML, WPML is a great plugin when it we are talking about WordPress websites that have plenty of text.

WPML doesn’t have any word count limitation, and you can easily add or remove languages.

Polylang didn’t have a direct widget for Elementor, and in contrast WPML does have one.

WPML has recently added Deepl to its automatic translation, therefore it has a better automatic translation.

But also, you will have to buy some credits to be able to use this automatic translation.

So as said, Polylang is recommended for small websites with low content, and WPML is recommended for websites who aim to have no word count limit, have multiple languages, and also who has a better compatibility also with SEO Plugins such as Rank Math or Yoast.

What is WPML?

When talking about WordPress Multilingual Plugin , or simply WPML , we refer to that WordPress plugin that is responsible for transforming a monolingual website, or blog, into a multilingual platform. Something that is more than necessary in recent times.

This is a very popular tool because it allows the user to translate the content of their domain into more than 40 languages with the benefit that the SEO work is not impaired at all.

Apart from being characterized by being intuitive, and having more than one resource that makes the entire translation process easier.

With this plugin, not only manual translation is achieved , but also automatic translation , where both can be worked in parallel, so that the user can ensure that a good job has been done with their content.

When it comes to multilanguage plugins, we must recognize WPML as the one that is most used around the world, since it is a tool that was born a lot of years ago, and updates continue to be periodically maintained to ensure that we offer you only the best to user.

In order to access the use of WPML, it is necessary to buy a license, and this is done through the brand’s platform. After purchasing it, you can install it in WordPress. The price of this tool starts at USD 29, and the renewal, after one year, is fixed at USD 21.

Many users who already have a multilingual website assure that this is one of those plugins that cannot be missing in their repertoire, so it is better not to leave it out and test if its advantages and benefits are also adapted to your domain.

WPML Features

For anyone, structuring a multilingual website can be a headache.

However, the features of WPML are responsible for making the task much easier, since there are many functionalities and advantages that these give to the tool in general.

In this WPML Review, here we state some of the advantages and disadvantages.

WPML Advantages

Allows SEO optimization.

The structure of the website after being translated is still in collaboration with what is technical SEO. Besides, if you feel that this is not enough, you have complete control of your content so that you can optimize any other details you have in mind.

Its compatibility with themes is high.

We all know that one of the strengths of WordPress is that it has a wide range of themes, and that it never stops increasing. The compatibility of WPML is very wide, so you will go perfectly with the vast majority of these.

Also high compatibility with plugins.

New versions of this plugin are approved frequently so that there are no differences when using themes. But, another strong point is the fact that it is completely compatible with the most used plugins. As is the case of Rankmath, Yoast, Woo commerce , Contact Form 7, among others.

Provides optimal management in terms of translations.

This is achieved thanks to the fact that it is one of those translation plugins in which the user does not have to be left solely with automatic translation as an additional cost , and can actively participate from a manual mechanism to refine details.

The tool gives you access to a network of translators.

In case you do not have the right professionals to carry out your translations, the same tool offers you a network where you can find qualified translators to help you with the work on your website. This is ideal if you are one of those who are so jealous of their project that they do not place it in the hands of just anyone. The fact that the catalog of options is granted by the tool tells us that they will not only know the language, but also how WPML works.

WPML Disadvantages

Slows down your Website.

It can make slower administration of the WordPress website, because it creates extra tables in the database, but they are improving their performance.

Manual Translation can take time.

Translating the content by yourself can take you time. Although they are adding automatic translation with Deepl, but still it will require some time.

It might mess up your WordPress if you uninstall.

If by some reason, you have to deactivate or uninstall WPML plugin, there might be some duplicated pages or posts in your WordPress environment.

WPML Pricing

WPML Pricing is based on an annual plan.

Here you can find WPML Pricing plans.

Multilingual Blog

$ 29
/ Yearly
  • Translate posts, pages and custom types
  • Translate tags, categories and custom taxonomy
  • Translate WordPress menus
  • 1 Website you can register
  • One year of free updates
  • Renewal per year $21

Multilingual CMS

$ 79
/ Yearly
  • Multilingual Blog Features
  • Translate widgets
  • Translate texts in theme and plugins admin
  • Manage attachments in different languages
  • 3 Websites you can register
  • One year of free updates
  • Renewal per year $59

Multilingual Agency

$ 159
/ Yearly
  • Multilingual CMS Features
  • Unlimited Websites you can register
  • One year of free updates
  • Renewal per year $119

To use or not to use WPML?

As recommendation in this WPML Review, WPML should be used in the case that you have plenty of wordpress content to translate.

The advantage now that WPML has Deepl, is that you can translate faster and with better quality.

But as well, it is recommended that if you have a WordPress website that focuses more on the commercial side with WooCommerce, then Weglot could be a better option, since it would reduce the risks of having bugs in between.

As reminder here are some WPML key aspects to consider:

It has a translation editor already built into the WordPress administrator.

It has an extensive language directory so you have the ability to choose the language you want without limit.

You can create, or update, language files directly from the translation manager or from product and page posts.

With WPML you have more control over translations, so translating your WordPress Website will be under your control.

You have control on what you translate and what not.

As many translation plugins, it has its advantages and disadvantages, but as established in about WPML, if you are aiming for high volume content translation, go for it.

Give it a try.

What is Polylang?

If you are looking for an alternative that offers you a free user and the possibility of accessing a paid version when you can see income on your website, then Polylang is your ideal translator plugin.

Polylang has over 100 different target languages, all of which have to be translated manually or automatically, and you can add the Lingotek service to Polylang to help you with many professional translators.

Because the Polylang plugin is used with a human translation, you can control all the content you want to translate on the website, as well as translate the functions and text of the system. There are basic features of Polylang for free, as well as its premium feature.

With the pro version you have the possibility to duplicate entries or pages and translate them into the language you prefer, you can deactivate and activate languages as you like, better functions.

And of course, you have premium quality technical support where you will be attended to as soon as possible, for only 99 euros for a single domain.

With Polylang is easy to start by just downloading the plugin directly from WordPress Plugins dashboard.

Polylang Features.

When you succeed in installing Polylang you will notice that the translations of your website will be complete.

All the texts that the website has, such as the buttons, tabs and menu will be easily translated.

You will be able to program the URLs of the website to your preference for each of the languages you want.

If you get the service of an experienced developer you can make the images to be positioned for the different languages that there are.

You will also be able to achieve automated translations, but they are not always accurate.

And the translations that are manual only, you have to create the necessary entries for all languages and then adjust  in the language selector.

We believe that many features are missing, but to avoid make it even longer, you can visit their website for more information at WordPress Polylang.

Polylang Advantages.

It has many options.

Polylang is one of the most complete plugins made for WordPress. As well as there is not much difference with other plugins that are paid and have the same characteristics.

Easy to use.

Installation is easy and its configuration is very intuitive.

Saves time.

We can do chain translations with less time.

Polylang Disadvantages.

You have a problem integrating.

Polylang is not 100% compatible with most plugins and themes that have been developed for WordPress.

To use or not to use Polylang?

If you have a small website and have to translate just a few pages, then it could be worthwile to just have a plugin such as Polylang.

With Polylang the translation is simple.

But if you are aiming for more features to be translated inside your WordPress Website, then you should but the extra add-ons.

Use it if you have a small website.

As previously mentioned, WPML is recommended if you have a website that is content oriented.

Polylang or even Gtranslate are plugins for small websites.

And if you have a Woocommerce store, then you should consider Weglot.

Face to Face.

WPML vs Polylang price comparison.

Now that we have seen more about WPML vs Polylang, here is a price comparison to have it in a graphical comparison.

Prices of WPML are in $ USD, and Polylang in € Euro.

It is worth mentioning that Polylang pricing is for just 1 Website, if you want more website licenses, you should pay a higher plan.

In the case of WPML as you increase your plan, you have more websites.

Multilingual Blog is for 1 Website, CMS is for 3 Websites and Agency is for unlimited websites.

Therefore, in that case, long run or even by number of websites, WPML is cheaper than Polylang.

If we divide the 3 Websites of the Multilingual CMS plan of WPML by the full price, then the price per a year license for a website is of $26.33.

More about Multilingual WordPress.