Would you like to reach international audiences through your website? Doing so can be a complicated process, with website translation and localization services both essential to engaging effectively with consumers in other languages.
Why website translation and why WordPress?
This guide to creating multilingual WordPress websites will walk you through the key considerations. You can also click here for more top website translation tips for businesses, courtesy of translation agency Tomedes. According to the company’s CEO, Ofer Tirosh, the website translation can help you to greatly improve your SEO, your target reach, your influence, and your marketing efforts online. For businesses with big plans, website translation is all but essential.
We’ve focused on WordPress website translation for this guide because WordPress is used by 38.3% of all websites, according to W3Techs. That’s a content management system market share of 63.5%.
Multilingual WordPress websites – the basics
First things first. You’ll need a theme that supports multiple languages if you want to successfully translate your WordPress site. This is a non-negotiable! If you haven’t created your site yet, simply opt for a theme that supports multilingual plug-ins. If you have an existing site, make sure that your current theme does so before proceeding.
Next, you’ll need to choose your plug-in. As with everything WordPress-related, you have various options when it comes to multilingual plug-ins. TranslatePress, Polylang, and WPML are all well-respected options that allow you to translate your site easily and efficiently.
Website translation is about more than just converting your content from one language to another. Yes, you need to translate your pages and your posts, but you also need to account for tags, categories, and plug-ins, ensuring that the translation process doesn’t break any other element of the site.
WordPress website translation example – WPML
The WPML plug-in highlights how simple website translation in WordPress can be when you have the right tools at your disposal. In WPML, set up a Multilingual CMS account (this allows you to translate up to three websites) and then install the WPML Translation Management plugin and the WPML String Translation plugin.
Next, go to Translation Management and then Translation Services to choose a translation agency. We’ll touch on how to choose the best website translation agency below.
In order to activate your chosen translation agency, you’ll need an authentication API token from them, which you can obtain quickly and easily via email. With the authentication complete, you can send content for translation and sit back and relax while your translation company swings into gear.
Translation for your future needs
Of course, your multilingual work doesn’t stop once you’ve translated your WordPress website. Reaching out to customers in other languages is one thing but maintaining a connection with them – and thus driving up brand loyalty – is an ongoing and evolving process, just as marketing itself is. From your social media feeds to online events, you need to factor in how to communicate with customers who don’t speak your language.
Again, having the right tools is key, from your web conferencing software to the translation agency you choose.
According to Technology Advice, Zoom is the best in class web conferencing solution, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 for its comprehensive offering. Zoom enables language interpretation for meetings and webinars, making this an excellent choice for companies that want to engage with customers in more than one language.
In order to facilitate this, you’ll need a language services provider, just as you did for the WordPress website translation. This means that sourcing the best website translation agency is of paramount importance.
To do this, be sure that you review the agency you plan to use, along with several competitors, as part of the WordPress translation process. Look out for agencies that cover a wide range of languages and that provide expertise in your specific business sector. Experience of website translation is, of course, a must, but be on the lookout for specific marketing translation experience too, including video translation if that’s something you are likely to need in the future.
Research each candidate agency thoroughly, reading reviews, assessing their customer service offering and factoring in considerations such as how long the translation company has been in business.
Your WordPress website translation is the start of a longer journey, so it’s important to take a holistic approach. Think about your overall language needs, including both translation and interpretation. Look at the languages you need initially and then consider others that you may need further down the line, so that you can be sure the agency covers those too.
Using the right translation agency is key to achieving the best possible multilingual website. Don’t settle on an agency until you are sure that they can deliver everything you need. Your approach to WordPress translation is an investment in your site’s future success, so be sure that everything you use – from your plug-in to your translation agency – is the best on the market.