As a marketer in today’s digital first world, getting your approach to multilingual and localisation right can make or break global expansion.
Choosing the right multilingual, translation or localisation solution for enterprise WordPress development is not easy to get right.
We know, because over the years we’ve experienced our fair share of challenges when it comes to multilingual WordPress projects. From custom translation workflows to SEO complications to speed and performance – defining the right approach to multilingual WordPress needs to consider a wide range of factors.
As London’s leading WordPress agency and WordPress multilingual experts, we have a strong track record of delivering multilingual and localised WordPress projects for a range of global clients and can help our clients navigate the complexity with ease.
Just get in touch if you would like to talk to our WordPress multilingual experts, otherwise keep scrolling to find out more about how to approach multilingual WordPress.
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What’s the difference between multilingual and localised WordPress?
Multilingual WordPress refers to translation, i.e. having a WordPress site, or network of WordPress sites, operating in different translated languages.
Localised WordPress refers to displaying different content to different markets/regions.
What’s the difference? Well it’s possible to do localisation without doing translation.
For example, some of our clients operate just in the UK and US markets. In this case, we might not need to explore a full ‘translation’ solution because both markets are English speaking. We would need to make sure some spellings are changed, e.g. certain letter ‘s’ are changed to ‘z’, but otherwise the priority is just being able to localise content in each market.
This might mean showing different case studies, client logos, events etc on each version of the site, but there is no translation – both versions of the site are in English.
Of course in some instances our clients wants to do both multilingual translation and localisation. For example they may operate in UK, Australia, US, Germany and Sweden. The UK, Australian and US versions of the site would all be in English, albeit with localised content displayed on each, whereas the German and Swedish versions of the site would be translated to be in German and Swedish.
What’s the best multilingual WordPress plugin?
This is a question we receive often, but answering it is not easy.
The reality is that each business we work with has a different set of criteria, and choosing the right technical approach to multilingual WordPress needs to come after understanding the people and processes managing the websites in question. So these are some of the things we need to consider when choosing the best WordPress multilingual plugin:
- The size of the marketing team & available resource
- Whether the marketing team is centralised or if there are marketers in each local market
- How the client manages editorial/publishing workflows
- How the client approaches CMS management
- If the client needs translation, localisation or both
- Whether we need manual translation, automated translation or both
- What the client’s SEO objectives are
- How many languages/countries the site might need to support currently
- If the site might need to roll out into additional countries/languages in the future
- Site speed and global performance in local markets
Over the years we have worked with a number of WordPress localisation and multilingual translation plugins, some of which include:
We’ve also delivered custom WordPress multilingual solutions and workflows. In some cases this might mean customising an existing plugin, and in others integrating via APIs with advanced automated translation solutions like Google Cloud Translation or DeepL.
So one plugin might be great for a small centralised marketing team managing only 3 country sites. Whereas another might be best for a global marketing team managing 20 country sites and marketing team members in each country. There is really no one ‘best’ plugin – the optimal technical solution needs to consider a number of elements and varies from client to client.
Get in touch if you would like to learn more about the different ways of approaching multilingual WordPress.
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SEO considerations with multilingual and localised WordPress?
Organic SEO visibility, increased traffic and lead generation in international markets is one of the main reasons our global B2B clients look to explore multilingual and localised WordPress.
But we come across a number of sites that have got this wrong from a technical perspective. It’s easy to run into SEO issues around duplicate content and crawling when it comes to the multilingual WordPress, so it’s key to get this right – otherwise you risk doing SEO damage rather than making gains.
So making sure your technical SEO approach to multilingual WordPress considers your domain name URL structure, hreflang and canonical tags and other SEO configurations is important.
Fortunately at 93digital we have an in house SEO team who can work closely alongside our WordPress development team to make sure our technical solutions deliver marketing ROI.
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What if my multilingual WordPress site is slow?
Speed is also a key factor in SEO, particularly with Core Web Vitals in mind, and this is easy to get wrong with multilingual WordPress.
A poorly approach WordPress development project can result in a very slow site. Your WordPress developers needs to deliver a technically optimised solution that will allow you to enter global markets with a fast and scalable site, and one that doesn’t start slowing down as you roll out more languages.
Multilingual experts such as 93digital should be able to guide on how to achieve fast, secure and scalable multilingual WordPress.
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