The internet may have helped remove geographical barriers for businesses, but trading internationally brings new challenges including the need for websites that support more than one language.
Increasingly businesses are coming to us with a requirement that their new website should be available in two or more languages. There are a variety of tools and techniques for creating multilingual websites, and below are two approaches we’ve used with clients.
Google translate toolbar
The Google Translate Toolbar offers a quick and easy solution for translations in over 60 languages. Add the toolbar to your site for free and it will automatically provide machine generated translations. It works on nearly every website regardless of platform.
Google Translate toolbar is a good option if you need to offer many languages and don’t have the time or budget for pages to be manually translated. It also works well as an interim solution while your pages are being translated.
The downside of Google Translate is that machine generated translations vary in quality and you have no control over the quality of the translation. Without the assistance of a translator there’s no real way of checking how your page is being interpreted.
Case study – Chemical Watch
Industry new provider Chemical Watch offers a global service so their website needed to offer translation into many languages. We implemented Google toolbar to allow visitors from all countries to view the site in their own language.
WPML multilingual plugin for WordPress
WPML is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily translate your whole WordPress site into multiple languages. With WPML you have complete control over how your site is translated but you will need the services of a translator in order to populate your pages. Fortunately if you need translation services you can even outsource these through the plugin.
Using WPML you can translate every aspect of your WordPress site, including pages, blog posts, categories and tags. Sites that use ecommerce plugin WooCommerce can also translate their product listings.
WPML is a not a free solution, but is reasonably priced at $29 for the basic version. I should point out that we are not in any way affiliated with WPML. We are recommending this plugin as a tried and tested solution that works!
Case study – Shoemaster
With offices in both the UK and Italy, Shoemaster required a site that was available in English and Italian language versions. The WPML plugin allows Shoemaster to easily and effectively manage both versions of their site.
Case study – Expedite International Business Solutions
Paper sourcing and logistics specialist Expedite are a truly global business operating on four continents. We implemented the WPML plugin on Expedite’s website so that visitors can access the site in both English and Japanese.
Do you have a requirement for a multilingual website? Get in touch to find out how we could help.