One question customers often have, concerns multilingual pages. As WordPress was developed as a blog system, a standard option for multilingual content is not included. One either has to manually create different versions or use a WordPress plugin.

Basically, there are three different possibilities to solve the case. They all have their pros and cons, which I want to show here.

The S-package

Sometimes, it’s only a few statements, that actually need more than one language. The most simple way is to just list the words or phrases next to each other. There are many small projects (or budgets) where this concept is enough.
Advantages: Easy and fast setup
Disadvantages: Only possible with short passages.

The M-package

The next possibility is using a multilanguage plugin. They allow, to directly translate contents and let users switch between languages. This is a great way to translate all parts of a website and as everything is in one system, contents can easily be compared.
Advantages: One system, easy comparison between language versions and easily manageable.
Disadvantages: SEO is not possible for more than one language. Plus most of the plugins are still flawed.

The L-package

In this manual solution, all contents of the website are copied to a second version, which is then fully translated. Even though it sounds time-consuming, the efforts are comparable to using a multilanguage plugin. The best way for the cloning is to use the WordPress mulitisite function. Though unfortunately, not all hosting providers allow multisites. If each of the different language version is an independent site, maintaining plugins and versions is quite elaborate.
Advantages: SEO works perfectly and error diagnostics is easier.
Disadvantages: One might have to maintain independent systems and links have to be manually updated. Also, it works best for static websites.

There is no perfect solution. Which one works is always dependent on the project at hand. But these rationales should be conducted in the beginning, before starting to translate anything.

Written by anna

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