One good free plugin is the
Polylang (Free Plugin)
Polylang is a free alternative to WPML that is highly rated among users.
The appeal of this plugin (beyond the lack of a price tag) is that has much more straightforward approach and cleaner admin panel than other translation plugins.
After activating the plugin, users can choose languages which content will be translated into. It is important to note that Polylang does not automatically translate content; you will be required to manually translate it in some manner.
Like WPML, Polylang provides a customizable language switcher. If the built in customization options don’t fit with your theme, there is a wealth of code available in the support forums to help you get the look you want. In fact, you will find the support community for this plugin to be very helpful.
Once the plugin is set up, the workflow for translating is quite straightforward. Content can be flagged for translation. For some users this may be a desirable option, particularly if you do not want everything and anything translated on your site. This can also be a great option if you have staff available to translate or if you’re outsourcing translation.
Making a Choice
How you choose to add multi-language functionality to your site is a big decision that you should consider carefully. You will want a solution that is user friendly for you in order to allow you stay focused on your content.
No matter which method you choose, one thing is certain: manual translation, whether from the onset or after automatic translation, is still a necessity. Doing this will help you gain and maintain credibility with visitors and also help you avoid penalties from Google for having duplicate content.
When you do decide to add multi-language to your site, it is recommended that you create a non-live test site first. This will allow you to work out any problems that arise. Finally, always be sure to back up your original site, as adding a translation feature will make changes to your database and directory.
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