WordPress and its e-commerce plugin WooCommerce are together a very popular website and online store platform. Their popularity is easy to understand as they offer a lot of customisability and countless plugins for a wide variety of needs. This is not, however, all good. For example, when it comes to localisation, it means that there is no out-of-the-box support for multiple languages. So, you cannot directly start typing in product names in other languages in a WooCommerce store; using multiple languages always requires the purchase of a separate multilingualism support plugin. Luckily, there are plenty of them readily available.
I’m not going to look into the advantages and disadvantages of various multilingualism support plugins in detail here – let’s just say that there is a lot of information available on this topic, especially from the perspective of online service developers. You can find online articles that compare those ever-so-important load speeds, for instance. Instead, I’ll tell you what we see in customer projects every day and what we hear from our customers. We have localised numerous WordPress sites and WooCommerce stores and cooperated with many companies and their developer partners – and our own website is also created with WordPress.
Observations from customer projects
Polylang is by far the most popular multilingualism support plugin among our customers. It is also widely recommended by developers. Polylang is simple and does what it promises well and quickly (those load speeds!). It is an excellent choice, especially from the developer’s point of view, but when you need to update and localise content, it has major shortcomings, of which I’ll say more below. The different language versions of our own website are also produced with Polylang.
Another popular multilingualism support plugin is WPML. We have long experience in using it: prior to last autumn’s website renewal, the language versions of Delingua’s website were produced with WPML. This plugin has many advantages as far as localisation is concerned, such as good export and import functionalities and connectivity with many translation environments. But from the point of view of development and performance, it has its disadvantages and historical burdens, which is why it is not the best choice for all situations.
As I just mentioned, Polylang is an excellent tool from the perspective of a website’s technical functionality, with advantages related especially to speed and performance in connection with WordPress updates. However, the other side of the coin is that, out of the box, Polylang does not really support the localisation process. In other words, as a counterbalance to stability and speed, someone updating a website or an online store will have to work hard to get localised texts on the site. If you want to do the actual translation work efficiently and use the translation memories containing the customer’s previous translations, you will very quickly find yourself resorting to so-called traditional methods, in other words, copying and pasting. If you want to avoid mind-numbing manual work, translations can be done using Polylang’s interface. However, it does not support the use of translation memories and translators rarely know how to use it. This makes localisation slower, more expensive and more prone to error.
Polylang and Delingua’s translation plugin
We want to serve our customers quickly and flexibly. This does not just mean that we respond quickly to emails and provide translations flexibly according to the customer’s wishes. It means that we also want to make it easier for our customers to manage their own systems and work with them. That’s why we have developed a new translation plugin for Polylang. It complements the proven multilingualism tool with functionality that also makes it easy to order localisation and add the localised content to a website or an online store.
In Delingua’s Polylang plugin, you first select the content to be localised (products or other items) and then the languages and the project schedule. Finally, you click one button to transfer the content to our translation system. That is all the customer needs to do. Email attachments and other complicated arrangements can be forgotten. Once the translations are complete, they will automatically be directed to the right places on the website.
The customer can choose in advance whether they want to first receive and approve the cost estimate or send the content directly for translation.
Do you want to make it easier to localise the content of your online store and website? Join the satisfied users of Delingua’s Polylang plugin!