When it comes to WordPress translation, there have been a lot of advancements in the technology and systems behind it over the past few years. These have aimed to make the translation process as effortless and efficient as possible.
If you are reading this article in another language than English, it has been automatically translated by our WordPress Multilingual Plugin.
For WP users who don’t have extensive coding experience or financial resources, these offerings have been quite attractive. To meet the need of these clients, a number of companies have used Java-script programming to simplify the process greatly.
JS translation utilizes Java functions to generate translations for your web pages and replace the text being presented in your browser. Usually, all you are required to do is insert a small code snippet in the header of your website.
Reliance on a Provider’s Servers
Moreover, given that your translations exist on the servers of the provider and it’s partners, you are reliant on their capabilities. Not only do translations take longer to load but there always exists the possibility of downtime (which could harm your reputation).
The most simple option offered by the providers is for you to merely transform the text on your current URL. In other words, if your site is on
example.com, the translated version will also be presented on the same URL. Hence from a user and SEO perspective, the page is viewed as one. Hence, any optimization and keywords that you think you are getting ranking power for in your translations, are not being considered by Google.
example.com/fr is the same as that of
example.com. This is duplicate content when viewed from Google’s eyes and can hamper your search efforts. It can be even more detrimental when using sub-domains as it not completely clear how Google views the separate sub-domains. They could be viewed as completely separate sites with exactly the same content (
fr.example.com with the same content as
When switching to the French version of the page, we see the following
As you can see from the URLs above, this is clearly on different language sub-directories, namely the original English and the French version. However, when looking at the SEO critical Meta Tags, these are all the same. Hence, when viewed as Googlebot, the two sub-directories are the same. Unless you canonicalize your French language page, Google would view this as a the same page. There is the option to pre-render your pages yet that requires a developer to install the pre-rendering software.
Our suspicions can be confirmed if you search for this company name on the French version of Google. The search results will be for the English version of the site as seen below.
Googlebot is viewing two separate sub-domains with the same meta data and hence can’t properly assign the correct indexing. There is also a debate still raging as to whether duplicate content in sub-domains could hurt the SEO efforts of your main domain.
Another important point to note about both the sub-directory and sub-domain options above is that the URLs are not translated. If we were to go to the pricing section of this Company’s website, the URL is still in the original English URL. What this means is that a very important component of Search Engine Optimization is not being utilized. Similarly, it may be hard for the user to properly identify where in the directory they currently are. We covered the importance of this in a previous blog, Keywords in a URL: Are Yours Optimized?
What WordPress Plugin should I use?
Ideally, from an SEO perspective, you want to have completely separate pages with the underlying source code content changed for each of the languages you are offering. Hence, you will need to create separate language folders or sub-domains for your website. You should translate all of the URLs and meta data such as tags etc. You should instruct Google with hreflang tags in your various language headers as to what region the content is targeting.
Given that you host cached translation files on your server, the pages load instantly for new users and you are not reliant on our systems to present your translations. We keep live updates of your translation in the cloud dashboard which means that you can manage all of your translations in real time in one location.
The plugin has also been built on top of a professional translation service, you can also order translation from our large community of “Scrybs”. Most importantly, from a costing perspective, our plugin will not dent your wallet! We offer the choice between a yearly subscription or a lifetime license which means you won’t have to continually pay translation costs on a monthly basis.