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Updated
November 8, 2022

Google Translate is one of the most well-known machine translation engines. However, it doesn’t come with the option to automatically translate your entire WordPress site. This is where multilingual plugins come in handy.

Automatic translation is the fastest and most cost-effective way to build a multilingual website. It allows you to translate your entire site and connect with global audiences in a matter of minutes.

There are various machine translation engines on the market, but Google Translate is definitely the most popular. Let’s explore the advantages of choosing Google Translate as your automatic translation solution.

Why Choose Google Translate

Google Translate needs no introduction. Like most users worldwide, you’ve likely translated many words and phrases with the help of this machine translation engine. 

But Google Translate is more than a popular translation service provider. You can additionally expect:

  • Translation accuracy – No automatic translation tool is perfect, but Google Translate comes close. A study assessing the use of Google Translate in healthcare found translations from English into Spanish to be 92% accurate.
  • Large number of supported languages – Google Translate supports over 130 languages used across the world. This includes unique languages such as Corsican, Macedonian, and Somali, to name a few.

The Google Translate web service is free, and you can open it on any web browser. On the downside, it requires you to manually enter the content you want to translate. For website translation, copy-pasting sentences into Google Translate isn’t a usable solution. 

But Google provides an alternative option. Its automatic translation service can be used by other software developers. This makes it possible to have content translated without needing to leave their apps and tools. 

In other words, to translate a website, you’ll need a dedicated software solution.

Using Google Translate on a WordPress Site

WordPress started as a tool for bloggers. Today, it is the most popular and versatile content management system available. One of the main reasons why WordPress is so popular is its flexibility. If there’s a feature missing from its core, you can simply add plugins with any additional features you need.

That being said, WordPress sites are not translatable out-of-the-box. Instead, you need to use one of the multilingual plugins. Of course, to translate your WordPress site, you need a plugin that is integrated with the Google Translate service.

Why You Should Choose the WPML Plugin

As the leading multilingual plugin, WPML offers more than most other WordPress translation solutions. It is integrated with top automatic translation services, one of which is Google Translate. Thanks to this, a few clicks is all it takes to translate every element of your WordPress site, including:

  • Posts, pages, and custom post types
  • Categories, tags, and custom taxonomies
  • WooCommerce products
  • Content created with popular page builders, like Elementor, WPBakery, Divi, and more

As an additional benefit, WPML lets you choose exactly how you want to use Google Translate on your site.

Decide How to Translate Your Site with Google

With WPML, you have two main modes of translating your site using Google Translate

  • Automatically translate your entire site

With this option, you won’t ever need to send posts and pages to translation. Instead, WPML will automatically send any new or edited content for translation to Google. Once the translations are generated, they’re instantly added to your WordPress site. You can choose to publish the translations right away, or review and edit them first.

And, if you ever want to check your automatic translation credit balance or see if any translations are waiting for your review, all you need to do is go to WPML → Translation Management.

Viewing the status of automatic translations
  • Automatically translate individual posts and pages.

If you don’t want WPML to translate your entire site’s content as it gets published and edited, you can send individual posts and pages for automatic translation with Google. With this option, the content for translation is opened in WPML’s built-in computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool, the Advanced Translation Editor. To send the content for translation to Google, all you need to do is click the Translate automatically button. This instantly fills in the automatic translations, which you can then edit.

Automatically translate individual posts and pages in the Advanced Translation Editor

Besides giving you a side-by-side view of the original text and the translations, the Advanced Translation Editor includes features like translation memory and glossary management.

How Much Does Automatic Translation Cost?

When you purchase WPML, you receive free automatic translation credits: 90,000 with the Multilingual CMS account or 180,000 with the Multilingual Agency account. And if you activate the pay-as-you-go option for automatic translation, you get 2,000 free credits every month. This amount of credits is enough to completely translate most WordPress sites.

If you need to translate more content, you can choose from two pricing options: pay-as-you-go and prepaid credits. Both options let you translate your website for less than a cent per word.

Getting Started with Google Translate and WPML

Ready to use WPML with Google Translate? First, you have to assign automatic translation credits to your site or sign up for pay-as-you-go.

Then, you can move on to setting Google Translate as your top-choice automatic translation engine:

  1. Go to WPML → Translation Management and enter the Automatic Translation tab.
  2. Click on Settings and expand the Automatic translation engines section.
Expanding the Automatic translation engines section
  1. Drag and drop Google to the first position.
Setting Google as the preferred translation engine

Now, go to WPML → Settings to choose a translation mode:

  • The Translate Everything mode automatically translates your entire site with Google Translate. Any time you add or update content, WPML automatically communicates with Google to generate translations in the background.
  • The Translate Some mode lets you automatically translate individual posts and pages using the Advanced Translation Editor. 
Choosing how to automatically translate your site’s content

Interested in Learning More About Automatic Translation?

Take a look at our comprehensive guide to automatically translating your WordPress site with WPML.

You can also read more about the other translation engines we offer: DeepL and Microsoft Azure Translator.