You have built a multilingual site and are ready to hand it to your client. Now it is time to set up an organized translation workflow. In this way, your client will translate texts without the risk of compromising your design.

Until now, you used the plus sign icon to translate content. You could click on every element on the site and translate it. Now that your clients will take over the site’s content, this method will no longer work.

As the developer of the site, you know how everything works and you take care not to compromise the integrity of the site. Your clients, who will manage the content, are not WordPress developers like you, and you may decide to put protective restrictions in place. If you restrict their access to the site’s admin, you should also restrict the way they translate.

Here are the new roles that your multilingual site will need:

  • Translation Manager
  • Translators

What the translation managers and translators do

Translation managers choose what to translate and who will translate it. A translation manager should be a WordPress Editor at the very least.

Translators, as their name indicates, translate. They translate only texts. They do not change the site’s design or configuration. Translators receive jobs from the translation manager. They can see the jobs that await them, translate each job, and move on to the next one.

Appointing a translation manager

As the site’s developer, it is your responsibility to appoint a translation manager.

After you install the WPML Translation Management plugin, you will see a short setup wizard. The first step will ask you to choose a translation manager.

If you have already created a WordPress user account for this position, select it. Otherwise, create a new user account. Again, the ideal user role for this position is Editor.

Selecting an existing user to be Translation Manager
Selecting an existing user to be Translation Manager

Once you have appointed a translation manager, you can exit the Translation Management setup wizard. It is better to leave the rest of the setup to your newly appointed manager, who will decide how to translate the site and who will do the translating.

Different translation methods require different WordPress users

WPML allows you to translate with the client’s own translators or with translation services. If the client wants to use their own translators, they will need to have WordPress user accounts for each of the translators. Either the developer or the translation manager can set up these accounts.

If you decide to create the translator user accounts, you should give them the lowest level of access (Subscribers). WPML will give them the necessary privileges to translate content.

When the site uses translation services, you do not need to set up any WordPress user accounts for translators.

Sending content for translation using WPML’s Translation Dashboard

Until now, you have used the pencil and plus sign icons to create and edit translations. This works fine for the site’s administrator, but not as well for translators. You should avoid giving translators access to the WordPress editor because it includes many controls that a translator will not need, and a user who’s not familiar with WordPress administration can easily compromise the site from the WordPress editor.

Translators (or translation services) will use dedicated “translation editors,” which only provide the text. They do not include any controls besides the texts for translation.

WPML Translation Editor
WPML Translation Editor

The translation manager will normally go to WPML->Translation Management (Translation Dashboard) to send content for translation.

WPML Translation Management Dashboard
WPML Translation Management Dashboard

The translation manager can also access WPML->String Translation. However, these cases should be the exception. Most of the site’s content translation work comes from the Translation Dashboard.

Web content includes more than text. It also includes links, relationships, and media. All of this content is outside the scope of translators, who only translate the texts.

WPML automatically handles links, post status, hierarchy, relationships, and other technical aspects of the content. WPML makes sure that translated content will always link to other translated content.

WPML can also display different images for translations. This is especially useful for content that includes screenshots or images with texts. To allow the Translation Manager to use different images for translations, use the WPML Media Translation plugin.

How to use Translation Management

Done with this setup? Content Managers can follow the guide for translating the site’s content.