Reaching out to people seamlessly is one of the prime goals of Internet and blogging. If the language and disabilities are barriers, there are tools and widgets available to make your blog accessible and readable to many people around the world. The Global Translator plugin is one such wonderful plugin that provides your blog’s translated content to a broader audience around the globe.
We had talked about this plugin during the SEO Challenge ’09 competiton whereby several contestants had used this plugin to improve their search visits from various language specific searches. This time around, I thought of investing some time to write about the pros and cons of using this plugin.
How the Global Translator WordPress plugin works?
The plugin can translate your blog posts and pages to over 40 languages and you have the option of using multiple popular language translation engines (such as Babelfish, Google translator etc). This plugin does not do on-the-fly translations but it actually translates the pages offline and keep them under different language folders on your server. For example, if you have a post written in your default blog language, it’s translated versions are kept in 40 different directories as individual pages if you have opted for all the 40 languages.
The installation is pretty straight forward and so is the settings. There is a language selector (neat one that shows flags of the countries) widget that is available for a visitor to opt for a different language view of the current post. The accessibility and simplicity of this widget is really a plus point.
Pros and Cons
The following are some of the good things about this useful plugin.
- It creates directories and neat permalinks (for posts and pages) for each language and hence in principle the translated page access is very fast and they SEO optimized as well
- The plugin can improve your search traffic by 15 to 20 percent based on the topics
- The plugin does not spoil the theme features like search, layout etc while creating translated pages
- Media objects (images etc) on the pages are not duplicated on the translated directories
- Global translator does not make structural changes to any WordPress tables not does it store translated information there in
- Global translator dramatically increases the number of pages indexed by Google which may be a good plus point in the eyes of blog and site graders
Now here is the trade off :
- The plugin takes ages to translate all your existing pages as it cannot ping the translator services too often
- During the translation process it can slow down the server drastically
- Some of your new posts are not translated readily and hence when use clicks on the translate flags it gives an annoying message ‘This page has not been translated yet’ and then redirects to the translator for on-the-fly translation
- Just like eating up the server CPU time, it can eat up disk space big time as well
- If you have custom Google search implemented on your blog, it can show multiple language results which will not really help anybody searching within your blog
- I am yet to figure out whether the translation will work if older posts are edited for some reason
- I do not know if Google can mark the translated pages as duplicated content in which case it could affect the page ranks of internal pages as well as the domain
You can download the plugin for free from the WordPress plugin directory.
Those who are already experienced in using the plugin may please provide additional feedback to help the readers here.