Understanding WPML Translation Preferences: A Guide for website Managers

 

 

When managing a multilingual website using WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin), understanding the translation preferences for custom fields and other content is crucial. Here’s a breakdown of the different translation preferences available in WPML that you, as a marketing manager, will need to choose from to best suit the content strategy of your website:

1. Don’t Translate

What It Means: This setting is used when certain fields or content do not need to be translated or shown in other languages.
When to Use: Use this for content that is universally applicable, regardless of the viewer’s language. Examples might include technical codes, certain numeric data, or backend settings that do not appear to the user.

2. Copy

What It Means: Choosing this option means that the content from the default language will be copied exactly as it is into other language versions of the page.
When to Use: This is ideal for content that remains consistent across languages, such as company names, addresses, phone numbers, or certain product specifications that do not change with language.

3. Copy Once

What It Means: With this preference, the content is initially copied from the default language, but subsequent changes in the original content will not affect the translated versions. This allows for initial duplication but permits localization or adjustments in the copied versions afterward.
When to Use: This option suits scenarios where content largely remains the same across different languages but might need minor tweaks or local customization. For example, a product description might start the same in all languages but require slight modifications for local market references or cultural nuances.

4. Translate

What It Means: This setting enables full translation of the content into different languages. Each language version can be independently edited and tailored to fit the linguistic and cultural context of the target audience.
When to Use: Essential for all content that interacts directly with users in their language, such as textual content on web pages, blog posts, marketing messages, and promotional material. This ensures that the message conveyed is appropriate and effective in each language.

Strategic Considerations

As a website manager, choosing the right translation preference for each element of your website is pivotal. Here are a few considerations:

User Experience: Always prioritize how the content will be perceived by different audiences. Ensuring that language and cultural nuances are respected can significantly enhance user engagement and satisfaction.
Resource Management: Consider the resources (time, budget, personnel) available for translation tasks. Some content might be ideal for full translation but might not be feasible due to limited resources.

SEO Impact: Properly translated content can improve SEO in different language markets. Make sure SEO-relevant content like keywords and meta descriptions are appropriately translated to maximize visibility in local search results.

Consistency: Maintaining consistency in how certain types of content are handled across languages helps in managing the site more efficiently and ensures a coherent user experience.
By carefully setting the translation preferences in WPML, you can effectively manage a multilingual website that caters appropriately to diverse audiences, aligning with both business objectives and user needs.

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