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Advanced Polylang Features for Multilingual Websites with Troubleshooting Tips and Integrations

advanced-polylang-features-for-multilingual-websites

Do you want to reach a global audience with your WordPress website? Polylang is a powerful plugin that helps you create a multilingual website. It transfers your normal website into a multilingual website. But Polylang offers more than just basic translation functionalities. By diving into its advanced features, you can unlock a robust multilingual experience for your visitors. This blog post will guide you through Polylang’s advanced features, troubleshoot common issues, and its integrations to supercharge your website.

Advanced Features of Polylang

When we say advanced features, it refers to the features that are more than the basic ones offered by Polylang to build a multilingual website. Below we covered features like language switcher customization, SEO compatibility, translation management, automatic and manual translations, etc.,

Language Switcher Customization

Polylang supports 90+ languages. To help access view your website in preferred or native languages for your visitors, you need to add a language switcher on your website menu. The main purpose of the language switcher is to create links for the translated pages. Polylang goes beyond the simple dropdown language switcher. You have provided various options like flags or custom text and customized its placement for enhanced user experience.

Integrate the switcher seamlessly with menus or widgets for an intuitive user experience, allowing visitors to effortlessly switch languages.

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To add the language switcher to the menu, you need to create a menu for each language. Refer to this documentation to learn more about menus. The language switcher meta box is provided for each menu. If you don’t see it, you need to enable this option from the screen options window.

menu-screen-option-enable

In the meta box, you can enable the necessary check boxes like displays as a drop-down, displays language names, and displays flags. 

language-switcher
languages-meta-box

To know more about language switchers refer here, https://polylang.pro/doc/the-language-switcher/.

Translation Management in Polylang

Polylang offers more powerful tools to handle the translation of your website. You can translate directly within your WordPress manually. That is translating the content by yourself. To do this, visit your preferred post type. Choose the + icon provided for a record you want to translate. Then start to translate in your preferred language.

translating-posts

Polylang stores all the translations in a single location, which makes it easy to update or modify them. It also has advanced user roles and permissions. So you can control who can translate what and assign specific roles with editing permissions for different languages, this ensures only the authorized users can edit the translations. You can translate strings of your plugins and themes easily using the string translation options in Polylang.

SEO Optimization for Multilingual Sites

Setting up a multilingual website has increased the chance of bringing more audiences to your website. But at the same time, proper multilingual SEO is crucial for reaching a global audience. Polylang helps you manage hreflang tags, ensuring search engines understand your website’s different language versions.  Optimize your translated content for each language to improve search ranking and organic traffic. Helps you maintain a consistent site structure across languages and you can submit separate sitemaps for all languages to search engines. Polylang supports the Yoast SEO plugin. So you can do all the above functions using the Yoast plugin for optimizing your multilingual website.

Troubleshooting Common Polylang Issues

Below we have listed common issues occurring when using the Polylang plugin which can help you troubleshoot the issues by yourself. 

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1. Missing Language Switcher

It may be disabled in Polylang settings or hidden due to theme conflict. To fix this, navigate to Polylang settings and make sure the ‘Language Switcher’ option is enabled. If it is enabled, please check for any theme conflicts. You can check by deactivating plugins temporarily to identify if a specific theme or plugin is causing the issue.

2. Translated content not displaying

The translated content not showing an issue may be a cache issue, incorrect language settings, or missing translations. Begin with clearing your website cache and also browser cache. Double-check if the desired language is selected in the Polylang settings or the page editor. Ensure all the content sections are translated into that language.

3. 404 for Translated Pages

Throwing 404 errors for translated pages is because of incorrect permalink structure or missing language slugs in your URLs. To fix this, navigate the Polylang settings and revisit the permalink structure. Ensure it incorporates language slugs (e.g., /en/ for English pages). If needed you can regenerate permalinks.

4. Inconsistent menu display across languages

It is due to menus not being translated or assigned to the proper language versions. Utilize Polylang’s menu management features to create separate menus for each language and assign them to the appropriate language versions of your website.

5. SEO issues with Multilingual Content

Missing or incorrect hreflang tags or inadequate title and meta description optimization for each language. Polylang offers hreflang tag functionality. Use an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO that integrates with Polylang for more advanced hreflang management. Make sure to add optimized title tags and meta descriptions for each language version uniquely.

You can check Polylang’s official documentation to get more information and seek their community for any help.

Integrating Polylang with Other Plugins and Services

Expand your multilingual toolkit. Polylang plays well with others! Here are some of the integrations with popular plugins and services to enhance your multilingual experience:

  • SEO Plugins: Polylang offers basic hreflang tag functionality, but for advanced SEO management, consider integrating with plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math. These plugins can help optimize your translated content for target keywords and improve your website’s multilingual search engine ranking.
  • E-commerce Plugins: If you run an online store with WooCommerce, integrating Polylang allows you to translate product descriptions, categories, and other e-commerce data. Consider plugins like WPML Multilingual WooCommerce that extend functionalities for managing multilingual products, prices, and currencies.
  • Form Builder Plugins: Building multilingual forms can be crucial for user interaction. Integrate Polylang with form builder plugins like WPForms or Gravity Forms to ensure your forms display and function correctly across all languages.
  • Translation Management Services: For large-scale websites or complex translation needs, consider integrating with professional translation management services like – WPML Translation Management or TranslatePress Translation Management. These services connect you with translators and streamline the translation workflow.
  • Social Sharing Plugins: Reach a wider audience by integrating social sharing plugins like Social Warfare or Easy Social Share Buttons. Ensure these plugins support multilingual functionality so users can share your content across different languages.
  • Cache Plugins: While Polylang works with most cache plugins, some might require configuration adjustments. Popular cache plugins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache offer settings to ensure proper caching of translated content.

Conclusion

Polylang is not just a tool for basic translations but a powerful plugin that can transform your WordPress site into a comprehensive multilingual platform. By leveraging its advanced features such as language switcher customization, robust translation management, and SEO optimization, you can create a seamless experience for your global audience. Troubleshooting common issues and integrating Polylang with other essential plugins and services further enhances its capabilities, making it an indispensable tool for any WordPress site aiming to reach a wider audience.