The ability to launch a WordPress website in multiple languages without the hassle of using a plugin or paying extra bucks for SEO features is getting closer.
Similarly to what is happening to website builders, existing multilingual plugins must adapt to Core to survive, extend, and improve it, offering functions not supported by default.
Since these plugins are essential for some websites, the real challenge will be not to retain customers but to gain new ones.
Gutenberg phase 4 seems far to be a reality, but in the meantime, we have good free options to consider.
Easy, free, SEO-friendly, and Gutenberg-compatible ways to achieve a multilingual WordPress without learning complicated configurations and avoiding plugin conflicts are available.
What I’ve found using popular translation plugins is that almost every time, there are still gaps to be filled either with code or manually duplicating content parts, such as template parts for block themes.
So far, the most compatible way to create a multilingual site is to configure a WordPress network. It is not ideal for non-tech users, but once it is running, everything seems to be cleaner.
For each language, you must create a subsite and connect it with a plugin like Multisite Language Switcher:
Still, I am waiting for a Core solution that doesn’t require me to set up a network and thus duplicate media files or use weird things like a customizer to translate string by string.
Real-time collaborations will be a massive step toward multilingual sites. Translating each block elegantly, accessiblely, clearly, and quickly would make sense.