If you’ve followed anything to do with website translation, chances are you’ve heard of ConveyThis. Launched in 2008 in the heyday of “widgets” (think ShareThis and the Facebook like icons that were popping up on blogs everywhere), ConveyThis was a pioneering little snippet of code that could be place anywhere on a site to provide instant, on-page translation of any content.
ConveyThis has changed and grown over the years, and most recently has relaunched as a new WordPress plugin named ConveyThis Translate. But in a sea of translation plugins and solutions already available, do we really need yet another option? What can ConveyThis Translate provide that’s not already handled by plugins such as WPML, Polylang, or Loco Translate?
Apparently, the answer is a lot!
The 3 promises of ConveyThis Translate:
ConveyThis Translate boasts a lot of benefits, not the least of which is support for over 90 languages. The full description for the ConveyThis Translate plugin promises:
- A simple setup
- Fast configuration and functionality (purportedly up and running in only 2 minutes of configuration)
- SEO-boosting benefits simply by using the WordPress translation plugin alone.
Is all this really possible, or is it just simple marketing speak? Let’s take a look at the new plugin and see if it delivers on those promises of speed, simplicity, and SEO.
Speed: Does ConveyThis smoke the competition?
Speed is one of the biggest bragging points of ConveyThis Translate. So how does it stack up against other, similar plugins in a test?
Setting up ConveyThis
Installation and registration: after installing the plugin and activating it from our WordPress admin panel, we are prompted for an API key and asked to register for an account on ConveyThis.com to get one for free. The registration page has only four fields (name, email, password, and a password confirmation).
After submitting the form, we are sent an email and asked to confirm our address; clicking the link brings us to our account’s dashboard, where the API key is front and center. Clicking “copy” copies it to our clipboard, and we then paste it into the configuration screen.
Setting up the plugin: once our API key is pasted into place, the only other options are setting our site’s current language (Source Language) and selecting which Target Languages we want to make available to our visitors. That’s it—there are no other settings to configure, or even an “advanced” tab with more technical details. The only other options we even have are for the style and positioning of the language selector on our site (the default position looked just fine.) The whole setup did, in fact, take less than 2 minutes from installation to first translation. As promised, the translator was up and running on our blog!
And it’s not only the plugin setup that’s speedy—the functionality of the plugin itself is incredibly fast. Looking under the hood, the reason seems to be due to the way ConveyThis Translate stores and retrieves the translations. Where other plugins take a back-to-front approach, retrieving text from various sources in the WordPress database, then duplicating and modifying its own copies for each additional language, ConveyThis does the opposite.
The front-to-back approach utilized by ConveyThis Translate allows it to run faster because the plugin never accesses your database, other than to save your API key in the configuration screen. Instead, the first time a user visits a page on your site and uses the language selector to translate it, ConveyThis Translate takes a sort of “snapshot” of the page and sends all of the text on screen directly to its own server where (initially) it is translated by machine and then replaced on-page by the plugin. For each subsequent view of the translated page, ConveyThis only needs to find the already-translated text in its own database—not your server’s—saving you countless database queries on each page load.
Simplicity: is ConveyThis complicated?
With the language settings being the only options we need to configure, simplicity is definitely a real benefit of the ConveyThis Translate plugin. Other plugins rely on importing and exporting PO files, manually selecting text from the front-end, and tweaking and adjusting seemingly endless amounts of confusing settings and optimizations, but ConveyThis just simply works, right out of the box.
ConveyThis keeps it simple
As mentioned, the only other “advanced” options we are even presented with are simply to change the style and display of the language selector as it appears on your blog. Nothing is written in technical language, and everything is designed with simplicity in mind to allow anyone to translate their WordPress blog with no technical knowhow or other experience necessary. Once you’ve signed up for an account on the ConveyThis website, absolutely everything needed for the plugin to function can be handled right from the WordPress admin panel. Any other optional modifications, like adding an upgraded paid plan or editing your translations, are just the icing on top.
And speaking of which, the plugin does optionally provide a method for customizing your translations on their website, so if you or someone you know speaks another language, or you want to hire a professional translator to accurately translate your text, that option is included as part of your (free) account.
And even the edit page, called My Translations, couldn’t be simpler: simply select which domain you are editing, and then select the page you want to edit. If you have a large site or multiple target languages, you can use the dropdown menus to filter the listed pages down by language pair. Simply click the URL and language you want to edit and all of your page’s texts will be displayed in a table, with the original text on the left and your translation on the right. Edit the translation however you see fit, save your changes, and they will appear instantly on your site–no special third-party software, no importing and exporting files, and no working with revisions. Just simple ease of use.
Custom translations are not required though, and the machine translations are more than passable for giving visitors, at minimum, a gist of what your content is trying to convey.
SEO: how can ConveyThis improve a site’s rankings through translation alone?
It’s easy to see how this can boost your SEO in a number of ways:
- It automatically adds additional unique content that can be crawled and indexed by search engines.
- Users who speak foreign languages are more likely to search for phrases in their native language; by having translated versions of your keywords, your posts are more likely to be suggested to foreign users by Google, Bing, etc. than if they remained only in English.
- The competition for foreign-language keywords is much lower, allowing you to easily grab a stronger foothold for your blog’s topic or niche.
It’s an impressive feat!
No other WordPress translation plugin even touches on the subject of SEO opportunities that website translation can provide, so for ConveyThis Translate to discuss it front and center just shows how meticulously detail oriented the plugin’s development has been. It really does bring results.
Conclusion: ConveyThis Translate makes good on its promises
ConveyThis Translate delivers everything it promised, and is a great new alternative to some of the other bigger, complicated, or more expensive WordPress translation solutions out there.
And best of all, for all the skeptics out there, ConveyThis Translate is completely free for small blogs (with no credit card or other obligations required), so it’s easy enough for anyone to put it to the test and see if the results match their expectations.
So with no risk, because they even offer a money back guarantee, there’s no reason not check out ConveyThis Translate on the WordPress plugin repository and give it a try on your blog. You can also visit their website for more details and support.
Furthermore, they have a tempting discount right now, and it won’t last long. ConveyThis is offering a limited-time offer to new signups: you can now save 50% off the regular price of the first month of any paid subscription plan using the coupon code: SPRING50DISCOUNT
This code won’t last long, so hurry and use it now before it expires on June 1st!