For Squarespace website owners, the concept of translating your website and allowing visitors from all over the world to access it is an important part of expanding your business internationally.
Translating your website into different languages will boost organic traffic to your web pages as you’ll start to appear in search results globally, and in turn expand your reach to new potential customers.
For many people, Google Translate might appear like the logical solution for translating your Squarespace website. After all, it’s a popular method. Adding a Google Translate button to your site gives you the option to add 100+ languages.
However, you might be disappointed to learn that this free widget has now been discontinued by Google and instead they’ve created a new paid service. And, unfortunately the integration is far from simple.
But, there are other ways of adding Google Translate to your Squarespace website and the other way also includes a number of features that were missing from the free multilingual solution.
So, we’ll show you what you need in a Squarespace multilingual solution and how to add Google Translate to your Squarespace website with Weglot – giving you the same instant capabilities Google previously provided but with many added benefits.
What do you need from a Squarespace multilingual solution
The previous Google Translate widget worked similarly to that of the Chrome translate extension, in the sense that the user can choose their preferred language pair for a website. Essentially, the Google Translate widget was the same solution offered by the visitor’s web browser, so it makes sense that Google decided to remove the widget as it’s pretty much a duplicate solution.
But, there were many drawbacks to this form of website translation. What you actually need from a Squarespace multilingual solution goes much further than that:
Human and automated translation
One of the fundamental issues with using Google Translate is that you don’t actually get any control of the translations. What Google gives out is exactly what will appear on your website and to your website visitors.
This can prove problematic in many ways. The first is that you can’t make any edits. So, if something isn’t to your liking – e.g. you might consider using the formal or informal use of “you” in Spanish/ French – it could end up offending your potential customers. Or, what about if your brand name was ‘Apple’, it would most likely be translated by Google to ‘Pomme’ in French.
With Squarespace multilingual solutions like Weglot you’ll get access to both automated and human translation. With a first layer of automatic translation from not just Google Translate, but Microsoft, DeepL and Yandex – depending on the language pair. Weglot ensures the automatic translation is of the highest quality by using the best machine learning providers on the market.
Weglot then goes a step further. You can edit those automatic translations or hire a professional translator within the Weglot dashboard to refine the translations. The combination of both automatic and human translation gives you the best possible results.
Full website translation
Your Squarespace multilingual solution should be able to detect and translate all of the content on your website in order to give a fully localized experience to your website visitors.
This includes images and video files. With a multilingual solution like Weglot, you can replace different images to reflect different local customs. This is a great way of ensuring the images or videos on your site are properly targeted to your audience and it’s as easy as editing a translation.
Google Translate can only translate the content of your website, leaving out these key aspects of localization.
If you have Squarespace commerce, your full purchasing process will be translated with Weglot. Weglot even translates content that’s not “physically” on your site – such as a review app that you might have added to your Squarespace website.
Whilst the first reason to translate your website – to point out the obvious – is for people to understand the content on your site, the second is to be visible by search engines in different languages so people searching in a different language can find you.
A drawback here with adding a Google Translate widget was that your translated content didn’t actually exist anywhere. However, a complete multilingual solution such as Weglot, follows Google best practices for multilingual SEO.
This takes into account things such as translated metadata, Hreflang tags (these are small elements in your page source code used to tell Google about pages that are similar in content, but targeting different languages) and language specific subdomains. Bear in mind that adding hreflang flags is a technical and time-consuming process so it’s great that Weglot has taken care of this crucial aspect!
How does Weglot work? Weglot translates the content of your Squarespace website on the server-side, which means your original content is swapped with the translation before the page is sent to the visitor. The translations are in the source code of the page – which is the ideal way for Google bots to detect and rank your translations.
A last key step of your multilingual SEO is that Weglot automatically gives you dedicated URLs for your newly added languages – something that was not possible with a Google Translate widget. These are in the form of language subdomains, e.g. www.fr.example.com (for French). This again follows Google’s best practices for multilingual websites.
Adding multiple languages with Weglot
Weglot is a multilingual solution that offers a seamless integration with Squarespace. It allows Squarespace users to easily translate their site’s content into more than 100+ languages, without the need for technical expertise.
Plus, Weglot uses more than just Google Translate to ensure you’re getting the most accurate automatic translation based on your language pair.
Here’s how to add Weglot to your Squarespace website:
1. Create an account on Weglot
2. Add your new languages
Once you’ve created an account you’ll be asked to enter your website URL, the original language of your Squarespace site and the new language(s) you want to translate and display your site into.
Click ‘Next’ and the below will be generated (your DNS records). The example shows French. You will need this in the next step!
3. Setup your language subdomains
This is where you’ll create your subdomains, e.g. fr.mysite.com (example for French) and where your translated content will appear.
Simply copy and paste your DNS records from step 2 into your ‘Domains’ section found in your Squarespace dashboard > ‘Settings’ > ‘Domains’.
If you purchased your domain name outside of Squarespace you will need to go to your domain name provider account and add your entries there (need help? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your domain name will appear under ‘Managed by Squarespace’. Click on it, and then ‘Advanced settings’. To add another entry select the drop down where the ‘A’ appears and choose CNAME.
Then add your DNS records from the step before. E.g. the language code of the language you’ve added to your site in the first column and ‘websites.weglot.com’ in the IP address section, then click ‘ADD’. The example shows both German and French.
Go back to your Weglot account, click “Check DNS” and you should see a green tick icon; this means it worked! Click on “Next”.
4. Add your language switcher
Note, you can only customize your code on a Squarespace Business plan or higher.
Then paste this into your Squarespace dashboard, under ‘Settings’ > ‘Advanced’ > ‘Code Injection’ and ‘Header’ (if you already have something in this field, just paste the Weglot code after it).
Ready to add Weglot to your Squarespace website? Sign up for our 10-day free trial and see how you can give your website visitors a better experience than just a Google Translate widget.