As a website owner, it’s important to translate your website and make it available in different languages. Websites are accessed from all across the world by people who speak languages like Czech, Danish, and Filipino. In fact, according to a recent survey, 55 percent of users preferably shop online in their specific languages.
Translating your website into different languages can help you increase the organic traffic of your web pages by letting search engine users worldwide find them. As a result, this will enable you to expand your reach.
Google Translate is one of the most popular methods for translating a WordPress website. You can use Google Translate technology to automatically translate your content into 100+ languages, including Spanish, Swedish, Serbian, Arabic, and many many more.
Though Google used to offer a free widget, the service is being discontinued. However, it is available as a premium service for which you will need to do all the integration work yourself to make your website work with the Google Translate API.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get a multilingual website using Weglot, the best multilingual website plugin. Weglot uses Google Translate’s technology and Microsoft, DeepL, and Yandex depending on the language, to ensure you get the best possible multilingual content on your WordPress site.
Limitations of just using a Google Translate plugin
A Google Translate plugin for WordPress will offer an automatic translation of your website’s content similar to how the Google Chrome browser does it with the pop-up.
This is going to let you select your original and target language, and visitors will be able to use a Translate button at the bottom of the page to translate the website from the default language into different available languages.
Google Chrome is the most popular web browser, so this is duplicating the functionality found in Chrome. Thus, most multilingual users are going to have translation in Chrome already set up. A visitor wanting English to Portuguese, for example, is going to have Chrome set up to translate the English pages to Portuguese.
However, the problem with Google Translate is that you don’t have any control over the translation. In addition to this, you can’t go back and manually refine translations for many specific languages.
A better alternative is to use a full WordPress multilingual translation plugin, like Weglot. As we mentioned, Weglot does use Google Translate website technology for its machine translations, but it also uses other technologies depending on the language you select to ensure you get the best possible translation. There are also other benefits:
#1: Human translation
With multilingual translation plugins like Weglot, you can expect to get the first layer of automatic translation provided by some of the best machine learning providers on the market. Google Translate is good for some languages but weak for others. Not to mention, it doesn’t give you control over translation.
Weglot makes sure you get the best machine translation, but it then goes further: you can go back and have either use the inline editor to visually edit the translations yourself, or hire a professional translator to refine the translations manually. This gives you the best possible translation results.
Weglot gives users the option to order professional translators from their pool of vetted partners. In contrast, a Google Translate plugin won’t give you any control over the translated content: you have to rely entirely on automated machine translations. As we all know, these are not always accurate, and your webpage will look unprofessional with poor quality translations.
#2: Content detection and full localization
A multilingual translation plugin, like the Weglot translator plugin, can automatically detect all of the content on your WordPress website. This includes images. This way, you can focus on creating content without worrying about technical details. A simple Google Translate plugin does not let you translate images like a screenshot, for example. This lets you apply full cultural localization to your website, rather than just changing the selected text.
The Weglot translator plugin can automatically detect content generated by themes and plugins which means you don’t have to worry about dynamic content not being translated. This is especially useful, say, for online store owners that need to fully translate content on their checkout pages. Or, you can customize the images shown on your homepage and update the CSS to reflect local customs.
#3: Optimized for SEO
This is a huge benefit of the Weglot translation tool. To get the maximum benefit from translating your site’s content into multiple languages, you need to make sure the translated content is also optimized for SEO. This will help you increase visibility on the web. Google Translate plugins, however, don’t index your translated content on Google. This makes it very limited.
With the Weglot multilingual translation plugin, you can rest assured that your translated pages will automatically be indexed following Google’s best practices for multilingual SEO and you’ll be able to see the results in Google Analytics. This includes the content’s title, metadata, hreflang tags, and more. Weglot follows multilingual SEO best practices, making this easy.
#4: Localized experience along the customer journey
One of the standout features on offer with Weglot is that it provides your site’s visitors and customers a localized experience throughout the entire customer journey. This means that customers will see all of your content – from the sales page to the email confirmation message – in their native language, like Punjabi, Hungarian, or Zulu.
Google Translate plugins, on the other hand, don’t provide translations for content that’s not published on your website. Your emails, for example, won’t be translated and there won’t be a “translate” icon and this may alienate some visitors.
Introducing Weglot: a multilingual translation plugin for WordPress
Weglot is a multilingual translation plugin for WordPress that allows website owners to translate their site’s content into multiple destination languages without worrying about the technical side of things. It’s a great alternative to any Google translator.
It provides an easy-to-use dashboard that makes it easy to manage all of your translations from one place and leverage neat features like an in-context editor widget and team collaboration. Here’s how you can get started with Weglot:
Step #1: Sign up for Weglot
First, sign up for a Weglot account. You’ll need to link your Weglot account to your WordPress website. Weglot’s “free version” is a free trial.
Once you’ve created an account, create a new Weglot project. Next, go to the Project settings screen and copy the API key. We’ll use this API key to connect the Weglot translation service to WordPress, similar to how you would with a Google language translator widget.
Step #2: Install and activate the Weglot plugin
Log into your WordPress admin panel and head over to Plugins > Add New to install the free Weglot plugin to your website. Once that’s done, go to Weglot and configure the following settings:
- Enter the API key you copied from the Weglot dashboard into the API Key field.
- Select the original language e.g. English your site’s content is published in using the dropdown.
- Select the destination language(s) e.g. Spanish you want to offer translations for.
Click the Save Changes button to proceed.
Step #3: Preview your translated website
Preview your WordPress website on the front-end. You’ll notice that a language switcher has been added to the bottom right corner of the screen. Clicking it will reveal the original language the website’s content is available along with all available destination languages, just like with any Google language translator.
When your site’s visitors click on any of the languages, the Weglot translation service will automatically translate all of the content into the selected language, similar to Google translation. Everything is automatically translated, including menus, all text, sidebars, footers – everything!
Weglot works with all WordPress themes and plugins out of the box, including WooCommerce.
Note: You can customize the look and feel of the language switcher by heading over to Weglot from the WordPress admin panel.
Step #4: Manage all translations from the Weglot dashboard
With Weglot, the first round of translation is automatic machine translations. However, the neat thing about the service is that you can log into your Weglot dashboard to manually refine translations or outsource selected text to professional translators.
This gives you better control over your site’s translations. You can easily change up the translated text wherever you’d like. It’s also worth mentioning that Weglot gives you access to an in-context editor which means you can see the original text along with the translated text. You can see the difference when you compare your translations against translate.google.com.
More specifically, with Weglot, you can choose to edit your site’s translated content using either the:
- Translations List. This displays the original text in one column and the corresponding translated text in the next column. Whenever you modify the translated text, the checkbox is automatically marked as a Manually edited translation to help you keep track.
- Visual Editor. Weglot’s visual editor lets you edit translations directly from a live preview of your WordPress website. All you have to do is hover over the text you want to translate and click the green pencil icon. A pop-up will appear which shows you both the original text and the translated text. You can modify the translation directly from here.
Translate your WordPress website today!
You can get the best results with Google Translate by using Weglot to get the best possible machine translation of your WordPress website.
You’ll be able to rest assured that all of your site’s content is translated using some of the best machine learning providers on the market (which does include Google Translate!) and that the SEO optimization is all taken care of. In addition to this, you’ll have the flexibility to go in and manually refine translations wherever necessary or outsource them to a professional translator.
Ready to translate your WordPress website and deliver a better user experience to your site’s visitors? Get started with Weglot today!