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How to choose a WooCommerce translation plugin for your multilingual ecommerce business

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Congratulations! All the hard work you put into your WooCommerce store has started to pay off. Your business seems to be doing well. Not many ecommerce store owners or managers get to be where you are.  

However, did you know that 50% of all Google search queries are in a non-English language?  

One of the biggest perks of running an online store is the ability to serve customers all over the world, in their own language. 

This is not the time to rest on your laurels, but to start considering WooCommerce translation options. 

If you want to reach and sell to people in other countries successfully, it’s important to overcome the language barrier and start translating your website. 

Needless to say, you need your WooCommerce store to provide a great localized experience that supports your visitors’ native language, even if it’s not English. 

The solution: A WooCommerce translation plugin. 

Investing In WooCommerce Localization

WooCommerce translation isn’t hard. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can get complicated and expensive. 

There are many ways to go about it, the most prominent being using a WooCommerce translation plugin. That’s why the plugin you choose makes all the difference. 

Ideally, you should have to do this only once. The more attempts you make, the more time and money you’ll end up wasting.

Choosing a WooCommerce translation plugin in a rush, only to find out later that it’s not suitable for your business, can cause a major hurdle in your progress. 

On the other hand, picking the right solution can make the whole process a breeze and accelerate business growth.

So listen up! In this post, we are going to share everything you need to consider before you pick a WooCommerce translation plugin.  

Assess Your Needs

The first step in WooCommerce translation, even before you start considering plugins, is to understand your current situation and goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

How is your WooCommerce store structured?

Are you using WooCommerce as it comes out of the box? If you have been using any extensions or API integrations, that will add to the complexity of translation. 

Same goes for any custom development work that you might have implemented, apart from the standard software. 

If you aren’t tech-savvy enough to navigate these waters, your choice of WooCommerce translation plugin should take that into account. 

What is the scope of translation?

Another important consideration for WooCommerce translation is which languages you want to target and whether you want to translate all the pages of your store, or a specific selection. Here’s a list of top languages being used on the web:

top languages on the web
Image Source: Speakt

Moreover, there may be certain parts or strings that you want excluded from getting translated. This is where you’ll also make up your mind on the quality you’re expecting. 

How much time and budget are you willing to spend?

When it comes to time, money and quality, you can only have two of those factors on your side at the same time. For example, if your preference is speed and cost-effectiveness, then getting high-quality translation is going to be a challenge.

That means you’ll have to strike a balance on all three fronts and make smart compromises to maximize business growth.  

How will you handle tricky translations?

You may have the best automatic translation, but no software or plugin is perfect enough to be 100% accurate and understand the nuisances of a native language.  

So at some point, you might want to think about using human translators. Are there people in your staff who can take those roles or will you need to outsource this task? And would you want your translation plugin to allow easy collaboration?

Picking A WooCommerce Translation Plugin

Once you have a hang of your translation requirements, you are on your way to understanding the things you should look for in a WooCommerce translation plugin. 

In addition, we’ll also cover how Weglot shines in almost all of these important aspects, so you can make an informed decision.    

Compatibility with WordPress + WooCommerce

As we mentioned above, your website structure and design is unique. Even with the standard approach of using WordPress and WooCommerce, there may be variations in extensions, templates and customizations. 

So the new translation plugin you choose should be able to seamlessly integrate with WordPress and WooCommerce. Even better if it can adjust to your store’s design and hidden features.  

Take for example, the “Added to cart” notification a user sees only when they add an item to the cart to checkout later. 

add to cart message

There are many such hidden text strings that can get overlooked if your WooCommerce translation plugin is not up to the task. 

Weglot integrates well with WooCommerce, and all the strings get the attention and translation they deserve.

Intuitiveness and ease of translation

When translating your site language, you’re not just dealing with the content that you customize, like Woocommerce product descriptions. You’ll also need to translate strings generated by WordPress, WooCommerce and associated themes and plugins, like “Add to Cart”. These can also be called “gettext” strings. 

Now, usually, translating these strings is complicated. It involves getting your hands dirty with editing the theme and plugin files. If you don’t like getting technical or tweaking code, the localization process can turn into a nightmare. 

To make things easier, Weglot has an intuitive, fast loading, visual interface that lets you translate your WooCommerce store right on the front end. It also lets you switch languages with ease.

Weglot interface

And there’s more. It can detect the “gettext” strings automatically and generate their translations. 

By the time you end up configuring Weglot, you’ll see that a good part of your multilingual WooCommerce store, along with the checkout experience, has already been translated.  

For the parts which require human translation, you can navigate to the Weglot dashboard to make manual edits to your automated translations. The best part is you can do all of this without touching wp-content or downloading any files. 

Weglot also gives another way to edit translations via the Translations tab.

translation editor

This interface presents your translations with a side-by-side comparison of original content and its translation.

Access To Translation Data

As someone operating an online store, security and reliability of data should be one of your top concerns. 

Considering an increase in security threats like malware, viruses and hacks, a good WooCommerce plugin should help you minimize the risk of losing your data.

In fact, this is one area where many WordPress plugins fall short. Once you set your translations in the multilingual WooCommerce store, the language files are stored on the same server as the rest of your website files.  

Can you imagine what might happen if your website got compromised? All your translation work goes out of the window. 

With Weglot, your translation files are stored on the Weglot server, giving you ownership, convenience, security, and most importantly, peace of mind. 

Catalog of supported languages

This is a no-brainer. As you consider WooCommerce translation plugins, you would definitely want to pick something that supports your target languages. 

You need to be thinking long-term. Don’t just focus on the languages you need to support now, but also the ones you might need in the future. So you need a plugin that can support a variety of languages.

Weglot, for example, currently supports 100+ languages, and it frequently adds new languages to its repertoire based on suggestions from its users. 

Weglot languages

Completeness of translation

How thorough a plugin is in translation is another important factor. It’s determined by how well it integrates with WordPress and WooCommerce, as we discussed above. 

When it comes to setting up a multilingual WooCommerce store, you want to provide a fully immersive, localized experience to your users. And this means custom translation of every element and page of your online store. 

Weglot leaves no stone unturned in this department too. It can ensure that the whole purchase process is in the users’ native language.  With Weglot, you can translate:

  • The shop page, cart pages and check out pages
  • Custom text and strings generated by WordPress and WooCommerce
  • Text added by themes and plugins 
  • Single product and other pages
  • Any widgets, including the cart widget
  • Product categories and tags
  • Emails sent by WooCommerce

Moreover, it can also translate any page you add to your online store automatically. 

Support for multilingual SEO

Apart from delivering a great experience, a WooCommerce translation plugin also helps you get more traffic from search engines. This is because instead of one default language, now you can target the non-English search queries you were missing out on before. 

However, to fully utilize this opportunity, you need to make sure that your translation plugin can help you optimize your pages for SEO. It should support the translation of important components like:

  • Meta titles of your posts, pages and products
  • Permalinks of your posts, pages and products
  • Meta descriptions, tags and categories
  • Image captions, titles and alt tags

Fortunately, Weglot has taken care of that too. In fact, it doesn’t just make surface-level changes, but builds a solid foundation for SEO.

A subdirectory is automatically generated for each of your target languages, along with a language button for the page. Weglot also adds hreflang tags to the source code, helping Google understand your translations. 

hreflang tags

Speed and accuracy of results

Speeding up the translation process usually involves some compromise on quality and completeness, and vice versa. So you want your translation process to strike a balance between these two benefits. 

In addition, you’d also want your translations to be consistent across different pages. For example, if you change a product’s name on the single product page, the change should reflect in the shop page as well.

Also, it should be able to take into account the variations in the same language based on locations. For example, people in both Argentina and Spain speak Spanish, but it’s not the exact same Spanish. There may be differences in not just the nuisances of language but in other elements like currencies, too. 

So your translation plugin of choice should be able to translate fast and handle different languages, along with delivering satisfactory translations. 

It should also be able to use the best proportion of human and machine translation to give the desired output across the entire store. 

That’s why when you set up Weglot, it automatically translates your current pages, or any pages you add from that point onward. 

However, even the best automatic translation can’t always be accurate. So Weglot gives you the ability to make changes to any area or page as desired. All you need to do is go to the translations tab of your Weglot account and start reviewing.

Weglot translations

The Translations tab gives you an easy way to manage your translation tasks. You can also access the visual editor to view and change translations as they appear on your website.

Affordability and pricing model

As you consider different WooCommerce translation solutions, you’ll see variations in their costs and pricing models. 

Whether your budget is high or low, it’s important to look at pricing from a long-term perspective. Pricing models can be tricky and what seems cost-effective may turn out to be more expensive in the long run. 

Weglot does a great job of offering flexible pricing plans for people with different needs and budgets, with the opportunity to scale as your business grows in the future.   

Weglot pricing model

In addition, as we discussed, many plugins store the translation data on your website’s server, which can lead to an increase in your hosting costs. On the other hand, Weglot keeps your translation on its own secure server. 

Also, you don’t even need to purchase for downloading and setting it up. You can start with a free trial and then upgrade as your needs evolve.

Ease of team collaboration

Depending on the size of your store, you may need more than one person to work on human translations. 

While teamwork can speed up the translation process, it can also be a hurdle if your team members are not on the same page. Weglot lets you add team members to your account so they can all work together cohesively on each translation project. 

add member

Keep in mind that effective collaboration among your staff helps you avoid miscommunication and meet your translation goals on time. 

Thorough documentation and prompt support

Regardless of your technical skills, sooner or later you may run into an issue and require support. So don’t overlook this part when considering a WooCommerce translation plugin. 

The quality of support for any product is determined by two aspects:

  • Do they have complete, easy-to-follow documentation?
  • Do they have a way to contact them, and do they respond fast?
Weglot support

As you can see on the Weglot help center, there are many tutorials and guides you can search for, along with an option to contact support in the top right corner. 

It’s Time To Get Started

Localizing your store is a great opportunity to expand your reach and add to your bottom line. 

The translation plugin you pick will have an impact on the success of your business. 

A great plugin does much more than just translation and offers key features like built-in SEO to rank for search queries in your target languages.  

To give Weglot a try, sign up for a free trial and start building your multilingual WooCommerce shop today. 

About the author
The best way to understand the power of Weglot is to see it for yourself. Get your website multilingual live in minutes.
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