At some point, you might need to translate and display your website in multiple languages. Whether you’re handling a WordPress blog or a media website, a hotel or a corporate website or even if you’re managing a WooCommerce shop.
In this article we’ll first describe who you should translate your website for and why, then we’ll focus on key elements required for any multilingual website and we’ll finally explain how you can easily do that using Weglot Translate plugin.
Who should you translate your website for and why?
Before getting started, let’s take a look at who you should be translating your website for and why it’s so important that you do.
Whether you’re willing to reach a broader audience or to be present internationally, first you need to identify your current visitors and to select languages to target.
You already know your audience, good! You don’t, then use Google analytics to map who your visitors are and where they are coming from. Based on this analysis draw a list of targeted languages covering your current and future visitors’ languages.
Grow your activity! Making your WordPress website multilingual unlocks 3 key growth drivers for your activity:
- Enlarge your addressable audience/market
- Increase your website traffic, supported by relevant acquisition strategy
- Improve your conversion ratio via an enhanced user experience
Bottom-line, it’s all about increasing your revenues or subscribers at the different level of your acquisition funnel.
What are the key elements when going multilingual?
There are 2 very important aspects to look after when you’re making your website multilingual: (1) SEO and (2) User experience.
There is one thing you want to be sure of: being indexed in your translated languages. Especially when you’re an e-commerce or online service web app. Based on Google SEO guidelines you should ensure that:
- Translated pages have dedicated and unique URL, using sub-directories (mywebsite.com/es, mywebsite.com/fr) or sub-domains (es.mywebsite.com, fr.mywebsite.com) for examples.
Do not use query strings like ?lang=es or ?lang=fr
- Source code content is translated, otherwise your translations will never be visible for Google, hence not indexed.
- Google can easily know your website is multilingual, by adding hreflang tags or having a sitemap
Translated pages should help you to get more visitors and improved your conversion ratio. This is only possible if you pay attention to user experience in your translated versions:
- Automatic detection of visitors’ language, based on their browser’s preference
- Selected language should remain while visiting different pages, links have to be adjusted to be sure you’re not going back to the default language
- Monitoring translations quality for your different pages, having professional human translations for most visited pages, and automatic translations for less important ones for example
Weglot Translation plugin automatically handles all the above aspects, offering a powerful multilingual solution to WordPress users, without any code or technical development. Let’s see how it works in a detailed tutorial.
How to translate your WordPress website?
How does it work? Once installed Weglot will automatically detect, translate and display your pages in different languages. Then, you’ll be able to manage your translations, edit/replace the machine translations provided or even order pro translations (from pro agencies directly plugged-in Weglot and accessible via the dashboard).
All it takes is 3 steps:
1. Install the Weglot Translate Free WordPress Plugin
Add Weglot plugin from your WordPress Admin or directly from the Directory: click on plugins > add new plugins in your navigation bar.
Search for Weglot Translate plugin, and click on “Install now” and then on “Activate”
Go to Weglot settings, click on “Weglot” in your WordPress navigation bar and click on the Login link to create a Weglot account. You’ll get your API key (you only need to put your email and create a password, you’ll receive a confirmation email to validate your account and get your API key).
2. Complete the Simple Set-up Steps
Go to Weglot Translate plugin settings in your WordPress admin. Copy paste your API key from your Weglot account (https://weglot.com/account) in the related field displayed below.
Select the original language of your website, using the dropdown.
Select the destination language you want to display, using the 2-letter code (supported languages and related 2-letter codes are available here: language).
Then you have additional option for the language button style and location.
Additional advanced features are also available, including:
- page exclusion from translations
- content blocks exclusion from translations
- auto detection of visitors’ languages’ based on their browser preferences
Click on save and the language switcher button is now on your website. You can display your website in different languages. By default the button is located at the bottom right but you can adjust it to match your preferences.
3. Create & Manage Your Translations
Weglot automatically provides a first layer of machine translations, you (your team members, in-house translators) can edit or improve. You can also replace them by professional translations you can order from pro agencies directly plugged-in Weglot.
To manage and edit your translations you can use one or both of the Weglot editing tools directly from your dashboard:
Visual Editor: Edit the translations while being on your web page, having context and design in front of the eyes. It’s only available for live and public websites (it will not work for local hosted website, maintenance website or private parts of a live website).
Click on the green pencil next to strings, translations pop-up, you can edit them, changes are saved and displayed in real time.
Once a machine translation is manually approved, edited or replaced.
Translations list: On the left side you have your original content, and on the right side the translations for the selected language. Translations are sorted by URL. You can make any changes to the translations, they will be automatically saved and displayed.
At the top there is a search bar to easily find content/translations you would like to edit. There are also “translations options” to set up rules for your translations (never translate a word/sentence or always translate a word/sentence in a certain way).
Professional translations: You can select and order professional translations to pro agencies directly plugged-in and vetted by Weglot. Select the translations/pages you would like to professionally translate by clicking on the icon.
Then, find your order summary in your professional order section.
How much does it cost? Weglot Translate is a SaaS solution with a Free trial and Freemium pricing, allowing small websites to enjoy it for free. You can check Weglot plans here, starting at €9.90/month.
While there is no doubt going multilingual can be a great strategy to increase your activity, it’s important to do it the right way: not missing SEO and user experience key aspects.
Weglot Translate plugin focuses on providing both a performing and user-friendly solution, automatically handling complex multilingual set-up to let you fine-tune and refine translations. As a service, Weglot also offers a dedicated and responsive customer support to help users if needed.