We’re living in a time when building a business and reaching out to the perfect audience is easier than ever. Websites are replacing brick-and-mortar business models, social media and search engines are the main places for finding the right prospects, no matter where they live on the planet or what language they’re speaking. In other words, there’s no better time to create a new business or grow a current one than now!
Scaling a business worldwide means that at some point during the process, you will need to speak your prospects languages, which means that your website needs to come up with versions into multiple languages.
Having a multilanguage website should be seen as a good practice because on one side, you get in front of the people in their own language and on the other side, you are perceived as someone who cares about providing a good user experience.
The days when creating multiple language versions of the same website on multiple domains, subdomains or subfolders are gone. Things are a lot easier nowadays, if you use the right tools…and I’m speaking here about WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world + Weglot, the cloud-based solution for making websites multilingual.
I’ve already reviewed Weglot here, so today I’m going to actually show you step by step how to transform a WordPress website into a multilingual one.
Patti is a one-page theme so the Weglot’s Free plan(which includes 2000 words + 1 extra language) should cover our needs without any problems.
Let’s get into it!
Create a Free Account at Weglot
First things first, you’ll need to create a free account at Weglot. Head over to Weglot.com and sign up for the free trial.
Once you confirmed your email address, select the WordPress platform from the dashboard(Since Weglot is cloud-based, it supports multiple platforms, including WordPress or Shopify). To make the bridge between your WordPress website and Weglot, you just have to install the Weglot Translate WordPress plugin like you usually do with a regular plugin.
Afterwards, configure the plugin by adding the API key from Weglot into the fields:
If things go well, you should be prompted with a popup saying that you’re ready to translate the content into more languages.
At this moment, if you check out the website, you should see a fixed language switcher in the bottom-right area of the website:
I chose inside the plugin options to add another language, Spanish, which you can check out at https://test.deliciousthemes.com/patti/es/
If you notice, the plugin automatically adds the /es/ extension to the URL, which is a good practice from both SEO and user experience point of views.
Once the plugin was set up and the language selected, Weglot automatically translated into Spanish all the English content and if you check out the Spanish version of the demo, the quality of the translation is astonishing. I mean, I don’t know what sorcery this is, but I have never seen something similar.
At this point, the artificial intelligence algorithm behind Weglot got the content translated with, I would say, a 95% precision. There are still a couple of things to cover, like capitalizing words or not translating brandable words so it’s time to cover the last 5%.
Since Weglot is cloud-based, you have to go to your Weglot dashboard. Once inside, you basically have 2 options to refine the translation:
1. Make adjustments via the Translations List:
This is the place where you can review each and every phrase which was translated by the machine.
The interface even lets you filter through the translations. For example, you might have a VA which helps to translate the content and want to see the progress. To do that, at the end of the day you just have to check out the human reviewed text translations no older than 1 day.
Plus, each translation item comes with its own version history. How cool is that?
2. Translate content using the Visual Editor:
The tool comes with a Visual Editor. You basically edit the translations live on the website. Here’s an example. The machine automatically translated the term “Illustrator” into “Ilustrador”. Since Illustrator is a brand(Adobe Illustrator), it doesn’t have a translation. So using the live editor, I simply selected the translated text and made the adjustment.
Translation Exceptions and Search and Replace
Weglot comes with a series of tools for refining the translation process even further. Inside the Translation Tools section in the Weglot dashboard, you could set exception rules for always translating or not certain keywords.
At the same time, search and replace phrases across the website by using the Search and Replace feature.
How to Customize the Language Switcher
There are plenty of options available for really making the language switcher your own. You’ll find these options inside the Language Button tab, in the Weglot section in your WordPress dashboard.
Customize the size, flags, language names and use CSS to change almost anything to it.
You can also place the language switcher in different positions across the website. There are options for having it in the menu, as a widget, to be used as a shortcode or embedded into the source code:
How to Translate SEO Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Running a WordPress website the right way means that you do care about SEO, so you already have installed a plugin covering this field(ex: Yoast SEO, SEO Framework, All in one SEO, etc).
To translate the meta titles and meta descriptions with Weglot is simple. Head over to the Weglot dashboard->Translations Lists, select SEO from the Content-Type box to filter the SEO-related items and verify and adjust the automatically-made translations.
Turning your website into multilingual shouldn’t be something you should be worried about. Weglot really does a great job by figuring out 95% of the work and then takes you by the hand to adjust the last 5%. The free plan should also be enough for getting things started and learn how the tool works. Your job would be then to just keep up with it and refine what you consider it requires another look.