It’s obvious. The internet has brought us together as a planet. If you run a WordPress online store, you can look at your analytics and see how diverse your audience is. If you are running your online store with WooCommerce, your target marketing could be location-based, or you might extend beyond your city, state or country and offer services worldwide, or only to specific countries. And if you run an online store, well, you may very well have customers across your borders or the ocean.
And even though, bless their hearts, there may be many people out there who have learned your language as a second language, that’s not always the case. So you may be looking to turn your site into a multilingual site based on your visitors. That’s where the Weglot service comes in.
The Weglot WordPress Plugin
Weglot offers a free service, as well as a starter service if you need to just add one language. Maybe you are an attorney and you specialize in cases with Hispanics. Either one of the first two services may work for you depending on the size of your site.
Installation is Easy
All you have to do is search for the plugin on WordPress.org, install and activate. Once you have done that, you will need to add your API from your Weglot account and adjust your settings.
This is simple enough. Add your originating language so visitors can go back to it if they want, then add as many languages for translation as your plan and the service offers.
Currently, at the time of this post they support 60 plugin languages. And the platform is built to add more in the future.
Note: for the sake of demonstration, I temporarily added this plugin to our site here because I wanted to show the translation aspect for existing content.
Language Button Appearance
You have some nice option for changing your button appearance as you can see here. I like that it does give you a dropdown box option and also the ability to add it to your menu. The use of either/or will depend on how many languages you have available for translation and how accessible you want them to be.
You will also see that you have a few choices for the type of flag.
As well as change-the-language flags.
Language Button Position
Here you will find that you can add the button to your menu, use a shortcode to place it anywhere within a page or post, and in your source code if you know what the heck you are doing.
You can also use the widget that comes with the plugin to add it to your sidebar or any other widget area.
Which will look like this on your site:
If you have not chosen to show the button in your menu, it will appear at the bottom right corner of your site.
Adding it to the menu is a great way to make it stand out as you can see in this screenshot.
I will want to note though if you are using multiple menus on your site, such as I do, it will show up on all the widget menu areas. There is a way to control this by adding CSS that displays none on that specific widget area in the CSS options for the plugin. If you are not familiar with CSS, I’m sure they or someone can help you.
This is where you will be able to exclude menus, plus you can also exclude parts of a page or a full page. This could come in handy for specific situations.
Two Examples of Weglot in Action
In this first example, I am showing you the top part of my homepage translated into Romanian.
Or one of my WooCommerce product pages translated into traditional Chinese.
Editing Your Translations
Once a page has been translated, and you see a word that you need to edit that was translated, you can do this a couple of ways.
In your dashboard you will find the Edit my translations button.
When you click on that, your first choice will be to filter and search for what you need to edit. Also, you can edit text, media and meta with the options further down in your translations.
You will also have the translation options for exceptions and a search and replace, the latter being a huge time saver.
You can edit translations via the In Context Editor, which will take you to your site and give you the tools to access specific text. Here, if I roll over the About label on my navigation I get a pencil icon as well as a box at the bottom giving me the URL I am viewing and some other actions as well.
If I click on the icon, I have the option to edit the translation for the About label in all languages I have active.
Translations and SEO
This is something a lot of people will be concerned about when it comes to search engine optimization. When I asked about this I was reassured by the people behind Weglot that the plugin is SEO-optimized.
They pride themselves on support and you have both email and chat available. If you know me, I love chat and often that can be a deal breaker when I am looking for services.
I have yet to permanently add Weglot (or any other one) to our site, but I may consider it down the road. It was easy to install and the options and features were straight-forward. The average WordPress will not be overwhelmed setting this one up.
If you are seriously looking at making your site multilingual, I would take a look at this plugin, give it a try on a site and see if it meets your needs.