When creating content on your website, you should remember that websites are viewed worldwide. For this reason, it is worth translating your website, even if a significant portion of your readership is from a given location. Also, if you want to expand your online store into new markets or simply improve the web browsing experience for people from all over the world, adding translation capabilities to your site is a terrific idea. In this article, we will go over the advantages of integrating Google Translation widget in your WordPress site, as well as a plugin that can help you to setup this without hassle.
Why to Consider Google Translate?
Google’s AI capabilities are improving nearer to human intelligence and translating content with Google translate has the following advantages:
- Google Translate makes it simple to use by automatically translating your website into over 100 different languages.
- It aids in the removal of any potential language barriers that may prohibit customers from making purchases or reading your blogs.
- Because people prefer to use the internet in their language, integrating Google Translate into your WordPress site helps boost organic traffic and retain visitors on your site longer.
Unlike other content management systems, it is easy to setup multilingual websites with self-hosted WordPress platform. That is because there are so many plugins available to perform this function. However, when it comes to selecting a WordPress translation plugin, there are certain things you need to consider. You might need to know and understand the process of installing and configuring it and the impact of translation in your search engine optimization efforts. This article will specifically address the Google Language Translator plugin and how it is used to translate a website.
Install Google Language Translator Plugin
Google Translate dynamically converts every page on your website into any Google Translate-supported language. Follow the below instruction to setup the plugin in your WordPress site.
- First, login to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to “Plugins > Add New” section.
- Search for “google language translate” to find the Google Language Translator plugin.
- Click install button and then activate it on your site.
Setup Google Language Translator Plugin
The plugin offers easy to use interface where you can choose the languages and add the country flags.
- First make sure to enable “Check this box to activate” against the “Plugin status” to start using the plugin on your site.
- Choose the default language for your website, this is the original language of your content.
- Next choose the languages for translation. The selected options here will be shown in the published site, so that your users can select to translate the content to that language. Here, you will notice that some languages are already selected. Have a look to ensure you choose the ones you want.
- Select the flag size and rearrange the order to change the appearance of the translation widget. The plugin shows the preview that you can view to get the idea of how it will look on your published site.
- After that, scroll down to the “Language Switcher Settings”, adjust how you want your language switcher width from the dropdown menu that appears.
- Select your preferred language switcher text color and the language switcher background color.
- Check the “Check to show flags” checkbox if you want to show flag images.
- Select your preferences for show or hide the language switcher, layout option, choose whether or not to show the Google Toolbar and choose whether to align the translator on the left or right.
Showing Translation Widget
The plugin offers multiple ways to insert the translation widget on your site. You can use floating widget or use the shortcode and insert the widget anywhere you want. In addition, you also have a widget that can be inserted in sidebar or footer area. Though multiple options are available, we recommend using one option that suits your site’s layout.
- Navigate to the “Floating Widgets Settings” section and choose whether or not to show the floating translation widget.
- Set your custom text for the floating widget and select the Floating Widget Position.
- Select your Floating Widget Text Color and the Floating Widget Background Color.
- Finally, go to the “Usage” section tab. You will see shortcodes for usage in pages, posts, sidebar, header, footer, menu and page templates. If you wish to place a single language in your WordPress menu, click on the link at the bottom of the usage tab and you will see the guidelines.
- Scroll down and click on the “Save Changes” button to apply your changes.
You can insert the shortcode anywhere on your post or page to showcase the translation widget. Otherwise, use the template code to insert in your theme’s template file to show the widget in appropriate place.
Adding Sidebar Translation Widget
In many cases, simply showing the translation widget in the sidebar is sufficient and Google Language Translator plugin offers a cool widget for that purpose.
- Navigate to “Appearance” and select “Widgets” on the drop-down menu that appears.
- Add the “Google Language Translator” widget to your site’s sidebar by dragging and dropping it. Note that we have shown using classic widget editor which was removed from WordPress version 5.8. You may need to use Gutenberg block editor to insert the widget.
- Finally, click the “Save” button to apply your changes.
- Now, you can view the translate button on your website. All a visitor has to do is click on it and select their preferred language flag, and the content will be translated immediately.
- The image below illustrates how your site will look like with the translate button.
Considerations When Translating Your Website
As you can see, it is super simple to insert a translation widget using Google Language Translator plugin. However, not many people offer translation service due to the following reasons.
- Many times, automatic machine translation looks funny and does not represent the correct meaning of the original content.
- Google services are blocked in many countries like China where this translate widget will not appear on your site.
- There will be no SEO advantages with the free translation as the URL remains same.
You can handle the page speed issues with powerful caching plugins like WP Rocket. However, to resolve other translation problems, you may need a premium version of the plugin. As mentioned, the premium version allows you to review and edit the automatic translated content thus looks natural. In addition, you will get a separate URL in subdomain or with subdirectory to take advantage of local search results. But the service for bilingual needs $79.90 per year while you need $179.90 per year for using all language options.
As this is a costly service for individual bloggers, make sure you really need to offer translation service on your site. At times, for some reason, you might need to test and see whether or not this plugin works well for your site before paying for it. If this is the case, you need not worry because the plugin has a 15 days trial, and only new customers are eligible for this trial. If you don’t find it fit, you may cancel at any point during the trial period, and you will not be charged.
Note: Google Language Translator plugin is now part of GTranslate. Though there are still two free plugins available in the WordPress repository, the premium version is same which you need to purchase from GTranslate website.
Setting up Google Translate is simple if you have a good plugin and a good idea of where to begin. However, keep in mind that Google Translate is not perfect because these plugins cannot distinguish between dialects or versions of a language. Make sure to test how well automatic machine translation works for your language and opt for premium translation services if needed.