If you have a target group where more than one language is present, it’s always a good idea to translate your website. Website translate or translation will widen your presence in different languages. If you have your website in English you are of course very far already, but imagine countries like Germany or France, they are very proud countries where not all are very good at speaking English. This often results in them googling in their own language, which means your English website stands no chance.
- Using a translator service
- General rules for translation doing a website translate
- Translate your WordPress website
- Translate your PHP Website
The most tricky part of translating is not the technical aspect of it, it’s actually getting the translations. If you don’t have the resources in-house there are however services you can use where they will translate it for you, such as Easytranslate. I will dig into how you can get it set up on your website, I’ll discuss 3 different setups, if you have another setup then please leave a comment. I’ll try my best to help you out find the best solution for your needs.
As everything is getting smarter and smarter, I see in the industry that automated translations are getting more and more normal, and more and more businesses are using it. Be aware though, that these machine translations are still not near the same quality as if a human being is translating, but it’s definitely better than no translation.
Using a translator service
If you want supreme translations, I would recommend you using translation services. There are a ton of different translation services, just make sure you find one within your price budget and translation quality needed. If you don’t find any translation services, you can always use services like Fiverr or even Upwork, unless you of course have someone in your network who can do it. However, you do get an extremely professional translation, using translation services.
One of the biggest reasons why you achieve such a good quality, getting translations from translation services, is that every user needs to go through an approval process. All translators need to answer a lot of questions when they sign up. This gives you a great chance to set all your requirements for the translator. It’s important you set requirements, it makes it easier for the translator to know what direction to go in. You will also know whether it’s their native language, original language or a foreign language for the translator.
Delivering the translations is an important step. You can choose to get a document will all translations, however this is very time-consuming as you would need to copy from the document and paste into your website. What many businesses does, and especially if you’re using WordPress, is that they create the translator as a user in their system. This way they can translate directly, and you basically just have to make sure to pay their invoice.
General rules for translation doing a website translate
When you set up your translations, you have to choose whether you want to use subdomains, domains, subfolders or neither. This varies from purpose to purpose and business to business. When you want to translate your website you need to clear it for yourself, whether you will get more values of domains, subdomains, subfolders or neither. Let me dig into each one of them.
Subdomains is great if you want to keep everything under one domain, but still create some clarity for your visitors and yourself. However, using subdomains, Google crawls them individually, this means that all of your SEO juice from your content will be separated and you have to build authority for each subdomain as was it a completely different website.
Using different domains for different languages are great if you want to differ a lot in the content and design of your website. If you only translate the text I do not recommend you using multiple domains as it’s expensive to maintain.
Subfolders are great because you keep all the content on the same domain. That means your domain authority will benefit all of your content even though it’s the same content. But because it’s in different languages, you benefit without having issues from Google. This is great if you want to keep everything under one domain.
If you have a customised app, maybe a SaaS app or similar. You want to keep everything as it is, and only change the language for the specific user. Google doesn’t crawl your SaaS app within, so there is nothing to worry about.
Translate your WordPress website
WordPress is the most used content management system out there. Even though there are a ton of options, people just choose to use WordPress because it is so simple and easy to use. For you to add translations to your WordPress website, you need to add a plugin, set it up, then you are good to go. I will show you 2 plugins I recommend you use, but there are many options out there if you prefer another plugin.
WPML is a very extensive plugin, and you can really customise it down to your needs. It supports all methods mentioned earlier and much more. It integrates with all of your favourite plugins, and it’s easy to use even though the possibilities within are endless.
This plugin is especially very good when it comes to multilingual SEO, it lets you customise your SEO profile of all your webpages and posts within each language.
Polylang is a free plugin that can take your translations very far. They update their plugin often and supports all the methods mentioned above. Their translation management is great, and very easy to use when you need to find specific translations.
Polylang states on their website that their plugin is very SEO optimised, and all of your webpages are set up for success, using their plugin.
You can do this extremely simple, and with minimal coding. Andreas Remdt has made an awesome guide you can follow step by step, and before you know it, you’ll have it done. You can read the guide on Medium here.
There are a ton of different options out there. The library I like to work with is react-i18next, it’s simple to use and get the job done.
They have their own library you can use. It’s completely made for Angular down to every line of code, so this is my top choice.
Translate your PHP Website
If you have a PHP website, which isn’t a CMS, but a custom-built PHP website. I recommend you using Gettext, it’s more or less the same idea they use in WordPress. You have a pot file which is your template file, this file you turn into a .po file for each language. After this you’ll be able to use an application like Poeditor, to easily translate your website. Again having a PHP web app, keep it on the same domain, don’t use subfolders as Google won’t crawl past a login page.
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Even though it’s a brief overview of how to do it in different setups, I hope you got the idea of where to go from here with your website. I have given you different options depending on your setup, and I know the post isn’t covering all setups, as it’s impossible. But if your setup isn’t covered, then leave a comment and I’ll consider adding it to the post.
I used Vue-18n when I built Wastecontrols web app, it works like a dream.
How do I translate a website?
Depending on your setup, you can often do it by installing a plugin. If you have a more custom setup you might have to look for a library to install.
What plugin is the best to translate WordPress?
This is a personal preference, I personally like Polylang and WPML best. The reason being they are extremely simple to use, performance-driven and get the job done.
How much does it cost to translate a website?
It’s extremely difficult to say, but on average you can expect to pay $0.10 and $0.20 per word per language.
How to translate a website with Google Translate?
Yes, you can, this will not be a translation of the highest quality, but you can add Google Translate as a plugin to get started and get your website into multiple languages.