Google Translate is a major name in translation services thanks to its neural machine translation network, which translates sentences within their specific context.
This technology is great for websites that want to translate their content into different languages. And you can set up a Google Translate API connection and use Google’s neural network to translate your content through Google Cloud.
But as we discuss below, this is not practical for every use case—specifically, it’s not ideal for translating your website, whether we’re talking about an eCommerce store, a website for your agency, or a blog.
In this post, we take a closer look at why this is the case and provide a much more efficient alternative for turning your website multilingual—using Weglot.
- Weglot works with any website and connects without code—and without you having to maintain complex API setups yourself.
- Weglot will translate your entire site within minutes, and this includes setting up your translated sites under unique URLs. We use the same translation technology as Google Translate (along with 4 other leading translation providers).
- Plus, with Weglot, you can easily edit your translations (if needed) or order additional professional translation services directly through Weglot, without having to extract or download any content from your website.
Want to translate your website today? You can translate your entire website (and put it up live) within minutes with Weglot. Start your free trial today.
How you can translate your website with a Google Translation integration
Google Cloud Translation’s AI works by letting you choose which content you want translated into your target language. For example, you can upload your company’s service manuals that are in English and translate them into Chinese, Portuguese, German, and so on.
If you’re using Google Cloud’s Translation AI to translate your website, the process looks like this:
- You configure your API key (written in JSON) and create a project.
- You upload your content. Your file needs to be a text/html or in text/plain (.tsv and .txt) format.
- You then request your translations by picking the language you want to translate your content into. This is the part that costs money. When you sign up for Google Cloud’s Translation API, you do get a $300 credit, however, that’s typically not enough for most websites. (Note: If you have a very small translation project, consider using the free version of Weglot.)
- Google then translates that content and delivers it back to your Google Cloud Storage.
But there are a few problems that make this the wrong method for translating your website:
- API connections are not always easy to set up or maintain. You have to set up and maintain an active API connection with Google Cloud’s Translation AI. If anything goes wrong with the API connection, you need to figure it out with your team or reach out to Google.
- You have to manually deal with all of your content. You need to extract the content from your site, upload it to the Cloud, then take your translations from the Cloud and upload them to your translated site. That’s a lot of back-and-forth, even with a small website. Plus, what happens when you make changes to your website’s content or add new content? You need to do this all over again for every translated site you have.
- You’re only getting translation services from one provider. Yes, Google Translate is a major translation provider, but it’s not the only one. And nor is it always the best one for the job, depending on which languages you’re translating from and translating into. There are other providers, such as DeepL and Microsoft Translate, which might be better for your project.
- You don’t get an easy-to-use translation management platform that lets you edit your translations. Depending on your project, you may need your translation team to do manual reviews of your translated content. This isn’t an option with your Google Translate integration.
So, while Google Translate is a powerful translation provider, it’s not necessarily the best tool if you want to make your website multilingual. That’s why in the next section, we cover an alternative: Weglot’s translation software.
Weglot: An alternative to setting up a Google Translation integration
Weglot is our translation management software. It uses 4 different translation providers (including Google Translate), so you’ll always get the most accurate translations for your site.
But unlike using Google’s Cloud Translation AI, you don’t need to download or upload any files. Weglot works with any site and is easy to install. Plus, it automatically translates your content for you.
Weglot can translate any site in just a few minutes. When it’s done translating your site, it sets up your translated sites as unique subdomains/subdirectories and optimizes them for SEO (following Google’s own best practices for multilingual SEO).
Weglot’s easy installation process (including video tutorials)
Here’s a quick video on how easy it is to install Weglot on your site—no coding or developers needed:
We have CMS-specific tutorials listed below.
WordPress: A video guide to translating your WordPress site with Weglot
WooCommerce: A video guide to translating your WooCommerce store with Weglot
Shopify: A video guide to translating your Shopify Store with Weglot
Wix: A video guide to translating your Wix site with Weglot
Squarespace: A video guide to translating your Squarespace website with Weglot
Webflow: A video guide to translating your Webflow website with Weglot
Weglot will translate your site automatically (and keep it updated)
The first big difference with Weglot is that it will translate your site automatically. You don’t need to download or extract your site’s content and upload it to a translation tool.
Once you connect Weglot to your site, you just pick your site’s current language and what language you want to translate your site into. Then Weglot takes over.
After your translation is ready, Weglot automatically displays it under a unique subdomain/subdirectory of your current site’s URL. For example, Weglot’s main site is weglot.com, but our French site is weglot.com/fr/. That subdomain was set up for us automatically without any effort.
Weglot uses 4 leading translation providers to accurately translate every project
When you use Google Cloud’s Translation API, you’re only getting translation services from Google. Yes, Google is a major translation service—and Weglot uses its API connection with Google to provide customers with fast and accurate translations.
But Weglot also uses other leading translation providers, specifically DeepL, and Microsoft. We have API connections with each provider, so you don’t need to set up your own. All of these providers are connected to your Weglot account. Which tool we use to translate your site depends on the language pairing you select—so we’ve already chosen the most accurate MT provider for you.
This way, you’re always using the best tool for the job.
FYI: We recently researched how accurate machine translation is. The majority of our customers don’t end up making any edits to their website after Weglot has translated it for them. That means you can just add our software, pick the languages you want, and let Weglot do the rest.
How to customize your translation process with Weglot’s translation management platform
Weglot gives you automatic website translation, but you also have control over the entire translation process within our software. This includes:
- Editing your translated content within the dashboard.
- Hiring professional translators through your Weglot account.
- Setting up glossaries with specific translation rules.
- Excluding specific words, phrases, pages, or blocks from translations.
Edit your translations as needed (and hire professional translators)
While ⅔ of our customers don’t edit their translations at all, that still leaves a third of our clients who do make edits. Whether or not you edit your translated content will depend on your website and industry. Previously, we’ve written about several different types of businesses that have used Weglot to show the various strategies you can take when creating a multilingual website.
So while editing is optional, we still know how important it is for some businesses—which is why Weglot is also a full-service translation management platform.
You can access all of your translated languages in your Weglot dashboard—whether they’re machine-powered translations or translations done by human translators.
You can find a specific translation by:
- Selecting a URL.
- Searching for a specific phrase or word you want to find.
- Navigating through a live preview of your site with our visual editor.
You can click the translation you want to edit, make the changes, and then save them. All changes are updated automatically on your CMS.
You can also find a professional translator through Weglot. Simply pick which content you want to be translated/reviewed by a professional, then the job is sent to a qualified translator.
Once the translator has finished translating, the content is automatically updated and live on your site. You don’t need to worry about going back and forth with different texts and docs and ensuring you have the most updated one on your site. Weglot takes care of it for you.
Setting up a glossary
From your Weglot Dashboard, you can click on “Glossary” to set up specific translation rules.
This lets you pick which words you never want translated. For example, some sites won’t want to translate brand names and company mottos.
Excluding specific pages/blocks
You can also exclude entire URLs or specific blocks from getting translated.
If you want to exclude a URL, you just add a new rule and then put in the URL you want to exclude. If you want to exclude a specific block, then just copy the CSS selector of that block and add it to your “Excluded Blocks” list.
Weglot optimizes your website for SEO
When Weglot translates your CMS, it also helps with your new site’s multilingual SEO. This helps your site rank for the right audience.
Weglot helps with SEO by:
- Automatically translating all of your on-page SEO elements, such as your alt tags and metadata.
- Adding code to your translated site that tells Google you have a translated site available (hreflang tags).
- Creating a unique subdomain/subdirectory for each translated site. For example, our main site, weglot.com, is in English. But our Japanese site is under the subdomain https://weglot.com/ja/, where “ja” denotes Japanese.
Get started with Weglot: If Weglot sounds like the right website translation solution for you, click here to start your free trial.
Next Steps: translate your site within minutes with Weglot
While Google provides accurate translations, it doesn’t give websites an easy way to translate their content. With Weglot, you get:
- An easy installation process. You don’t need to worry about any API connections. You can set up Weglot with any site in just a few minutes. No coding or development necessary.
- Automatic translation via machine translation. We use machine translation from the leading providers. This includes Google Translate—but it also includes DeepL, and Microsoft Translate. And because we have APIs set up with each provider, you don’t have to worry about managing any active connections or juggling different platforms. Plus, Weglot will automatically detect any new content and translate it for you. That means your translated sites will always be up-to-date.
- An intuitive translation management platform. Once your site is translated by machine translation with Weglot, you can edit your translations from your dashboard, if desired. Your translation team can do this, but if you don’t have a team, you can also hire a professional translation review directly through Weglot.