Without using software, there are only two very limited ways of switching the language of your WooCommerce store. These are:
- You can switch your store’s default language. Switching your site’s default language takes a few seconds. From your WordPress’s back end, go to Settings > General. Find the Site Language drop-down and select the language you want.
Simple, yes. But it doesn’t actually do a whole lot—and it definitely doesn’t make your site fully multilingual. Changing your site’s default language simply translates the “built-in” content such as your “Add to Cart Button,” “My Account,” etc. into your new language. So, for example, you can change your default language from English to Spanish. All of your website’s main content stays in English, but those built-in elements we talked about are now in Spanish.
- You can switch your site’s back end to a different language. Doing this is similar to the process above, but this is only helpful if the people working on your site are more comfortable with a different language than what your site is normally in. For example, if your site is in English but your team is made up mostly of German speakers. But again, this does nothing to change the actual content of your website.
In short, if your goal is to create a fully multilingual WooCommerce store (i.e. a website available in more than one language), then you need to use translation software.
And that’s what we cover in this post—how to turn your WooCommerce store into a fully multilingual website in 3 steps using Weglot’s translation software.
Note: Weglot can translate your whole WooCommerce store without you needing any developers or API connections. And it can translate your entire site within minutes. See how simple (and fast) it is with a free trial.
How to Make Your WooCommerce Store Multilingual with Weglot in 3 Steps
Step One: Add Weglot to Your WooCommerce Store
Adding Weglot to your WooCommerce just takes a few minutes. You can first set up your account on Weglot’s website, or you can go through WordPress’s plugin page.
Either way, you just need to install the plugin, activate it, and then link it with your Weglot account, which you do by putting in your Weglot API key.
Step Two: Choose Your Languages
After you’ve linked your accounts, you now pick your original language (the language the site is currently in) and your destination language (the language you want your content translated into).
Remember, unlike the limited options we discussed in the intro to this article—Weglot is going to preserve your original site and display a brand new site for you (with a unique URL) in its new language.
Weglot can translate your content into over 100 different languages, including right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew and custom languages such as American English and French Canadian.
After picking all your destination languages and clicking save, Weglot will instantly translate your entire WooCommerce store, this includes:
- Your checkout
- All menus
- All footers, headers, and widgets
- All product descriptions
- All reviews
- And any other content that is currently live on the front end of your site
- All blog posts
And Weglot will display this newly translated site under a unique subdomain or subfolder. For example, one of our customers is Bigblue, a logistics app that works with platforms like Shopify and Magento to streamline deliveries for international eCommerce sites.
All without needing any code.
For ⅔ of our customers, this is the last step for them. All they needed was accurate machine translations, which Weglot can provide because it has active API connections with the 5 leading translation providers (including Google Translate, DeepL, and Yandex). Plus, Weglot picks the most accurate provider for you based on the language pair you’re translating from and into.
But for the other ⅓ of our customers, being able to edit and customize their translations is a must-have. And that’s what we cover next—how you can use Weglot as a full-service translation management platform for your WooCommerce store.
Step Three: Customize Your Translations (Optional)
All of your translations are available through your Weglot Dashboard. You can go straight there from your WordPress site.
Or you can log into your Weglot account directly. Once logged in, you’ll see your translations.
You’ll see how many words are in each translation and how many of those words have been reviewed by your team or by freelance translators you’ve hired through your dashboard (more on this below).
You can pull up specific translations by typing in the words you’re looking for or by choosing a specific URL. You can also use Weglot’s visual editor to see your translations on a live preview of your website.
This makes it easy to find the translations you’re looking for but is also a great tool for actively seeing how your translations look and feel within your site’s layout and design.
How to Order Professional Translation Services for Your WooCommerce Site
As we mentioned above, you can hire professional translators through your Weglot Dashboard.
This is perfect for companies that want a human translator to look over specific translations but don’t have their own team of translators. You just pick the content that you want professionally reviewed, order and pay, and then that’s it. Weglot automatically sends the right content to the translator, the translator reviews the content and makes any necessary changes. And when they’re done, your site is automatically updated (in 24-48 hours). Easy.
Customize How Users Toggle Between Languages on Your WooCommerce Store
With Weglot, you can also choose how customers use the language switcher on your site. The language switcher is the little dropdown box you use to pick which language you want the site in.
You can customize this from your WordPress back-end in the Weglot plugin.
But we do recommend that you turn on “Auto Switch.” When this is on, visitors are automatically redirected to whatever translated version of your site matches their browser language.
This is a major win for WooCommerce stores. Let’s say a French-speaking visitor finds your site, perhaps through an ad on social media, but the ad takes them to the English site. They may not stick around to notice a Language Switcher, but Weglot will automatically recognize their browser language and redirect them to your French site.
A Major Benefit for WooCommerce Site Owners: Weglot Optimizes for SEO
Weglot translates your WooCommerce site according to Google’s multilingual SEO best practices. This means:
- Weglot automatically creates separate language URLs. For example, our main site is weglot.com, but our German site is weglot.com/de/.
- Weglot alerts search engines that you translated versions of your site available. Weglot adds tags in your source code that tell search engines that you have translated versions of your site available.
- Weglot translates your site’s SEO tags and SEO metadata. You can edit these translations as well to fit your specific SEO strategy.
Here are some examples of real-world audience growth that our customers have seen after using Weglot.
- Volant is a sustainable home scenting online brand that wanted to expand its English store into international markets. At first, they did the hard work themselves, duplicating their content and translating it into German and Swedish. But they quickly realized this process wasn’t sustainable, and wouldn’t let them grow as fast as they wanted. With Weglot they were able to translate over 100k words into 9 languages in just a month. Thanks in a large part to these translations, Volant’s website is seeing twice as many online visitors and they’ve seen a 39% increase in international revenue. (Read the full case study here.)
- Ron Dorff is a popular French-Swedish sportswear brand that relies heavily on online sales. After using Weglot to translate their popular site into English, they saw a 70% increase in international sales and a 400% increase in traffic over the year before. (Read the full case study here.)
A Quick Recap: The Benefits of Using Software to Create a Multilingual WooCommerce Store
In this post, we’ve looked at two ways to switch the language of your WooCommerce store without using software. Both options are severely limited—they let you change the back end of your WordPress site and built-in elements like your “Add to Cart” button. But that’s it.
If your goal is to have a fully-multilingual website, you need to use a plugin like Weglot.
Weglot can be easily added as a plugin to your WooCommerce site. Once added, and connected with your Weglot account, you can get a fully multilingual site within minutes.
Plus, you can:
- Edit your translations
- Customize how your language selector looks
- And increase your audience thanks to how Weglot translates your site with SEO in mind