How to make your Wix site multilingual

It’s becoming increasingly important for sites of all types – from small businesses and blogs to large conglomerates – to reach a global audience. One of the simplest ways of doing so is ensuring your site is available in a range of different languages.

Although many browsers will now automatically translate text they detect to be in a different language from their users’ own, this can often be patchy, and fail to translate important elements of sites – including menus, storefronts, image captions, and more. True localization, therefore, requires that site owners do a lot of the work themselves to reach their audiences as best as possible.

Although Wix is one of the easiest-to-use website builders out there, translating your Wix website can be a daunting task. There are numerous options to choose from, and Wix itself even offers its own solution. In this guide, we’ll take you through the most popular multilingual Wix solutions, looking at the pros and cons of each. 

While some solutions promise the full package, it’s worth looking into each one in-depth to see the real benefits and drawbacks before making your choice on what’s the best way to translate your Wix website. 

Is Wix multilingual? 

The first question you might be asking is whether you can make your Wix website multilingual within the CMS platform itself. The short answer is yes, but the long answer is not quite as simple. 

But, we’ll get to that later.

What needs to be translated on your Wix site 

First things first, when you set about translating your Wix website, there are a few parts to that process that you’ll need to consider. 

Text 

Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, the content (i.e., the text) on your Wix site should be fully translated to ensure all your new website visitors understand what’s written on your site. Fairly straightforward, right? 

But, like most Wix users, you’ve undoubtedly added a number of Wix’s own apps (or other apps available on the Wix app marketplace) to enhance your site. This might include ecommerce capabilities, booking forms, etc. – so don’t forget that these elements also make up an important part of your site’s content. For those selling a product or service, you’ll most definitely need this content fully translated. 

SEO metadata

Next – what about the content that’s not visible to the naked eye? And by that, we mean your SEO metadata. The text that’s ‘behind the scenes,’ if you will. When you’re entering new markets, it’s incredibly important that the SEO of your newly translated Wix website is also accounted for. 

From your meta titles to your alt image text, translating this will help you appear in searches in your new language. The location and amount of metadata will depend on the template you’re using. But you’ll need to attend to all of it – appearing in search results means better visibility for your business. 

seo metadata wix

Images 

As we move further down the rabbit hole of website translation, it’s not just text that will play a part in fully localizing your website. Think about images too. What is relevant and culturally appropriate in one country might not be in another. This can even come down to how certain colors are received. Or even as simple as the example below:

translate image wix

It’s not just culture that comes into play. What about seasons? This is particularly relevant when selling goods across the world; the season will depend on the country, and a one-size-fits-all approach certainly won’t cut it or resonate with all your website visitors.

How do I make a Wix multilingual site?

There are a couple of initial questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you know the language you’re going to add to your website 
  2. If you don’t know the language will you:
    • Use a professional translator 
    • Use automated translation 
    • A mixture of both 

If the answer to question 1 is yes, then congratulations! The translation process is already going to be a lot easier. But bear in mind that it will still be very time-consuming to handle the whole translation process yourself. 

You do win here, however, in terms of price. Using a professional translator can be expensive – not to mention time-consuming. And remember – each time you add new content to your website, you’ll need to go through the process again. This makes it tricky to make small tweaks to your site. 

Automated translation can offer a great solution for those that have thousands of website pages (we’re looking at you, ecommerce entrepreneurs) and don’t want to spend the time or money using professional translation. It’s especially good when it comes to product pages – as usually these are simple, easy to translate sentences – but it also works well on larger texts,  with increasing accuracy every year. 

So what about a mixture of both? Well, we’ve talked about the pros and cons of automated versus professional translation in great detail already, and while you’re free to read the article, for the purposes of this guide, we’ll sum it up quickly! 

Our overall opinion is that a mix of automated and human translation is the best of both worlds. You’ll have the speed of automated translation, coupled with the human translation to fine-tune anything further, think key pages like your homepage, etc. 

You might be surprised to learn that we’d even recommend this for those that already speak the language. This is because it will save you a huge amount of time translating text manually. The first layer of automated translation does the hard work for you; then you simply need to make adjustments if needed. 

Official Wix multilingual solution 

As with all aspects of Wix, this CMS platform’s main aim is to make website creation and functionality as simple as possible – in fact, Wix is probably the easiest to use CMS out there. 

It’s made creating quality websites effortless, and its drag-and-drop builder is no exception. Moving elements and adding apps is a cinch for Wix users. 

So, when it comes to translating your Wix website, the same applies. They’ve made this feature incredibly user friendly, and it can be implemented in just a couple of minutes. 

Originally created to only offer you the groundwork for creating a multilingual website, Wix has now added automatic translation to its multilingual feature in the form of Google Translate, accessible in its main multilingual dashboard. 

From the user experience on the front-end, everything looks clean and simple. Users can change the site language by selecting one (either by name or flag) from the drop-down language menu. 

Whilst this is a good move forward from their previous multilingual feature, it’s worth noting that you’ll have to do a lot of work behind the scenes to get this multilingual solution working properly.

The first issue is that Wix won’t automatically implement Google Translate across your website. You’ll need to access your website through the editor, then click into each text box, and then click ‘Translate with Google.’ Whilst this might not be a problem for those with smaller websites of less than 2,000 words, it can prove problematic for larger sites.

edit translation wix

You can see how this would become incredibly time-consuming for those with larger websites, especially if you’re planning on adding more than one additional language to your Wix site. 

You might also struggle to detect all the content on your Wix site. By this, we mean it can be easy to forget a page or a small box of text – which can be problematic for your website visitors who won’t understand all of your site’s content. You’ll need to make sure that each and every bit of content in your main language is translated into any additional secondary languages.

One less-than-user-friendly aspect of Wix multilingual is that there are different places to manage different types of translated content. For example, any content coming from an app will be within the ‘multilingual tab,’ outside of your editor, and all other text will be managed inside the Wix editor. 

This requires two types of translation management and again can be an easy way to forget about translating a particular part of your website. This is especially true of your SEO metadata. 

SEO metadata is found in a third area of your Wix website, in the site menu section (within the editor), where you’ll need to switch to the language you want to edit and then replace the text with your translation. However, this cannot be translated by Google Translate within Wix, so you’ll need to do this outside of the CMS and then copy and paste it back.

edit seo metadata wix

Translating your SEO metadata is incredibly important as it’s how you’ll be searchable in your new markets. 

When it comes to translating Wix apps, there are a couple of shortcomings here too. Notably, those using Wix ecommerce will need to check if your chosen additional language is supported. Certain text within the Wix storefront cannot be translated, such as your checkout. Only these languages are supported – if your chosen language is not on the list, the storefront text will remain in English. 

For those that don’t speak the additional language added to your site, you may want to have a professional translator look over your content. This is something you’ll have to arrange outside of Wix and means you’ll need to provide word documents for the translator and then manually upload the translations once again, after they’ve been edited. 

A final noteworthy point is to discuss Google Translate’s own limitations. Whilst automatic translation is improving with great accuracy (we’re big advocates of it here at Weglot), it’s important to note that there are several different automatic translation providers out there, which are ranked differently depending on language pair. So keep in mind that Google Translate might not be the most accurate translation solution for the language you want to add to your website. 

Localize 

Localize is a JavaScript translation solution. With this solution, you’ll add a JavaScript (programming language) code to your Wix site to make it multilingual with automatic and professional translation. The code detects almost all of the content on your website and changes it to display the translations instead. 

It does this without the need for multiple websites, and it’ll also add a language switcher to the front end of your Wix site. 

However, there are a couple of drawbacks with Localize. 

No multilingual SEO

You need to bear in mind that your Wix site won’t be optimized for multilingual SEO. This is because of the way a JavaScript translation solution works. Localize works by detecting all the content of your website and dynamically changing it for translations once your page is loaded on your visitor’s browser. However, the content within your source code won’t be translated. 

This is problematic because the source code is what Google bots will scan, so essentially your translated content won’t be visible for search engines to crawl. There’s no guarantee you’ll actually appear in search engines in your translated languages. 

The translated content of your Wix site will also all appear under one URL, which means you’ll only be SEO friendly in the original language of your website. It doesn’t give you language subdomains like other solutions. 

Page loading issues

When using a translation solution like Localize, you may have issues when your pages load. Because this type of JavaScript solution doesn’t always work seamlessly, there can be what is called a ‘content flash.’ 

Usually, when you load a page, it will appear in milliseconds. However, using a solution like Localize can cause the millisecond wait to be replaced with a flash of content, whereby your website visitor will see both languages displayed for a very brief moment. This can give the impression that you don’t take localization seriously, as the secondary language user experience isn’t up to the same standard as the main language.

Still, plus points of Localize include the fact that you can edit your automated translations manually, and that you don’t need the help of a developer to implement this solution. 

Multilingualizer 

Another JavaScript Wix translation solution is Multilingualizer, although it works quite differently to Localize. 

With Multilingualizer, you won’t actually get a first layer of automated translation. You’ll need to provide the translations yourself either through a professional translator, or if you or your teammates speak the language. This step, as we mentioned earlier, can be both time consuming and costly. 

The second difference is the way Multilingualizer actually works. It adds your translation directly inside your page and then hides the content the visitor doesn’t want to see. 

If you have a website in Spanish and English and your website visitor wants to view it in Spanish, then the English content will be hidden. Whilst this might seem logical, there are a couple of big drawbacks.

Bad Multilingual SEO 

Firstly, as we mentioned previously, search engine bots are scanning the source code of your website to index it. Because Multilingualizer has kept both versions of your website content in the source code, you’ll end up with pages indexed on Google in both languages – which is certainly not good for multilingual SEO or the SEO of your original website.

Full website translation is not possible 

Multilingualizer cannot translate content that isn’t from your Wix website. So, for example, if you’ve added an app that hasn’t been created by Wix, such as a review app from a different company, it won’t be possible to translate this type of content. 

This is also the case for your ecommerce store. Like the Wix solution, the full process won’t be translated. 

Google Translate API  

Once a popular choice for translating your website, Google Translate offered a free way to translate your Wix site into more than 100 languages. As always, however, free services don’t always equal quality, and there were numerous negative points to using this form of website translation. 

Either way, you’ll actually now find that this service has been removed by Google. Instead, they’re offering a new paid service – Google Translate API. 

The cost is based on the number of characters sent to the API for processing – i.e., you’ll be charged based on the number of characters on a page that’s been visited by someone in one of your newly added languages. 

It’s also worth pointing out that this solution is for people with a good knowledge of the way the backend of a website works. Unlike translation solutions that have been created for anyone to use, the Google Translate API requires a lot more knowledge. The installation process is not at all straightforward. You’ll also need to create your own language switcher, which will require the help of a developer. 

Another downside to using the Google Translate API is that you cannot edit any of the translations, so what it gives you is what you’ll get. 

As mentioned with the native Wix solution, the quality of your translations with Google Translate also depends on the language pair; English to French will give a better translation than, say, English to Chinese, etc. 

If you take a look at the SEO capabilities of the Google Translate API, prepare to be disappointed. Your translated pages won’t exist on search engines at all. When you translate your website, you expect some form of visibility in your translated languages, so with this translation solution, you won’t be found by your new markets. 

Weglot 

We’ve mentioned a number of different options for translating your Wix website, but as you’ll have read, they all come with a couple of downsides.

However, at Weglot, we developed a complete multilingual Wix solution that works seamlessly with your Wix site and, what’s more, ensures that every part of it is translated – that includes your full ecommerce store (if you’re selling online). We’ve created our very own Weglot Wix showcase website to demonstrate the power of going multilingual!

translate wix website

From your website content to product descriptions to your booking forms – even if your website extends to more than just text, every aspect will be fully translated and detected with Weglot. 

What’s worth pointing out here is that your whole website is translated instantly, so whereas with the Wix official solution, you’ll need to find the text on your website and either translate it yourself or use the Google Translate feature manually; however, Weglot has already taken care of that step automatically.

Weglot both translates (using a first layer of automatic translation) and displays the content of your Wix website under language-specific subdomains. So, you’ll have a fully translated Wix website, without the need for manually creating multiple pages or paying professional translation costs. 

Let’s talk about automated translation. We touched on it earlier when we were discussing the official Wix multilingual solution, but Weglot works differently. Firstly, we choose the most accurate automated translation based on language pair to ensure you have the highest quality translation to work with. This means we use a mix of DeepL, Microsoft, Google Translate, and Yandex, depending on the language you choose to translate your website into. 

We then give you full translation control. In your Weglot dashboard, you’ll be able to edit and manage each translation through your translations list. The good thing about viewing your translations in a dashboard is that there’s no need to crawl through your website looking for every bit of text and worrying you might have missed a translation.

edit wix translations weglot

This also includes image translation – you can access them in the same way, just simply replace the image URL with a different one, and it will automatically appear on the translated version of your website.

We’ve even added in alternative suggestions if you’re not familiar with the language you’ve translated your website into. 

translation suggestions wix

Like most Wix users, you probably enjoy the visual part of the web design process – which is something you can also do with Weglot! Instead of viewing your translations in your translations list, you can also view and edit them in a live preview of your website, so you can see exactly where each translation is.

edit wix translations multilingual

If you want to go even further with your website translation, you can order professional translators to look over your automated translations right within the Weglot dashboard. Our competitive pricing and ease of ordering means there’s really not much effort required. Once ordered, your content will be reviewed and edited in 24-48 hours and automatically added to your website, without any additional steps required from you. 

The best part of the Weglot translation solution? Installing it is simple and fast, meaning you can have a fully multilingual Wix website up and running in under 10 minutes – without the need for developers. 

But that’s not all! Weglot is fully optimized for multilingual SEO. It’s not just language subdomains that are taken care of. Remember that important SEO metadata we talked about earlier? With Weglot, that’s all automatically translated too, so all you need to do is filter your translations list by ‘meta SEO’ and review the translations (if you want to – it’s also fine to just leave the automatic translation as it is!). 

seo metadata wix translate

We also add hreflang tags to let Google bots know there are different versions of that page, so your website will appear in search results for your different translated languages. 

Let’s take a look at just how simple it is to add Weglot to your Wix website and make it multilingual…

How do I add languages to Wix 

Time needed: 10 minutes.

Adding languages to your Wix site with Weglot is simple. 

  1. Find Weglot Translate on the Wix App Store

    Head to the Wix App Store and search for Weglot Translate. Click on ‘Add to Site’. Then create a Weglot account.

  2. Add languages to your Wix site

    In the next step select the original language of your website, then in the ‘Destination Languages’ drop-down, choose which languages you want to add to your Wix website.

    add languages in Wix app store

    Click Save. Your Wix website is now live! But to ensure you’re multilingual SEO ready, you’ll want to set up your subdomains.

  3. Create your language specific subdomains

    E.g. fr.mysite.com (example for French) – this is where your translated content will appear. Click on ‘Activate subdomains’ from your Wix dashboard.

    add subdomains

    This will take you to your Weglot Dashboard. Go to ‘Settings’ and ‘Setup’. Scroll to the bottom of the page and toggle on ‘Enable Subdomains’. Follow the steps in your dashboard.

  4. Add CNAME Records

    Go to your Wix ‘Settings’ then ‘Manage Domain’. Click on the 3 dots and ‘Manage DNS Records’. 

    Scroll down to CNAME and ‘+ Record’. The ‘Host Name’ will be the 2 letter language code given to you in your Weglot Dashboard and the ‘Value’ is ‘websites.weglot.com’. Click ‘Save Changes’.

    DNS setting in Wix

    If you bought your domain name outside of Wix, contact support@weglot.com for help finding your DNS section.

    Go back to your Weglot Dashboard and click on the ‘Check DNS’ button, the red crosses will turn to green ticks when this has been finalized – this can take up to 10 minutes.  

Your Wix multilingual website is now live thanks to Weglot…View your website to see your site in its new languages!

For details instructions – check out our setup guides.

Wix multilingual site examples 

We’ve got thousands of Wix users currently using Weglot to make their websites multilingual. You can check out our demo website, but it’s also great to see some real websites in action. 

Summary 

So we’ve shown you a number of solutions to help make your Wix website multilingual. Hopefully you’re clearer on what will work best for you. Let’s briefly sum-up

  • Wix official solution – completely manual process but can work for smaller websites 
  • Localize – lacking SEO friendliness 
  • Multilingualizer – offers no automated translation and not SEO friendly 
  • Google Translate API – zero translation control and no SEO capabilities 
  • Weglot – full translation solution, with automated + human translation and multilingual SEO-optimized

Interested in trying out Weglot on your Wix site?
Sign up for your free 10-day trial and discover how you can easily create a multilingual Wix website with Weglot

New Webinar 🤩 – Going international with Wix in 2021 — with Wix experts Karen & Tracy & Yoav (Head of multilingual @Wix) –  Register here ✨