If you need to translate your WordPress site, there's a good chance you've come across a plugin called Weglot.
Having recently passed 20,000 users and €44,000 in monthly revenue, Weglot isn't really a newcomer to the translation scene anymore.
After using Weglot several times, I can see why they've been successful - Weglot is definitely the easiest way to translate a WordPress website that I've found.
In my Weglot review, I'll show you how the plugin works to help you translate your site and manage those translations. Then, I'll discuss what you should consider when deciding if Weglot is right for you.
Weglot Review: The Feature List
I'll get into the smaller features in a second, but here's the biggest thing that differentiates Weglot from other WordPress translation plugins:
As soon as you install and activate the plugin, it will automatically translate your entire site using machine translation.
So whereas most other translation plugins set you up with a blank slate that you need to fill in translations for, Weglot sets you up with an already-translated site.
Then, to refine those machine-generated translations, you can use Weglot's interface to:
- Manually edit translations in a couple different ways
- Outsource your translations to a professional editing service (obviously this will cost extra if you want to do it)
Beyond that biggie, here are the specific features that Weglot has going for it:
- It translates every single string on your site, including Yoast SEO titles, page builder content...everything.
- You can edit your translations using either a .po editor-style interface or a visual interface.
- Optimized SEO structure because the plugin actually creates separate, indexable pages for each language and adds the hreflang tag.
- Included language switcher button so that your visitors can pick the language that suits them best.
- Automatic redirection based on visitors' browser language preferences to send people straight to their language (Paid plans only)
I've played around with Weglot a lot at this point, so I have a pretty good grasp of how all those features come together. Let's go hands-on and check them out…
Hands-on With Weglot: Setting Up The Plugin
Another selling point of Weglot is just how easy it is to get the plugin set up on your site.
When you first install the plugin, it will ask you to enter your API Key. This is what allows you to actually connect to the Weglot service, so it's pretty important.
You can grab your API key from your Weglot account (which you can sign up to for free). Then you:
- Plug in in the API key
- Choose the original language of your website
- Enter the destination languages. You can choose as many destination languages as you want up to the limits allowed by your plan.
I live in Vietnam, so you can see how I've set it up to translate my site into Vietnamese below:
At this point, you can click Save Changes and you already have a translated site…
Yup, the whole thing takes less than a minute to get going. Again - this is one of the reasons Weglot has had so much success - it's just so dang easy:
While your site is now multilingual, you might want to configure a few of the other global settings before you call it quits.
Configuring The Language Switcher Button
By default, Weglot adds a language switcher button in the bottom-right corner of your site. That is, you don't need to do anything to add your language switcher button.
But if you want, you have two areas where you can customize it.
In the language button appearance area, you can change how the button works. Personally, I always like when sites use the full language instead of the language code, so I would recommend checking the box for Full name to display the full language name (you'll see the live preview change whenever you change a button's settings):
At the bottom, you can also add custom CSS if desired.
Once you've configured the style, you can scroll down to the Language button position section to change the button's position away from the default of the bottom-right corner.
- Add it to a navigation menu
- Use the included widget to put it in any widget area
- Manually add it using a shortcode
- Add it directly to your theme's source code using a simple <div> (no PHP required)
While the flexibility is nice - the default placement is pretty solid, so you don't really need to change anything here:
Excluding Certain Content From Being Translated
Because Weglot automatically translates all of the content on your site, you might run into a situation where Weglot is translating something that you don't actually want to be translated.
If that's happening, you can use the Translation Exclusion section to manually exclude content by:
- The URL (including regex)
- CSS selectors
The CSS selector option is cool because it lets you create something like:
Where anything that you include inside that div will not be translated. This is helpful if you just want to exclude specific content but want the rest of the page to still be translated.
And that's it for the Weglot plugin interface - let's check out my site!
Checking Out The Translated Version Of My Site
Here's my site in the original English:
And here it is after changing the language switcher to Vietnamese:
Beyond the obvious fact that Weglot successfully translated the actual content in my post, I want to call your attention to three different areas (that I marked in the screenshot above):
- (1) - Weglot has created an entirely new URL so that search engines can index the translated version of the site.
- (2) - Weglot really does translate everything. You can see that it even found the "Search…" placeholder in the search box and translated it.
- (3) - Weglot also rewrites all the internal links on your site so that they use the proper translation. This is important for user experience, as well as the fact that it makes it easy for Google to crawl the entire translated version of your site.
Managing Your Translations In The Weglot Interface
Once you configure the Weglot plugin, you'll do pretty much everything else at the Weglot cloud interface.
This is where you can:
- Manage all of the translations on your site
- Manually edit translations
- Order professional translations
You also get some helpful tools that let you:
- Create translation exceptions. These let you manually exclude certain words from being translated
- Run a search and replace on your translations to quickly fix any issues
To actually manage and edit your translations, Weglot gives you two different interfaces:
- Translations List - if you've ever used a .po editor, this one should be pretty familiar.
- Visual Editor - this lets you actually click on your live website to translate parts.
Using The Weglot Translations List Editor
In the Translations List, you can:
- Use the options on the left to filter out specific content
- Manage your translations on the right
One thing that's especially helpful here is that Weglot tracks whether each string is machine translated or has been reviewed by a human.
This makes it easy to see what work has already been done.
Additionally, you can also quickly add any string to a professional order, if needed:
Using The Weglot Visual Editor
The Visual Editor isn't quite as efficient for bulk translations, but I like it for translating a single page because it's user-friendly and lets you visualize everything.
When you open it, you'll see a live preview of your site. You can then click on any of the strings to edit the translation right there:
And you can also use the language switcher button in this interface so that you can preview how the translations actually look on the page. Pretty neat!
How Much Does Weglot Cost?
Weglot has a free plan that allows you to translate up to 2,000 words into one language, which might work for a small static site. But if you're running a blog or anything with lengthier content, you'll need to go with one of the paid plans.
Unlike most other translation plugins, Weglot uses SaaS-style billing.
That means that instead of a one-time purchase price + optional yearly renewals to continue with support and updates, you'll pay a monthly fee for as long as you want to keep using the plugin.
If you want to stop paying, Weglot will help you export your translations, but you'll need to find a way to get them to actually display on your site.
This SaaS billing is the price you pay for all that convenience and the cool cloud dashboard.
You can view a summary of the plans below:
You'll note that, in addition to charging for the number of translated words, Weglot also charges by page views.
Don't worry, though. If you're using caching, Weglot won't count traffic to already-cached pages. It will only count the visit that builds the cache. That means, with caching in place, you can stretch those pageview limits a lot higher.
For that reason, I'd worry more about the number of words than the page view limit when choosing your plan.
Final Thoughts On Weglot
In my opinion, Weglot is the easiest way to translate your WordPress site and subsequently manage those translations. There's not really any competition as far as ease of use and thoroughness of translations.
The only thing to remember is that you're going to pay a premium for that in the form of monthly SaaS billing.
I can't tell you whether or not that's worth it because it depends on your needs and budget.
I can just say that, on a pure functionality level, Weglot is pretty awesome.