Make A Multi-Language Site

Overview

Translate your website into multiple languages to reach a larger audience. For each new language you add, a duplicate version of your site is created to host the translation. You can translate sites manually, or use the free Google Translate feature built-in to the editor. If you use the Google Translate feature, make sure you review the entire translation before publishing.

Please note that after a site has been translated, all content added to any language version of the site will not sync to the other language versions. For this reason, we recommend adding multiple languages as a final step, once you have completed building your website.

Guide

Choose Default Language

The default language is the main language of your site. All other languages will exist in sub-directories while the default language will use the main domain.

We try to identify the default language of your content automatically, but you can manually set this by clicking the "change" link. Once you add multiple languages to your site, all new content needs to be translated from the default language version of your site. Once languages have been added to the site, the default language cannot be changed.

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Add a New Language

Click the Add Language button.

Select one or more languages you'd like to add. Please note, some languages are available under multiple country flags (Spanish for example). Click Done when you are finished.MakeAMultiLanguageSite2_en-US.png

Disable or Delete Languages

You can disable a language by clicking the toggle. To delete a language altogether, click the X next to the toggle.

Disabling a language: This allows you to work on the content/translation for that language, before making the language public and live on your site. If you want to publish the site without one of the  language versions, make sure to disable that version.

Deleting a language: This removes it from the site altogether and any links to this language will be redirected to the default language. A backup version will be added automatically to your backup list in the site settings.MakeAMultiLanguageSite3_en-US.png

Language Selector Design

The language selector appears on all language versions of the site; it is what enables visitors to switch between languages. Click the Design tab to see layout options. The layout you choose affects the desktop and tablet view, mobile devices can only include the small prefixed language dropdown.

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Automatic vs Manual Translation

By default, the multi-language feature automatically translates your website content into the new language you are adding using Google Translate. While this service is provided for free, Google Translate does not always provide the most accurate translations so make sure to review and edit the content in the translated versions of your site. If you prefer to manually translate your entire website, un-check the automatic translation box before adding new languages.MakeAMultiLanguageSite5_en-US.png

What Content will be translated?

The following features are currently not available in multi-language.

  • Personalization
  • Blog Posts
  • Page title and descriptions. See the SEO considerations section for more information

Positioning the Language Selector

After you click Done, the language selector is added to a new row at the top of the site and you are immediately prompted to position it. This position is reflected in all language versions; review it on all devices.

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Once you click Done, the new languages will be added to the site and any change you make to the location and/or design of the selector must be done in each language separately.

Editing Content in the New Language

To select a different language version, click on the flag of your default language and select the language you'd like to edit from the dropdown.

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Any changes you make to any language version (for example, changing text, images or adding or removing widgets) will not be reflected in the other language versions of the site.

Adding Additional Pages & Popups

A new page can be added only from the default language. If you want to display a specific page in a specific language please add it to the default language and hide the page in the navigation menu. Adding a page to all languages will require you to add it to the default language and than to each individual language.

First, you must add the page in the default language.

Then, switch to a translated language version and open the Pages & Popups menu.MakeAMultiLanguageSite8_en-US.png

Click Translate Another Page and select the page from the dropdown. You must do this for each translated version of your site. This is one of the reasons we recommend translating your site only when your site is complete and you don't expect to be adding more content. 

SEO Considerations

While site content is automatically translated, fields important to SEO are not automatically translated including:

  • Site/Page Title
  • Site/Page Description
  • Site/Page Keywords
  • Alt-text (on images)

You can adjust or translate these manually for each language. Click here for instructions on updating the page info.

  • To display multi-language stores (that correspond with the translated versions of the site), enable the store multi-language feature (available for 2500-product stores and higher). For more on creating a multi-language store, read this article.
  • Blog posts are not translated by the multi-language feature.
  • Personalizations cannot be added to translated site versions. For more on site personalizations, read this article.
  • Text connected via Connect Data will not be automatically translated. To translate this text, disconnect the widgets from the Content Library and translate them manually.