International ecommerce

Editing Shopify Checkout Page Translations

Editing Shopify Checkout Page Translations
Elizabeth Pokorny
Written by
Elizabeth Pokorny
Elizabeth Pokorny
Written by
Elizabeth Pokorny
Eugène Ernoult
Eugène Ernoult
Elizabeth Pokorny
Reviewed by
Eugène Ernoult
Updated on
December 7, 2023

If you operate a Shopify store, you've probably come across a scary-looking phrase on your screen: translation missing. Like an uninvited guest who disrupts the party, it reduces the credibility and interrupts the user journey of your Shopify store, ultimately hampering the customer experience.

This issue can crop up anywhere on your site where there should be translated text and can be a cause for worry, considering the amount of effort and care you've put into building your store. You've selected the perfect theme, organized your products appealingly, and crafted compelling product descriptions, and yet, this error is throwing a spanner in the works.

Fortunately, there's reassurance amidst this challenge. Like most technical issues, you can understand and fix the "translation missing" error in Shopify.

Let's explore ways to decode this potential problem, simplify its causes, and provide actionable steps for resolving it on your multilingual Shopify store.

Understanding the "Translation Missing" Error in Shopify

The "translation missing" error in Shopify is a system-generated message you'll encounter when a certain translation is absent from your website's language files.

It's as if your website is saying, “I'm trying to show something in a different language here, but I can't find the translation!" To give a concrete example, imagine seeing a glaring translation missing: en.products.add_to_cart instead of the familiar Add to Cart button on your Shopify store.

Disturbingly, this error often manifests in areas of high strategic importance to your Shopify website, like product or checkout pages, causing significant disruptions to website navigation and usability. Naturally, this can be a major annoyance rather than simply a minor glitch in your webpage.

From a technical perspective, this error points to deeper issues – missing translation files, inadequately managed language files, or erroneous implementations of translation components on the site. As these components remain untranslated, customers encounter unexpected language switchovers during their browsing experience, leading to a jarring and disjointed shopping journey.

The ramifications of this error are profound.

Crucial navigation elements, product labels, and buttons that remain untranslated deter customers, impede sales, and can negatively impact your store's reputation globally.

But encountering this error shouldn't signify insurmountable trouble for your online store. The issue may be frustrating and disruptive, but it is resolvable.

Let’s explore the why and the how.

Common Reasons for the "Translation Missing" Error

This error can be primarily attributed to three factors:

  1. The absence of necessary translation or language files in your store's chosen theme: These files play a key role in displaying the appropriate text in the relevant language to your international customers. Incorrectly formatted or missing files can trigger the "translation missing" error.
  2. Erroneous theme settings: The theme operating on Shopify is an essential factor influencing your site's primary language. Any inconsistencies or inaccuracies can prompt translation errors.
  3. Coding glitches within your website's back end: Any untranslated components in the code or wrongly structured HTML tags can disrupt the proper language display, causing the error.

The "translation missing" error usually occurs when changes are made to the site's languages or themes. For example, switching from a default English template to additional languages often introduces the chance of encountering this error, as these additional translations tend to face unexpected issues.

Manual translations can also frequently cause errors. This method is not only time-consuming, but it also makes it easier for translations to be overlooked, leading to an increased probability of encountering the "translation missing" error.

This challenge can be readily managed by integrating Weglot, our own translation tool. Weglot ensures consistency and comprehensiveness in your website's multilingual content, making the translation process more efficient and reliable. We’ll share more on how you can use Weglot to streamline your multilingual website translation efforts later.

Now that we know why the “translation missing” error occurs, let’s talk about how to fix it.

How to Identify and Fix the “Translation Missing” Error

Unlocking the puzzle of the "translation missing" error begins with spotting an anomaly in the expected text on the user-facing side of your Shopify store. However, to truly nip this issue in the bud, you'll need to delve into the backend of your site.

Here, you need to:

  1. Go to your Shopify admin panel > Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Languages tab.
  3. Find the section that echoes the error. The clue to locating the error, quite helpfully, lies within the error message itself.
  4. A message such as translation missing: de.general.newsletter_form.footer is indicative of a missing German translation in the Footer field nestled under the Newsletter Form section of the General tab.
Translation missing error message in Shopify
  1. Once you've pinpointed the error in your site's code, it’s time to tackle it head-on.

Changing the default theme content in another language has a slightly different process. Here’s what our support team usually recommends:

  • Go to your Shopify admin > Languages, then replace the language of the theme with the destination language (the language of the translation you want to edit)
  • Head back into your Shopify Admin > Online Store > Themes, then edit default theme content
  • Edit the content you want to replace in the translated version
  • ⚠️ Return to your Shopify admin > Languages, and change the default language back to the original one

Managing Translations in the Shopify Admin Panel

The Shopify Admin Panel is a powerful tool within your eCommerce arsenal, as manually editing translations requires a meticulous approach. It has various functionalities designed to make managing your online store's language settings more straightforward.

Key features include the ability to:

  • Adjust language settings: Configure the primary language of your store and add additional languages if you serve international markets.
Primary and additional language settings on your online Shopify store
  • Customize theme: Utilize the theme editor to modify various elements of your store's design, including language-specific components.

Despite these features, rectifying "translation missing" errors can be a complex task. The resolution process will differ depending on the root cause of these errors.

Step 1: Identify the Cause of the Error

Determine why the error occurred. Common reasons include incorrect theme settings or missing translation files after updating the theme.

Step 2: Managing Theme Settings

If the issue originated from incorrect theme settings:

  1. Navigate to your Shopify Admin Panel > Online Store > Themes.
  2. Click on Customize next to your active theme.
Customize your existing theme on the Shopify store
  1. Review the language and translation settings, ensuring they are configured correctly.
  2. Save any modifications you've made.

Step 3: Addressing Missing Files After Theme Update

In cases where translation files are missing following a theme update, a more technical approach is required. This procedure, suitable only for those comfortable with technological intricacies, involves utilizing specific formulas to copy translations from the old site's CSV file to the new one, followed by updating the new site based on this modified file.

Step 4: Seek Coding Solutions

If the problem lies within the coding, this may necessitate tailored coding solutions, possibly requiring assistance from professionals well-versed in this domain.

Best Practices for Prevention

Manually managing translations and theme settings to avoid the recurrence of these issues can be unpredictable. Essential practices include:

  • Maintaining a backup of your old theme and its translations.
  • Conducting thorough checks post-updates to verify the presence or absence of required translations.

These steps, although helpful, underscore the manual method's precarious nature, emphasizing the need for attentiveness and technical know-how.

Managing translations manually in Shopify can be complicated and demands tech skills and attention to detail. This challenge highlights the need for easier options, like using tools that will automatically detect and translate all content on your store, such as Weglot.

Integrating Translation Apps and Tools: The Weglot Solution

Weglot transcends the typical boundaries of translation tools, offering a comprehensive language editor and a robust translation management system. It integrates effortlessly with Shopify stores, specifically aiming to eradicate issues like missing translations on checkout pages.

Weglot homepage
Weglot – Best translation tool for Shopify stores

One of the pillars of Weglot's effectiveness is its advanced translation API. This technology harnesses the power of several machine translation engines, including Google Translate, combining them to deliver the most precise translations possible. Weglot's proxy server takes an innovative approach by substituting the original content with these accurate translations in the webpage's source code, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for users of different languages.

Integrating Weglot with your Shopify store is a straightforward process designed to be hassle-free. Here’s how:

  1. Download and install: Weglot is available for download directly from the Shopify App Store. After installation, create an account or log in to your existing Weglot account.
  2. Navigate and use features: Once integrated, explore the various functionalities Weglot offers. Detailed guidelines on maximizing these features for your Shopify store are readily available on the Weglot website.
  3. Customize translations: With Weglot, you have the freedom to edit translations to suit your brand's voice. The platform allows for manual modifications where necessary, ensuring that the context and nuance of your content are not lost in translation.

Weglot takes a hands-on approach to translating content, even in areas most prone to errors, like the checkout page. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how it meticulously handles checkout page translations, a common trouble point in many Shopify stores.

But the capabilities of Weglot extend far beyond just direct translation. The platform boasts a user-friendly interface that even the least tech-savvy users will find intuitive. Its rigorousness in generating high-quality translations extends to creating translated URLs, managing a bulk of them when necessary, and ensuring that every aspect of your website speaks fluently to your audience, regardless of their language.

💡Missing translations will never be an issue with Weglot. Our solution is designed to detect all content on your store and provide automatic translations you can easily edit. In fact, The Bradery uses Weglot to translate more than 500 product descriptions daily - see an example of how this works in action.  

Optimizing Translations for Multilingual Audiences and SEO

Using Weglot provides a clear benefit for optimizing your reach to a multilingual audience. Weglot simplifies the process of becoming a genuinely global enterprise by deploying efficient automated translations to heighten the user experience.

Whether your audience speaks French, German, Mandarin, or any of the other 110+ supported languages, Weglot ensures your brand's messages remain resonant and easy to understand. Adding a variety of languages to your website considerably extends your market reach, contributing to an improved customer experience.

Weglot pays more than just lip service to search engine optimization (SEO). The app's dedicated language URLs create unique subdirectories or subfolders for all your translated content. This feature optimizes your multilingual SEO efforts as search engines like Google suggest this structure for maximum effectiveness.

Weglot also implements hreflang tags automatically, allowing search engines to identify correctly the intended audiences for your content. This prevents potential duplicate content issues and fosters improved organic rankings.

Furthermore, Weglot ensures that detection and translation of all essential SEO text, including meta descriptions and Alt texts, are not overlooked.

But impressive SEO capabilities are not Weglot's only benefit – smooth translation is integral to the user experience. Volume correlates with trust, and users are more inclined to make purchases from a website in their native language. This increased trust can have a noticeable positive impact on your conversion rates.

The Impact of Translations on Conversion Rates and Customer Trust

Understanding the value of high-quality translation extends beyond just communicating effectively. Indeed, a clearly translated checkout process can minimize shopping cart abandonment and advance overall sales.

Conversely, a disrupted user experience caused by issues such as a "translation missing" error can potentially lead to reduced conversions.

Precise translations also cultivate customer trust. When online stores offer fully translated checkout pages in users' native languages, it underscores their commitment to customer service and can heighten brand perception.

As a result, buyers are more inclined to complete their purchases and even become repeat customers. Consider this – a post by The Chartered Institute of Marketing highlights that 76% of customers prefer to shop in their preferred language. 75% of customers are more inclined to repurchase from a brand that caters to this preference.

CSA Research adds further weight, revealing that 40% of the survey respondents wouldn't buy in other languages. The significant role of language in consumer interactions is also highlighted in a publication by the Harvard Business Review.

This is where Weglot enters the equation, offering not just a solution to the common translation conundrums but also a way to enrich user experiences, boost customer trust, and elevate sales.

By automatically translating website content and providing a seamless multilingual user experience, Weglot ensures your message resonates unscathed, regardless of linguistic differences.

Monitoring and Analyzing Translated Checkout Pages: Data-Driven Insights

Continuous success in eCommerce lies in the ability to measure, interpret, and leverage online performance metrics. Specifically, it is crucial to analyze the effectiveness of translated checkout pages in improving user experience, conversion rates, and consumer trust.

Popular analytics solutions include tools like Google Analytics, renowned for its resilient tracking capabilities, including performance metrics for translated checkout pages.

Yet, while putting accurate translations in place can feel like the finish line, it's only the beginning of the race. Regular analysis of performance can highlight any weaknesses or areas for improvement, maintaining the pursuit of providing the optimal user experience.

Ultimately, Weglot simplifies this process by providing detailed analytics to help businesses extract actionable insights from their data with minimal hassle. Overcoming the challenges associated with monitoring translated checkout pages becomes easier, allowing businesses to focus on enhancing their overall strategy.

Action Steps to Ensuring a Smooth Multilingual Checkout Experience

In our increasingly interconnected world, thanks to advanced technology and better accessibility, you cannot afford to overlook the "translation missing" error. It's an eCommerce misstep that could cost you both customers and sales. Now that we've unpacked the commonality and implications of this error on your Shopify store, it's better understood that appropriate translations are critical to the thriving of your online business.

While the manual resolution of the "translation missing" error is a path you can take, it's often complex, requiring particular technical know-how. Moreover, this method demands constant vigilance to avoid the occurrence of new errors. In the long run, it's neither efficient nor entirely effective.

In contrast, using a professional tool like Weglot is stress-free, automated, and provides more reliability in managing this issue. It transforms your Shopify store into an eCommerce powerhouse communicating effectively with customers in their language – a core tactic in successful business operations.

With Weglot, you do more than clear out annoying "translation missing" errors. You heighten the quality of your Shopify translations and bolster your site's SEO. Moreover, you equip your website with the necessary tools for a better user experience in the competitive international market.

So, if you want to transition seamlessly into the international eCommerce scene and reach a wider audience, start elevating your Shopify store's experience today.

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