The primary reason for making your Squarespace website multilingual is to reach new markets. English speakers make up just 53% of web users – meaning there’s a whole 47% of people you’re currently not targeting – that’s a lot of people (and business) you could be missing out on.
And, if you were hoping potential customers would use the ‘translate page’ in Chrome browser, then think again. No one’s going to buy your service or product this way.
How often have you come across a brand website in a foreign language and not had the option to view it in your language? It’s an instant bounce.
There’s no trust for the end user if they can’t understand the product or service they want to purchase.
Enhancing User Experience Equals Big Results
Choosing to speak to potential customers in their own language sees massively positive outcomes.
Users in other markets will never come across your site if it’s not in their language. You’re simply invisible. But, translate your website and you’ll soon see an improvement in SEO.
"We needed a product that dramatically increased the speed of translation. Our clunky manual coding approach was time-consuming, but with Weglot, it's effortless." Rich Ball, Marketing Manager, REVIEWS.io
Expanding into new markets doesn’t just have to mean going much further afield, neighbouring countries also offer big prospects for growth too.
How Do You Make a Multilingual Squarespace Website?
There are a number of ways to translate your Squarespace website, let’s take a look at the options.
Weglot is the recommended multilingual solution by Squarespace. Integrate it in minutes within your Squarespace dashboard and see your site go live instantly.
Weglot has long been compatible with Squarespace and in 2022 we joined Squarespace Extensions allowing thousands of Squarespace users to achieve multilingual capabilities with an even easier integration.
The Weglot extension detects, translates, and displays the content of your Squarespace website without any workarounds, complicated code injections, multiple websites/web pages, and additional translation costs.
A key advantage is that there’s no need for developers. Every part of your website can be translated, including your checkout (if you have one).
With Weglot, you’ll get a first layer of machine translation from leading neural machine translation providers including DeepL, Google Translate, and Microsoft. You’ll then have full editing control over those translations allowing you to make manual edits, add teammates to make changes, or order professional translations directly inside the Weglot Dashboard.
All your newly translated site pages also follow SEO best practices and are automatically indexed on Google – giving you visibility in your new language.
Weglot translates your metadata, adds hreflang tags to let Google know there are different versions of that page, and creates a dedicated language URL for each new language.
Each part of the Weglot solution has been carefully designed to consider the many aspects of making your Squarespace website multilingual.
This includes translating all metadata so you can share pages in specific languages, a visual editor to take into account any web design considerations from text expansion, and several translation management tools.
2. Squarespace Translation Solution for Small Websites
As well as Weglot, Squarespace also has another option for translating your Squarespace website.
This option can make sense for a small website such as a portfolio or website with under 1,000 words and those that want to translate their site from scratch, without using a translation management interface.
Firstly, you’ll need to decide how to translate your content, such as using a translation agency, yourself (if you speak the language), or by manually running the content through a machine translation engine.
Then, you’ll need to create a cover page as an opening to your website, so at this first step, users can choose their preferred language.
Then in your main navigation, you’ll add two folders with the name of each language, such as English and Français. These will appear as drop-down menus on every page of your site for your users to switch between. You’ll need to duplicate all your pages to create these translated versions.
The main names you might have come across are:
Multilingualizer (which works a bit differently)
Although there are a number of solutions to choose from, they all share the same drawbacks.
The first major drawback is a lack of multilingual SEO capabilities.
So, what does that mean for your SEO? Your translated content won’t be visible for search engines to crawl, which means there’s no guarantee you’ll be visible in searches in your translated languages.
Your content will also all exist under 1 URL, which isn’t preferable for SEO and means you’ll only be SEO friendly in the original language of your site in most cases.
There are also sometimes issues with loading site pages. These solutions don’t always work seamlessly, so when switching between different languages there will be a content flash, where the user will see both languages displayed for a brief moment.
Other problems arise with sharing translated pages on social media, which is unfortunately not possible as the metadata remains in the original language.
Then, the way Multilingualizer works to make your Squarespace site multilingual is by adding your translations directly inside your page and hiding the content the visitor doesn’t want.
For example, you will create a page and add your content in both French and English. And if English is selected as the preferred language, the French content will be hidden. This could seem like a good solution but it comes with some major drawbacks too.
As explained before, Google bots work by scanning your website source code to index it. With Multilingualizer, Google will scan both your French and English content at the same time without separating both! So you will end up with pages indexed on Google with both French and English titles. Which is not the best for SEO.
Impossible to Translate Apps or Integrations
There are also some drawbacks to the way those translations are displayed. Multilingualizer is unable to translate any content that isn’t coming from your Squarespace pages. For example, content coming from an external source, like a review plugin – means any customer reviews displayed on your website will remain in your original language.
And, if you have an ecommerce Squarespace site, your checkout cannot be translated which takes away any user-friendly aspects you were hoping to build with a multilingual website – especially from an ecommerce point of view. As well as your checkout, any automatic emails sent from your website will remain in your original site language.
5. CSS Squarespace Multilingual Solution
Search Google for ‘Squarespace multilingual solutions’ and you’ll come across a number of developers offering free CSS code solutions to enable you to do this – without having to have multiple websites or a selection of translated pages.
But, as with all free solutions, they come with numerous issues.
Firstly, you’ll absolutely need the input of a developer to help you implement this Squarespace multilingual solution.
These are problematic, messy solutions that require a number of ‘workarounds’ to ensure they actually work.
Such issues include problems with mobile version usability. And some users report seeing all visible parts of the website navigation whilst pages are loading in the right language (definitely not good for site speed either).
Many of the solutions are also specific to certain Squarespace templates – in other words, they’ve not been tested across other templates – so you might encounter issues here too.
You’ll also need to use custom code to adapt the language switcher to meet your design needs and more code depending on where you want to place it on your multilingual Squarespace site.
CSS solutions also don’t translate your website content either, you’ll need to arrange that yourself. This is simply a workaround to display the content.
As always, those solutions aren’t SEO-compatible so don’t expect your newly translated multilingual Squarespace site to show up on Google.
How Do You Make a Multilingual Website on Squarespace?
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to add Squarespace’s recommended translation solution Weglot to your site.
This integration is only available on Squarespace 7.1. If you’re using version 7.0 or 5, use our general integration.
#1 Connect the Weglot Extension
Through your Squarespace dashboard navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Language & Region’ > 'Site Languages'. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see Weglot. Click on ‘Connect’.
A popup will appear asking you to give Weglot access to your Squarespace site. Click on ‘Allow’.
#2 Create a Weglot Account
You’ll then be prompted to create a Weglot account. This is where you’ll manage your website translations.
#3 Choose Languages
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be asked to give your project a name and then select the original language of your website and the languages you want to translate it into.
Your Squarespace site is now multilingual! Visit your live website and you’ll see it’s now fully translated. Choose to edit your translations through the Weglot Dashboard and edit the appearance of your language switcher through the Squarespace website builder.
#4 Create Language Subdomains
To set up language-specific subdomains (e.g. a French website would be https://fr.mywebsite/ French), go back to your Squarespace dashboard > 'Language & Region' > 'Site Languages' and scroll down until you see the section called 'Multilingual SEO'. Click on 'add domain' to set up your language subdomains.
Follow the instructions on the screen. Here you’ll see your DNS entries.
Add DNS entries
These need to be added to the domain section within your Squarespace dashboard > ‘Settings’ > ‘Domains’.
Note: If you purchased your domain name outside of Squarespace you will need to go to your domain name provider account and add your entries there (need help? Contact [email protected].)
Your domain name will appear under ‘Managed by Squarespace’. Click on it, and then ‘DNS settings’. Add another entry by selecting the drop-down where the ‘A’ appears and choosing CNAME.
Then copy your DNS records from your Weglot Dashboard. Paste the language code in the first column and ‘websites.weglot.com’ in the IP address section, then click ‘ADD’.
You’re done! Now go back to your Weglot account, click “Check DNS” and after a few minutes you should see a green tick icon; which means your language subdomains are live.
We’ve shown you a number of solutions to choose from when deciding to make your Squarespace site multilingual. To sum-up:
Official Squarespace solution – A workaround – with both languages visible at all times in menu bar – no SEO
CSS – Messy solution that needs developer input and no SEO capabilities
Google Translate button – Cheap, fast but zero localization and translation control – no SEO
Weglot – Weglot offers fast, easy installation, no duplicated sites, multilingual SEO features and no need for developers
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