How to Install Google Translate’s Website Translator Plugin

By James T. Cains

If you have your own website, you can use Google Website Translator plugin to automatically have your website translated into more than 90 languages. So there’s no need to have multiple versions of your website created.

Google’s Website Translator plugin requires code to be place on every page of your site, so you need some website know-how to do this. If you have a small website, you may be able to add the code to every page. However, if it’s a large site, you’ll want to use some kind of template or include to place the code on every page, depending on the platform your website is on.

Here’s how to add the Website Translator plugin to your site:

  1. In a web browser, go to translate.google.com.

  2. At the bottom of the page, click Website Translator.

  3. On your first time visiting the Website Translator, you see a page asking you to add your website. Click the blue Add to Your Website Now button.

  4. Type in the URL of your site. For example, www.dummies.com.

  5. Choose the language your site is in, such as English.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Choose whether you want your site translated into All Languages or Specific Languages. If you choose Specific Languages, you see a list in which you can check the languages you want.

  8. Under Display Mode, choose how you want the Website Translator banner to appear on your site. Clicking each radio button shows how the box will display.

  9. Under Advanced, decide whether to check these options:

    • Automatically display translation banner: If your site is in English, and someone who has their browser set to display French, then the translation banner automatically appears. The banner won’t appear for people whose language is the same as your site’s.

    • Your page has content in multiple languages: Check this box if your site contains different languages, so that the plugin knows to expect content in different languages.

    • Track translation data using Google Analytics: If you use Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on your site, you can view data on the usage of the plugin on your site. When you check that box, you will need to provide your Google Analytics property ID number, such as UA-55555-55.

  10. Click Get Code.

You’ll get two pieces of code that you need to place on your site. The first piece of code, which is the <meta> tag, goes in the header (that is, between the <head></head> tags) of your HTML pages. The second piece of code, which is in <div> and <script> tags, goes where you want the translation banner to appear on your pages. This code determines what the translation banner looks like and how it behaves.

How you place the code on your site depends largely on the platform you use. Some platforms, like WordPress, make it easy to place code on all pages of the site. However, if you’re not sure how to do this, you should seek out someone with website know-how to help you out. Otherwise, you could mess up the appearance of your pages.