Many translation and localization companies offer to localize your website content including review, formatting, quality assurance and publishing/serving pages on their or your web servers. One can get easily lost looking for the right vendor. So how do you choose who to work with?
If you have not been involved with a similar process before, there are many steps to take and obstacles to circumvent. Having an experienced partner on your side can be the difference between failure and success! Here are the matters to consider:
Most companies, regardless of their size or resources will require financial or goodwill justification for translating websites; it is not an inexpensive undertaking. Full website localization, if done appropriately, requires sizable budgets to deliver within the quality that users or clients expect!
An experienced translation vendor can help you come up with accurate budgets and plans. If you cannot justify a budget to fully localize your web site content, consider opening a Window to the World. Often translating one landing page and promoting it can generate reasonable proof of return on investment to justify full web localization.
Once you’ve localized your website, do you keep metrics in place to justify ongoing work needed to maintain it in all the languages you localize into? Website content is dynamic in nature and continues to change over time. A change in the source language requires changes in each target language to keep all language sites synchronized!
With the advent of Translation Memory and online Translation Management Systems, your website translation service provider can help you reduce your ongoing costs significantly by using the latest technologies and processes available in the market.
Even if you can justify the costs, before you jump into localizing your website content, consider what is involved! Website content is not just what you see; it is also what is behind the seen. What content management system are you using and will it handle Asian, Middle-Eastern or other non-Latin characters? Will the CMS facilitate the export of the text that you should translate, and then its import? What content on your website should you translate? Involving your website translation service provider early will help you establish an effective plan that can significantly save time and costs.
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that website translation is simply about translating its entire visible content. You may have obsolete content or local only content that will not benefit from translation. In this case, you should move it to a local-only section on your site. You will also need to deal with creating a framework for accessing multiple language content. Furthermore, you should consider the importance of meta tags, menus, forms, attachments, images and other assets to localize. An experienced web localization partner can guide you through making informed decisions.
Web content localization alone is not enough to guarantee international success. Have you considered what should your international social media strategy be? Or how to serve your eLearning, or electronic publications for worldwide consumption? There are many additional steps involved as you will learn from our next post,10 Tips on Choosing Website Localization Services that continues with the remaining 5 tips.
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