How to Reduce the Cost of a Website Localization Project

Global markets are calling and it’s time to localize your site.  There’s no putting it off any longer, but the good news is that it’s easy to cut costs of website localization without cutting corners.  

5 ways to reduce the cost of a website localization project:

1. Build localization into your site redesign

If you’re planning a site redesign, it’s the perfect time to localize.  Have your site designer build in global-friendly features like a language switching widget and localized images or screenshots.  Cut website localization costs when you plan ahead by choosing text-free graphics (text-free graphics are also a big boost for SEO, along with accessibility!).  When choosing a site host or content management system (CMS), pick one with international-friendly options like the ability to switch currencies and display pages in non-Western alphabets.

Pro Tip:  Have your site designers considered factors like how your text will look if it runs from right to left, as in languages like Arabic and Hebrew?

2. Identify your most essential content

One of the easiest ways to save money on translation while you’re localizing is to go through your site with a fine-toothed comb.  Check out how effectively the current text is working, if possible through user analytics.  Eliminating text that’s redundant, wordy, or has nothing to do with your product or service will cut website translation costs.  Determine which pages and areas aren’t relevant to international users. The cost of translation service will obviously be much, much lower if you’re not translating unnecessary content.  

Pro Tip:  While you’re identifying which areas of your site to translate, be sure to flag content that’s tough to translate, like jargon, clichés, or idioms that might not translate easily.  Simplify wherever possible to lower translation costs and increase accuracy.

3. Build a glossary of special terms

You know your industry better than anyone – and specifically, better than any translator.  Let’s say you’re looking to translate a Shopify website selling vegan boots, shoes, and accessories.  You know all the terms that pop up again and again, all over your site.  Rather than leaving things to chance, start building a site glossary: types of materials, styles, construction details.  Translate them once and know they’ll be 100% accurate every single time.

Pro Tip:  Remember to include phrases and slogans that are used all over the site.  Check these with native speakers once and you can use them again and again.

4. Find a comprehensive translation management system

The website localization process isn’t a one-time step.  You’ll need to maintain your localized site, keeping all language versions synced and up to date.  That’s easiest if you use a comprehensive translation management system that will help you localize not only your site text but also images, widgets, URLs and more.  Many localization management systems also offer SEO-friendly features to help improve your visibility in all translated languages – there’s no point localizing if nobody in your new market can find you.

Pro Tip:  Look for a translation management tool that offers a free trial so you can see how easy it is to use [it?] live on your own site.  Bablic offers a great combination of ease of use and powerful SEO-friendly features, so you can customize and tweak the look and feel of your site without any complicated programming.

5. Look for machine translation options

Probably the biggest way to save money is machine translation.  This goes way beyond what Google can do for your site.  Smart machine translation is available instantly at a very low cost.  It not only updates automatically when your site does, it also uses words and terms from your glossary, so even difficult and industry-specific terminology is translated perfectly.  You can also tweak your machine translation to get the best of both worlds – quick, efficient translation with later verification that all translations are as accurate as possible.

Pro Tip:  Machine translation can be a great tool, in conjunction with glossaries, to quickly localize large repositories of repetitive or technical information which might not otherwise be affordable to translate and where a high degree of sophistication isn’t crucial.

This is the time to think about localization, and luckily, the costs don’t have to be prohibitive.  Each new market lets you expand your business, paying off quickly with an entirely new customer base.  

Dreams have no borders!  Once you know where you want your business to go, the best translation management systems will get you there more quickly, easily, and affordably than you ever thought possible.