For any website translation project, there are a few approaches to choose from, all of them matching different company priorities: SEO-friendliness, the client’s IT resources, translation quality, security requirements, budget-friendliness, or short time-to-market. It is crucial to understand the advantages and disadvantages of these options to pick the right choice for your needs and priorities.
Let’s take a look at some options:
The client extracts the source content, sends it to the translation company for translation, then injects the translated content back into the site. This can work with static content, but huge manual effort and IT-expertise is required. Copying and pasting segments into the CMS’s database or interface is inconvenient and prone to making errors. Translation is done in an out-of-context environment, corrections and ongoing maintenance is difficult.
PROS: No SAAS cost.
CONS: Development expertise and time needed, Every update takes a lot of time, Static sites only.
Some CMSs have content connectors that enable the extraction of the source content from the database and then injects the translated content back (for instance WPML for WordPress). As a downside, content connectors come at a cost, translators work in an out-of-context environment, corrections and ongoing maintenance is difficult.
PROS: Faster than manual copy and paste, Flexibility of content publishing across languages.
CONS: Requires some times weeks of development time to setup site for translation, Costs of Connection, Requires training.
The client gives the translation agency access to the CMS where the translation is done. In this case, translators must learn to use the CMS; there is a learning curve and overhead with the cost of training. There is also a risk of potential damage while using the system due to the lack of routine. CAT tools and translation memory are not available in this environment, making translation less consistent and translators’ work less productive.
PROS: Multilingual CMS avoid connectors and other tools.
CONS: Time consuming to setup and may not be the current installed option, complicated to train translators, time consuming. No Translation Memory management.
Translation Proxy provides fully automated solution including automatic content discovery, word count, content extraction to XLIFF, in-context review and automatic change detection. It is an SEO-friendly solution, i.e., the foreign language versions will be discoverable for search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Meta tags are also translated and crawled.
CONS: Ongoing SAAS Cost
PROS: No development needed, very hands off for site managers, instant extraction of content, ready to launch multilingual sites much faster then other methods.
Translation happens real-time in the foreign visitors’ browser on-the-fly. No ongoing costs and no 3rd party – hence no security issues – are involved. However, this solution is not SEO-friendly. The translated site is not visible to the search engines because the foreign versions are created on-the-fly in the visitor’s browser by clicking on the language selector (a link or a drop-down list item). Where SEO is not an issue, it is a perfect solution: e.g. for Intranet sites or web applications (CRM, Sales Tools).
In many cases, a mixed approach may be the winner, depending on the various content types of the website. Understanding your needs, priorities and the capabilities/differences of the available approaches is crucial for finding the right solution(s)
Talk to us at Into23 and we can help you figure out the best option for your site.