Translation Options for Your Website

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We often get asked what the options are for translating a website. When determining which option works best for your business, it’s important to consider both the quality of the translation as well as the amount of work it takes to translate and maintain the text. Below you will find three options for creating a multilingual website.

Localization

Localization creates a geo-targeted microsite. This option gives you an enormous amount of control, but also requires a lot setup time. Localizations utilizes the user’s location to determine which language the page should be presented in. This allows you to choose how information and content are presented to each group and can be a great solution for businesses with a global reach.

PROS

  • Customized experience for each region
  • Provides targeted content
  • Control of translation quality

CONS

  • Time consuming – requires manual translation
  • Most expensive option 

Microsites

Microsites allow developers to create alternate versions of pages in different languages. Plugins such as WPML (WordPress Multilingual), make this task much easier. These plugins use the browser’s preferred language to call the page that correlates. 

PROS

  • Uses browser’s preference to determine language
  • Control of translation quality
  • Can translate custom post types, widgets, menus, and more.

CONS

  • Time consuming – requires manual translation
  • Can be hard to manage with a lot of pages and multiple languages

Machine Translation

If time and resources are a factor, machine translation is most likely the best solution for you. Machine translations use plugins such as Google Translate to switch between languages at a click of a button. The limitation to this option is the translation quality. Most plugins do not allow you to edit the translation, but machine translations are getting better every year and are a great budget-friendly option.

PROS

  • Easy to set up
  • Easy for users to operate
  • Doesn’t require manual translation

CONS

  • Less accurate translation
  • Doesn’t allow for customization of the text
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