Website localization is an advanced translation strategy designed to expand your content to new markets successfully. For most websites, this is a continuous process due to frequent site updates and can become a very costly and tedious experience. To avoid this, most companies opt to search for translation services that offer the common “must-have” website localization tools thought to ease the strain of the process and guarantee success. Instead, a better strategy would be to know which tools a localization platform offers that accommodate your website’s architecture and can benefit your localization strategy.
The Most Common Website Localization Tools
Connectors facilitate the importing and exporting of your website’s content updates by triggering new translation jobs, assigning them to a translator, and uploading newly translated content to help automate updates. Connectors are immensely valuable tools when it comes to managing content in multiple languages. They significantly reduce the labor needed for project management and automated translation when paired with the necessary site architecture and localization automation strategy. This tool also preserves and expands SEO benefits across other markets.
2. Preview Screens
A preview screen is an easy way to preview a website page to help linguists understand the context of the material while translating it. If the webpage already exists, a preview screen can help reduce grammatical or cultural errors and predict how the language characters will look in live text before the webpage is viewed by consumers. It may be necessary to consider restricting access of the preview content to only those necessary to the content translation for security purposes.
3. Terminology Management
Terminology management is the key to preserving your SEO strategy when entering new markets. It’s the process of identifying and preserving the phrases most valuable to your SEO strategy’s success so that your website’s visibility continues to increase in search engines across multiple markets.
4. Translation Memory Management
Translation memories monitor and store text segments that have been previously translated so that linguists can use them when translating similar contexts in the future. It consistently updates to help make content translation more efficient and less time-consuming.
5. File Engineering Strategies
File engineering helps preserve your code when it’s in string form for translation. With a good file engineering system, your code markers won’t be damaged while the code information is displayed to the linguists in a way that makes it simple for them to understand what part of the code is essential to the webpage’s functionality and what needs to be translated.
6. Quality Assurance Checks
A reliable quality assurance (QA) process allows all those relevant to the translation process to review the material and make any necessary changes. This should eliminate any grammatical or cultural errors prior to launching the site on a new market to ensure your website comes across as a credible site.
While these must-have tools are the usual deciding factors for most companies looking to expand their content to new markets, it’s more important to know what tools are actually necessary for your specific website’s architecture. This can help streamline the localization process and make it a more practical venture.
Are Must-Have Tools Always Necessary?
While having a localization strategy that includes all the bells and whistles when it comes to translation tools may seem like the best way to go, some companies may not need all of them.
If you wanted to start with the bare minimum when it comes to translating your content, the two tools that should be considered must-haves are translation memory management and a good file engineering strategy. Even the simplest websites require updates, and it’s important to have translation memory to reduce the time linguists spend translating updated content, as well as having the file engineering in place to continue to preserve the functionality of your website’s code.
The other tools become necessary depending on how valuable they are to your site’s architecture. For example, if your site only consists of a few pages, using the WordPress multilingual plugin (WPML) may be a suitable substitute for using connectors. Or, if you have very simple content and feel like you’d be more willing to shut down a site page to fix any errors, then you may feel the need to forgo implementing a quality assurance process. If you do opt for a QA process, then preview screens may not be a feature you feel the need to splurge on, since your content will be thoroughly reviewed prior to it going live. You may also decide that you don’t need a terminology management tool because you don’t have an SEO strategy, so there would be no need to map significant keywords.
Must-have website localization tools are only must-haves when your localization strategy will have an actual use for incorporating them. While it’s always nice to utilize as many helpful tools as you can to make your site accessible on any new market you choose, it’s also important to know the specific tools that fit your needs. Working with a localization management platform that can help you develop a strategy to streamline the process can ensure your website’s long-term success across markets.