Understanding the importance of translating your website for new markets is one thing, but several factors can affect decision-making. The biggest is usually how much website translation services cost, and it’s also the one that may not always be as transparent as it needs to be. Understanding what affects the cost of website translation services can help you make the best decision for implementing your translation project in a way that optimizes expenses and makes the investment worthwhile.

What Affects Website Translation Services’ Cost?

The first cost influencing component for website translation services is the CMS platform used to build your website. Each platform has different pricing structures, and a few common pricing factors are:

  • Determining if you pay more for add-ons and plug-ins
  • Determining if you pay more to utilize their localization framework
  • Determining if you pay more to store content (possibly a per-page rate)

Understanding how your CMS manages these fees can help you assess an accurate starting point for website translation costs on the CMS side of things. The next major cost influencers stem from the translation agency side. The main factors for determining cost are subscription fees, context volume, and language choice.

Subscription Fees

Companies opting for a continuous localization program will pay a subscription fee to the translation agency. This fee usually gives tiered access to the agency’s translation technology and project management tools for a complete continuous workflow process for current and new translation jobs. This fee can range from inexpensive for small websites to significantly more expensive for large websites. Therefore, it’s better to begin a continuous translation subscription as a smaller site when you’re looking to scale your company. Although most small sites try to bypass subscribing to the tech platform, it can be a much greater expense when the localization jobs become overwhelming with website growth, and they need to switch to utilizing a subscription service.

Context Volume

Most website blogs range from 600-1,000 words, whereas website landing pages can range from 400-600 words. On average, most website pages fall between 200-2,000 words depending on whether they have more visual content or are fairly text-heavy. 


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Most translation agencies charge a per word rate. So, if a 1,000-word blog were being translated at 20 cents per word, the translation cost would be $200. For large websites with lots of text content like support websites, forums, marketing websites, etc., translating all website content can become extremely expensive. 

A better way to optimize cost would be to start by translating the most necessary content and gradually iterating to build out other pages. You could also consider having human translation done for the most integral pages and machine translation for others and repeat the human translation process gradually.

Language Choice

Each additional language will increase the cost. For instance, the 1,000-word blog totaling $200 that was discussed earlier would be $200 per language. So, if translating to two different languages at the same cost (20 cents per word), the total would be $400. 

The second factor in language costs is that the per-word cost varies depending on the language. Translation agencies manage this differently, and Bureau Works directly correlates the per-word translation cost to the cost of living for that country. Countries with lower living costs will have a lower per-word fee, whereas those with higher living costs will have a higher per-word fee.

With these factors in mind, the typical method for determining the possible cost for a translation project would be:

Number of words per page X number of pages X each language

Pricing Examples:

If you translate five 600-word pages into two languages (assuming both languages are the same price of 20 cents per word), the equation would be 600 X 5 X 0.20, and your translation cost would be $600.

If you translate eight 400-word pages into three languages (at 18 cents per word each), the equation would be 400 X 8 X 0.18, and your translation cost would be $576.

Using your website’s pages and an average number of words per page to evaluate a non-continuous translation job’s ballpark price can help. You would only include the monthly price for tier choice into the overall budget. On average, 20 cents per word is at the upper pricing limit for most translation agencies. While it’s unnecessary to budget higher, using it in the equation for the language cost may give you more leeway with localization costs.

The Bureau Works Cost Advantage 

At Bureau Works, we understand the importance of affordable pricing for high-quality work. Not only do we provide competitive prices for monthly tech subscriptions ranging from $299 for small website teams to $1,999 for enterprise-level website teams, but we also leverage content. This characteristic means you don’t pay for previously translated content when updating pages, and we reprocess the job and only charge for newly translated material. This also optimizes costs for implementing branding techniques. If you have a slogan translated on the home page that you want to include on every other page, you’d only be charged for it once. Our platform allows you to easily iterate a content scaling process to optimize website translation services costs. We even offer suggestions on how to do this to get the best results based on your budget.

Bureau Works provides a comprehensive platform that brings you affordable website translation services without sacrificing quality. Contact our team today to learn more about what our platform offers.

Published On: February 22nd, 2022 / Categories: Localization Strategy, Product Localization, Tips & Trends /

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