How to Translate a website

If you’re a website owner looking to branch out, then translating your website is a must. But is there a better way than hiring someone or translating your website word for word yourself?

We’ll take a detailed look into that later-on in this article on how to translate a website. Additionally, we’ll also be walking you through all the possible options and their pros and cons.

Why Translate Your Website

Before we jump into how to translate your website into another language, let’s look at the benefits of doing so.

Reach a Larger Audience

Translating your web pages into other languages lets you reach more potential customers, as some people may not understand your previous website’s content.

Make It Easier For Your Existing Customers

Even your existing customers may be using their web browser for a mediocre translation of your website.

Instead, you can better translate for them and increase your conversions thanks to your messages being delivered better.

For example, if someone who speaks another language visits your sales page, they might not understand the content on that web page, harming the conversions.

Become a Global Powerhouse

There’s one thing all global powerhouses have in common; they translated their website.

By translating your website, you give your business that opportunity too.

Improve Your International SEO

It’s not a secret that Google tries to show users the most relevant results. If your website is not in their language, it isn’t as relevant as websites that are.

Translating your website allows you to rank higher internationally, which also grows your business.

How Can You Translate Your Website?

Okay, so now that we have talked about why you should translate your website, let’s look at the two options that you have to do so:

  • Machine translation
  • Human translation

Below, we explained both of these in a little more detail so that you can know which type of website translation is better for you.

Machine Translation

Machine translation, as the name suggests, is using machine software to translate all your webpages.

This may be something like Google Translate or another web application that takes all your words and spits out a translation.

Of course, this can be a much lower cost than hiring someone to translate it. But, of course, this has some pretty big downsides too.

The main one being the accuracy of grammar and the sound of it.

Machine translations or plugins like WPML take every word literally and don’t take grammar into account… At all.

This will lead to very strange sentences and word choice, which means there is a lot of editing required before you can show this content to humans.

Not ideal.

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Very cheap

Cons:

  • Inaccurate
  • Low quality will leave a bad impression on your customers

Human Translation

The second option is a human translation. As the name suggests, here, a human will translate it manually.

So from webpage to webpage, they will go through and translate your website from one language to another.

Of course, this is a little more costly than having a machine like Google translate do it.

However, it also comes with some significant benefits like your webpages being readable, meaning your messages come across better.

Again, this can lead to much higher conversions that can pay for more than the translation cost.

Pros:

  • Accurate
  • Better Quality
  • Higher Conversions

Cons:

Higher cost

Which One Is Better Overall?

Overall, it will be a human translation that will provide you with better results.

When you get a machine translation, your visitors will be exposed to low-quality grammar and word choice.

This might give your customer the idea that your product or service is too, as you could not be bothered to get a proper translation for it.

Furthermore, when visitors land on your website, they can use their web browser to automatically translate it anyway.

So spending money for the same results… Is a questionable decision.

Ultimately, if you are using software to translate your webpages, you are harming your conversions.

Therefore, it would probably make sense to get your website translated into other languages by a person.

Human Translation: DIY or Hire a Professional?

We know that human translations are probably the better option, but should you do it yourself or hire a professional?

Well, it depends on various factors such as:

  • Your budget
  • How well you speak the target language
  • How large your website is
  • How many languages you want your website translated in

Through a combination of these factors, you may be able to conclude whether you should use a service or DIY.

For example, if you speak the target language well and only have one or two pages to translate but on a low budget, you can do it yourself. However, we only recommend this if the target language is your native language.

How To Spread The Cost of Website Translation

You don’t have to branch out into every language at once.

Instead, you can start focusing on getting your website translated into one language and then slowly move onto the next one once you’ve completed the previous one.

This way, you’re taking small steps towards becoming the global powerhouse you want to be while ensuring everything is running smoothly.

Of course, you can choose to translate your website into all target languages at once. However, if the cost is a concern, then this is probably not the best option.

Our Translation Service – Get a Free Quote

If you are looking to work with a professional translation agency, we’d love to help.

We work with professionals and businesses of all sizes, ranging from personal projects to projects for enterprise businesses like Forbes, IMDb or Amazon.

You can request a free quote and tell us a little about your project. Within just one hour, we’ll get back to you with a competitive quote on whatever it is you want to translate.

Get a Free Quote

Machine Translation Options

If you want to translate your website using a machine option to see how it goes, we also wanted to guide you.

Google Translate

The first option you have is to use Google Translate.

Google translate is probably the most known translation tool globally, but it still has those flaws we spoke about earlier.

To use it, you’d open Google Translate and start pasting in the content on your website.

Then it will translate (although inaccurately) your website, so you can copy and paste the translation into your website’s target language version.

We definitely recommend editing the file when using Google translate, as the translations will be very inaccurately.

However, it’s also worth noting that this can sometimes cost more than getting a translator in the first place because of how inaccurate the translation is.

Google Chrome

Your second option is using Google chrome.

This will probably give you the same results as Google translate, but it may be easier for you because of formatting.

But again, you will need to hire an editor when using Google Chrome because it’s not accurate.

Specialized Website Translation Tools

Last but not least, there are also tools out there that are specialized website translation tools. These have the advantage that they may output your website in HTML format, making it easier for you to upload it.

Additionally, they may have other tools that will make it more suited than Google translate.

However, from a language point of view, they will still output strange word choices and incorrect grammar.

Therefore, a speaker of the native language (i.e. your visitors) may still be put off by reading content written like it.

Final Thoughts

As we have seen throughout this article, getting your website translated has some tremendous benefits. However, it’s not as easy as opening up Google translate and getting someone to copy/paste the output.

If you are interested in getting professional help with your website, you can contact us here.