Website Localization: Why Is It Important and How to Do It Painlessly

Ciklopea 5 years ago 4 min read

The global markets require content that anyone can understand, which is why website localization is necessary. It is not only cost-effective, but it can also be a time-saver, since processes are optimized and automatized. It can also be a way to connect with your customers and build strong relationships with them.

Website Localization: Why Is It Important and How to Do It Painlessly

Why Localize

Connecting with people has never been easier, considering that significant parts of our lives are now happening online. For business owners, it can mean setting up and regularly maintaining a website, which will represent them in the best possible way. However, sometimes having a website alone does not guarantee success, especially if going global is one of business’s main goals. The global markets require content that (almost) anyone can understand, which is why website localization is necessary.

It is a complex and serious task that takes time, resources, practical knowledge and a lot of patience to be performed the right way. Luckily, there are technologies designed to optimize the localization process and integrate it into website development. What makes the whole process less painful are definitely content management systems (CMS). In addition to being user-friendly, they also feature a bunch of plugins and modules enabling the users to set up multilingual website. The plugins can be easily integrated with the computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, which can help speed up the process later on.

CAT integration

Surely, you have heard of WordPress, the most popular and the most powerful CMS of them all, but maybe you still haven’t figured out all of its possibilities. Because it is an open source software, it offers developers endless possibilities for tweaks and expansions. There is one plugin in particular that has been designed for optimization of localization projects and it is called WPML (WordPress Multilingual) Plugin. It enables full integration of cloud-based translation productivity software into the CMS, making the localization process smoother, faster and leaner.

On the other hand, there is Drupal, another widely used content management platform. Just like WordPress, it has numerous modules used for website translation and localization, whether it be content or interface itself. Some of the useful modules would be Localization client module, Localization update and Internationalization (i18n) module. To be completely honest, none of them can stand alone, or at least cannot provide you with satisfying results. The idea is to use them symbiotically in order to launch proud-worthy multilingual website.

The good thing about Drupal is that it gets along with CAT tools, primarily with Memsource. This means there’s a special module that synergizes the two. Thanks to the Memsource Translation Plugin, every piece of content can be sent to Memsource Cloud platform for translation and pulled back into Drupal for review and publishing, preserving the code integrity and optimizing the localization process. It can be imported manually or automatically using the Automated Project Creation feature. It’s important to emphasize that Memsource plugin only supports Drupal 8, which is the current version of the software.

Major benefits of CAT-CMS integration

Website localization is not only cost-effective, but it can also be a time-saver, since processes are optimized and automatized. In addition, it preserves code and layout integrity, which means HTML, CSS and other codes will not get lost in translation. The layouts, fonts, image and video settings will remain intact across the localized versions.

Wasting time and resources on preparation, export and import of textual content for localization becomes a thing of the past. Also, a website can be localized to more languages simultaneously as the completed content is automatically assigned to the linguists working on all required languages.

CRM, CAT and CMS – what’s the catch?

Okay, you know what CMS and CAT are, but what on Earth is CRM now and how are these three things connected?

Well, every business should show consideration for their customers, which is why they’re trying to excel at Customer Relationship Management. However, to build and maintain a good relationship with customers, it’s necessary to get to know them.

Tracking your online traffic and collecting data on your visitors can help you get closer to your audiences, as well as to understand how they use your website. Once you gather all that important information, you can adapt your website accordingly. You can achieve it through localization of the relevant and engaging content or any other way that will show them they’re not just a sales target to you, but rather a valuable partner.

It’s Worth It

It seems that the producers of content management software have recognized the need for creating and maintaining multilingual websites intended for wide use. The main purpose of such websites is to reach the minds and hearts of audiences across the globe. And of course, the biggest benefit here is yours, since expanding your ideas outside the state borders means faster growth of your business.

No one said getting into website localization would be easy, especially not with all these modules and plugins that can leave you utterly confused, but it’s the inevitable step on the business success ladder.

But it will pay off in the end. Literally.

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