It is necessary, but it is just not enough to translate the textual and to adapt the nontextual elements of the website. Quality, style, tone and accuracy of the localized information are essential.
One of the eternal truths of this day and age is that the Internet is expanding. The number of internet users worldwide passed the 3 billion mark in 2015 and it is estimated that in the following five years over half of the world’s population will have internet access. Although English remains the dominant language of the online world, this also means that any company that considers reaching the global customers will have to localize its online presence. And this also means that the inevitable aftermath of the internet’s expansion is positioning of website localization as one of the major fields of the entire language industry.
It is said time and again that localization is much more complex and demanding process than translation, and this is particularly true when the word is about website localization. It is necessary, but it is just not enough to translate the textual and to adapt the nontextual elements of the website. Quality, style, tone and accuracy of the localized information are essential.
The elements of the website to be localized that require special attention (and that should be the first to be localized) are product information and support pages. Marketing materials such as ebooks, white papers, case studies, news, audio and video materials and blog posts are always extremely popular with the users and should be localized whenever it is possible.
A website is never complete – it always requires more or less frequent updates and a localized version is no different. Depending on the type of a website, its structure, target audience and content, the frequency of updates may span from once a week to once a year, but updates should always be considered in a localization plan, no matter whether you opt for translation proxy or the standard localization process.
To conclude, a good website localization strategy should be focused on the two main elements – quality of the localized content and frequent updates.