Undertaking website localization is like building a house, requiring the same skilled expertise from web developers that you’d expect from homebuilders.
You engage developers because you have a unique idea and need to entice international users to visit your website. A localized website speaks to your audience in a familiar, comfortable way, which leads to higher traffic on your page. In turn, more visits result in increased conversions. Ultimately, localization leads to revenue from previously untapped international markets. Think of web developers as builders who will adapt a website to the local language and culture of your target market. They’ll ask guiding questions and help avoid common pitfalls, leading to fewer bugs, quicker development times and faster implementation.
“It’s important to get an idea of the expectations you have, because it will help guide a lot of development decisions,” says Terrell Weaver, web developer and graphics designer for Acclaro. “We’ll assess short- and long-term goals, competitors’ websites and project timelines to make sure we have a solid understanding of what you’re hoping to achieve so we can exceed expectations.”
Laying the Foundation
Thinking about localization early in the process allows your company to avoid some pitfalls and enjoy a smoother path to a fully international web presence.
“Starting from the beginning gives us the freedom to set the trajectory for a website localization program,” says Weaver. “We can lay the foundation that will be built upon for years to come by choosing the latest frameworks, selecting the proper programming language and structuring the application in a way that’s easily scalable, allowing major features to be released in days rather than weeks or months.”
Our web developers bring a wealth of experience to each website localization and will ask questions to make sure the job is done quickly, efficiently and correctly.
How will the localization be built?
Experienced web developers start with the basics. They’ll think of small matters like how buttons, menu bar spacing and tables may affect column width. They’ll also adapt to bigger issues, like assuming static content will become dynamic where icons, fonts, colors and text all change based on the user’s location or input.
What needs to be translated?
Web developers begin to extend the design to incorporate translated content, from a few pages to an entire website. They’ll keep in mind additional factors like the importance of SEO and how often content will be edited, while working in tandem with UI/UX designers to create a seamless user experience.
Do you have a localization ready CMS?
Another variable web developers manage is a content management system (CMS). If there’s no CMS in place, competent developers can offer options that support multilingual use. Many widely used CMSs, including WordPress, Drupal, AEM, Craft and Contentful can support multi-language use through multilingual CMS plugins and apps.
“When choosing something like a CMS, you might not always pick the absolute best tool for the job,” Weaver says. “Sometimes you go with something the rest of the team is already familiar and comfortable with, because they need to be able to take over when you’re gone. You don’t want the success of a project to be dependent on one person being there.”
How will translated content be provided?
Developers need to know how translated content will be presented to users. Some websites add translations directly to the page, pull them from a database or use an application programming interface (API), which acts as the information conduit between different programs. Others use a plugin like our Translations for Craft CMS, which allows you to pick target languages, submit to your preferred translation provider and receive or upload the translations back into Craft for review and publishing. That’s so much easier than relying on error-prone copy and paste processes.
Once website localization is complete, web developers and their localization teams will establish workflows that make sense. They’ll figure out if translations should be static or dynamic, establish approval processes before translations go live and determine what the user sees if the translation isn’t available.
Building Something Great
From start to finish, web developers create successful partnerships through good communication. They, along with the rest of the translation agency team, connect your concept with a multilingual website that engages users and builds a foundation for success in your local market.
“If everyone is communicating with each other, including the designers, developers, and managers, then a project almost always comes out well,” shares Weaver. “In my experience, the best teams are ones where everyone has their specific roles, but they work together to build something great.”
Are you thinking about launching a multilingual website? Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help you connect with your target audience and meet your business goals. Let’s build something great together.