Website Localization with Crowdin

17 mins read

Website Localization with Crowdin

Localizing websites is a great way to appeal to millions of potential customers around the world. What if we say that website translation does not require busy engineers’ involvement and a tedious preparation process? And no, we won’t tell you how to enable the Google Translate add-on in your browser and translate a webpage with it as a user. Why? Simply because it is leading to a bad user experience, and what’s more, such “localization” can often hinder and confuse your potential customers.

Don’t risk losing a potential client, especially since the website translation is simple with Crowdin. We’ll provide you with a technology aimed at helping teams localize websites effortlessly. No manual source content export or translation copy-pasting. Let’s look at the website localization tips and how to translate websites on WordPress, Webflow, Joomla, or any similar website builder tool using Crowdin.

Localize your Website on WordPress, Webflow, Joomla, or any Similar Tool using Crowdin

With Crowdin, you are not confined to any specific website building and hosting services. Be it localization of ReadMe, HelpScout Docs, Drupal, Unbounce, Helpjuice, Wix, Squarespace, or any other static web-based content. Crowdin is a perfect tool to handle it all for you. We do not only have 15 apps, including Wix, Ghost, Squarespace and Webflow, that provide you with the best way to translate a website, but a separate JS Proxy technology that will help you with the localization of any other website.

The very basic tenet of this technology is the following: scanning your webpages, recognizing the translatable content, and extracting it in a localizable format. Synchronization is fully automated. No tech alterations to your website and production environment.

Scanning your website and translating with Crowdin

On the surface, the process appears like a scanner crawling pages to recognize some text for its consecutive rendering. Translations distribution is triggered by a single JavaScript snippet. Putting it short: it’s not more complicated than adding Google Analytics tracking code to your website via Tag Manager.

Install one of the Crowdin apps to localize your website:

Website Localization Has Never Been Easier

Unlike other methods of making your website multilingual, website translation with Crowdin requires little to no help from developers. Nor special preparations on the side of your content management system (CMS) and application.

  • No tedious groundwork. We have got it covered with the .json file format – one of the most localization-friendly auto-generated file formats.
  • No direct access, requests, and content pushed to your staging/production environment. Be independent of the code and let the code be autonomous.
  • Source content import with a single click.
  • Localization management – you are free to go with a translation agency or an in-house translation team. To name a few translation strategies.
  • QA checks, glossaries, context, reports, wordcount, and team activity are all covered as well. Without tons of files, in a single workspace.
  • One button to distribute new languages. Release translations once you are ready.
  • The translated content is stored at our CDN storage and immediately reachable for your end users.
  • Stop using whenever you feel to – translated content is still all yours. No way for vendor lock.

The Right Way to Organize a Website Localization Process

Website localization without any preparation and plan is a complex task. Planning the localization process helps avoid future uncertainties and ensures a well-ordered workflow. Let’s discover how to choose the languages, translation strategy, why you need to keep SEO in mind, and how to do localization of websites properly.

Determine Your Target Market

Like most localization projects, website localization requires deciding on the target market, languages (the ones you’ll translate into), and budget. First of all, your target audience is not “everyone” (unless you’re Google). The better you identify your target audience, the more satisfied customers you receive. When dealing with localization, the main characteristics you need to look at are the language and location of your customers. So how do you choose the right ones?

Compile data on your existing customers

Start with people already buying from you, following you, and interacting with your product and social media channels. Look for data analytics and find languages that are popular among them.

Try social listening to find conversations about language requests

Sometimes people love your product but have difficulties because of the lack of localization. And usually, they don’t stay silent. Try to search the web or read customer reviews to find those requests.

Check out the competitors

Not a surprise, your audience overlaps with that of your competitors. So it’s worth checking out what they’re doing and benefit from that.

Consider the “classics of localization”

Yes, we couldn’t help but mention an obvious thing – translating your website into the world’s most spoken languages ​​would be a good decision.

Localize your product with Crowdin

Keep SEO in Mind

When was the last time you clicked on a link from the 2nd or 3rd page of Google results? Your answer is the reason why everyone is fighting for a place on the 1st page. SEO is your opportunity to generate organic traffic and reach your customers.

“For many years, translators have been localizing Websites in a “blind” way, without any knowledge about the strategy and the reasoning behind some decisions that were made when creating the original website. Understanding the basics of SEO and what search engines value helps us translate more consciously and make better decisions that will ultimately result in a better performing translated Website” Teresa Sousa, Portuguese Localization Specialist and SEO Educator

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google, Bing, and more. Because search is one of the main ways in which people discover content online, the skill of ranking your website higher in search engines is one of the most important expertise nowadays.

“When you optimize content for relevant keywords, you will be hitting two birds with one stone; you will attract more clients globally and appear on search engines in many locales.” Roua Krimi-Choura, SEO Copywriter and Localizer

What content should you optimize? Short answer – all of it. A few most important page elements to localize are:

  • Page title (H1) and meta title
  • Meta description
  • Localized URLs and subdirectories
  • Image ALT tags
  • Video subtitles

“The first step you need to do before starting to localize your content is to create a locale-specific SEO strategy, this can be as simple as conducting keywords research and competitor analysis to identify opportunities. The next step is to review and use a tool such as SurferSEO or Semji to make sure you are hitting the right keywords density and distribution, and then you can publish and monitor your content.” Roua Krimi-Choura, SEO Copywriter and Localizer

To ensure consistency throughout your localized content, we’d recommend compiling a glossary of terms. Both translators and proofreaders can use it to make sure the content on your website is optimized for reaching new audiences. When using keywords correctly helps your content get traffic, you should also keep in mind the limits to which you should adhere. To keep it short, use effective keywords, but don’t overdo it.

“It’s important to remember that as we might be optimizing for search engines, we are ultimately writing for humans and things as keywords density aren’t always all that matters to get a good ranking for a Web page. Most times, a well-written, informative and appealing piece of content will naturally engage the readers and entice them to action without sounding too pushy.” Teresa Sousa, Portuguese Localization Specialist and SEO Educator

Be sure – keywords are important, but remember not to put those main keywords in every single sentence, since Google can yell “spam” and penalize your website.

Set Up the Website Localization Process

Automate localization and get a multilingual website with Crowdin. How? Let’s jump into a quick guide. Install the app for Crowdin that integrates with your website building tool, or JS Proxy add-on, which is free and available at Crowdin Marketplace.

It is totally up to you if the source content and translations should be running between the tool where your source content is stored and your Crowdin project only per your request or automatically every day.

Import Your Source Content

No changes to your website at this phase. Simply share the website URL, and the source texts will be imported. The system will automatically generate new distribution and a custom JavaScript snippet.

Once this initial synchronization is over, the content becomes available in the Files section of your Crowdin project as a .json file and ready to be translated. You may start with a single page and add more along with the localization flow.

Make sure to hit the Import button to bring new sources or update the existing ones. Or automate content updates and choose to import texts daily.

Publish Translations

Ready for releasing translations to your website? Here is only one step – add the automatically created JavaScript snippet to your website.

This snippet can be inserted at the header of your source content file like HTML. Although, some content management services and website builders suggest a separate place to work with the code. For example, WordPress has the Header and Footer Scripts plugin, Helpjuice – Customize settings, Webflow – Custom Code option.

The language switcher will appear for your end-users in the lower right corner of your webpage. You can also customize the language switcher by sending the following parameters:

  • position: ‘bottom-right’ | ‘top-right’ | ‘bottom-left’ | ‘top-left’ (for sticky position) ‘inline’ | ‘left’ | ‘right’ (for inline position)

  • submenuPosition: ‘top-right’ ‘bottom-right’ ‘top-left’ ‘bottom-left’
  • class: ‘some-value-for-your-custom-class’

After the translations are ready, use the Publish Now button to populate translations. You can choose to sync translations manually or daily (automatically).

Over-the-air translations

Translations Release under the Hood

Crowdin technology is made to avoid all technical subtleties: no need to create a distribution manually or share the distribution hash. Still, when using the app, you might encounter a few new notions – CDN and Over-the-air delivery (OTA).

To deliver localization magic, JS Proxy uses over-the-air delivery (OTA). The method applied to share new or updated translations instantly from your Crowdin project to your side. It’s done via Crowdin servers once you click the Publish button. This Crowdin distribution server – CDN – mirrors your translated content, making it accessible across many languages.

Do you happen to be a tech person who likes to keep control over all processes? API endpoints for releasing translated content are at your service.

Translating a Drupal and WordPress Website

If your website is built with Drupal or WordPress, you can find Crowdin applications for each of them on our Crowdin Marketplace page:

These apps work differently. To set them up, read the instructions on the app page. After installation, you need to connect the app with your CMS account. Then you can sync texts and start the translation process.

Test Localization before Launching your Multilingual Website

Everybody wants to bring their creation to market as quickly as possible – but you need to remember how crucial it is to strike a balance between speed and quality. Pay attention to the testing process. Before any new website is launched, you must conduct a test to ensure a great user experience across all markets.

Take your time, test early and often, and check the following:

  • Names, time, date, and weight formats.
  • Special characters, hyperlinks and hotkeys functionality.
  • Validation message for input fields.
  • Broken strings/design.
  • Load time.
  • Spelling errors and punctuation errors.
  • Grammatical mistakes.
  • Cultural aspects of translation.
  • Misuse of keywords.
  • Readability and appeal of the message.
  • Untranslated strings.

Remember that the major area affected by localization testing includes content and UI. Test your website a few times, and don’t forget to try out different devices and browsers.

Get Started with Localization of Your Website

Now you know how to make your website available in different languages to reach a broader audience. Go ahead to set up the app in your Crowdin or Crowdin Enterprise account in minutes. You can also request a demo to observe this add-on in action and discuss it with our team.

Make your website multilingual with Crowdin

Reach a wider audience by speaking their language. Start your free 14-day trial of Crowdin.
Maryna Andriichuk

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