Currently 47% of the internet is non-English speaking (and it’s growing).
And, I presume, if you’re reading this post it’s because you want a piece of that.
One of the first ways to enter a new market is localisation, which brings you naturally to translating your website. The first step to global success.
But, to the average business owner this doesn’t exactly sound like the easiest of projects and you’ve probably put it off as you don’t understand the different options available.
Which is exactly what we’re going to do now, by answering that impending question:
“How much does it really cost to translate my website” “What is the cost of a multilingual website”
Let’s start from the beginning.
The Content side of website translation
There’s no such thing as a multilingual website without the content, right? Choosing the right option for translation is critical to ensuring you stay on budget when working on your global expansion.
There are three options to choose from:
- Automated translation
- Human translation
- Automated combined with human translation
We’re big advocates of automated translation here at Weglot (after all, that is part of what we do).
Within the last five years, the use of automated translation has seen a huge increase in terms of usage and quality of translations. Thanks to artificial intelligence, automated translation is returning incredibly accurate translations.
Many companies are turning to automation to keep up with business growth plans – an acceleration that manual translation can no longer compete with.
And, this is the most cost effective solution on the marketplace. Automated translation plugin solutions start from €9.90 a month.
But, you’ll want to steer clear of free solutions, such as implementing a Google Translate button on your website. Beware, this option offers no control. Your customer will see whatever translation Google is giving them. Risky if you want to give the right impression to your new website visitors.
Also, if you’re using the likes of a Google Translate button, bear in mind there’s no SEO capabilities at all. Google won’t detect any of the translated content. It essentially doesn’t exist anywhere. Not ideal when you want your new target market to find you in their language.
Cost: Free or starting at €9.90 a month for an automated translation solution.
Your next option to consider is using a translation agency. This solution will be the most costly. And, why? There are a number of factors that impact the price.
To start with, you’re looking at an average cost of $0.08-$0.25 per word for translation. The reason for the difference in cost is for the following reasons:
- Difficulty of content translated – e.g. a hotel website vs a medical site would have a different cost due to the complexity of the content being translated
- Language – English to French will be less expensive than say English to Japanese. There are simply more translators on the marketplace for European languages than there are for more complex languages.
- Time scale – the faster you want/ need the translated content, the more expensive it will be
- Text in pictures – new pictures will need to be created to include translated content
Let’s look closer at costs. For a website of around 10,000 words, it’s approximately $1,200 and this doesn’t even cover the costs of integration and website management.
But, this is only the base fee for one language, start doubling it for each new language you require. And, remember, for every new page of content or blog post you add, you’ll need additional translation support, and when the average blog post can amount to 1,000 words, you can easily start to see how unaffordable manual translation can be.
Cost (dependent on website size): Starting from $1,200
Human & automated translation
Presenting the best of both worlds. Taking your website, using an automated translation solution (hi, we’re Weglot) and adding human translation to give you that impact you’re looking for.
Adding human translation is always going to give you that “personal touch” but why not make your life and their life easier (not to mention your budget) by using automated translation to give a comprehensive first translation.
Why? Because as we mentioned before, automated translation is pretty good. And, if all it takes is a translator to fine tune your stand-out main pages, then you’ve cut a big job in half, well even more than half.
Did we mention speed? A combination of human and automated translation gives you translated content in less than 48 hours. That’s not bad at all.
When you’re considering your options, you also need to think about what solution is going to grow with you.
A combination of human and automated means you won’t be relying on translation agencies every time you add a new page on your website. Any new page will automatically appear in your chosen language. Simple. And, if you need to fine-tune / verify the translations, you can always have a translator proofread it.
Costs: Automated translation solution (Weglot)* + 10,000 words of manual translation would be €1290.
*Pro Weglot package: 200,000 words (number of words on website x number of languages you want translated into) automatically translated into unlimited languages
The Technical side of website translation
Ok, we’re going technical, but we’re going to keep it as uncomplicated as possible, so stay with us.
In simple terms, how are you planning on displaying your newly translated content?
You might not have anticipated the complexity of this one. But that’s why we’re here to guide you.
There are two main solutions we’re highlighting:
- Multiple websites
- 1 website displaying multiple languages
By this we mean creating a new website for each new language you want to display. Sounds like a big task, right?
Well, you’d be correct. This is no small project. Got in-house developers? Great, they’ll be working on this for the next few months (depending on the size and complexity of your website requirements).
No in-house developers? Then expect to pay anything from $50-$150 an hour for use of a developer.
The gravity of the task is daunting, which is why it probably works better if you want to create a small website in a different language, with content that is very different than your main website. Like landing pages in French, with a simple contact form for your French leads (probably not what you’re hoping to do thought).
It’s not a great solution if you need your whole website duplicated into a new language.
There are many limitations to this one, even if you’re just going for the basic option of translating selected pages. You’ll need to consider the upkeep costs of managing a second website. This is both in terms of costs and time.
You could of course go for a simple managed website like a Squarespace or a Wix, but don’t forget to consider the cost of maintaining all those websites over the years.
Costs: Anywhere from €500-€30,000
1 website displaying multiple languages
What if I told you there was a solution that meant you didn’t need to create a whole new website to display your newly translated content.
Well, it’s true. And, the best part, it won’t cost much.
That’s where a multilingual plugin comes in (definition: plugin that integrates with your website to display it in multiple languages).
A fast, effortless way to translate and display your website content in minutes and we’re really talking minutes. Less than 10 to be specific.
However, there are different types of multilingual plugins. There are those where you have to do everything yourself and are generally quite complicated to maintain, such as WPML, Polylang and Transifex, or actual automated effortless solutions, such as Weglot.
So choose wisely. Many competitor multilingual plugins actually require manual creation of each translated page, making the process a lot less seamless.
The best part of Weglot, no developers and no coding required. WordPress, SquareSpace, Shopify, Wix…actually any website can be integrated with Weglot’s automated translation solution.
We designed a translation solution that makes a difficult problem easy (because we’re still doing the hard part behind the scenes).
And, we’ve worked on developing a translation solution that has no impact on your site speed, removes hours of work and allows you to manage your website translations how you want.
And that word again – SEO. With Weglot your newly translated content is properly indexed on Google, allowing your new customers to search and find you in their language.
Costs: You can trial Weglot for free and in some cases continue with the free plan (dependent on website word count). Plans start from €9.90 a month.
Recap of your options
Well, you’ve seen the options and hopefully we’ve managed to show you there are solutions to making your website translation easier.
Let’s do a quick summary:
- Depending on your needs, human translation is timely, has high cost implications and needs to be repeated whenever you add new content
- Automated and manual translation – best option for speed, accuracy and localisation
- Creating multiple websites to display content equals high costs in terms of both time and budgets
- Weglot – best solution for displaying content and translating your website – no need for multiple websites or developers