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How much does it really cost to translate my website?

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Currently, 47% of the Internet is non-English speaking (and that number is growing). If you’re hoping to expand into new markets, or simply the market you’re already in speaks more than one language, website translation is a given.

One of the first ways to enter a new market is website localization. Adapting your strategy to different markets means that creating a multilingual website will be one of your top priorities.

To most business owners, translating your website doesn’t exactly sound like the easiest of projects, which might mean you’re tempted to put it off,

There are different approaches to tackling a website translation project and we’ll highlight the different options available. All are easier than you expect – you can translate your website in minutes.

So, “How much does it really cost to translate my website?” and “What is the cost of a multilingual website”.

Let’s take a look at each part of the process:

  1. Automated translation
  2. Human translation
  3. Automated combined with human translation
  4. Multiple websites
  5. One website displaying multiple languages

We also prepared a video where we talk about this, so make sure to check it out too!

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

1. Automated website translation

We’re big advocates of automated website translation (aka machine translation) here at Weglot (after all, that’s part of what we do). 

Within the last five years, the use of automated translation has seen a considerable increase for quality of translations. Thanks to artificial intelligence, automated translation is returning incredibly accurate, high-quality translations, and providing users with a multilingual website. 

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 efficient solution in the marketplace. Automated translation plugin solutions like Weglot start from just €9.90 a month.

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. 

If you’re using the likes of a Google Translate button, bear in mind there are no SEO capabilities at all: Google won’t detect any of the translated content of your website; it essentially doesn’t exist anywhere. Thus, your translated website will not appear in search engines. 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 (trial Weglot for 10 days for free!).

2. Human translation

Your next option to consider is using a professional translation service provider or translation company or agency. This solution will be the most costly. And, why? There are a number of factors that impact the translation 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 translation rates is the following: 

  • 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, Spanish, or German will be less expensive than say English to Japanese or Chinese. There are simply more professional 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. That will factor into additional costs.

But, this is only the base fee for one language. Start doubling it for each new language you require. If you’re lucky you might get a discount on certain language pairs or language combinations like Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish.

And, remember, for every new page of content or blog post you add, you’ll need additional translation support. When the average blog post can amount to 1,000 words, you can easily start to see how unaffordable manual translation can be. 

Cost of translation (dependent on website size): Starting from $1,200

3. 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 make your website multilingual and give you that impact you’re looking for. 

Adding human translation services 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. If all it takes is a translator to fine-tune your stand-out main pages or offer proofreading services, 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 significantly faster than alternatives of the same quality. 

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 target languages

The technical side of website translation: how your visitors see the translated content

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 
  • One website displaying multiple languages

Let’s review these.

4. Multiple websites

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 and Italian, with simple contact forms to match for your French and Italian leads (probably not what you’re hoping to do though). 

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 translation costs and time

You could of course go for a simple managed website like Squarespace or a Wix, but don’t forget to consider the cost of maintaining all those websites over the years. You’ll need to duplicate technical changes like updates, design tweaks, and any upgrades across the websites – plus you’ll need to separately update any changes in each language.

Costs: Translation pricing will cost you anywhere from €500-€30,000

5. One 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: a 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, to give you a multilingual website. Less than 10 minutes 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).

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. 

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

You’ve seen the options, and hopefully we’ve managed to show you there are solutions to making your website translation easier so you can have a multilingual website up and running quickly. 

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

If you’re ready to get started, you can start your free trial of Weglot here.

About the author
The best way to understand the power of Weglot is to see it for yourself. Get your website multilingual live in minutes.
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