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Does Your Website Need a Translation Widget?

Mike Jr (MJ) on Oct 8, '20

Posted in Web, Business

The internet is a fast-paced environment filled with innovation, energy, passion and progress. While that pace can be exciting, it can also be dizzying.

With new trends, new terms, and new technologies coming on the scene every day, a website owner can be overwhelmed with the number of possibilities there are to update their website—and whether those updates will actually bring a tangible benefit to their customers.

One of these possibilities is the matter of offering website content in multiple languages. And nowadays there are several plugins and 3rd-party JavaScript widgets that promise to make website translation a breeze. (Tools like Weglot for example.)

If you are considering a multi-language website or translation widget, we would like to step you through three diagnostic questions to help you make an informed decision.

After all, giving your website visitors a great experience is more important than following the latest trends.

1. Where are the majority of my visitors?

Knowing the geographic location of your website visitors is the place to start. And the most common tool to find out where visitors are located is Google Analytics. In Google Analytics, you can find this information in the "Audience" section under "Geo."

2. What language do your visitors speak?

For your current visitors, or the visitors you intend to reach:

You want to determine if a substantial amount of visitors speak a different language than what is currently offered on your website.

3. Do I have the time and budget to maintain a translation both now and in the future?

Every new feature you add to your website brings with it some level of maintenance and upkeep. This includes translation widgets. Of course, installing a 3rd-party widget can be easy and quick, but there are a few things to consider, such as:

As you consider this, keep in mind that whenever you update your website you should check to ensure that your 3rd party widgets continue to function as expected.

The Do-Nothing Alternative — Built-in Browser Tools

In many cases, there is no need to add a 3rd party tool to your website. Visitors who speak a different language may already be familiar with their browser's built-in translation tools.

For example, when using Google Chrome on a website that is in a different language than your spoken language, you can right-click on the page and click "translate."

Although an automatic translation is never quite as good as a native speaker, this is an attractive (and free) solution.

Website in Multiple Language with Chrome translate link in context menu

Comprehensive Translation

If offering multiple languages is a high priority to your business and you have made room in your budget to maintain it, then you can develop a true multi-language website with unique URLs for every translation you offer.

Harvest Media uses a content management system called CraftCMS which has built in support for multi-language websites and localization.

In Conclusion

The translation needs of every business website will vary, but built in browser tools can meet the needs of many businesses. A 3rd party translation can achieve the goal without investing in the development of a fully localized website.

If your business website is due for an update, or if you are wondering about the best way to target you visitors, the Harvest Media team would be glad to assist! Contact us to get started.

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Mike Moreau Jr

About the Author

Mike Jr (MJ)

Mike is the creative director at Harvest Media and loves to help clients grow.

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