Research by Common Sense Advisory found out that nearly 90% of non-English speaking customers prefer to buy from a multi-lingual website which they can understand. If you are a foreign company with a website written only in English, you won’t be able to survive in a local market. That is why website localization is an inevitable task that you need to consider before expanding to another country. And this task is not an easy job. Here are the reasons why website localization should be done by a professional agency:
There are thousands of languages in the world
There are approximately 7,000 languages in the world meanwhile there are just 195 countries. There are many multi-lingual countries which have regional and local official languages besides the national one. Therefore, when it comes to localization, sometimes, you cannot roll out a one-size-fits all language for a multilingual nation or even for different countries which speak the same language. Take English, for example, it is spelled and used differently in the US and UK. Therefore, website localization should be done by a professional agency who understands the local language and can help you enhance your keywords and SEO.
Different languages take different amounts of space
When designing a website, you definitely have left some space for it to breathe. Space is important in website design and it is even more important in website localization. Since different languages take up different amounts of space, if you haven’t left enough room in the menus, dropdowns or action button, your local customers will have bad experience navigating your site. The localization experts know exactly how to factor in sufficient space from the start, which will save your from the costly expense of redesigning your website.
Don’t be surprised that not all language systems are read from left to right or written horizontally. For example, Arabic is read backwards and Chinese is written vertically. Website localization experts are the ones who know how to accommodate different text flows. A professional localization agency will have a team of developers to take care of your website. They will use strings to load different stylesheet based on the language and create the flexibility for characters to be placed in the right place.
Creating strings for a website requires expertise
Creating strings for a website is a complex task. Developers can’t anticipate where the sentences should be split to create strings. While translators need the context to translate and cannot work with incorrectly split strings. The work will be flooded with confusions and a lot of going back and forth asking and correcting. Website localization experts know how to work things out and create the correct strings, which allows translators to perform their work without delay.
The number of programming languages is equivalent to the number of spoken languages. Each programming language is based on a different type of internationalization, therefore, it will take your development team more time to work on the website localization.
You should know that with PHP framework, you have to use PO files for your translation. Moreover, not all platforms support Unicode which is the international encoding standard for languages and scripts. Unicode needs to be used from the beginning of site programing. Therefore, if the strings used for your source code do not support Unicode, the translation will fail. Website localization experts know how to avoid and solve this issue.
It takes a professional team to do a website localization project
A website localization project is more complex and requires more personnel than you think. You will need a team of developers, native translators and project managers to implement a localization project. Each of them is an inevitable and irreplaceable link in the localization chain. Therefore, if you do not have enough experienced personnel to handle the website localization project, the best idea is to entrust it to a professional agency.
Without the help of the experts, website localization will be more complicated than ever. If you want to increase sales, enhance your brand awareness and expand your market, you’d better start with a wise localization strategy. Coordinate with the right localization experts, then you will achieve your local success.