Translation Technology

4 Differences Between JavaScript and Web-Based Proxies for Website Translation

Learn which proxy translation solution is best for your business’ needs.

Verity's avatar

November 13, 2023


Expanding a business into new markets and languages often requires website translation. As far as first-time website translation projects go, it is likely you will venture into proxy translation before investing in costlier options like hiring staff or delegating internal resources to manage website translation projects. Understanding the differences between the two most popular proxy technologies is crucial for Marketers eager to launch translated websites fast. 

The two most common website translation proxy approaches are browser-based proxies and server-based proxies. A JavaScript proxy, (which is browser-based), and a concierge proxy, (which is server-based) both automate website translation projects and almost eliminate any required manual work from Marketing teams. It is the best way to solve the complexity of website translation projects without decimating internal resources. 

So, what is the difference? The key distinctions can be seen in the user experience, customization capabilities, beyond-word services, and security management.  

The Types of Proxies 

JavaScript Proxy and server-based proxies for website translation are unique approaches to translating websites in the realm of website translation technology and programming.  

JavaScript proxy, or browser-based proxies translates website content in real-time. A JavaScript proxy instantly crawls your website and translates all eligible words, allowing for instant and continuous translation. This instant translation of your website is made from machine translation engines, they have limited editing capabilities if any, and they do not offer post human translation edits. Although all eligible content updates are instantly translated, being a browser-based tool, there is a delay or flicker in the user experience and is not as SEO friendly as a server-based proxy. 

A server-based proxy, like MotionPoint's concierge level technology and services, works a little differently. When a user accesses a website, the translation proxy positions itself between the end-user and the website's backend system. It intercepts the user's request before it reaches the original site. The proxy system then layers the translated content over the original website. This means that users from different regions can view the website in their local language 

Proxy for Website Translation 

These two proxy technologies can be used in website translation and localization (learn about that here!) However, the processes for each of them are vastly different, which means the outcomes are also different. 

Using a concierge proxy provides a smoother user experience, allows for more customization, and eases your internal burden. Learn how these two proxy options create two different website translation experiences for you and your customers: 

User Experience 

The Flicker Factor 

A primary concern with JavaScript proxy is the brief "Flicker" occurring before translation is displayed. Although lasting only around 2 seconds, this can significantly impact user experience for two reasons: 

1. Higher Bounce Rates and Less Engagement 

A flicker may seem minor, but it can lead to increased bounce rates. According to Portent, the first five seconds of load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. They have found that website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (between seconds 0-5). 

For a business investing in a multilingual website to boost sales or leads, a high bounce rate can undermine the investment in website translation. A smooth, flicker-free experience can help retain visitors and encourage engagement. 

2. Reputation Management 

For substantial businesses, presenting a professional image is crucial. A flicker effect can appear unprofessional and damage a company's reputation. According to a study by Unbounce, nearly 70% of consumers say that page load speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. 

Proxy servers can cache translated content so that it does not need to be translated with each request. This means after the initial translation; subsequent page loads can be served faster from the cache. Using a concierge proxy can help decrease page load time, ensuring a seamless user experience.  

Partial Translations 

JavaScript proxies rely on automatically identifying and extracting text from a website for translation. If the proxy fails to recognize all text elements, especially those generated dynamically or nested within complex JavaScript functions, some content may not be captured for translation 

The proxy server analyzes the website's content, including text embedded within images, dynamic content loaded via JavaScript, and other interactive elements. It extracts all translatable texts for processing. To ensure completeness, the translation proxy continuously monitors the website for any updates or new content. When changes are detected, it extracts and translates these new elements, keeping the translated site up to date. 

Personalization and Complexity 

If a website features personalized content, a JavaScript proxy may struggle to translate effectively. In this case, a concierge proxy is the better choice to ensure that personalized elements are translated accurately and displayed correctly to the user. 

Consider a retail website that shows customized product recommendations based on user behavior. A JavaScript proxy might not translate these dynamically generated recommendations effectively because it typically translates static content. 

A concierge proxy service steps in here. It can handle real-time, user-specific content by ensuring that these dynamically personalized elements are translated accurately. For instance, if a user from Spain visits the retail site, the concierge proxy would ensure that not only the static content but also the dynamically generated product recommendations are accurately translated into Spanish and displayed correctly. 

In terms of complexity, large websites with substantial traffic, numerous URLs, dynamic content, and specific SEO needs require a sophisticated approach to translation.  

Concierge proxy services are more adept at managing such complexity. They can handle the high volume of dynamic content, ensure that URLs are appropriately localized for different regions, and maintain SEO efficacy across languages.  

Unlike a basic JavaScript proxy, concierge services can tailor translations to align with specific cultural nuances and search engine requirements in different countries, thus ensuring the global reach of the news portal is not compromised. 

Pricing and Beyond Words Support 

JavaScript proxies generally operate as self-service models. This can be more cost-effective for smaller businesses with simpler websites. However, it comes with a caveat: you will not receive any human customer support. This means any issues with translation quality or functionality will need to be handled internally. 

As the more premium option, the concierge service includes human support. This option is crucial when translation quality, speed, or technical issues arise. If the translation process breaks site functionality or styling, having expert support can save time and protect the brand's image.  

While this solution can be more costly to begin, it is worth noting that a concierge proxy service utilizes cost saving tools like translation memory and machine learning to customize your project and spend less on human translation. Tools like translation memories save your past translations so you don't have to pay for them over and over again. 

Security Management 

In terms of security, JavaScript proxies can be utilized for data validation, enforcing certain access patterns, or logging interactions with objects for debugging purposes. However, they do not directly deal with external data transmission or network security. 

Web-based proxies play a more direct role in information security. They can inspect and filter content for malicious activity, provide anonymity for browsing, enforce access controls, and cache content for improved performance. They can also encrypt requests and responses, thereby enhancing privacy and data security. 

A website translation company can offer peace of mind by managing security or infrastructure problems, should they occur. You won't have to worry about how your site looks after translation. 

Translation Beyond Words 

If your business employs experts in linguistics and web design, you might be able to get away with using a JavaScript proxy for your website translation project. But it often goes beyond that, and choosing the right translation proxy is critical for businesses looking to thrive in the global market.  

A JavaScript proxy can offer a quick and automated solution but comes with the risk of a less polished user experience and no support. Conversely, concierge proxy services, although more expensive, provide comprehensive support, handle complex website elements, and deliver a seamless experience for all users. 

Selecting a proficient website translation company is essential to ensure that the chosen method aligns with business strategies, technical requirements, and customer expectations. By understanding the differences between JavaScript proxy and concierge proxy, businesses can make informed decisions to support their international growth. 

Learn how MotionPoint uses web based proxy technology to provide the best user experience and high quality translations for your business.

Last updated on November 13, 2023
Verity's avatar

About Verity

Verity's avatar

Product Manager, Data Engineering


Keep Learning

Here is some related information that you might enjoy

How Does MotionPoint’s Proxy-Based Technology Work?

How Does MotionPoint’s Proxy-Based Technology Work?

Proxy Translation vs. Translation Integrations: Which Approach is Right for Me?

Proxy Translation vs. Translation Integrations: Which Approach is Right for Me?

What is Reverse Proxy Translation?

What is Reverse Proxy Translation?