Scoping your needs for a website translation project is a mixture of both science and art. On the "science" end of the equation, you must gather the project's technical and content requirements, and understand your business goals. That's all good, left-brained stuff.
But the right-brained "art" part of this equation is no less important. It requires you to not think of your current technology and content needs, but those to come tomorrow. And next week. And next year. And five years from now.
Your website is a living marketing channel that never remains static for long. Your future technology and content needs will probably be quite different than what they are now. Your multilingual website must be just as flexible as your flagship primary-market site, able to evolve along with the business.
That means adapting to new priorities, messages and technologies as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Your translated websites must adapt to local buying trends, just like your flagship primary-market website.
Planning For Today
Naturally, the website translation solution you choose today must offer technologies that empower you to launch and operate a multilingual site right away. The solution should:
- Provide translated content that properly reflects your brand’s tone and message
- Efficiently take customers through the conversion process
- Get you in-market quickly
- Handle current and forecast levels of traffic
Planning For Tomorrow
But your website translation solution can't just serve your short-term business needs. It must be powerful and flexible enough to elegantly accommodate the inevitable changes to your content and business goals.
Your translation solution shouldn't just serve your short-term business needs. It must accommodate your long-term goals, too.
During this mid-term "life after launch," you'll need a solution that handles these considerations: Ease of on-going updates: How quickly can you update your multilingual site's content when new content is published to your primary-market site? Multi-week turnaround times are common, and unacceptable. SLAs of one working day (or less) are a best practice.
Increases in scope: Your website's footprint will grow in the upcoming weeks and months. How seamless will your website translation technology make the addition of new pages, sections and other content?
Expansion into new markets: Your business will expand to serve additional global markets. Can your solution easily accommodate even more multilingual websites, translated into an even wider selection of languages?
A Solid Solution as Technologies Change
Your website translation solution should accommodate your long-term needs and concerns, too. Beyond content and scope changes, your website will undoubtedly undergo important technological evolutions in the upcoming years, including:
- Website redesigns
- Updates to your CMS or e-commerce platform
- Moderate or significant changes to your technology stack
- Embracing new customer-facing technologies or UX enhancements
Your site may even undergo a full website re-platform, migrating from one website management system to another. That's a big deal.
Great website translation solutions get along with your website’s technologies now—and in the future.
There are very few website translation solutions that can keep pace with these kinds of small and large technological changes. And there are fewer still that can handle the changes elegantly and seamlessly, without requiring any effort or management on your end.
Consider the disruptions these technical changes can create for your primary-market website. Now consider the exponential challenges those changes will create for your multilingual global sites. Make sure to look for solutions that can alleviate those burdens, not contribute to them further.
Solutions For Today and Tomorrow
Nothing stings worse than losing revenue or opportunity in online global markets—especially when it’s your own content or technology “improvements” that ultimately disrupt the functionality of your multilingual websites.
As you examine website translation solutions, don't just consider your short-term needs. Think about the evolutionary (or even major) technological changes you'll be making to your site in the years ahead.
Look for turn-key solutions that can effortlessly accommodate those changes in ways that don’t require you to grow your team, or change any of your processes—including your path to growth in global markets, and the online technologies you’ll want use to get there.