The Best Website Translation Technologies of 2024

Learn the top technologies for website translation and localization and when to use them.

What are the Best Technologies for Website Translation?

Finding the right approach to translating your website for global audiences may seem daunting. Select a translation technology that helps your business reach more people globally and improves customer satisfaction at your store. The best website translation services should work well with your current CMS and be able to grow with your future needs.

Read on to learn about the top approaches that companies use to translate a website, and compare their advantages and drawbacks.

How to Choose a Website Translation Software

Web translation is more complex than document translation and needs specific technologies to do it well. Traditional translation agencies lack technology and expertise, leading to inefficiencies and potentially damaging mistranslations or delays.

Legacy agencies excel at offline translation, but website translation requires additional tasks that can sideline their translators and workflows. Technical issues abound, too. Learn more about the potential pitfalls.

Small or growing companies may be tempted to use free or cheap machine translation services for their global websites. Certain machine translation tools still require further development before they can independently translate your website. If you value your brand, you cannot trust technologies like Google Translate, ChatGPT, or DeepL with your company’s voice, tone, messaging and image.

Define Your Goals

Choosing which technology to use can depend on what your goals are for your business. Different techniques can yield different outcomes, so focus on where your business is heading. Here are some examples of reasons to invest in website translation and how you can achieve your goals:

    1. International E-Commerce

The importance of website translation and localization in the international e-commerce landscape can’t be understated. Effective e-commerce translation is more than just translating product descriptions and requires understanding and integrating cultural nuances and consumer preferences.

    1. Multilingual Marketing

Incorporating website translation and content localization into marketing strategies significantly boosts conversion rates and sales. Of course, that’s if you know how to build a strong international marketing plan. You’ll likely need help from the best multilingual marketing solutions to take your brand to new markets and new heights.

    1. Reaching New Markets

The brands that have the most success in multilingual markets are those that invest in website translation solutions. This emphasizes the crucial role of website translation in today’s global market, highlighting the importance of effective communication and cultural relevance for businesses aiming to expand internationally.

    1. Multi-segment Marketing

In 2024, businesses need to use multi-segment marketing to understand and meet the diverse needs of global audiences. To create a successful marketing plan, you should learn from experts and stay updated on trends. These trends include website translation and international SEO in multi-segment marketing.

    1. Global Marketing

If your business is looking to go global, you need to engage in multilingual and international marketing strategies. But adapting messages and managing global content can be a big challenge. To help you keep your global ventures organized and ensure content is top-quality, make sure you know the best global marketing solutions available.

If your brand wants to enter new markets, there are tools and services available to assist with your marketing efforts. You can use these resources for both domestic and global expansion. Whether you run an international e-commerce business or are looking into multisegmented marketing, read on to learn about the right technologies to invest in.

    1. Multilingual Content Marketing

Your business’ content plan likely doesn’t include translation and localization. But for any content from blogs to videos to customer support information, you need to ensure that any multilingual users can access and understand your messaging.

Learn how to engage in multilingual content marketing and create content with consistent messaging across all platforms, devices, and languages.

    1. International Website Marketing

If your company is pursuing global expansion, you need to establish a strong online presence in your target markets. This requires navigating the complexities of global markets, adopting a set of innovative marketing solutions should be a priority for businesses large and small, regardless of industry.

Check out the top international website marketing services so you don’t have to take on the intricacies of website translation and localization in-house.

    1. Website Translation

If you still have an English-only website, your business could be missing out on a world of global success. In a world where your online reputation is everything, it’s becoming increasingly important to consider your global audience to achieve business growth.

Website translation services are an essential component of any global marketing strategy to connect with audiences all over the world and convey your messages in their native languages. Don’t neglect your multilingual customers; make sure your website is speaking their language.

The Best Website Translation Technologies

MotionPoint’s signature proxy translation technology remains the industry’s top website translation technology. It’s uncommon for a solution to be easier, faster, and more flexible than a proxy solution for translating websites. But before we get into that option, there are other suitable website translation solutions:

  • Parallel sites, or localized microsites
  • Multilingual CMS capabilities, used in conjunction with a traditional translation agency
  • Multilingual CMS capabilities and integration via a connector or an API

These solutions have pros and cons, depending on specific circumstances, including:

  • Size and complexity of the website
  • Availability and technical/linguistic expertise of internal teams
  • Presence of in-country marketing teams
  • The website’s current (and future) technology stack
  • Integration with other systems and platforms

Parallel Sites and Microsites

Companies used to create separate websites from scratch to serve global markets, but now they can launch localized websites. Teams manually updated localized sites with new translated content to keep up with changes on flagship primary-market sites. Companies soon found this approach extremely expensive, time-consuming and difficult to scale.

To handle the challenge and save time and money, some companies have separate websites for specific markets. Unfortunately, these microsites deliver an unsatisfying experience to local customers. Customers become frustrated with a scaled-down site, and its compromised functionality and content.

When to Use Microsites

While global users have better experiences—and convert more—on more content- and feature-rich online experiences, microsites can be an option for some companies with specific circumstances:

  • Offerings differ dramatically across markets
  • Local marketing teams are completely independent
  • Local company branches have different messaging, or value prop positioning
  • Running a trial in a new or developing market, or to support a local campaign

Even in these cases, the best solution is to create content customizations from a central website, rather than replicate separate websites entirely from scratch.

Multilingual CMS

multilingual websites

Most content management systems now feature multilingual capabilities. This enables companies to launch new instances of their websites for global markets, and manage localized content for those customers.

Unfortunately, these features aren’t core to the CMSs and underperform in critical ways. Multilingual CMSs have ineffective translation workflows and workbenches for accurate and consistent translations.

They also often lack the ability to provide a live preview of how the translated content will appear on a localized web page. This is important, as translated content can be longer than expected and break page templates, resulting in subpar UX.

Further, multilingual CMS capabilities are limited to content stored in the CMS database itself, and can’t translate important content that’s dynamically loaded from third-party services. This could include e-commerce platforms, ticket booking engines, Find a Store functionality, digital marketing solutions and more.

Learn more about the shortcomings of multilingual CMS features.

To offset these undercooked capabilities, CMSs often use connectors and APIs to receive translated content from website localization vendors. The localized CMS then integrates this content.

Connectors (or cartridges) are preconfigured integrations. They can be problematic because they tend not to work out of the box if any customization has been done to the website. They require development to work properly, and can break after major CMS updates. They also lock you into using your current CMS, preventing you from easily upgrading your tech stack in the future.

APIs allow your company to develop—and modify—its own interface between the translation vendor and your CMS.

When to Use a CMS

When should I upload translation manually into my CMS? Using a CMS with a manual translation process is slow, inefficient and prone to error. Unless you have a very small, simple website, using a CMS with a translation agency is not recommended.

When should I use a CMS with a connector? You may feel comfortable using a CMS with a connector if you are confident in your CMS and have no plans to change it in the future. A connector may be an adequate solution if you:

  • Have no other channels beyond your website
  • Have a large development team that can take care of customization needs
  • Have no need for content or technical customizations at all

In today’s digitally-driven, multichannel marketing landscape, it’s unlikely your company’s marketing strategy fits many—if any—of these exceptions.

When should I use a CMS with an API? You could use a CMS with an API integration when you have a high-end CMS, and want to integrate translation across channels and content repositories, and have a large development team that can take care of customization needs.

Proxy-Based Solution

The ease, speed and flexibility of a fully turn-key translation proxy technology makes it the best option for website translation. It can have an API or other ways to translate content for various platforms such as marketing, emails, and apps.

Unlike other solutions that integrate directly with your technology stack, proxy-based translation solutions operate independently of your CMS.

By sitting in the middle of your customers and website servers, it can show localized content. You don’t need to do any technical or operational work.

Proxy technology leverages the code and translatable content of your website. They essentially react in real-time to your global users’ interactions and requests. When users click a link or enter a URL on your site, the proxy decides which translated webpage content to show:

  • The proxy determines the appropriate translated webpage content to present
  • It delivers that translated content via a special separate translation server
  • It then assembles it on-the-fly and merges it with your website’s code and page template
  • And seamlessly presents it to the user as a localized experience

This process occurs instantly, with no perceptible delay to end-users.

Proxy-based solutions avoid the need to create and maintain separate websites. They also incorporate translation tools and management functionality.

Turn-key proxy solutions take this technology to a new level by adding services and capabilities that support automation and minimize operational complexity.

Fully turn-key proxy solutions handle website translation, deployment and ongoing operations to accelerate time to market and support scalability. They also easily handle content loaded from third-party services, and can translate any content in any media—or in applications programmed in any coding language—in any language, for any market.

When to Use a Translation Proxy

Always, unless you fall under one of the special cases mentioned in the Multilingual CMS section above. The proxy solution is the easiest, fastest and most flexible approach to website translation. Choose a complete proxy solution to save time, money, and effort. This way, you can focus on growing your business in your main market.

Main Approaches: A Comparison

The proxy solution is ideal for website translation, but what about omnichannel?

API integration is the best approach for translating content that lives outside of your webpage. It is the most flexible, easiest to manage, and gives you the most control.

Companies that have large development teams and advanced technology can utilize API integration to translate their website. This includes a state-of-the-art content management system (CMS) that has multilingual features.

But for the majority of companies, the best solution is to use the proxy for website translation, and the API for everything else.

To learn more about these technologies, check out this white paper.

Omnichannel Translation

The proxy solution is ideal for website translation, but what about omnichannel?

API integration is the best approach for translating content that lives outside of your webpage. It is the most flexible, easiest to manage, and gives you the most control.

For companies with large dedicated development teams and rich tech stacks, including a state-of-the-art CMS with multilingual capabilities, it is possible to use API integration to translate everything, including the website.

But for the majority of companies, the best solution is to use the proxy for website translation, and the API for everything else.

To learn more about these technologies, check out this white paper.

Take a Deeper Dive

Want to learn more about the translation and localization industry? Check out our resource section and become an expert on all things related to a great multilingual experience.

Learn More In Our Resources Section