How much does it cost to translate a website?
Last modified: 2018/08/14 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Translating your website might seem like a time-consuming and costly venture, but it would be important to think about the benefits that come along with forming cross-cultural connections by way of website translation. If you’ve been considering expanding to an international clientele, or you’re living in a bilingual country, website translation makes it easier for all customers to engage with your content, brand and business overall; no matter their mother tongue!
We’re going to go into the benefits of website translation in details, as well as the main question on everyone’s mind: how much does it cost to translate a website?
Website translation: what are the costs?
What will website translation costs be based on?
Of course, not every website is going to cost the same amount to translate, and this is because it’s rare to find two websites that are exactly alike. However, when translating a website, there are specific key costs involved that will be similar across multiple platforms. Factors that will tend to influence higher or lower project costs are as follows:
- The translation itself;
- Staffing and/or outsourcing;
Now that the basic structure of the costs involved in translating a website is laid out, let’s break it down and consider each aspect individually.
1- Translation costs: internal and external
Costs: $0.05- $0.45 per word
Obviously, if you are looking to translate your entire website into another language, there are going to be costs involved in the job itself. More often than not, translation costs are priced per word. For this reason, to determine the cost of your website translation, you will need to determine the word count of your website or the number of source words.
Next, it is important to decide exactly who will be translating your content, whether that means working with a freelance translator, outsourcing the work to a translation agency or working with an LSP or Language Service Provider.
Your number of source words will be multiplied by the translator's wordcount cost, but it is also important to bear in mind that the cost of translation will depend on the translator's level of expertise as well as an in-house versus an outsourced job.
For native-speaking translators working within a specific set of languages, your costs will be on the lower end. Individuals or agencies with specific language experience or expertise will be in the mid-level cost bracket. Lastly, if you’re operating in a regulated field, including law, finance or healthcare, translation prices will be expensive.
It is important to be certain that the individual or agency you choose has plenty of experience in the field. Anyone can access translation resource materials, but this could leave you with colloquial and grammatical errors. Work with a professional or agency that boasts online reviews if possible, or by recommendation.
Also, try and find someone who is familiar with the language of your field. If you work in home renovations, but your translator has experience with fashion copy alone, chances are there may be some problems.
2- Infrastructure costs
Development costs: $200-$1000
This may not make sense initially, but for your website translations to work correctly, you will need to be able to support translated content. In some cases, this process is referred to as “internationalization.” Not all websites have been built to support multi-lingual content and therefore, there will be additional costs for creating a site that supports all languages. Whether outsourced or done internally, this work will need to be completed by a developer.
Again, the costs involved in this part of the project will greatly depend on the size of your website, the field or marketplace you are working within as well as the language or language or languages in which you’d like the content translated.
Again, depending on your field business, a translated version of your website may require frequent maintenance. This is especially true if you don’t employ someone in-house who speaks the language your site has been translated into. Further, marketing websites are always in a state of flux. There is very likely a chance that you’re adding new copy, updating old blog posts, running A/B tests and much, much more.
This will require you to have constant translation updates. Depending on whether the changes are translation-based alone or if they require further development, costs will greatly vary. Bear in mind, these costs will continue over a period of time, so make sure to budget accordingly.
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