If you want to communicate with a global audience, strengthen your brand or market your product overseas, it’s critical that you translate your website and update the foreign-language versions as often as possible. This is easier said than done, especially if your website has many pages of content and needs to be translated into several languages. If this describes your situation, you should consider a Translation Proxy Service (TPS) to help you simplify the website translation process and manage the foreign-language versions of your website with greater ease.
What is translation proxy?
A translation proxy server is a dedicated computer or software system that acts as an intermediary between your original English website and the foreign-language versions of your website. The proxy works as a layer on top of the original website that dynamically swaps English content for the translated content that your end users need. Instead of localizing the content within your CMS (Content Management System), this content is pulled from translation memory stored in the TPS repository for your website. This system allows your end users to browse online content in their own language without you needing to re-translate every page. As long as the content has already been translated in the past, the translation proxy can fetch the content and make it available to your foreign visitors.
Is website translation proxy right for you?
TPS works best for translating mirror-image websites – i.e. those that don’t require significant changes in layout, style, colors, etc. For example, if your company is selling its products in the U.S. and China, the product configurations might differ by country – requiring two different versions of the same website page. Such a scenario isn’t ideal for TPS. TPS works best when the same content will be used in many regions. TPS mirrors your site’s structure and needs the same content for all the different languages you want to translate into.
What are the benefits of a TPS?
Assuming your web content doesn’t need to be adapted for specific regions around the globe, TPS has five key benefits to make your life easier:
- Reduced site administration – Since TPS crawls and extracts all your site’s content automatically, it saves a lot of effort for your site administrator. Other translation options may require your site admin to manually save or copy content to make it available for translation, and then manually copy or import back into your site. Factor this across multiple languages and the whole process can become difficult and time-consuming to manage.
- Automatic change detection – A big part of site administration is managing updates. Even with a highly robust Content Management System (CMS), it still requires a lot of effort to get content changes entered and deployed in just your original (English language) site. TPS can manage changes automatically, since it is based on a system that scans your site. A capable TPS system can detect changes on a page as well as the addition and deletion of other pages.
- Simplified translation workflow – Related to automatic change detection is the ability to easily process translation updates using TPS. Most TPS systems offer a turn-key way to process translation updates by utilizing human translators, machine translation or a combination of both. If any system requires you to touch translated content to publish it, look elsewhere!
- Minimal hosting cost – This is an aspect of TPS that may vary by provider. Customized systems that you need to deploy on your infrastructure can be quite expensive to install and configure, and may even require additional servers and storage space. Cloud-based TPS systems do exist. Those that utilize well-established architecture, such as Google AppEdge servers, carry a much lower cost, which is tied to how much content you are hosting in the TPS and how many page views you get per month on the stored pages. This kind of metered option is ideal, since you only pay for what you use.
- Benefits of a Content Delivery Network – Another feature of some TPS systems is Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to deliver your content over the web. A CDN is a network of proxy servers that ensure faster delivery of content by caching copies of a site’s contents on multiple servers closer to the users accessing that content. This content delivery strategy provides a better user experience and it builds redundancy into the system, so that if one server goes down another can still deliver the content.
Optimizing your website
Hopefully this article has provided a good basis to help you decide if TPS is the right technology for your company’s multilingual website. TPS can help simplify the website translation process and streamline the creation and management of foreign-language versions of your site.
If you would like to learn more about whether a translation proxy solution is right for you, contact us today.