All You Need To Know About Website Localization On WordPress
Localizing your website is an important step if you want to make your website content more accessible to people in other countries as 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites written in their mother tongue.
The process of website localization is far from easy, with numerous steps and requires the involvement of many relevant teams (both linguistic, technical, and other supporting teams). So, let us give you an overview of what you need to do during the website localization process.
In the scope of this post, we will focus on the website localization process on WordPress – the most popular website builder platform in the world, powering over 42% of the web.
#1. UI Content Extraction
Extracting content manually by copying and pasting each page is time-consuming and you easily get confused – either missing out on some parts or duplicating some pages – during the process. Rather than wasting hours doing this manual task, you can use the content extraction function on WordPress. WordPress allows you to attract all pages or selected content through a straightforward process:
Step 1 – Go to your website Dashboard. Then choose Tools -> Export.
Step 2 – On the Export page, you can choose to export all content or a part of it. The filters tool will help you easily select what needs to be exported for translation.
Step 3 – After finishing choosing the content for translation, simply click Download Export File to download the selected content.
The file will be saved in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file. This file format is supported in both CAT Tools and other localization management platforms.
#2. Import Content to Localization Platforms or Tools
After having the exported source files for translation, you can manually send the files to your linguists who will import them to CAT Tools and start translating, or automatically send your content to your translation partner through a multilingual plugin. Another choice is to use a localization platform such as Crowdin, Lokalise, etc. These localization platforms already integrate CAT Tools and allow all related teams to work and track progress in a single workspace.
In this whitepaper, we will instruct you to import files into three specific tools/platforms namely SDL Trados (CAT Tool), WPML (Plugin), and Crowdin (l10n platform).
Using CAT Tools – SDL Trados
While most CAT Tools support XML and CSV file formats, it is still worth checking with your translation partner to make sure what CAT Tools they use and how they can handle your file request. We also recommend you ask your translation agency to do a pilot project to understand the process. You can send them a small part of your project in the XML or CSV format, ask them to import the file to CAT Tools, translate and send you the translation to import into your website.
Using Plugins – WPML
To be able to send your translation partner the source content using the WPML plugin, you need to connect your website to your translation partner’s WPML Plugin account. To do this, an API Token or credentials is needed.
Following our step-by-step instructions to import your content for translation on WPML plugins.
Using Localization Platforms – Crowdin
If you decide to use a translation platform, for example, Crowdin, you can upload source files into the platform in two ways – Manually via the web interface or Automatically via integrations.
Manually via the web interface (UI)
To manually upload translatable content, open your project and navigate to the Settings -> Files tab. Then simply click the Upload Files button, browse and choose the files you need translating.
Image source: Crowdin
Automatically via API, Console Client (CLI), or GitHub Integration.
Option 1: Using API v2
To automatically upload a localization file to your project, use the API methods listed below:
- Add Storage – upload the localization file body to the Crowdin server’s storage.
- Add File – specify where the localization file with a specific storage id should be added.
Option 2: Using Console Client (CLI)
The command-line tool – Crowdin CLI is used to manage and synchronize localization resources. You can download the Crowdin CLI here.
Option3: GitHub Integration
To connect with GitHub, you need to follow the simple steps below:
Step 1: Open your Crowdin project, then go to Settings -> Integrations.
Step 2: Click on GitHub in the Integrations list and Set Up Integration to integrate via your GitHub account.
Image source: Crowdin
Step 3: Authorize the connection with Crowdin on the GitHub side.
Image source: Crowdin
#3. Import Localization Resources
In this step, your translation partner will upload the localization resources including Translation Memory (TM) and Glossary that you have prepared into the CAT Tool or translation platform. This is a simple step that any professional agency can perform.
#4. Localize Content and Linguistic Quality Check
If you choose to translate your content via a CAT Tool, your translation partners will start translating, editing, and proofreading the files directly on the tool.
If you use localization platforms, another step needed to be conducted before this translation process starts. You need to invite project members to work on the project. Simply go to Resources -> Vendors and select the name of your translation vendor that is integrated with Crowdin.
Image source: Crowdin
#5. Import Translations to Your Website
To import the translated files to the WordPress website, you will need to install plugins.
Step 1 – Go to Tools -> Import. You will see a list of systems to import your files. If your files are in XML or CSV formats, you will need the WP All Import plugin. Choose search the plugin directory to find and install the needed plugin.
Step 2 – Upload the translations. If you use the paid version of the plugin, you can access more features such as importing data to custom fields, importing images to the post media gallery, etc.
Image source: WP All Import
#6. In-Context Review
After the newly localized content is uploaded to your website, your linguist as well as your team member should do the in-context review. During this step, all visual elements such as layout, fonts, images, headings, figures, etc. are checked carefully from the point of view of users to improve their experience when reading and using your website.
Below is a checklist of key elements that should be paid close attention to:
- Spelling errors;
- Word use;
- Inappropriate texts;
- Presence of cultural taboos;
- Readability of message;
- The appeal of web designs;
- Untranslated strings.
#7. Function Testing
The function testing aims at eliminating any bugs or errors that affect the correct display of content on your website.
This important step should be conducted by not only the developers but also the translators and your project managers to guarantee all issues are handled well before the launch of a new language version of your website.
Some functional elements that need testing in this step include:
- Names, measurements, currency, etc.;
- Image appropriateness;
- Form functionality;
- Shopping Basket;
- Page speed;
- Encryption algorithms;
- Entry fields.
The process of website localization indeed requires a lot of effort and money from you. However, the benefits website localization brings make it a worthwhile investment. By following our guide above, you are now ready to translate and localize your WordPress website content into new languages.
If you use other website builders such as Wix and Squarespace, check out our free whitepaper for instructions.
If you are looking for a professional website localization partner, look no further than GTE Localize. We provide comprehensive website localization for all website builders, including WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more. We are also official partners of different localization platforms such as Lokalise and Crowdin to bring you seamless workflow and continuous website localization solutions.
Send us a message and let our website localization experts give you a 1:1 consultancy.