An automated approach to website globalization

Multilingual websites are – by nature – very complex entities. The sheer volume of content that needs to be translated causes many companies to refrain from localizing their websites into more languages. Is there a simpler solution?

Text by Don DePalma

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An automated approach to website globalization

Image: © Maxim Kazmin/ 123rf.com

In Common Sense Advisory’s most recent study of 2,409 of the world’s most visited websites, we found that the top 50 firms from the Forbes Global 2000 typically provide content in 15 languages. However, those in the bottom 1,000 averaged just four languages per site, and some sites in that cohort supported just one or two. Why don’t more companies support more languages on their websites to attract global visitors, increase international sales, and expand brand awareness? How can they go global faster and more simply? This article reviews traditional approaches to website globalization and a less complex alternative, localization proxy servers.

Our research has found a lot of reasons companies choose not to globalize a website. First, advocates need to convince executives of the opportunities. If they’re successful, they then have to decide which languages or countries have the greatest ...