Best Practices for Website Localization: A Step-by-Step Guide

Best Practices for Website Localization: A Step-by-Step Guide

What is Website Localization?

Website localization or website translation is the process of modifying an existing website to make it more accessible, easier to use, and culturally appropriate for your target audience. More than a third of all Internet users are non-native English speakers, and according to Forrester Research, visitors spend twice as much time on websites that are in their native language. 

Website Localization involves adjusting web content with culture, language, and flow in mind to provide users with a useful and relevant experience. This is different from translation. Content localization takes into account the nuances of the target region. Some words can have the same definition, but different meanings in different contexts. Similarly, there are always different dialects of a language, such as Spanish in Spain, Spanish in Mexico, and Spanish in South America. Many people don’t understand the difference between localization and translation, but there’s more to localizing a website than just translating words into another language.

Why is It Important?

As internet technologies continue to grow and expand, becoming ever more accessible and widespread, the value of a website grows too A website is invaluable to any business in today’s globalized world, as it attracts new visitors, provides information about products and services, and ultimately leads to sales, regardless of the type of business. It’s an asset. Industry and website purpose.

Whether a website is designed to sell a product or to provide a service or information to its visitors, in order to achieve maximum effect its message has to be clear and fully understood by the person reading its content. To gain a competitive advantage, companies often invest significant money, time, and effort into developing websites with good content and visuals that are well-optimized for search engines, but at the same time, they often ignore an important aspect: language.

Language is the key element in driving sales and marketing efforts where the audience includes speakers of more than one language. While there are nearly 1.7 billion English speakers across the globe, only a fraction of them – approximately 330 to 360 million – consider themselves native speakers. That’s around 22% of the total number of English speakers and only 4.73% of the total global population as of 2018.

That means over 95% of the world’s population doesn’t fully understand what your website is talking about. This is a huge number of potential visitors, users, and most importantly, customers you are missing out on.

Who Is It Important To?

Web localization is important to various groups of people and businesses.

Multinational Corporations: Large companies with operations or customers in multiple countries need to localize their web content to reach diverse audiences effectively. Localization helps them adapt their messaging, products, and services to suit different cultural and linguistic preferences.

  1. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Even smaller businesses can benefit from web localization to expand their reach beyond their local markets. By making their websites accessible and appealing to international audiences, SMEs can compete more effectively in the global marketplace.
  2. E-commerce Businesses: Online retailers rely heavily on web localization to attract customers from different regions. 
  3. Content Creators and Publishers: Authors, bloggers, and media companies often seek to reach audiences beyond their native language or country. 
  4. Tourism and Hospitality Industry: Hotels, travel agencies, and tourism boards use web localization to target travelers from various countries. 

What are The Challenges Involved With Website Localization

Localizing your website can require a significant investment of time and resources. But with the right approach, it can lead to increased traffic, conversions, and revenue. To do this correctly, you need to avoid common website localization issues.

1. Translation quality

The quality of translation is important because it ensures that your website is understood by people in other countries. Those people are potential customers.

If your translations are inaccurate or out of date, your customers will quickly lose interest.

2. High cost

There’s no getting around it, when it comes to cost and quality, they are always intertwined. While you want a good translation, you don’t want to lose your shirt in the process.

3. Difficult updating and maintenance

A common website localization issue that website owners encounter is keeping translations up to date and alongside the main (native) version of the website. 

The main problem is that there are no tools that can easily perform this type of update.

4. Cultural nuance

Localizing your website is more than just taking all the text and translating it into another language. 

The problem is that communication patterns common in one language may not translate well to another. There are multiple expressions that work well only in the source language.

Future of Website Localization

The future of web localization is poised to be both exciting and transformative, driven by technological advancements, evolving consumer expectations, and global market dynamics.

  1. AI-Powered Translation: Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are revolutionizing the translation process. Advanced neural machine translation (NMT) models are becoming increasingly accurate, enabling faster and more cost-effective localization of web content.
  2. Hyper-Personalization: As consumers demand more personalized online experiences, web localization will go beyond language translation to include customization based on factors such as location, cultural preferences, browsing history, and user behaviour. 
  3. Multimodal Localization: With the rise of voice assistants, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), web localization will extend beyond text to include audio, video, and immersive experiences. 
  4. Real-Time Localization: Instantaneous translation and localization services will become the norm, enabling real-time communication and collaboration in multiple languages

DTP Labs is a Desktop Publishing company based in New Delhi, India. We offer book publishing Services, PDF to Word conversions, post-translation DTP, and E-Learning Localization Services to translation agencies worldwide. To avail of our services, check out our website, or contact us at

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