14 Translation Services for Websites of All Sizes
One of the great benefits of building a brand online is the ability to reach potential customers anywhere in the world. In theory, there is no reason why a small startup in Helsinki can’t reach buyers in Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Manila. The only obstacle to success in this global marketplace is the language barrier. Website translation services and tools allow businesses to overcome this problem and connect with users who would otherwise be out of reach. We decided to take a closer look at translation services for websites and seek out the best solutions for any type of business.
Reasons Why You Should Translate Your Website
English is often described as the universal language of the web. However, that doesn’t mean everyone is happy to use English or the language of your home market.
In a survey of over 8,700 consumers in 29 countries, CSA Research found that 76% of people prefer to buy products from websites that provide information in their native language. Just as importantly, 40% of respondents said they refuse to make purchases in a foreign language.
Translation services for websites also have significant benefits in attracting those users to your website in the first place. Search engines take into account the location and preferred language of each user, and only sites that are optimized for that locale will appear near the top of the rankings. And that’s before you even consider keywords.
In other words, you really need to translate your website content to stand a chance of competing in non-English markets.
The Best Website Translation Services and Tools
There are countless ways to translate website content today, from simple automated tools to end-to-end solutions with human translators. The best option for each translation project will depend on your budget and the amount of content you need to translate.
Broadly speaking, these translation services for websites fall into four main categories:
- Machine translation tools
- Website translation plugins and add-ons
- Content translation services
- End-to-end website translation platforms
Let’s take a closer look at each of these groups and the standout solutions within each category.
Machine Translation Tools
Powered by machine learning technology, these website translation tools are designed to convert content to any language with a click. These translation services offer a very simple and affordable way to make small websites more accessible, although they aren’t as accurate as human translation.
Here are some of the best options:
#1 Google Cloud Translation
Everyone knows about Google Translate, the free tool aimed at consumers.
Google Cloud is a different animal. Powered by neural networks, this platform offers some of the best machine translation currently available.
The Translation API comes in Basic and Advanced versions; the latter allows you to customize the model with your own brand and industry vocabulary.
Google Cloud even has a Media Translation API, which offers real-time audio translation.
Pricing: Free for 500,000 characters per month, then $20 per million characters or $0.08 per page via the API
#2 Amazon Translate
Part of the Amazon Web Services suite, Amazon Translate offers affordable automated translation through machine learning. Users say the results are impressive, particularly when it comes to reproducing the intended message.
This highly affordable platform also offers “Active Custom Translation” (ACT), where the machine learning algorithms can be trained using your own data.
Pricing: Free with character limits for a limited time, then $15 per million characters or $60 per million for ACT.
Optimized for 24 file types and 100 languages, this enterprise-level platform can translate website content using multiple XML and HTML files in seconds via machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The web-based interface allows you to make manual changes where required, and Pairaphrase can even translate text within JPG, PNG, Autocad, and JSON files.
Pricing: Packages from $99 for 5,000 words; subscriptions start at $3,399 per month.
Translation Plugins and Add-Ons
Designed specifically for website content, website translation plugins and add-ons provide an easy way to localize your online presence.
Some offer automated translation or access to human translators, while others help you to import already-translated content.
Available as a plugin for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, and SquareSpace, this highly-polished tool offers machine translation powered by Google. As such, it provides full support for 108 languages.
GTranslate also offers manual editing, and the platform helps you set up SEO-friendly URLs for each language.
One unique feature of GTranslate is “language hosting.” This is a form of CDN (content delivery network) that serves up translated content on demand.
Pricing: Free language selector; translation and other features from $7.99 a month
You can add the website translation plugin WOVN.io to pretty much any website by adding a snippet of code. Once installed, this platform allows you to utilize machine translations with a custom glossary, or complete the translation process by hand.
WOVN.io supports 43 languages and 76 locales, with SEO features built in. This platform earns bonus points for its slick interface and easy installation.
Pricing: On request
This popular WordPress plugin provides an easy way to manage translations on your website. WPML has a rich text editor for manual translations, and you can access professional translation services through the interface.
WPML works with most themes and website builders, along with popular ecommerce plugins. It’s definitely one of the better options for businesses on a budget.
Pricing: Basic tools from $29, full features from $79
Aimed specifically at Shopify stores, Langify is a website translation plugin that helps you localize your online store.
The plugin allows you to make manual translations through a simple rich text editor or import translated content. Langify also supports SEO translation, including tags and URLs.
Price: Free trial, then $17.50 per month
Content Translation Services
While machine translation tools provide a basic form of localization, nothing can replace the expertise of professional translators.
These translation services provide the human touch, helping you translate any kind of content — although you will need to copy across the translations to your website.
From online banking in Swedish to online mining courses in Japanese, inWhatLanguage can handle pretty much any translation task.
Used by some of the biggest brands in the world, this high-end provider supports over 200 languages thanks to a network of 10,000 linguists.
You can submit content for translation and localization in 50 different file formats, and inWhatLanguage’s translators work with AI to provide speedy turnaround times.
Pricing: Free trial, then translation from $0.11 per word
As the name implies, Nitro offers high-quality translation at speed.
The platform uses native speakers to deliver 60% of translations, taking just two hours, and 99% are completed within 24 hours. This is particularly useful if you want to publish blog posts or new products.
Nitro has no minimum order requirement, which will be attractive for smaller businesses. The company also has an API, allowing developers to import/export content quickly.
Pricing: From $11 per 1,000 characters
If turnaround time is not a major concern, Translated is a great option for most translation tasks. This service does not match the speed of some competitors, but users say that it provides accurate translations.
Translated can translate website content, digital ads, videos, desktop publishing, documents, and even chatbots in 189 languages.
Pricing: Average of $0.10 per word, with three levels of service available
End-to-End Website Translation Platforms
If you are planning to optimize your site for more than one or two markets, using an end-to-end solution is essential. These website translation services can help you import, translate, test, and deploy content in one smooth workflow.
They can also assist you with localization — the wider process of adapting and optimizing your site for different languages and cultures. This is an important step if you plan to make an impact in other regions.
Covering websites, apps, and games, OneSky provides a complete solution for translation and localization, including website translation services.
The OneSky platform integrates with almost any website or web app through website plugins or a simple API. This system both extracts the original content and delivers the translated content in one seamless workflow, with support for 40 file formats.
When it comes to translation, OneSky has a network of 1,000 professional translators with expertise in digital content. The service covers more than 50 languages, with a 99% translation satisfaction rate.
Translators are assigned to each project based on their knowledge, and you can interact with your personal translator directly through the platform. You can also request a localization project manager, who will guide you through the technical side.
OneSky provides technical validation to ensure your translations will fit nicely with your code, and on-device testing is available.
Used by the likes of Microsoft and Airbnb, this end-to-end solution is perfect for big brands and small businesses alike.
Pricing: Starting at $0.04 per word for translation
#2 Text United
Based around monthly subscriptions, Text United provides continuous localization for websites and software. This platform has its own API and WordPress plugin, with an in-context editor for manual editing.
Text United offers both machine and human translation, covering 170 languages. The platform can handle most forms of content you might have on your website, and numerous file types.
For businesses that are willing to commit to a monthly subscription, Text United is a solid option.
Pricing: Free trial, then subscriptions starting at €60 (~$72) per month
Aimed mainly at large organizations with complex needs, Smartling offers a data-driven translation management system in the cloud.
The platform can connect to any website, collecting real-time insights from hundreds of API endpoints. You can choose between machine and human translation, and Smartling provides localization consultants on demand.
It’s probably overkill for most websites, but Smartling works well for enterprise-level businesses.
Pricing: From $200 per month
In many respects, Crowdin is more of a DIY localization solution for websites and apps.
Built on Agile principles, this platform offers automated deployment of translated content. It also provides extensive project management features, including collaboration and quality control.
That said, you will need to handle translation yourself — either by bringing in an agency or by hiring someone from the Crowdin marketplace.
Pricing: From $16 per month
Which Is the Right Website Translation Service for You?
As this list illustrates, there are many ways to adapt your website for different languages.
Some are better for smaller businesses with limited international ambitions, while other solutions can help multinational companies to build a global brand. Here’s a quick summary:
- Machine translation tools – Good for businesses on a tight budget that want to reach a wider audience
- Translation plugins and add-ons – Another budget-friendly option, offering turnkey access to basic translation
- General translation services – Useful for translating multiple forms of content and linking with a basic translation management system
- End-to-end website translation platforms – The complete solution for businesses that want to expand their brand in new markets