Website Internationalization Problems Solved
Website internationalization entails re-coding software to support multiple languages. If your marketing, e-commerce or dynamic web application is only available in one language, you may find that the development work required to be able to support multiple languages is extensive. Further, once your website is multilingual, you’ll want to localize the experience by addressing issues like currencies and payment methods, date and number formatting, and other regional and cultural differences for your various audiences.
To internationalize a website or web app, developers go through the entire application to manually extract all textual content—marketing copy, menus, error messages, everything—into what’s called a “strings file.” They follow a similar process for images that include text. Only developers can do it, because it requires significant modifications to the code itself.
That kind of project is painful. Developers find the work tedious and cumbersome. Project and product managers dislike it because it always takes longer than everyone’s worst-case estimate. Business leaders get frustrated because it comes at the expense of the product roadmap.
The Global Delivery Network
Smartling’s translation proxy solution, the Global Delivery Network, eliminates the need to internationalize your code or build a global network of servers to deliver content to faraway customers. It’s the fastest, least expensive way to translate website content and complete website localization projects securely and reliably, with minimal or no coding required.
Smartling automatically collects text from your websites and web apps, facilitates human translation through the Smartling translation software platform, and delivers an SEO-compatible multilingual experience directly to your customers.
|Legacy Problems||How Smartling Solves Them|
|Speed||Website internationalization takes months or up to a year of developer time||Smartling eliminates the need to internationalize your website|
|Direct Cost||Website internationalization is cost-prohibitive||Smartling removes the bulk of the cost of internationalizing your code|
|Opportunity Cost||Website internationalization diverts your developers from roadmap items||Roadmap delivery is unimpeded by the multilingual requirement|
Under the Hood
The Global Delivery Network makes launching multilingual websites easy by eliminating the time and cost associated with internationalizing your website. Here’s how it works.
- Source Web Page Request & Response: When a user requests a page on your source website, www.yourcompany.com, the request goes directly to your servers; Smartling’s Global Delivery Network is not involved.
- Localized Web Page Request: After you make a one-time configuration, when a user requests a page on your localized website, fr.yourcompany.com, the request goes directly to one of Smartling’s fast, secure, and reliable global data centers.
- Source Web Page Capture: The Global Delivery Network makes a request to your servers for the source web page, receiving the web page in the original language.
- Localized Web Page Assembly: Every string and image from the source web page is replaced with the appropriate translation, which was previously created by your selected translation and localization services. The result is a fully localized, professionally translated web page.
- Localized Web Page Delivery: The resulting localized web page is returned directly to the user, in their preferred language, via Smartling’s fast, secure, and reliable Global Delivery Network.
Source Web Page Changes
When your source web pages change, Smartling automatically detects new content in need of translation, notifies your translation resources, and deploys the completed translations with no developer involvement required.
Unlike other translation proxy tools, the Global Delivery Network features advanced capabilities to further reduce translation costs, make website localization even more culturally relevant, and provide valuable insight into your most important markets.
- Translation management. Because the Global Delivery Network option is part of Smartling’s software localization and translation platform, you benefit from all of its capabilities, including cost-reducing translation memory and a “what you see is what you get”translation interface that results in the highest-quality multilingual content.
- Pattern matching. Frequently, dynamic websites and web apps include static text preceded or followed by variable content (for example, “Author: William Shakespeare” and “Author: Agatha Christie”). Pattern matching eliminates unnecessary translation costs by isolating static text so that it’s only translated once, enabling you to speed up translation.
- Content exclusion. You may have content for which translation is not appropriate (like content that is personal to an individual user) or practical (such as user-generated content). Smartling makes it easy to exclude this content from translation. Entire web pages can likewise be suppressed from appearing on localized websites.
- Localized images. Your websites and web apps probably include images with embedded text, such as heros and buttons. The Global Delivery Network allows you to provide like-for-like replacements for these images, so that your localized web experiences aren’t compromised by English-language images.
- Content replacement. Sometimes the best way to make content culturally relevant is not to translate it, but to replace it entirely. Smartling provides an easy-to-use translation tool to insert original and compelling native-language content where appropriate. Original content can be created by in-house resources or by third parties.
Speed, Uptime, and Security
The challenge of delivering multilingual websites and web apps to a global audience doesn’t end with website internationalization. You still need to create a consistently fast experience for customers worldwide.
For example, if your data center is in California, your customers in France probably experience slow load times right now. After all of the time and money spent internationalizing your code and translating your content, your customers could still be having a frustrating experience. The traditional solution to this problem is to build another data center closer in proximity, but doing so is cost-prohibitive. It also means even more code changes to keep your data centers synchronized.
Smartling solves this problem, too, by maintaining a large and growing global network of servers to deliver your localized websites and web apps to faraway customers with an experience that’s as fast or faster than that of your nearby customers. The Global Delivery Network eliminates the need for you to build additional data centers or worry about keeping them synchronized.
Of course, a fast experience must also be reliable and secure. That’s why the Global Delivery Network offers 99.99% uptime and PCI DSS Level 1, and SSAE 16 SOC 2, and HIPAA enterprise security and data protection certifications.