- The cost of translating a WordPress website into other languages depends on many factors, but basically can be grouped into two: the cost of the technology solution and the cost of carrying out the translation of the content.
- The translation of a WordPress website of around 10,000 words can be an approximate cost of about $ 1,200, though as you will see, this cost can vary greatly (both upwards and downwards) depending on many factors.
The cost of translating a WordPress website into other languages depends on many factors, but basically can be grouped into two:
- The cost of implementing a technology solution to provide multilingual functionality, which is the work that usually corresponds to a designer or a web developer. Usually it involves installing a translation plugin. There are both free and premium.
- The cost of doing the localization and translation of content, a work that corresponds to professional translators. The pricing is often calculated based on the number of words in the website (for example, $ 0.12 / word)
In this post I discuss each of these two costs and try to answer a frequently asked question: How much does it cost to translate my WordPress website into other languages?
The first cost that must be incurred is installing and configuring a solution that makes the WordPress website to accommodate more than one language. This is a job that usually corresponds to a developer. This cost can be divided into several concepts: the software, buying domains, as well as hiring a CDN or hosting service.
1.1. Cost of translation plugins
Depending on the method to use, the cost may differ. Basically there are 3 methods to convert a WordPress site into a multilingual site:
1. Individual WordPress:
- Free plugins. There are several free translation plugins for WordPress. Polylang is probably the best option. More information in this article: How To Make A Multilingual WordPress Site: Best Translation Plugins.
- Premium plugins. WPML plugin is the most used premium plugin, costs $79 a year or $195 as a single payment for life with unlimited websites.
2. WordPress Multisite:
- Free plugins : MultilingualPress (free plugin that offers technical support for $99 per year) and Multisite Language Switcher.
3. Translation Proxy Solution:
- GTranslate is a translation proxy also known as Translation Delivery Network (TDN) – a cloud solution which is very similar to Content Delivery Network (CDN), but is responsible for delivering translations. It starts from $7.99 per month and has no limits on the number of words.
- Transifex live. This solution costs you from $79 per month with a maximum hosting of 50,000 words.
1.2. Domain, hosting and CDN service
To the cost that may involve the installation and setup of a translation plugin must be added the cost of acquiring new domains for each version. Thus, when designing a multilingual WordPress website you can choose between:
- Sub-domains / Sub-directories: they don’t entail additional costs since you are not acquiring new domains.
- New domains: if the English version of your website is a .COM domain, you may want to purchase a .ES domain for your Spanish version or .DE domain for your German version. It can be around $12 a year for each domain that you buy.
Also, if you want to host the German version of your website on a German server to be closer to your target audience, this also means an additional cost of shared hosting service that can be around 5-10 dollars a month.
If you choose to use the same hosting service for all language versions, then you’re probably need to hire a CDN service so that the website loads quickly anywhere in the world. A CDN service can cost about $ 50 a year.
2. The cost of localization and translation of content
The most important aspect when designing a multilingual website is related to the localization and translation of content, for which you will need to hire translators or do it directly through a translation agency.
2.1. How much does it cost to translate WordPress contents?
The cost of translating contents is usually calculated based on the number of words to translate the original text. In general, the cost can range between $0.06 and $ 0.20 / word (or even more), but as I will explain later, this price depends on many factors.
You can use WordPress Translation Cost Calculator to get a quick estimate. It crawls all of your pages and counts the words. You can directly hire GTranslate to do the task for you if you use their plugin to translate your WordPress website. They offer automatic translation post-editing service as well as professional translation service, cost per word varies between $0.06 – $0.08 per word depending on the service you choose and the language pairs.
There are several possibilities to translate the contents of a WordPress website:
1. Automatic Translation (free). Machine translations are free and can be implemented with a plugin (there are dozens in the WordPress repository), but this option is only for those who do not have a budget, since automatic translations in most cases do not make sense.
2. Collaborative or crowdsourcing translation (free). Another option that can also be free (or very inexpensive) is to conduct a collaborative translation, which is to ask for help from your user community to voluntarily translate the contents of your website. This requires having a broad user community willing to do so (examples: Twitter, WordPress, Joomla, etc). The advantage is that they know very well your product or service, but it has a major drawback, as they are not professional translators and the end result may not be very good. Therefore, it is important to have at least professional translators to review the contents.
3. Low Cost Translators (between 0.01 and 0.05 dollars per word). There are various platforms where you can find translators at very low prices, for example, Fiverr. You can find good translators, but in general, the level of quality you can find is usually not very high.
4. Translation Marketplaces (starting from $0.06 per word). These Marketplaces are web platforms created in many cases by startups, which are characterized by a very sophisticated and fully automated technology platform for sending text to professional translators, thus enabling them to reduce costs. In some cases, their services are integrated with WordPress by using a plugin:
- WPML: Gengo, ICanLocalize, OneHourTranslation, Cloudwords, Translatemedia, Translations.com and SDL.
- Polylang: Lingotek
- Transiflex: TextMaster, Gengo and e2f.
5. Specialized Professional Translators (from $ 0.06 per word). Another option is to contact directly a translation agency or a professional translator who is responsible to do the translation of the content from the WordPress admin panel.
2.2. Factors that influence cost
The cost per word also depends on many other factors that make the price per word to increase to up to $ 0.20 per word. For example:
- Difficulty of the content to be translated. A tourism website is not the same than a specialized medical articles website.
- Target language. Translate to languages such as English or Spanish may be more economical to do it to other languages such as Russian, Chinese or Japanese.
- Content type. On a website there are basically three types of content:
– Universal Content: those contents that are the same for any language or region (e.g., product specifications).
– Content Localization: contents that need to be adapted to each language or region (e.g., currency, transportation methods, etc.). These involve a higher cost since they have to be tailored to each target audience.
– Original Content: content that has to be created anew for each language or region (e.g., information about the features or the location of company stores in each country). It means creating new content, which is more expensive.
- Work Delivery Terms: if the translation is needed urgently, then the cost can be considerably increased.
- Content Review: you can carry out a review of the contents with another translator (which is highly recommended), also at an additional cost.
- Extracting the texts from WordPress website: it’s not the same send texts in a Word file to translate that provide access to WordPress admin panel, so the translators can do their work directly.
- Texts in pictures. Translating texts in images represent a higher cost since new images must be edited with the new texts.
2.3. What content is advisable to translate?
Before carrying out the translation you must be very clear of which content you want to translate since most likely you won’t need to translate everything.
- Static pages (About us, Services, Contact, Rates, etc.), in my opinion, should always be translated.
- Blog posts: ideally they should be translated but sometimes it can be at a very high cost. In addition, many posts may have been created thinking about the target audience in a given country or may already be outdated, so it is not necessary to translate.
- My recommendation: it’s usually very common on a website that 20% of posts generate 80% of website traffic, so it is always advisable to translate at least the most successful posts in terms of traffic.
- Other texts: if the WordPress theme you are using has not been translated into other languages, then you must translate the text strings from the theme (More information in this article: How to translate a WordPress theme or plugin).
The cost of the technology solution
- If a technological solution is used such as Polylang (for individual WordPress) or MultilingualPress (WordPress Multisite), along with subdomains or subdirectories, then the implementation of the technological solution is free, regardless of the cost that may involve hiring a developer to implement it.
- A large percentage of web pages designed with WordPress use WPML translation plugin (79 dollars) and subdirectories. This means that the cost of implementing the technology solution with WPML, is $79 per year or $ 195 for a lifetime, depending on the license purchased.
- The costs of implementing a cloud solution such as Transiflex are high ($79 a month).
The cost of localization and translation of content
- Doing the translation of a WordPress website from English to Spanish or vice versa with an average size of around 10,000 words into another language done by professionals or by translation services such as ICanLocalize, TextMaster or Gengo translators can cost at least around $ 0.12 / word, which would be about $ 1,200. If you decide to translate the website into 5 languages, then the cost rises to $ 6,000.
In short, translating a website into other languages properly can be a high cost, but it must be considered as an investment that can be very profitable in the long term because it will involve a much larger audience.
In short, the cost of translating a WordPress website into other languages is divided into two:
- The cost of implementing a technology solution. It is a cost that is not high (about $ 79 if a paid plugin such as WPML is used), it may even be free if a free translation plugin as Polylang (single WordPress) or MultilingualPress (WordPress Multisite) are used. If you also need a developer to setup the configuration, then the cost increases more. You can also use a cloud based solution like GTranslate, which already includes automatic translations, this can give you a boost start, but it is important to revise the translations afterwards.
- The cost of doing the content translation. Doing a good translation of the website is already a significant cost in itself, which is usually calculated as a price per word (e.g. $0.12 / word). This cost per word can be increased by many different factors: difficulty of the texts to be translated, the urgency, the target language, etc.
Finally, if the budget that you have is reduced, you can choose to do the translation of content through automatic translators, collaborative translations or with low cost translators, though in these cases the end result may be worse than having done anything at all. Therefore, if you have a budget, it is always preferable to translate a smaller amount of content but use professional translators who do quality work.
How much has it cost you to perform the localization and translation of your WordPress website? You can leave your comment below.