Lucy Xu

5 Must-Ask Questions When Evaluating Localization Platforms

Regardless of company size or localization stage, evaluating translation and localization technologies can be complex and challenging if you don’t know where to start.

To help you simplify the evaluation process, we’ve narrowed down the research process to five key questions that will identify the key functions your business will need from your ideal localization platform. Plus, the best answers for each so you can easily determine which platform is the best fit for your global needs.

1. Does the platform work with my business’s current technologies?

Depending on which type of content you are trying to translate, each different project will be written in a specific file format (e.g., HTML, PHP, Android XML). While you may only plan to begin your translation efforts with a single project (oftentimes, your website), translation is the just first step of a more comprehensive global expansion. This means that you will soon be translating additional projects beyond your initial website or mobile app.

The Best Answer: Depends on you. Be aware of your content needs from the beginning, and select a localization platform and translation management system that offers comprehensive file format support for your ongoing localization efforts.

2. What integrations are available?

Finding a localization platform that is designed to integrate seamlessly with your favorite tools (from GitHub, Python, Ruby on Rails, and Django to Bigcommerce and Shopify) can help streamline the creation and publishing of multilingual web pages and mobile apps. For most businesses, popular integrations range from international SEO plugins for WordPress websites to Zendesk syncs for customer support content.

The Best Answer: Make sure the content you want translated is completely covered by your translation management system. (The upside of using a tool like Transifex is that you’re able integrate with any CMS or content repository through our API and Command-line Client or via a line of JavaScript with our Transifex Live solution.)

3. How are translations completed?

Each translation resource comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and most companies find that using a hybrid translation workflow best meets their budget and business requirements. In fact, many companies use different hybrid workflows for different types of content.

The Best Answer: When evaluating translation management systems, make sure you evaluate their translation processes so you select a system that not only supports the workflow of your current project, but also supports additional workflows you might adopt for future translation projects and can support both in parallel.

4. How is content stored and served?

How your content is stored is just as important as how it’s served. Having all your content in one centralized location makes it easy to find, update, and translate files as needed. For example, let’s take a closer look at the storage system within Transifex; unlike a proxy solution, Transifex does not serve your website, only your translations. This allows you to maintain total control of the website, reducing latency and increasing uptime. Depending on your own workflows and processes, you can select the best TMS that allows you to prioritize uptime or other factors important to your content creation and storage process.

The Best Answer: Industry experts recommend choosing a localization platform with a cloud-based repository where all your source content and translated content can easily be stored and accessed by anyone involved with the translation project.

5. Who controls content upload and download?

With manual translation efforts, your owner may vary depending on project and role. The content upload, download, and release process can get a bit complicated the more roles you have on the project, and the more levels of approval you need before your translated content goes live. As this is just one of the many challenges company face when localizing, it is important to find a platform that helps you streamline this process (making your localization life easier, not harder).

The Best Answer: With a TMS, it’s easier to identify new translatable strings that can be added directly to the translation workflow in the platform. When the translations are finished, a review process can be implemented to ensure content meets business and quality standards. When translated content is approved, the content is ready to be pushed back to the website, without any engineering or development assistance required.


Get Answers to All Your Translation Management Questions

Now that you know which questions to ask, you’re ready to kick off your full evaluation process. To help you find out which TMS is right for you, we’ve put together a guide to walk you through all the nitty gritty must-knows of selecting the ideal localization technology for your global expansion needs. Download the guide for detailed plan for evaluating a current or future TMS.

translation-management-system-localization-guide-download

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