There is no need here to reiterate how important it is for companies to have a multilingual website in order to be successful. If you still have any doubts, you will find a large number of resources demonstrating this on our own blog, as well as external websites.
Most website owners are well aware of this, but it's true that you may feel lost at the idea of translating, broadcasting and maintaining your site in several languages, and all this without even speaking a single word of the language!
This is why many website owners choose to work with web agencies and freelancers who can advise them on the right tools for translating their website or even developing a multilingual website from A to Z.
Indeed, web agencies and freelance developers can play a crucial role in the development of multilingual websites. Their expertise ensures a seamless and effective translation of your online presence, helping you reach a diverse and global audience. However, while the benefits are clear, selecting the right web agency for your multilingual project can be a challenging task for you and your team. This article will guide you through key considerations to ensure you make an informed decision.
First Consideration to Make by the Client: Is the Agency Skilled and Experienced in the Development of Multilingual Websites?
Like everyone else today, when you want to find the best Italian restaurant in the area or to find your next holiday destination, you check out directories offering different options with ratings and comments to help you make your choice and choose the one that best suits your needs. It's much the same when it comes to finding a web agency or freelancer. Here are a few examples of directories of web agencies or freelancers to help you find the one who will work with you on your multilingual website project:
On the other hand, we can also suggest that you use your network and go on the hunt for recommendations. Sometimes reviews can be more authentic if you hear them in person.
Now that you found some potential contacts to reach out to for your multilingual website project, you’ll need to ensure that the agency or the freelancer has experience working with companies similar to yours. In other words, they should be familiar with your industry's nuances in terms of design, user experience and content. That’s even more important when it comes to global websites, as you’ll need to be sure that the development team knows relevant wordings in different languages. To do so, you’ll want to study their portfolios. Most agencies have their own website on which they showcase their latest projects or you can also find these on platforms such as Behance or Awwwards. If similar companies have placed their trust in them for their translated websites, they have most likely gone through the same agency selection process, so this is generally a guarantee of quality.
Nowadays, not a lot of agencies or freelancers are clearly promoting their services such as “multilingual website development”, “content localization”, “website globalization”, “cross-cultural web design” or any other name they can give to this activity. However, at Weglot, we’re trying to highlight this expertise on our own Partner Agencies Directory or even by offering the agencies the opportunity to showcase the Weglot Expert Agency badge which is a guarantee for agencies’ leads to find a company able to support their need to make their website multilingual. For instance, Stormfors, 02100 Digital, Partner & Söhne and more are proudly displaying this badge on their own agency websites. In the same spirit, we are highlighting a number of agencies that have successfully completed their multilingual projects, in the form of case studies or even blog articles. You can trust us, they’re all highly qualified in multilingual website development.
Second Consideration: Does the Agency Have the Right Tools to Help Me With My Multilingual Website Project?
There are different ways of approaching a multilingual website: either you already have an existing site that you want to translate, or you don't yet have a site and you want to develop it directly in several languages. In the first case, you will need to ensure that the agency you have selected is able to take over from your existing site, using the tools already installed on your website. If you are currently using a specific CMS like WordPress, Shopify or Webflow, then you will need to find an agency mastering these tools.
Next, you’ll need to discuss how they’ll go about translating your website and managing your multilingual content. Do they want to use native translation features or creating multisites or take advantage of third party apps?
Beside visual translation service, you’ll also need to look for a web agency or freelancer with expertise and awareness in multilingual SEO. A big part of agencies are presenting themselves as SEO Agency or SEO Experts but international SEO is a bit different, so you will need to make sure they can support you on that matter as well.
The agency that will guide you through your multilingual website project is here to suggest the right tools and methods to use, but it is important that you can take advantage of these tools on your own as well. Either because you were already using them before, or you can ask the agency to train you on the use of these new tools. In the case of Weglot, we encourage all agencies and freelancers using our tool to direct their clients to the Weglot Academy so that they can understand this aspect of their website.
Third Consideration: Is the Agency Good at Collaborating and Communicating With Me Throughout the Project?
Effective communication is key to a successful website development or revamping project and that’s exactly the same case for the internationalization of a website. A suggestion that we can have on that matter is that you examine the agency's way to collaborate with their existing client if you can. Otherwise, you can find some clues on the fact that they are willing to collaborate with you and not just deliver you the project by studying the tools they use. A good example of a tool that can be used by agencies to collaborate with their end clients is Atarim. On our side at Weglot, we are continuously updating our website translation solution to make it easier for agencies, teams and clients to collaborate hand in hand on their multilingual projects.
If you see your web agency as a consultant and therefore a real partner to guide you in your growth, this means that you are planning to work together over the long term which is great! However, in this case, it is very important that you, as the customer, can measure the relevance of this support and the results of this collaboration. That's why the regular reports that your agency can offer you are so important. On Weglot, you can access statistics directly on the dashboard, highlighting the progress of your traffic in the different languages of your website. Ideally, ask your agency if they’d like to have access to it or if they prefer sending reports to display these stats to you. As well as sharing the results, you may need support from your web agency for maintenance tasks that you can handle yourself. Some tools are actually making these two actions, sharing reports and managing maintenance, smoother and that’s the case of WP Umbrella for instance.
Finally, another suggestion that we can give is to pick agencies that actively involve clients in the process. The more the client knows about its project, the smoother the relation will be between the agency and the client.
Recognizing the importance of a multilingual website is the first step toward global business success. As many business owners grapple with the complexities of managing content in multiple languages, the role of web agencies and freelancers becomes increasingly pivotal. This article serves as a comprehensive guide for businesses seeking assistance in this realm, offering insights into the meticulous process of choosing the right agency for their multilingual website projects. By navigating considerations such as industry expertise, expertise in essential tools, and effective collaboration strategies, you now have all the knowledge you need to make the right choice in your search for a web agency or freelancer.
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