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When To Use a Translation Proxy for Your Website

There are many ways to translate your website successfully. One of the popular approaches that translation vendors recommend is a website translation proxy.

The first question to answer is what is a Website Translation Proxy? A translation proxy is a system that’s layered on top of your website to dynamically translate content in real time so that end-users have access to your website in their language. Basically, the system is like a mirror held up to your website and the reflections are fully translated versions.

Proxies are intermediary servers that retrieve content from your server and translate it in real-time either through machine translation or via human translation. When content changes on your English site, the adjustment occurs on the proxy site by either querying the database or triggering a translation task.

Proponents of the Translation Proxy Server (TPS) approach cite ease of use, less administration, simple workflows, and reduced costs. Detractors of the service will mention the loss of control as the main reason not to use the proxy approach.

There are benefits that exist when the proxy solution is used in the appropriate situations. Here are four reasons to start using a website translation proxy.


1. Ease of use

The translation effort can get started quickly with very little assistance required from your webmaster or IT team. This approach can lead to quick implementation and rollout of the translated website.

A proxy solution starts with a discovery phase of your site which includes a deep scan that grabs the pages and sections you designate as part of your translation effort. Some important points to consider in this step are:

  • Does your project include any large pockets of content that shouldn’t be included for translation like a blog or news section?
  • Does your website include any images that have embedded text?
  • Do you use any special forms or CTA’s (Calls to Action) that will require special consideration?
  • Would you like the site URL to be built as es.argotrans.com or argotrans.com/es?


2. Less administration

Your translation proxy provider can handle important tasks that would typically be handled internally. These services include obtaining an SSL certificate for your translated domains as well as backing up the translated content on the website.

The proxy solution also eliminates the need to set up new translation projects. The site is set to self-monitor for any changes or modifications and can request immediate service to translate the updates by your translation service provider. This setting basically sets your translation workflows on auto-pilot!


3. Simple and effective workflows

The translation proxy solution provides maximum flexibility in choosing the workflows used to complete the translation process. The process dovetails perfectly into all the popular translation management systems. Typically XLIFF or standard translation-ready XML files are exported to facilitate a regular human translation process.

Most proxy systems interface with popular machine translation systems like Azure Translator, Google Translate, or DeepL. We don’t recommend this approach to every customer. A candid conversation with your translation service provider will help you determine the best approach.


4. Reduced costs

The translation proxy approach provides opportunities for cost savings by isolating only new or modified text on your website that requires translation. This reduces the time, effort, and budget required for updates.

The translated content is hosted on the proxy server which also reduces the cost of staging the translated sites. Another source of savings is the avoidance of any additional plugins or connectors typically required in alternative website translation solutions.


Final thoughts 

The bottom line is that a translation proxy solution is a very effective way to handle the translation of a website. The solution is the most efficient and economical choice in many cases. A conversation with your translation service provider will yield the best approach for your situation.


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