Which is the Best Way to Translate Your Website, Manual File Transfer or CMS Integration?


When it comes to website localisation, you have two options. The first is CMS Integration and the second one is Manual File Transfer. Let’s find out which one suits you the best.

CMS Integration

CMS integration technologies can be integrated with your CMS system to allow the selection and transfer of content to your Language Service Provider (LSP) for translation. They can streamline workflows and increase efficiency by automating source-target-language file transfers.
The technology can help automate the selection, transfer, retrieval and monitoring of content for localisation.

CMS integration is helpful for medium to large business that handles multiple multilingual websites and dynamic content. Other than that, it is highly beneficial for organizations that need constant site updates and quick time-to-market.

Environments with multiple content owners and stakeholders also benefit from CMS integration.

The approach is extremely automated and enables the development of multilingual web presences. At the same time, it also enables asset reviews and in-context layout for your in-country staff with the assistance of a staging server.

CMS integration capabilities tend to vary, which means you’ll need to do some research about making your solution secure and scalable. Avoid solutions that force you to work with a single provider/technology. This can inhibit flexibility and versatility.

Manual File Transfer

Manual File Transfer or MFT is an “outdated” approach since there is very little automation. Here, you manually transfer HTML or XML files to the LSP. The content in your database is usually exported as a CSV (Comma Separated File) or XML file.

If your CMS has no export capabilities, the file can be transferred by copying and pasting strings of code into/from Excel or Word documents.

Manual File Transfers are good for businesses that depend on homegrown CMS systems or are not dependent on automation. Homegrown here refers to systems that are built with specific functions or are extremely modified versions of mainstream CMS systems.

It can also be used for small websites that hold generally static content and do not require regular updates. It may also work out for businesses that need minimal localisation and are not dependent on quick time to market.

However, one key issue with MFT is that it’s time-consuming and prone to human error. Even so, small businesses that can handle the extra work may find it useful and even cost-effective compared to CMS integration.
Choosing your translation method ultimately boils down to your needs. CMS integration is the faster and smoother option, which enables users to have the fully automated translation process for websites. Meanwhile, it will prevent errors that occur when directly translating into the back-end.


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