Translate small websites and broaden your services

This post is for translators who want to expand their skill set and offer new services.

I’ve been offering some simple content management services to small organizations who want to have their websites localized from German to English.

If you know a little WordPress, it’s no big deal. The clients are happy for not having to copy-paste your translation into their website, or having to bother their developer, and you can see how your text is going to look on the final website and fix tiny errors – after all this could be a valuable reference.

But there are some things to think about:

  • First of all I recommend that you charge at least twice your regular translation word rate. It’s way more service intensive, because the client will request all sorts of tweaks after the translation is long done.
  • Specialize in one or two CMS and stick with these. A lot of sites use WordPress, so you could start specializing here. You can check which CMS a website is using here.
  • If the site uses a more newbie-friendly system like Jimdo, stay away and just translate the text offline. Marginal CMS are poorly documented and take forever to figure out. However Jimdo has the benefit of offering bilingual websites without requiring a business plan.
  • If your client uses WordPress, they need a business plan so the plugins will work. Without plugins like WPML or Polylang, you can’t make a WordPress site multilingual. If they’re on the free plan, they need to switch or stay monolingual.

So these are things to think about before you offer this extra service. It will cost more setup time, whether you already know the used CMS or not.

On the other hand, it’s a good way to save your clients some work, learn a new skill that blends in with what you already know, and make more money. You could also team up with any web developers you know and share the job. It’s a good way to build a small team.

If you have any questions on the issue, please leave a comment!

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