How much does website localization cost?

You have a website, and you have grown beyond just English speakers loving your content and buying your products. You want the whole world—or at least a few more amigos and comrades—to benefit from what you do.

Website localization is the answer, and website localization costs have never been lower. Let me explain how website localization costs are calculated and how to save money on localization for your site.

How to calculate website localization costs

Here is the simple formula:

Cost $.$$ = words x price-per-language

No matter which website localization company you go with, the bottom line depends upon how much text you have and which languages you choose. A solid number for budgeting purposes is $0.15/word, although the price will vary depending on the language, the complexity, and the services you need.

This will save you money.

Determining the word count of your website will quickly help you budget your project. You can paste your website texts into Microsoft Word and use its “Word Count” feature (available in the Tools menu) to get a fair idea of the size of your website localization project. Delete anything that is duplicated, like headers and footers and menus. This exercise will also force you to decide which pages of your website you want to localize. Often there is no need to translate everything.

In fact, there hardly ever is a good reason to translate everything. I always suggest localizing only the pages you expect a foreign audience to read. If you look at the localizations of the Babble-on site (, which is already in 12 languages, we chose to translate only the pages that a foreign audience would read. In our case, these were pages about translation services and copywriting in English. You certainly want your product and checkout pages translated, but perhaps your job listings and Help texts can wait. Cutting down the word count is the single best way to lower localization costs.

This will save you even more.

One of the most time consuming parts of website localization is not translation. It is making sure all the translated text appears in the right places in the HTML document. That is why it is important to go with a website localization company that understands the process. If you have your webmaster deal with inputting the files, you may save some money (unless your webmaster charges you by the hour). However, having the translator do this inputting helps ensure everything is put in the right place.

At Babble-on we use the latest website localization tools to make this process fast and accurate, and we pass the savings on to our clients. Make sure your preferred translator does the same.

Beyond budget


Localization is no easy task, and you want translators that are professional and knowledgable, ones that will tell you when something will be misinterpreted or misunderstood in their language. Besides budget, be sure to go with someone you trust and you can talk to any time and receive honest feedback. Check Yelp or other online reviews. Localization, after all, is not simply translation, but adapting text to a new audience with different sensitivities and needs.

Getting your site localized can be one of the best things you ever do for your business. It is relatively inexpensive and—assuming users in another country (or speaking another language in your own country)—are interested in what you do, you’ll gain back your investment tenfold in the long-run.


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