Skip to main content

Web Localization and Ecommerce

Localize your website by combining human and machine translation

Up to 95% of the online content that companies generate is available in only one language. This is because localizing websites, especially beyond the home page, is cost prohibitive outside of the top few markets. As a result, localized content seldom extends one or two clicks beyond a home page.

However, with machine translation from Microsoft Translator, content that wouldn’t otherwise be localized can be, and now most of your content can reach customers and partners worldwide.

Why use machine translation to translate more online content?

Increase content availability
Machine translation from Microsoft, helps you go to market faster by providing the ability to localize most of or all of your web content to your support pages (customer support, customer forums, knowledge based pages, technical forums and documentation), to downloadable content (case studies, white papers and help files) and everything in-between, in any of the 60+ supported languages.

Explore and test new markets
Due to the speed and cost-effective nature that Machine translation provides, you can easily test which localization option is optimal for your business and your users. For example, you may only have the budget to localize in dozens of languages and measure customer traffic in multiple markets in parallel. Using your existing web analytics, you will be able to decide where to invest in human translation in terms of markets, languages, or pages. In addition, you will still be able to maintain machine translation for other areas, to maintain reach.

By combining pure machine translation with community-driven improvement and paid translation resources, you can select different quality levels for your translations based on business needs.

Learn more about machine translation and how Microsoft Translator works.

Make your website global with Microsoft Translator

Do you have a website that you want to make accessible to a global audience? There are several options available for you to integrate Microsoft Translator to get instant translation into any of the supported languages.

All of these options provide access to the same underlying Microsoft Translator service, however they differ greatly on ease of implementation; impact on the look, feel, and searchability of the site; and the ability to customize machine generated translation.

Web Translator
The quickest and simplest way to add translations to your site is using the free Microsoft Translator Web Translator, which is a web application that displays web pages in foreign languages. Although it was not initially designed for this application (it was built to enable page translations from the Bing search and Bing.com/translator services), it can be a simple way to add translation on a page for small businesses, bloggers, non-profits, or other cost and IT support-constrained organizations. The Web Translator will work regardless of the Content Management System (CMS) or web hosting platform.

By adding a normal link to your website, your customers can open the page within the Web Translator. A Microsoft Translator branded bar at the top of the screen will provide language options, and the page’s content will appear below. The URL for the page will also be replaced by a complex Web Translator URL which is not searchable by search engines because the page is translated each time a user clicks on a link, and the translation is directly displayed in his or her browser. The translated page and URL are not stored.

With this option, customized translation models and translation management (machine translation human post-edit) are also not available.

Learn how to add the Web Translator to your site

Plugins such as Weglot
A second option is to translate your site using a translation plugin, such as the one offered by the Microsoft Translator partner, Weglot. If a native plugin for your website’s CMS or web hosting platform exists (such as for WordPress), you can add translation to your site without any coding. Just download the plugin from your dashboard. If a native plugin does not exist, you can easily copy and paste a JavaScript snippet to your website to add translation capabilities.

Translations will be accessible via a discreet and customizable translation options menu on your site. A SEO-friendly language code will be inserted into your URL making the page accessible in multilingual search results.

Customized translation models built with Custom Translator are not available, however the service does supply a translation management tool for human post-editing.

You can see an example of this type of integration on our end-user Translator site help page:

Learn more about Weglot

CMS platforms such as AEM
The easiest and fastest way to instantly add translation to your website is to leverage a CMS that natively support the Translator API. For instance, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) natively supports Microsoft Translator integration. To add translation, choose to translate the page using the CMS integrated Translator settings interface.

By using a CMS platform with Translator native integration, the webmaster has total control over how visitors access translation and the impact that adding translation has on the look and feel of the site. The webmaster would also have control over the URL structure and the site’s exposure in multilingual search results.

Customized translation models built with Custom Translator are available with this option, and the service provides translation management tools for human post-editing.

Learn more about AEM

Microsoft Translator Text API
The final method of adding translation to your website is to directly integrate the Translator Text API into your CMS or website. This will require a developer to add the code in the correct programming language of your site or CMS.

By adding the Translator Text API directly, the developer has control over how users access translation and the impact translation will have over the site’s look and feel. Once the API is integrated, however, the webmaster should then be able to take over most duties for maintaining site pages and branding, etc. The URL structure and exposure in multilingual search results are also under the control of the developer.

Also, depending on your needs, this would allow support for more advanced scenarios that could be important for your business:

  • Support for community/forums on your site, to enable multi-lingual interactions among your customers
  • Integration into your customer support chat tool
  • Automated bulk translations (e.g. by customizing the free open source Document Translator app) and posting of documents or other information shared with customers. For instance, a workflow could be developed that would allow any instruction manual posted for download on your site to be automatically translated to your top ten or twenty languages, and those translated versions to be simultaneously posted together with the original one.

With this option, customized translation models built with Custom Translator are available. Translation management tools are not provided with this option, however a developer could add third-party translation management tools or develop their own in-house.

Learn more about the Translator Text API

Microsoft Translator for Ecommerce

With the Microsoft Translator API, your products and services can be accessible to a worldwide audience, regardless of language. With Translator you can:

  • Cost effectively translate deep content such as product details and whitepapers, not just surface-level marketing material
  • Translate user-generated content such as customer reviews
  • Communicate with your customer in their own language by adding multilingual support to your customer support processes. See the customer support page for more details.

Using Custom Translator with the Translator Text API, you can customize your translation to ensure that the writing style, tone, and other important elements of the original material translate just the way you want.

If you manage your own ecommerce site, you can integrate the Translator API for total control over the translation user experience. For instance, you can choose what elements get translated, and how the customer chooses to view translations—by element, page, etc. By integrating the Translator API into your business intelligence tools, you can also perform advanced multilingual customer support analysis.

If your ecommerce site is hosted on a platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or WordPress, you can use plugins such as Weglot to add translation either through native platform plugins or JavaScript integration. After Weglot has been added to your site, you can use its translation management tool for human post-editing to ensure your content, including product names, is translated correctly.

If you sell your products through a third-party ecommerce platform that has integrated the Translator API, you may already have access to instant translation. Consult your web platform’s help information to learn more. Platforms such as Etsy have integrated Translator to give third party sellers access to Translator’s instant machine translation to sell their products across the globe.

Learn more


This service is part of Microsoft Cognitive Services