Translation Plugin vs. Translation Platform

plugin.vs.translation.platform

As per definition, a plugin or add-on expands the functionalities of your CMS and adds new options for a particular task. Translation plugin often makes it possible to translate individual elements of a page, header, and footer, as well as blog posts.

However, finding the right translation plugin for your project can be often bothersome. Is there an ideal translation plugin? Or maybe, you should just switch to a full translation platform? And by the way, what’s the functionality difference? This is exactly what we will discuss in today’s blog post.

About the advantages and disadvantages of translation plugins and add-ons

Plugins expand on the functionality of your CMS and they often have that familiar feel to them. They are an easy solution for single, small translation projects that don’t require a lot of project management. For example, if you were to translate your e-commerce, a translation plugin would give you the possibility to import your product catalog for translation and then import it back when it’s already translated.

Translation plugin is, in reality, a simplified version of a TMS (Translation Management System), but it’s very often limited in its options and you don’t get the full TMS experience. Sometimes, when you find the ‘right one’ which has all of your desired features, you realize that it still doesn’t really live up to your expectations. This means that even though a plugin usually provides you with a convenient UI to translate within your CMS, it doesn’t provide additional features.

About the advantages and disadvantages of a TMS

A fully-featured Translation Management System, on the other hand, contains a set of tools to manage your translation projects. Apart from a translation editor, an advanced translation platform offers you the power of Translation Memory as well as integrated machine translation.

Why is that important? Translation Memory will remember similar content and increase the speed of translating similar sentences. Repetitive content will need to be translated only once, while the rest of it gets automatically propagated across your project. This means saving both time and money.

TMS will also enable you to choose whether you want to organize the translation with your own team of translators or outsource the project. Either way, you will have a full overview of the translation progress and can collaborate with the translator, suggest an editing and approve or reject certain translations if you want to. Once a website has been translated you can publish and unpublish it at any time and edit new content as well.

However, for some, the learning curve of a TMS might be too much of a good thing for a start, especially compared to a translation plugin. As we all know, people are not willing to switch their workflows for new solutions, even when these solutions objectively enable more effective results; simply because they don’t want to waste time to adapt to a new tool and workflow.

Too much of a good thing? You decide!

Remember that the tool you use for translation projects must be suited to your IT environment, business, and content type. That’s a lot of factors! After all, whether you use a translation plugin or a TMS is simply a matter of a smarter choice for you.

Do you have any questions about the most effective way to translate your content? Or maybe, you are curious about switching from your translation plugin to a TMS, or the other way round? In any case, contact us and we can have a chat about the best translation solution for you – no strings attached!

Gosia
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Gosia loves copywriting and product translation. Additionally, she's a content marketing and lolcats junkie.

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