How to Evaluate Your Website Translation Company?

Localization Service

Evaluating Your Localization Services Provider (LSP)

Your choice of localization service provider will influence every step of your global campaign, including product launch and marketplace results. You are aware that choosing the right vendor is your first step to global success. Whether you are researching LSPs or you are evaluating the performance of an LSP you have hired, how do you know you have hired the best fit for your projects? What are the criteria to evaluate Localization Service providers?

 1) Client Orientation and Proposal

First of all, you should carefully evaluate the client on-boarding plan. A clear, well-presented proposal should include an on-boarding plan for all stakeholders, a detailed description of processes and linguistic assets. Stakeholders involved in a typical website localization include:

Project Manager, Account Manager, Language leads (translators, editors, copywriters), Engineers, Graphic Designers, Web Developers, and CMS Architects.

As part of the client orientation process, your selected LSP should review your hardware and software platforms together with your technical team. A careful assessment of your hosting environment, as well as your website architecture is needed in order to come up with the best and most cost-effective solution.

After introducing all stakeholders and reviewing hardware and software platform, a reputable LSP should be willing to provide basic training on their website translation workflow. This can include Content Management System (CMS) user and admin training, selecting content for localization, importing localized content, quality assurance procedures, and finally publishing localized content. A trusted LSP would give you a proper training on best practice translation workflow for your web project.

2) Demonstrable Experience

 Evaluate if your LSP has demonstrated the experience and capability to handle projects of similar size, content, volume, and complexity. Also, check if the proposal includes relevant case studies that highlight a proved track record for the LSP to handle project like yours. Also, be sure that the LSP has years of experience in your area of expertise and is not just using your project as a “first step” to get experience in the industry.

Find out if the LSP provide samples of its linguistic abilities. Also, ask for references from current clients who can provide you with a detailed and honest account of their experience using the services. This can be helpful to assess the LSP’s strengths and areas for improvement.

3) Responsive Communication

A reliable translation company will respect deadlines, whether it is for quotes, emails, or simple consultation requests. In the case of longer and more complex assignments, a trusted localization vendor would set realistic expectations and goals from the beginning and be upfront with all stakeholders. Delays from LSPs can hinder the whole localization process, and hold up other stakeholders (for example, software developers and marketing managers) and disturb the whole department’s performance.

4) Transparency and Total Cost of Ownership

When comparing quotes from different LSPs, it could be advisable to look for the quote with the highest level of transparency and detail, which will probably turn out to be the most predictable and highest value solution.

Clarify exactly what is included in the translation rates, as some LSPs include the editing fee after translation within the per word rate, while others separate the rates. Some agencies provide localization engineering and desktop publishing services and may list them separately or together. Finally, find out what the project management fee is (is it a percentage of the whole total cost? Is it by the hour?).

Finally, find out about software licensing or other recurring technology costs. If the LSP proposes specific technology solution, make sure to understand the up front cost of the technology investment, along with the ongoing cost related to maintenance and updates.

Again, look for the most detailed quote and ask for clarification on all the above points. A trusted LSP will be able to be transparent about all the costs, and explain them in detail.

5) LSP Technology Capabilities

 Translation Memory Management and Glossary Terminology Management: A trusted agency should be maintaining a glossary of key terminology for each of your target languages, as well as up-to-date translation memories.

 Multilingual Content Management System: Assess your agency’s technical ability to interface with your multilingual CMS to export/import content for localization.

6) Robust Quality Systems

Carefully assess the LSP’s linguistic and production quality control processes. They should clearly define methods of tracking quality and customer satisfaction. You should find out whether these quality assurance processes are included in the per word quote, or if they are charged separately.

Also, try to understand the LSP’s client review and approval process, to find out how many rounds of review changes are usually expected from the client. You should be trained on the most efficient way to provide feedback to your LSP, so that they can implement it in the most efficient manner before the localized content is published on the live website.

Finally, assess the linguistic team. Inquire about the qualifications of your selected LSP’s linguistic teams and review their CVs and past work in localizing content for your specific industry.


Whether you are assessing a wide range of LSPs or evaluating the services of a current localization vendor, you have to refine your evaluation criteria. You need to carefully evaluate the client on-boarding plan and the transparency of the quote, as well as demonstrated localization experience in your field of expertise. You should assess the LSP technological capabilities and its quality control systems.

At Ulatus, top industry professionals who have honed the craft over years of rigorous training and on-the-ground experience, combined with sound quality assurance, transparency and high technological capabilities will give you the best localization results.

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