Every professional translator should have a website to promote the business. However, not everybody is able or willing to create a website or can afford paying for one. Qabiria has a fast and cost-free solution.
ny service provider should be aware of the importance of conveying a reliable and professional image to their clients. Considering that most translators work from home, without an office to support promotional activities, not having a website is clearly counterproductive. Not only translators should have a domain registered under their name; they should also have a real site with a modern and professional look, containing at least the essential information a client may need. However, not everybody has the technical know-how, the time and budget required to build a website describing ad promoting their services. This result, however, can be achieved using free online tools that are available to everyone. Having clear objectives and a well-thought plan are the only pre-requisites to make the most out of these resources. Qabiria has done part of this preliminary job for you.
Unlike professionals operating in other sectors, translators and interpreters do not pay due attention to the commercial aspects of their activity. Only a minority of the people we have met Translators' only sales tool is their virtual space. are fully convinced of the value of "selling" themselves as experts. To give an opposite example, architects or photographers are well aware of the role image plays as a purchase criteria. Everybody will agree that a translation agency is always looking for professional and reliable translators. However, they often lack a basis for objectively evaluating these qualities. Moreover, an in-depth profile analysis of a translator would require an amount of time that agencies do not have. Supposing that all translators and interpreters reading this article have equivalent linguistic and technical competencies, they must differentiate themselves from the competition based on other criteria. It is important to convey a professional and reliable image in any possible manner, beginning with a website that adequately reflects competencies and qualities.
Since most translators do not have an office or a physical infrastructure where they conduct their business, the only platform they can use to promote themselves is their virtual space. Today a domain name annual fee is less than the price of a good breakfast. A low-profile hosting, which is more than adequate for the kind of website we describe in this article, costs hardly more than a good dinner for two at a restaurant. Considering these sums, deciding not to register a domain under a name or brand is not a question of cost.
The following step requires more effort: what shall we publish on the web space we have just purchased? The best option, of course, is hiring a web designer. Working with a good professional Weebly is the typical example of web 2.0: user-friendly, intuitive and fast. will produce high-quality results. Estimating the cost of this service is very difficult because, as in the case of translation, the cost of designing a website can vary greatly. Simple as a project may be, you will have to pay a web-designer for at least 2-3 days of work. You may have the opportunity to negotiate a service exchange: your site development in exchange for the translation of a given number of words. Don't automatically exclude this possibility, especially if you know somebody working in this area.
The alternative is to build a website by yourself. This option has its pro and cons. You can either create your site offline, using a HTML editor, or use an online service. For the purpose of this article, we will put the former option aside and focus on the latter. To begin with, all the best hosting providers offer automatic site generation systems such as SiteBuilder, WebWizard, WebBuilder, etc. These tools do not always offer attractive or modern website templates. However, before looking elsewhere, consider the services offered by your provider. You may discover that free templates or other quality tools are included in the price. If this is not the case, the web offers a large range of free tools. In this article we will only talk about Weebly, which is the typical example of 2.0 web: user-friendly, intuitive, fast and widely used.
Before talking about Weebly, as mentioned earlier, it is important to do some preliminary thinking and establish a well-thought plan:
With regards to point n.1, every translator should consider what advantages a website may bring to their activity. As previously stated, we think that the role of a website is above all enhancing visibility and promoting the translator activities. Of course, a website can have more ambitious objectives:
- establish clear objectives for your site;
- define the most appropriate site architcture to fulfill the objective;
- prepare the texts;
- prepare the images or any other multi-media you may want to integrate.
With regards to point n.2, always think about your clients' needs first, not your own. You should think like a vendor looking for a new translator or interpreter or updating a contact database. Most likely, this person will need to know:
- feature relevant articles for the translation community. This way, a site can gain prestige and - in the long term - client recognition.
- create an Extranet to manage contacts with clients and providers,
- display and maintain an activity journal in the form of a blog to enhance transparency and highlight key achievements;
- provide glossaries or other resources to share knowledge with everyone,
- create a forum or dedicated chat rooms to discuss specific items and share opinions, etc.
In addition, this person will likely appreciate:
- your language level;
- your training and experience;
- your specific experience in the requred domain of expertise;
- your experience with CAT software, the types if interpreting services you offer (consecutive, simultaneous, etc.);
- your familiarity with other software;
- your tariffs.
Therefore, a simplified site map may include:
- memberships to professional organizations;
- a list of your key clients;
- examples of projects you have managed.
A short introduction, logos of the associations you are a member of and some other eye-catching features.
The description of all the services you offer. If your service range is very large - for instance you also offer page formatting, you can create a secondary page for each service, ideally providing examples for each service.
Your CV, possibly with your photo, and a link to download it in printable format, for example a PDF.
A list of your clients. NDA permitting, you can also provide examples of specific projects.
This is a controversial issue. Some people prefer not to publish their tariffs. Our advice is to publish at least your price range. This will save your client's time and yours.
Your updated contact information. Be careful about spam: if you use instant messaging, add a plugin so that clients can contact you using this system.
Prepare the text and the images for each of these sections. If design is not your thing, remember the used and misused Mies Van der Rohe's motto: "Less is more". Once you have prepared your text and images, you can log on to Weebly.com. Create a website is extremely simple. You just need register and follow the instructions provided in the upper part of the screen. We recommend you begin by selecting a Design, which is a template. There are around fifty available templates and they can all be modified. If you change your mind at a later stage, you can go back and change your template anytime. Once you have chosen the template, click on Pages and add the various pages. Go to
Elements | Basic and choose Paragraph with Title to insert a text block, or Paragraph with Picture when you want to insert an image as well. Copy and paste the texts you have previously prepared in each pages and upload the images you have chosen. You can also add a HTML code anywhere on the page. This way you can insert different widgets, for instance a SkypeMe button, a contact form to fill out, etc.
Once your creation is complete, you can download a zip file with all the site content that is ready for uploading on you web space. Lazy users can opt for the free hosting offered by Weebly with a second level domain (name.weebly.com). The whole process should not take more than on or two afternoons worth of work. No more excuses for not having a website! This article is also published on Proz.com, Copyright © ProZ.com, 1999-2009