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Testing Website Localization and Why It's Importantby@edwardnick
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Testing Website Localization and Why It's Important

by Edward NickMay 15th, 2022
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52% of websites online are in English, and these websites only reach 25% of internet users. To reach the other 75%, businesses have to ensure their websites are localized for their target audiences. Localization testing is a critical step in the process to ensure that the website, document, or other content displays correctly. Most localization testing has to be done manually to ensure it's correct. Tools such as Chrome proxy extensions, translation tools, native keyword planners, and more can get your localization strategy started.

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Are you expanding your business globally? Are you reaching out to new audiences in other countries? You probably already know how important it is to make updates and changes to your existing website to accommodate your new audience.


These changes can be made to your website's language, content, images, and more. 52% of websites online are in English, and these websites only reach 25% of internet users. To reach the other 75%, businesses have to ensure their websites are localized for their target audiences.


Testing your website's localization will become increasingly important as you expand into new audiences. Tools such as a Chrome extension, translation tools, native keyword planners, and more can get your localization strategy started.


In this article, we'll be covering the following topics related to localization testing for your website:

  • What is localization testing?
  • Why should you test your website?
  • Tools needed to test website localization


What Is Localization Testing?

Localization is the process of adapting products, documents, websites, or other content to meet the cultural, linguistic, and other requirements of a new region or locale. Localization testing is a critical step in the process to ensure that the website, document, or other content displays correctly.


Localization testing is significant for websites because your IP address is tied to your location and determines how websites are displayed. Websites will automatically be displayed for the region attached to your IP address.


This can make it tricky to test website localization for other countries if you aren't located in that country. However, some tools can help you bypass this challenge and we'll discuss them later.


Why Should You Test Your Website?

55% of global consumers will only buy from websites that provide product information in their language. You might miss out on this massive chunk of potential clients by not localizing and testing your website for new countries.


Content that has been localized shows much better engagement than unlocalized content. People want to support local businesses whenever they have a chance, so adapting your content to any new locales you target is critical to ensuring your success in that area.


However, merely translating your website isn't enough. More changes need to be made, such as the dialect used and the way that content is presented. Cultural norms should also be considered when structuring your website and adapting your current information.


This is where website testing comes in. Not only can you see what the website looks like, but also how it navigates and even what works and what doesn't so that you can fix it.


Areas That Should Be Localized and Tested

When it comes to localization, there are a few crucial areas that have to be addressed, and during the testing phase, these are the areas that you should look at:

  • Date and time (including the format used)
  • Currency used
  • Keyboard usage
  • Sorting, aligning, and collecting data
  • Colors, schemes, and icons used
  • Texts and graphics that may affect a specific culture
  • Diverse legal requirements


Tools Needed To Test Website Localization

There are a few tools that you can use to start testing your website localization. Most localization testing has to be done manually to ensure it's correct.


This is because machine learning and translation can only get you so far, and these tools don't always consider the local dialect of phrases within each individual language. However, there are a few tools that can automate some of the localization testing processes.


The first critical tool you'll need for manual and automated testing alike is a proxy. You can use a Chrome proxy extension, and when setting up your proxy, you can choose the country you're targeting with your website. By using the Chrome proxy extension in this way, you can bypass geo-restrictions and make it appear like you're accessing the internet from within that country.


This means you'll be able to view the website just like your new target audience would. Once you see what the locals see, you can start testing the website and make any changes needed to appeal to the new audience.


Sectors of your localization testing that can be automated include testing how forms are submitted and any other links that have to be verified. You can also conduct functional validations automatically.


Automated localization testing tools that can be used for these purposes include Selenium and PhantomJS.


Final Thoughts

Localization is critically important for businesses that wish to expand to a global audience. The expansion opens businesses up to reach new audiences and consumers. However, localization is more than just translating your website, and thorough testing is required to ensure that it meets the linguistic and cultural requirements of the country you're targeting.


Proxies are critical for the testing phase as they allow you to change your IP address to one from within the country so that you can see what the locals will see.