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Creating and Maintaining An Internationalized Website

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A presentation I gave at Oracle Open World 2010 on how to create and maintain a website in multiple languages, regions, and locales.

A presentation I gave at Oracle Open World 2010 on how to create and maintain a website in multiple languages, regions, and locales.

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    Creating and Maintaining An Internationalized Website Creating and Maintaining An Internationalized Website Presentation Transcript

    • Creating and Maintaining an Internationalized Web Site
      • Brian “Bex” Huff
      • Chief Software Architect
    • Agenda
      • Intro to multi-site management
      • Translation vs. Localization
      • Localization tools and process
      • Common issues with translation management
      • Localization steps
      • Case study
      • Cutting costs
      • International Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Global Software is Different...
      • No longer "software", its "gigaware"
        • Applications meant to (potentially) support a billion of something
      • New problems always crop up with a billion of something
        • Every order of magnitude changes the landscape
      • In our case, we need to think of a billion people...
        • What percentage use right-to-left languages?
        • What laws, regulations, and cultural taboos do you need to keep in mind?
        • When is it a good time to do scheduled maintenance on a global website?
        • What's the best way to do global search engine optimization?
    • Beyond Single-Site Management
      • Initial state: a large number of internal and external Web sites
        • Intranet, records management, document management
        • Customers, partners, and supplier extranets
        • Content delivery to multiple portals and applications
      • How did we get here?
        • The web is the standard for high speed communication and interaction
        • Business need for targeted communication in multiple regions
        • Audience expectations for topic-specific or “micro-sites”
      • Some or all of which need to be localized and/or translated
        • Creation and maintenance can be difficult
        • The alternative is inconsistent branding, lost customers
    • How Multi-Site Management Helps
      • Lower site management costs, and more accurate content
        • Content and sites managed by business, not IT
        • Content can be reused, converted, translated, and re-purposed
        • Faster implementation time for new sites
        • Single infrastructure / architecture cheaper to maintain
      • Enforce brand guidelines
        • Common centralized templates, style guide, and digital assets
      • Centrally managed Web content
        • Records and retention management for discovery, litigation and risk management
        • Content usage analytics (contribution and consumption)
        • Workflow approvals
    • Translation is not Localization!
      • Translation:
        • Taking content relevant for one region or audience, and translating it word-for-word into another language used by that audience.
        • Example: government web site translated into all official languages
      • Localization:
        • Taking content relevant for a general audience, and changing the syntax of the content to appeal to a sub-group
        • Localization usually includes translation, but not always
        • Example: some product statements cannot be made in certain countries
      • Which do you need?
        • How many languages do you support?
        • Should different audiences see different content or navigation?
    • Is it a Localized Site, or a Microsite?
      • Some locales may be very active
        • Their site looks almost nothing like the global site
      • Do you want to manage this process?
        • Requires everybody to use the exact same process
      • Or, do you want "active locales" to have total control?
        • Completely different content
        • Completely different navigation structure
        • Completely different web applications
        • At this point, it’s no longer a localized site, but still can re-use content
    • Benefits of Localization Management
      • Cost savings
        • Content translated once instead of multiple times
      • Go-to-market time savings
        • Sites launched quicker by re-using exiting translated content
      • Brand management
        • Central repository for localized images, and positioning content
      • Frees up resources to improve the site
        • Focus on new features that enhance revenue
        • Web campaigns, interactive targeted Web marketing, etc.
    • What Tools Do We Need?
      • Oracle Universal Content Management
        • Document management
        • Metadata tagging for country, language, audience, translation state
        • Flexible security model
      • Oracle Site Studio
        • User-friendly contribution for knowledge workers
        • Business users have one place to go to manage localized data
      • Translation Workflows
        • Route content to business owners to localize for a specific audience
        • Route content to external partners for translation
        • Route to reviewers for final approvals
      • Custom Components
        • Localization process varies wildly...
    • Translation Process
      • Internal translation resources vs. translation service?
        • Use 3rd party translator for all changes, or just big projects?
        • How will you handle file management between you and the translator?
        • Do they need Site Studio access, or source files?
        • Does the translator offer an API to manage translation?
      • What types of source content need to be translated?
        • Word docs, XML, PDF, images, flash, video, resource bundles, etc.
        • Can the company handle everything you need?
    • Internal Workflow
      • Initial questions
        • Does your organization have an official language?
        • How many locales will create their own content?
        • Will some locales be more "active" than others?
        • What content needs to be translated, versus localized?
      • Workflow and routing
        • How will new content be routed for translation / approval?
        • How will small changes be routed?
        • Which people and which tools will need notifications?
        • Will there be internal approval of translated content?
        • When will non-translated or partly-translated content go live? Never?
        • When will content be considered “stale”?
        • How long will you tolerate “stale” content”
    • Internal Workflow, cont.
      • Understanding changes
        • Do you plan to set up a mechanism to categorize changes?
          • What content is critical, and what is “nice to have”?
          • What languages are critical, and which are “nice to have”?
        • Who determines priority? The author? The locale manager?
        • Is all content localized? If not, who makes the decision?
      • Brand management
        • How much flexibility should/will each localized site have with branding?
        • When the global company re-brands, will you require re-localization?
        • Will the re-brand be all-at-once, or rolled out eventually?
    • Who “Owns” The Localized Site?
      • Establish Web site ownership rules
        • Creating guidelines for maintaining current Web site content
        • Who owns the budget for content translations?
        • Who owns/obtains ownership of the domain?
        • Can you obtain ownership of the domain or do you have to use an alternate URL?
        • Are you planning to release a localized version but do not have a local office in the country?
      • Who officially owns Web site branding in your organization?
        • Each localized site need one primary contact / owner
          • Without one, stale content is guaranteed
        • Understands the language / need for localized content
        • Responsible for keeping content up-to-date
        • Coordinates with translators
    • Site Maintenance
      • Content relationships key to long-term maintenance
        • Original vs. translated items - helps automate processes & workflows
        • Which items belong to which Web sites?
          • groups content for appropriate searching, replication, bulk translation, etc.
      • Are originals ever used on multiples sites?
      • Oracle UCM Implementation
        • Use metadata to control language, region, audience, relationships
        • Use accounts to control region-specific content security
        • Workflows can become overwhelming
          • Need a more report-based approach to what work needs to be done
    • Governance and Microsites
      • A "localizable" site needs a universal style guide
        • Governance about navigation, content, images, styles, and applications
        • Locales that conform are easier to translate / manage
        • Without one, your pages may not meet the audience’s needs
      • Compromise: locale-specific "microsites"
        • Primary localized site follows the universal style guide
        • If locales need a radically different look, make a microsite
          • Small handful of pages / apps, specific to the audience
          • Not re-usable by other locales
          • “Deep Links” to main site
      • Benefits
        • Allows for 100% control of UI, content, apps, and navigation
        • Majority of localized site follows style guide
    • Translation Challenges
      • Translation workflows vary wildly
        • Different departments have different translation needs
        • Time frames, monitoring, participation
        • Should consolidate into UCM, and have different workflows per item
      • Costs
        • There's a startup cost for any translation
        • Ideally, we could submit all items logically similar
        • Requires different departments to pay for different things
        • Batches should be one bill, not a dozen
        • Figuring out who-pays-for-what can frequently be a surprisingly hard problem
        • So, each department submits their sub-batch, which increases costs
    • Translation Challenges, cont.
      • File Management
        • Making sure the translators are working with the latest revision
        • Use the API supported by the specific agency
          • Push new content, pull translated content
      • Lack of transparency
        • Who is really doing my translation?
        • Agencies receive files, then outsource to freelancers
        • Content owners rarely get direct communication with translators
      • Politics! Politics! Politics!
        • To cut costs, organization may want to standardize on ONE tanslator
        • But, different regions prefer different translators, which causes issues
          • Who has budget? Who knows the market?
          • Who can determine quality? Who knows the overall strategy?
    • Localization Steps
      • Localize applications
        • Relatively simple
      • Localize navigation
        • Trickier, but needs infrequent updates
      • Localize content
        • Requires constant updates
    • Application Localization
      • Labels, buttons, error messages need to be stored as translatable strings
      • Different locales have different formatting rules
        • Date strings
        • Phone numbers
        • Numerical / monetary
      • Different locales have different laws
        • Regulations about what can be bought / sold
        • Regulations about storing user information
    • Localizing Content-Rich Applications
      • Separate "labels" from "content"
      • Labels are short one-word, or one-sentence bits of text
        • Used on buttons, web forms, and UI displays
        • Controlled entirely by development
        • Changes rarely after first launch
        • Use a language pack to manage labels
      • Content is multi-line displays, and sometimes images
        • Used as descriptive test for forms, sales, marking material
        • Controlled by people outside of development
        • Changes frequently after first launch
        • Use Open WCM to manage content
    • Navigation Localization
      • Section labels and URLs need to be translatable strings
      • Sections need to be enabled / disabled depending on locale
        • Some sections are "global" and should be translated
        • Other sections are "local" and might only exist in one local
      • Variations
        • Do you want locales to automatically get new content / sections?
        • Or, must they approve / enable them before going live?
        • Or, different rules for different locales?
      • Use Oracle Site Studio for navigation
        • Store in the project file
        • May need custom code for URL localization
    • Content Localization
      • If a 3rd party translator is needed, select one with an API
        • You’ll need to be able to automatically submit items for translation
      • Start with global content
      • With one-click, spawn an initial “localized” content
        • Use metadata to control language, region, translation state
      • Spawn a workflow for managing translated content
      • Internal resources verify translations
        • Or, may do the entire translation for some changes
      • Need reports on the “state” of your whole site
        • How many items in the queue waiting for release?
        • Do you have a translation or approval bottleneck?
        • Email notifications may need to be disabled
      • Most organizations have wildly different routing rules...
    • Oracle Translation Workflow Dashboard
      • Direct availability: content is released immediately once translated and approved
      • Or, synchronized: content is not released until all items are translated and approved
    • Example Implementation
      • New global e-commerce website
        • Some locales were more “active” than others
        • Not all products / pages available in all regions
          • Need to localize navigation as well as content
        • Highly regulated industry, with potential for long approval processes
      • Oracle Site Studio 10gr4 plus Weblogic Portal
        • Navigation managed with Site Studio project file
        • Content displayed with WCM_PLACEHOLDER service
      • Localization and Personalization in Portal
        • User selects region/language upon first visit
        • Allows for translation of application labels and error messages
        • Different regions have different products available
        • Different users have different prices, based on different contracts
    • Additional Tools
      • Navigation Dashboard
        • Allows quick and easy localization of navigation
      • Locale-aware portal controller
        • Each locale uses a slightly different navigation structure
          • Some locales are 95% similar to the "global" locale
          • Some locales are 95% different
        • Each UCM service request passes along the locale
      • NextBestLocale
        • Sends back the content item
        • If translated item is available, send it!
        • Otherwise, send the "next best locale"
        • Useful to help slowly build out localized pages
    • “Next Best Locale”
    • Navigation Dashboard
    • Localization Tips
      • Test multiple translation vendors
        • Some are better with different kinds of content
        • It’s common to need multiple vendors, based on departmental preferences
      • Enforce a style guide for consistent content
        • Makes translation more standardized / cheaper
      • Always have a single “site owner” for the localized site
        • Responsible for keeping content up-to-date
        • Coordinates with chosen translation house
        • If an “owner” is not assigned – the risk of stale/stagnant localized sites increases
      • Submit projects in large batches
        • Translation has overhead: large projects are more cost effective
        • Can be difficult if project is cross department, paid for by multiple internal departments
    • Reducing Costs: Translation Memory Software
      • Database of words and phrases you translated previously
      • Benefits
        • Ensures more consistent language on your site
        • Assists translators, and reduces costs
      • Most translation companies use it to cut costs
        • But... if you’re the first, you pay the full costs
        • Other departments, or even your competition, may benefit
        • Might want to use translation memory software in-house
      • Example: World Server
        • Keeps a database of what you've translated
        • Slims down what needs to be translated before shipping to 3rd parties
    • Reducing Costs: Crowdsourcing
      • Allow your community to translate your site for you
      • Benefits
        • Less strategic content can still be translated, at a slower rate
        • People have a “path” to localized content, if you don’t have the money/time
      • Example: Lingotek
        • Submit documents to translation firms, direct to freelancers, or the community
        • Translators earn cash or “points” after translation
          • Depends greatly on what motivates your community
          • Engage partners / resellers to do your translations
        • Save translation memory to private or open-source databases
    • International SEO Tips
      • Have a top-level domain in the country of interest
        • Global site: company.com
        • French site: company.fr
        • British site: company.co.uk
      • Make sure content follows W3C accessibility standards
        • "alt" tags for images, no JavaScript navigation
        • This is gigaware , after all!
      • Make sure content contains valid markup
        • Clean and lean HTML is easier for web spiders to parse
        • Put important content at the top of the HTML
        • Ensures search engines "understand" what your site is "about"
        • Don't embed content or navigation in IFRAMEs or Flash
    • International SEO, part 2
      • Avoid the META KEYWORDS tag: it's ignored by search engines
        • <title>, <h1>, and <h2> tags are much more important
        • Put localized keywords there, but keep it to 5-10 words
      • Localize your META DESCRIPTION tags
        • Sometimes appears as a snippet of text in search engine result pages
        • Make each page's description unique, if possible
      • Use user-friendly, localized URLs
        • If a keyword is in your URL and <h1>/<h2> tags, it will be highly ranked
        • Be sure the URL contains words, not numbers/code
        • Avoid links that say &quot;click here!&quot;
    • International SEO, part 3
      • Create a sitemap.xml file for each locale
        • http://www.sitemaps.org /
        • In general, ensure web spiders can see locale-specific navigation
      • Advanced: use metadata to create Microformats on your page
        • Enhances search results pages with &quot;Rich Snippets&quot;
        • hProduct: a product your company sells
        • hReview / hReview-aggregate: reviews on those products
        • hCalendar: event
        • hCard: contact information for people
      • Join us at IOUG Collaborate, 2011
        • April 10-14, 2011
        • Orlando, Florida
        • http://collaborate11.ioug.org /
      • Call for papers now open:
        • Deadline: Friday, October 1st
      Special Thanks to IOUG!
      • My Company: http://bezzotech.com
      • My Blog: http://bexhuff.com
      • My Self: [email_address]
      Questions?