BUILDING A KILLER TRANSLATOR WEBSITE

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1 BUILDING A KILLER TRANSLATOR WEBSITE YOUR STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO AWESOMENESS OK, so you want to be a translator. Or maybe you ve been working for a while and you re looking to up your game a little. You re going to need a website. There are no two ways around it. Owning your own web page is your first step towards legitimacy in an online world filled with amateurs, hucksters and wannabees. The internet is a wild world, and your clients want something reassuring. A dedicated website and your very own address help. A lot. I worked as a freelance translator far too long before I realized the difference a professional-looking website and a dedicated address would make. A colleague took me aside one day and let me in on the secret: Greg, she said, gmail.com and Weebly? Seriously? It s time to notch it up a little. She was right, it was time to take the plunge. YOUR WEBSITE AND ADDRESS ARE OFTEN YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION WITH NEW CLIENTS. DO IT RIGHT.

2 IT S EASIER (AND CHEAPER!) THAN YOU THINK I d been using free services so long that I d stopped even thinking about it. So I started doing some research. I learned how to make a handsome, if basic, website for my translation company. Within three days I saw that my friend had been right: the change made a world of difference. Suddenly I looked more serious, and clients started complimenting me on my new look. For an hours worth of effort and about 100 bucks, I made an awesome improvement in my marketing game. And, above all, I realized that it wasn t that difficult. When I later co-founded a small translator cooperative with some friends, they liked my personal site so much that they asked me to create our front page for qualiatranslations.com. I went with a landing page website, using a simple template I found on the internet. Nothing fancy: An intriguing photo with a button to get in touch with us A brief explanation of our services A contact form. And that was it! I found the process easy enough, and decided to make this guide to share with fellow translators. Please feel free to share with anyone, if you find it useful!

3 GETTING READY: HOW IT ALL WORKS Most translators will be very well suited with the setup I used for Qualia Translations: a basic landing page site that combines a professional look with some information about your services and how to contact you. When you re starting out, less is more! Before getting started, however, it s important to understand the general process behind setting up your own website. Here s how it goes: 1. Sign up with a web provider (host) 2. Register your domain name 3. Install Wordpress 4. Choose a theme 5. Customize! Each of these four steps used to be rather complicated, and a whole industry of website builders sprang up to do them for you. Now there are hosting providers who offer all these services in a package deal at a low price.

4 STEP 1: SIGN UP WITH A WEB PROVIDER (HOST) Your website needs two things to run: a name and a service provider who operates the computer on which the website runs (the host ). I ve tried a few providers over the years, before finally deciding on bluehost.com* as my main hosting service. It s relatively inexpensive and easy to use, and it has a wonderful customer support. I like their service so much that I ve teamed up with them to offer a special deal to Translator University readers half off the first year of service. (You can click on the image below, or on any of the links on this page). For this tutorial, I ll be using Bluehost as my example provider, but the procedure is pretty much the same for other hosting providers (i.e. Godaddy.com, hostgator.com, etc.). The nice thing about working with Bluehost is that they throw in the price of registering the domain name for free. * Please note, I earn an affiliate fee from this service, which helps pay for the upkeep of. (But I d still recommend them even if they didn t. )

5 SELECT YOUR PLAN When you visit Bluehost for the first time, you ll be asked to choose your plan: given that this is your first website, and you don t need much more than a placeholder website, you re best off starting with the basic option. The other plans provided by Bluehost are for those people who want more than one website, or who expect greater traffic or users than a typical translator working on his or her would need. Don t worry, you can always add additional services later by upgrading to the plus plan if you need.

6 STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME The next step is to decide how you would like your website to be called. If you have a company name, you can choose something similar typically XXXtranslations.com are available for the taking. The general rule of thumb for choosing a domain name is to pick something that is both easy to remember and to spell: there s nothing more frustrating than having to spell out a difficult address to a potential client (and be afraid that they write it down wrong!). Your first domain name is free with Bluehost, or you can enter in another domain name if you registered it with another provider. NB: YOUR WEB ADDRESS WILL ALSO BE YOUR ADDRESS!

7 ACCOUNT SETUP AND OPTIONS Once you ve chosen your domain name, you ll be taken to an account creation page. Here is where you enter your billing information and choose a few options for your domain name. You have several options to choose from with Bluehost. Other hosting providers provide similar options: Account Plan: how many months do you want to sign up for (the longer you go, the cheaper you pay). My recommendation: 2 years. Domain Privacy Protection: Hides your personal info from would-be spammers. Recommended but not 100% necessary. SiteLock Security: Provides security options for your website. I don t use it. Codeguard Basic: A backup service for your site. There are Wordpress plugins that provide this service at a cheaper price (we ll explain this later). I wouldn t recommend this option.

8 STEP 3: INSTALL WORDPRESS Ok, now it s time to get down to business. You ve got your website provider and you ve got your domain name. Now comes the website. Once you ve created your account and chosen your domain name, you will receive an from your provider with your username and password. Save this somewhere! Log in to your host account, and you will be presented with a screen like this one: Press ESCAPE or click on the X to close the popup window.

9 SETTING UP WORDPRESS Wordpress is something like the software engine that runs your website behind the scenes. It is very powerful, and offers many plugins to control different aspects of how your site should function. Find the box of icons that contains the Install WordPress icon (orange) and click it. This will take you to a page to install Wordpress. Press the Green button to install Wordpress. After the software has been installed, you will be asked to create an admin account and enter a password. After WordPress completes its installation, you ll see a page saying they sent you an with the details and you ll also be able to click view on that page to see your login details and login URL.

10 You can now log into your Wordpress Dashboard, where you can manage and customize all of the options related to your site. To do so, open your web browser to: superstartranslations.com/wp-admin Replacing superstartranslations.com with the domain name you registered in Step 2 above. You will be shown a screen like the one below. Enter in the username and password you chose for Wordpress.

11 STEP 4: CHOOSE A THEME Congrats! Now you ve got all the administrative set up out of the way, now it s time to personalize your website! Remember: Wordpress is a powerful system, and probably way too much for what a translator will need to set up a basic landing page website. But not to worry, somebody has already done most of the work for you to create a handsome page. They re called themes. They allow you to plug in pictures, text and other elements and lay them out in an attractive manner for you. Here are some examples (clicking on the icons below will take you to the theme site to see a live preview): You can choose from one of the thousands of themes available at Themeforest for Wordpress, purchase the theme on the site and install it on your Wordpress Dashboard.

12 STEP 5: CUSTOMIZE! Once you ve chosen your theme, you can install it on your Wordpress Dashboard. Click on Add New Theme, and then Upload Theme to upload the theme you purchased (or pick one of the free options offered by Wordpress). Once the installation is completed, you re ready to start customizing your website and enter information about your translator business. So now is where things get interesting (finally!). You re going to have to give some thought to what kind of info you d like on your page, and how you d like it to be presented.

13 WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR PAGE Translator websites generally follow a standard format using four or five main pages. Below you ll find how I organized the site for Qualia Translations using this basic formula. 1. A landing page: Often little more than a flashy photo with name of your business and a simplified pitch a few lines about what makes you unique and/or why customers should choose your translation services. A Call to Action button (Read More) takes customers to the contact section below. 2. Services: A page with details about the specific services you provide. Do you offer proofreading services? Interpretation? Language consulting? List them here.

14 3. About Me/Us: Provide information about your professional background and education. Are you a member of any professional organizations? You can also include customer testimonials to make your company seem more trustworthy and credible. 4. Contact Us: Your address, , phone number, the hours you are open for business, and links to any social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook should appear on this page. You can also embed a Google map of your location to give potential customers an idea of where you are located. And that s it! Simple, efficient and, above all, rather nice to look at.

15 WHERE TO GO FROM HERE? After you have this basic setup, you can start putting Wordpress to use and expand your theme to include all sorts of useful tools. Blog: Your Wordpress website also has a blogging platform built right into it. You can use this to keep your customers updated about your most recent projects, for example. Rate calculator: Clients can submit documents directly on your website and receive quotes based on your pre-set prices. Social networking: Let your customers keep tabs on your work through different social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and proz.com. Client feedback: Your website is the perfect place to put positive feedback you have received from your customers and clients. Translator management: Some translators use their website as online translation portals using third-party software to keep track of their outsourcing and other translators. And much, much more! Of course, a website won t do all your marketing work for you. But it is an important tool, the start to your online marketing efforts. FOR MORE IDEAS ON HOW TO USE YOUR WEBSITE TO ITS FULLEST, SIGN UP HERE!

16 THANKS FOR READING, I HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT! If you ve found this useful, or if you have any suggestions on how to improve this guide, I would LOVE to hear from you! You can subscribe to updates to Translator University by clicking here, or you can me at or leave comments on the website! FEEL FREE TO SHARE!

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