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Poll: Did you build your own translation services website?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:09
SITE STAFF
Feb 16, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Did you build your own translation services website?".

This poll was originally submitted by Fred Neild

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 09:09
Italian to English
+ ...
Some 50% don't have website? Feb 16, 2006

I view having a website as akin to having a telephone, say forty years ago, a fax say 15-20 years ago, and in any case a business card. By now it is an element in the communications toolbag, however banal or innovative.

How can 50% not have a website? Someone please explain.


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Leanne Evans
Germany
Local time: 09:09
German to English
+ ...
Important Feb 16, 2006

I agree with Bale002 that websites are becoming increasingly important. In terms of Fred's question however, as our firm (as an example) offers more than just translation services, we have not built a "translation services website" as it asks in the question. In addition, I personally only wrote the translation of our website, as I joined the firm after the original website had been built. So, I'm not sure that I can answer the question at all!? I cannot say I do not have a website as I have now worked on, and am featured on our site. On the other hand, it wasn't built by a third party. Hm... any suggestions or am I reading too much into the question??

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A Hayes
Australia
Local time: 18:09
partner Feb 16, 2006

is a partner considered a 'third party'? i wrote the contents of my website and partially designed it on paper and my partner did all the technical work

a.
http://www.translationsabh.com/blog/



[Edited at 2006-02-16 12:38]


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Katharina Wawrzon-Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:09
English to German
+ ...
I'll stick with profile pages for the time being Feb 16, 2006

I'm relatively new to translation and simply don't have enough to "boast" about yet to justify the time and effort to build a website. I find that having profile pages on translation portals such as proz.com and TranslatorsCafe is more than enough for the time being to present the most relevant information about my skills and background. Having a website is without doubt something I'd envisage having in the near future, but for the time being I'd rather devote my time to perfecting my translation and language skills What do other "newbies" think - do you find that having a website at the start of your career has significantly improved your chances of securing jobs?

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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Webdesign by professionals Feb 16, 2006

Smart T wrote:
So, I'm not sure that I can answer the question at all!?


Hi Smart T,

Of course you can answer.

A Hayes wrote:
is a partner considered a 'third party'?


Hi A Hayes,

Everybody is free to interpret the question as they prefer, I don't like saying, "this is it".

I am curious about two things. The first one is to hear translators who don't have a website. As Bale002 mentioned I agree that today this is essential for any business and the poll results are impressive. The second thing is translators building their own websites. I suppose there are many tools available today to help build a basic website. On the other hand, we believe we should translate websites because we are better prepared than e.g. a secretary. What about building websites, shouldn't we outsource this with a professional?

Fred

[Edited at 2006-02-16 10:54]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:09
Dutch to English
+ ...
Use professionals Feb 16, 2006

Fred Neild wrote:

What about building websites, shouldn't we outsource this with a professional?

Fred

[Edited at 2006-02-16 10:54]


Hi Fred,

Nice poll !

My new website isn't up and running yet (my fault) and you've helped me remember with this poll to move it up the list of things to do, sort out its hosting and get it online.

Whilst I wrote the content, I outsourced the design and building to a professional - in fact, the brother of one of our colleagues on the PT»EN site (those interested can contact me via my profile as his rates are reasonable and he does excellent work) - and of course, what a difference compared to the amateurish one I presently have.

So I agree with you, unless we have the skills and expertise, we should outsource it. After all, we are the first to complain when people who shouldn't call themselves translators do so

Bye for now
D


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:09
Member
English to Turkish
Been doing it myself... Feb 16, 2006

...and doing it, doing it, doing it... OK, I'll complete it soon... very soon, thanks for reminding me!


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
French to English
Not sure it's worth it for a sole free-lancer, that's why Feb 16, 2006

The consensus of opinion seems to be that the prime source of clients (agencies or direct) is personal recommendation/word of mouth.

I seem to recall reading more than once (here and elsewhere) that the percentage of freelancers who had found work through their website was shockingly low. (Although this could be, of course, because many do not have a website )

This is supported by my own experience - I used to have a website, and now do not, it having attracted precisely no customers (and I genuinely do not believe the design etc. was the issue, as it was done professionally).

It is also supported by what I imagine (on the basis of what I would do, admittedly) is the way in which our (by 'us' and 'our' I mean individual freelancers) clients try to find translation services when they need them.

If I were a company needing translation, I would NOT trawl the web looking for a freelancer. I'd look for a (reputable, hopefully) agency, and/or ask around for a recommendation.

If I were an agency looking for translators, I would NOT trawl the web looking for freelancers. I'd ask my existing translators if they know anyone, and besides, I'm sure they get plenty of unsollicited applications anyway (yes, from their website!).

If I were Joe Public looking to get my birth certificate translated, I may well trawl the web, but frankly, I'm not interested in that kind of work

I realise that basing my own actions on what I would do if the situation were reversed has its dangers, but I absolutely do not see the need for a standalone website. Pages on portals such as this, fine. It's what portals are for.

I don't have a website, I don't have a fax machine, I don't even have a business card, and I'm still turning down work most weeks. It is my humble and personal opinion that as things stand, I don't need them.

But each to their own, live and let live, etc


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Natalia Elo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:09
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Professional definitely everywhere Feb 16, 2006

I hired a professional and have been very happy for the decision. I provided all the materials myself though (it took ma actually around a year to plan everything) and told him what I would like to see there etc. It's been running for two months now, but it's paying it off.

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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Outsourcing Feb 16, 2006

Deborah do Carmo wrote:

My new website isn't up and running yet (my fault) and you've helped me remember with this poll to move it up the list of things to do, sort out its hosting and get it online.


Hi Deborah,

I built my first website and the current one, which is completely outdated in terms of appearance. However, I decided to start an internal technical revamp last year, by professionals. Suppose when they finish this job and I finish paying for it I can think of hiring a webdesign firm to change its visual identity. Hope I can do this by the end of the year.

Charlie Bavington wrote:
Not sure it's worth it for a sole free-lancer, that's why


Hi Charlie,

Definitely an interesting point.

However in my case the website has been essential to capture new clients. Large companies do browse the web for translators.

Fred

[Edited at 2006-02-16 13:23]


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A Hayes
Australia
Local time: 18:09
word of mouth Feb 16, 2006

I fully agree with Charlie that personal recommendation is the prime source of (high quality) clients.

Charlie Bavington wrote:

I seem to recall reading more than once (here and elsewhere) that the percentage of freelancers who had found work through their website was shockingly low. (Although this could be, of course, because many do not have a website )


LOL

If I were a company needing translation, I would NOT trawl the web looking for a freelancer. I'd look for a (reputable, hopefully) agency, and/or ask around for a recommendation.


Yes, I agree. However, when I've been recommended to a company they've always visited my website before contacting me. I know because I've checked my StatCounter or because my clients have told me.

Also, I designed my website for me as much as for my clients, with some features that I find very useful, such as,

- clocks with the times zones I mostly work with
- resources page with my most valued links
- currency converter
- info such as fees, terms and conditions, standard translation agreement, etc., which
saves me having to give the same information over and over, as I can refer clients to my website...

So I find that having a website IS actually a good thing.


[Edited at 2006-02-16 14:00]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
French to English
An error of omission Feb 16, 2006

Fred Neild wrote:

Definitely an interesting point.

However in my case the website has been essential to capture new clients. Large companies do browse the web for translators.



I did mean to add that despite a certain number of assumptions on my part, I would *not* assume that the same applies the world over, nor perhaps (and this is a new thought, just occurred to me!) for all language combinations/specialisations/locations.

I offer a fairly common and mundane set of skills in terms of key words on web searches that could be used to find me - I feel I would be lost in the morass of other French to English translators in the UK with IT skills, in terms of pure hits (if not, of course, in terms of actual ability!). This does not apply to everyone, of course.


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Zsanett Rozendaal-Pandur  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 09:09
Dutch to Hungarian
+ ...
Clients met through website Feb 16, 2006

I've made my own website - I don't make enough money yet to outsource it, and I have enough HTML knowledge to put up a simple site myself. I have not regretted it - I have had quote requests come in through the website during the past five months since it's been online and in four cases I ended up with a new client.

While I consider my ProZ profile an excellent summary when it comes to professional outsourcers, in my language pairs there are many private clients who aren't familiar with sites like this, and try through other, general search pages and directories. It helps to be listed on those, too.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
French to English
Another error of omission Feb 16, 2006

A Hayes wrote:

However, when I've been recommended to a company they've always visited my website before contacting me. I know because I've checked my StatCounter or because my clients have told me.

So I find that having a website IS actually a good thing.


I did have something in my original posting about a "showcase", for exactly the purpose you describe. But for some reason I deleted it! Yes, I fully concur with the value in that.

My main point, really, was that I felt that the general tenor of the thread was drifting off towards "you gotta have one and I can't see how people can possibly not have one" and I just wanted to present a counter argument. As with so much in life, it depends. I certainly would not want to give the impression that they are an utter waste of time for everyone, but equally, I don't see them as essential, more of a nice-to-have, and certainly not as the universal key (IMVHO) to attracting clients.

And all that said, if I had the time to sort it out, I'd probably still have one again. I just wouldn't expect it to win many clients, in my particular case.


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