How to Create Your Website and Work From Home as a Freelance Translator: Part 2

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners

Published on July 29, 2020

how to create your freelance translator website 2
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In the first part of this tutorial, I talked about why it’s so important to create your own freelance translator website if you wish to promote yourself and succeed as a work-from-home translator.

You also learned how simple it is to contract a hosting plan, register a domain name, and set up your website live on the internet using the two best web hosting providers in the market — SiteGround and Bluehost.

By the end of this second and last part of the tutorial, you’ll know every detail about using WordPress and its plugins to create the perfect freelance translator website. And as promised, no coding required.

Don’t give up now, you are very close to being truly independent. You just have to follow along with these steps I carefully created and I guarantee you’ll be on the right path to being distinguished and successful.

Are you ready to convert visitors into paying clients and promote your work to the whole world?

If the answer is YES, then grab your beverage next to you and take a refreshing sip.

Let’s start.

Set Up Your WordPress Panel

Before you do anything inside your panel, I recommend that you set up some core components of your website.

Nothing complicated, it’s just to delete some pre-installed features and define some settings like your timezone, website title, and nickname.

It would take an enormous amount of screenshots and characters to walk you through every single setting, that’s why I’ll leave this amazing 7-minute tutorial below created by WPCrafterAdam does a great job of going through every single item of the panel. 

Feel free to check WPCrafter’s website and youtube channel if you are interested in great content about website building.

Activate Your Website Theme

What is a Theme?

In simple terms, the theme is the template you choose to define the overall style and look of your website.

If you imagine that WordPress is a blank paper, then the website theme is the lines within the paper where you are going to put content in. And just like school notebooks, the lines can come in different shapes, colors, thickness, and sizes.

Now imagine that everyone in your class picked the same notebook… This is what would happen:

You would lose all your uniqueness and the teacher (the client) would look at your notebook no different than he/she looked at everyone else’s. And then, all the effort you put to create amazing content to promote yourself and your work would be easily neglected.

unique freelance translator website
Graphic created using Canva

That’s what happens when the majority of websites on the web use the same theme — sooner or later, they all become boring.

One way to solve this is to get a paid theme, this way you would surely stand out in the crowd. But just like web hosting providers, there are so many to choose from that it’s almost impossible for a beginner to know which ones are not going to break their website. 

Don’t go that way.

We are going to use a FREE theme, provided by WordPress itself, which allows us to customize your entire website using a user-friendly drag-and-drop tool. 

Activating Astra Theme

Astra is an official WordPress theme regarded as the most efficient, fast, simple, and customizable theme, having more than 1 million active installations throughout the web. 

It is so simple to modify that is actually pretty hard to design a website that looks exactly like someone else’s (unless you copy and paste everything, which we are not going to do).

If you think about the notebook analogy we did before, the Astra theme would be no more than a blank page with just the header and footer (which are also removable).

Activating Astra Theme

Astra has both a free and a pro version. We are going to be using the free version to create your website. I’ve built Petrucio Translation using Astra Free, so I can safely say that it offers everything you are gonna need for yours.

You’ve already spent enough money with domain registration and web hosting, but If you are willing to spend a bit more to get more features and create a truly unique website, then it’s best to use it to get the Pro version of Elementor (the drag-and-drop tool) and Canva (to build logo and graphics of your website).

Elementor pro Banner
Click on the banner to visit the official website.

Otherwise, let’s stick to the free stuff. 

Now let’s walk through these two simple steps of adding and activating your Astra theme.

Step 1: Add New Theme

On your website dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes > Add New

Step 2: Install and Activate Astra Theme

Type “Astra” on the search bar and then click on Install. When the installation is done, click Activate.

That’s it, activating a WordPress website theme is simple as that. 

Now let’s move on.

As I mentioned earlier on this tutorial, Elementor is the drag-and-drop tool we will be using to design your freelance translator website. And just like the Astra theme, Petrucio Translation was entirely built using Elementor, and that’s why I confidently recommend it.

I’ll clarify everything about Elementor in a moment. First, let me explain how plugins work.

What is a Plugin?

A plugin is a software or an application that you install and activate to add more functionalities and features to your website.

Elementor is a plugin because it installs the tool of drag and drop which allows us to design a website without having to code. Something you couldn’t do without learning at least HTML and CSS.

Another example is the contact form found on my Contact page, it was developed by the Contact Form 7 Plugin. 

Thanks to capable programmers, every piece of coding used to obtain a certain feature was zipped into a plugin that you just have to download, install, and activate.

That’s why anyone can create a website nowadays, even if you work with something completely different, like translation. You just have to dedicate a little time to get used to Elementor and WordPress.

plugin creation for freelance translator website

Why choose Elementor?

Elementor is not the only drag-and-drop tool plugin that exists, but is certainly the best and most complete one, especially because you can get at least 90% of everything you’re gonna need using only the FREE version.

With Elementor you can create as many sections and columns as you want; you can tweak and move things around as well as change their colors, margins, and sizes

The gif below shows how you are gonna build your website. Your only task is to play around with Elementor until you get used, and after that, your design options will be endless.

And the best thing is: Elementor is so cool that it has a bunch of video tutorials just like this gif, where every single feature is carefully explained. I guarantee you that when you get used, you will find the process really fun.

As I mentioned earlier, Elementor also has a Pro Version that you can get from $49/year — and it’s actually one of the few things that are worth spending some extra money on.

Here are some of the features of the Pro Version:

  •  50+ Pro Widgets
  •  300+ Pro Templates
  •  10+ Full Website Template Kits
  •  Theme Builder
  •  WooCommerce Builder
  •  Popup Builder
  •  Support for 1 Year
  •  Updates for 1 Year

Feel free to take a look at All Benefits of Elementor Pro, if you notice that it would be useful to have some of the extra features on your translator website, then, by all means, get the Pro version.

Click on the banner to visit the official website.

Installing Elementor

Alongside Elementor, we are also gonna install Essential Addons for Elementor and Elementor — Header, Footer & Blocks Template, which are FREE complimentary plugins that add even more features to Elementor.

Each one has its own benefits, and even though Elementor is awesome by itself, these extra tools will actually come in really useful when designing your freelance translator website.

Installing plugins is as simple as installing a theme. Just follow the steps below and everything will be fine.

Step 1: Add New Plugin

On your website dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New

Step 2: Install and Activate Elementor and its Addons

Type “Elementor” on the search bar and then click on Install. When the installation is done, click Activate. As you can see, my plugins are already activated.

And just like that, you installed the most powerful and user-friendly post and page builder on your website. 

Now you have all the tools you need to start designing your freelance translator website. 

On the following topics, I’ll walk you through the steps of creating every single page using Elementor, instead of the default WordPress builder.

Decide The Structure and Style of Your Freelance Translator Website

If you pay attention to how far we’ve come in this tutorial, you’ll see that you have the perfect setup to create and design the best website possible, regardless of the industry it belongs to.

But, you started this tutorial because you are a freelance translator just like me, and you want to establish your name and your services in the market by creating the best freelance translator website, not the best freelance [random profession] website.

This next step is as important as contracting a web hosting service to set your website live on the web — and it’s also going to define you as a freelance translator and display to your clients how capable you are.

idea for freelance translator website

As a freelance translator, there are some things you have to make clear to your visitors regarding the content they expect to find, either as a section of your homepage or as a single page itself. 

I’ll talk about each one of them, show live examples, and explain how you should approach each section. For deeper information about that, read —  Creating the ideal freelance translator website, published by Pactranz.

First, take a look at what your website must contain : 

  • Languages you work with
  • Fields you are specialized in
  • What services do you offer
  • About (me)
  • Why hire me (instead of someone else or even an agency)
  • Past and current clients (optional)
  • Quote – Transparent price (optional)
  • Contact

Let’s go through them:

1. Languages You Work With

Well, for sure you know that you can’t create your freelance translator website and not tell your clients what languages you are proficient in. But where to display it?

The answer is… In the very first or second section of your website

You have to understand that your visitors (read clients) are busy people, so they can’t afford to waste time trying to find that information — it must be the first thing they see when they land on your page.

If you prefer to use a tagline as the first title, that’s awesome, but don’t forget to specify your languages right after it. Take John Holland’s website as an example:

2. Fields and Services You Offer

Are you specialized in legal translations? Or maybe financial? Psychology? And what about your services? Do you offer translation only, or proofreading, editing, and website localization?

These pieces of information must have their own section on your website, preferably on the homepage. 

Even if you can provide decent translation work within any field, for sure you have 2 or 3 that are your expertise areas, if not, I strongly advise you to get specialization in the fields you feel most comfortable translating.

Take a look again at John Holland’s page, right after the language he works with. He says “Specializing in scholarly translation in the social sciences and the humanities”. Quite precise, don’t you think?

Now take a look at his fields section, you can use it as inspiration to build yours.

3. About (Me)

The about section is also a must on every freelance translator website. If you intend to have a one-page website, then you must include it somewhere on your homepage. In this case, you can place it where you feel most comfortable, always respecting your page design.

If your website is going to be multi-page like mine or John Holland’s, then I suggest you create a single page specifically for that. There you can talk freely about yourself, your background, and what you want to achieve with your work. Just don’t write a whole book about it, 300 words are more than enough.  

Take a look at Alessandra Vita’s one-page website. Her About section is simple, short, and effective: 

There is a lot of talking about how to create the perfect About page, but in my humble opinion, as a freelancer, you should always be transparent about your personality and who you are. 

Clients are going to interact and develop a professional cooperation with you, not an agency, so they need to know who they are hiring. If you are comfortable enough, utilize a professional photo as well.

Feel free to read The Balance Careers‘ article — How to Write a Perfect About Me Page With Examples, in case you need some guidance.

3. Why Hire Me

Why should clients hire you instead of a well-established agency, or maybe a more popular freelance translator? What can you bring to the table?

These are the questions you must answer and display on your page if you wish to be distinguished among your competitors.

If you notice, Alessandra has a “Why me?” section on her homepage that covers pretty much everything a client needs to know. 

This section is so important that even one of the biggest translation agencies in the market, Translated., made sure to save space on its really short homepage to what they call “Key benefits”, in other terms: why should clients contract their translation services. Take a look at it:

Use both examples as a base to write yours, but if you have something truly unique that only you can offer, do not hesitate to include it.

4. Past and Current Clients (Optional)

Most people say that they believe more in what others say about you than what you say about yourself. Sounds confusing? Take this example:

When you are going to buy something online (take Amazon), I am sure you ALWAYS look at the comments and reviews of others that have already bought the same product. 

No matter what the vendor says, the buyers will have a much stronger influence on your purchase than you think. And that’s understandable — if the product you are looking has a bunch of 1-star ratings then why should you buy it?

Feedback

The same goes for 5-star ratings. So if you already have great feedback from past clients, feel free to implement the best ones somewhere on your homepage.

And if you are still trying to land your first job as a freelance translator, don’t worry, leave this step for later in your career. Even though it adds up a lot, it isn’t a necessity, so try to compensate with the other sections.

Here is an example from Russian Translator Pro, international authority when it comes to Russian translation services:

5. Quote With Transparent Price (Optional)

Before hiring, it’s evident that the clients will like to know how much the whole project will cost, but it’s up to you if you’ll show them before or after they contact you. Either way, you must have a section where they can get that information.

Concerning being fully transparent, you can either have a calculator plugin installed on your website (just like mine on the Instant Quote page), or you can simply display the per-word price for your translation services (like in Russian Translator Pro, displayed below).

RTP Prices
Price Table taken from russiantranslator.pro

In this way, your clients can quote the price first, and if they like it, they contact you for more information. I adopt this style to narrow down the number of quotes to only those that are willing to pay what I’m asking. The downside is that a lot of visitors leave the website before even making contact, but I’m okay with that.

If you prefer a more reserved style, you can simply redirect your visitors to your contact page so they can leave a message to you for a quote. That way, your visitors will have to contact you first to know the cost, and even if the price you ask is too high for them, you can always propose something else. The drawback is the fact that you’ll receive a ton of quotes, even from clients willing to pay less than $0.01 for your work.

There is no rule for how transparent you must be. Some great translators and agencies adopt both styles. As I said, it’s up to you.

sending emails

6. Contact

It doesn’t matter how perfect your website is, if you don’t create a contact page or section, it will all be in vain. You must include a way that your visitors and future clients can contact and hire you.

Feel free to display any method you prefer; professional email, contact form, Whatsapp, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, etc. As long as you can reply to all of them. 

— Never leave your clients waiting, they will easily find another translator to replace you.

Bearing that in mind, I adopted only my professional email (found on the footer) and a contact form (found on my Contact Page) as the main channels of communication.

I really like how Spanish translator Ricard Lozano redirects his visitors to his contact page whenever they click on GET A QUOTE button. His contact page is pretty short and straightforward, just like mine. Take a look at it:

Further ahead on this tutorial, I’ll show you how to install and set up a contact form plugin on your website.

Take your time to organize every piece of information you are going to write in each section, but this time you don’t have to think that much. Normally, your thoughts start flowing only when you start writing (personal experience) and remember you can always edit them later.

Now let’s get to the good part!

Build Your First Page Using Elementor

Right, now that you have a lot of ideas in mind, let’s put them on the paper (read website blank page). 

As I mentioned earlier, Elementor has a full collection of video tutorials that explain step-by-step how to use each feature of their amazing page-builder tool, so you don’t have to worry at all about not being able to learn. 

Since writing about every single feature would take you a whole day to read this post, I will include the main and most important video tutorials (10 short videos) you’re gonna need to build your freelance translator website.

After watching all of them, you will be able to start playing around with Elementor and testing all of the features the free version includes (which most of the time is more than enough). I strongly suggest you do that, it’s the best way to learn!

Let’s get to the tutorial.

Step 1: Getting Started With Elementor
Step 2: Website Basics & Pages Overview
Step 3: Setting Up A Header, Footer & Navbar Menu
Step 4: Creating A Page & Checking Out Elementor
Step 5: Building The Home Page - Step By Step
Step 6: Optimizing The Home Page For Mobile Devices
Step 7: Building The Menu Page - Step By Step
Step 8: Optimizing The Menu Page For Mobile Devices
Step 9: Building The Contact Page - Step By Step
Step 10: Setting Up Links For Correct User Flow, Recap & Conclusion

If you have a question about how to use or implement any of the widgets, just search on Elementor’s youtube channel, they literally have a video tutorial about everything they offer.

These short videos cover everything you need to know about how Elementor works. Now it’s your job to dedicate some of your time to explore and make the best use of it to achieve the result you are visualizing for your website. 

Implement The Best Graphics and Images on Your Freelance Translator Website

Where Do I Find It?

Now that you know how to design every bit of your website, it’s time to learn how and where to get the media you are going to put on it.

Unfortunately, you can’t just go on google images and get the one you like most, almost all of them are not royalty-free and probably belong to someone else. If they find out you are using their photos any way they disapprove, you will have to remove them (or worse).

The best and safest way is by using online royalty-free image databases.

— Petrucio, what on earth is this?

They are websites that provide images that are allowed to be downloaded and used everywhere you want, all free of charge. Of course, there are paid databases, but you won’t need them. 

The free ones I use on Petrucio Translation are: Canva, Freepik, Flaticon, Pixabay, and Unsplash, and I’ll talk a little bit about each one of them.

Previously, I talked about Canva as an amazing logo maker. Now I want to show you why it is an indispensable tool for any website owner.

Besides offering not only a huge royalty-free database with more than 60 million elements, graphics, and photosCanva also provides the perfect user-friendly setup to create a media with any dimensions you need, whether it’s in pixels, inches or centimeters.

Canva 60 million images
Click on the banner to visit the official website

So, even if I pick a photo/graphic from one of the other websites and don’t use any of Canva graphics, I always create a custom design on Canva to make everything perfect before implementing it on my website. 

This 30-second video from Canva’s youtube channel explains everything very easily:

You don’t have to follow step 4 and use a template from Canva’s database, feel free to upload any image you want using the Uploads tab. After that, design it as you wish, change the size, add elements, background, etc.

The custom dimensions method is very useful because you select the final dimensions of your media right at the start, thus everything you do within the page will always be inside the limits you choose. 

— Petrucio, I know Canva offers a lot of cool stuff, but what if I don’t like any of them?

No problem, just get from the other websites I mentioned, let me go through them:

These free databases will definitely cover everything you’re gonna need in terms of media. They provide stock photos with more than enough quality for a website, with some of the images being 7000 pixels wide.

Both Freepik and Pixabay offers graphic vectors as well, in case you prefer a more cartoonish-style website, just like mine. Freepik is the one I go first to get vectors like this:

Freepik example

No matter which website I get the image from, I always upload it to Canva when I want to add something else before putting on my website.

I separated a section for this one because its main purpose is to provide free and cool icons. Not large vectors or real photos, just icons.

At first, you might think it’s not that useful, but you’ll see that they are perfect for styling lists made of features of any kind.

Take my Translation Fields section on my homepage as an example. Every icon was found on Flaticon.

Even though they are designed to be used as icons, they can be downloaded with a maximum resolution of 512px, which sometimes is higher than a “normal” image. You just have to use your imagination and decide where to place them.

Optimize Your Media for Website Speed

When you first read the title, you might think this is some sort of complex and technical procedure, but it’s actually no big deal at all. Your main concern in this part is to make your media as light as possible so your page has the shortest load time.

Let me explain, when visitors come to your page, they first have to wait for the page to load its content in order to see and read it. If your content is extremely heavy (1MB+ for each image), your page will take an eternity to load and your visitors will leave your website before even reading your tagline. I’m sure you don’t want that. 

Website Speed

Every time you download or save an image to your computer, it comes with a lot of information regarding personal rights and source details written “inside” them, this is called metadata. 

The metadata contributes to the overall size of the image, and it has no use to you. That’s why you have to remove it before uploading any photo to your website.

In addition to that, image compression softwares nowadays are so advanced that they can compress the size of an image by 80% with only a 5% quality reduction. No one won’t even notice that it was compressed.

The best way to do it is by using a free online image compressor called Tinypng. The process is extremely simple; just upload your image, then the compressor will do its work automatically and deliver your image back to you in 5 seconds. After that, click on the download button and save your image. Easy peasy!

Literally every image on my website is compressed using Tinypng, so I can safely say that my entire website is around 60% lighter than it would normally be, which is awesome.

You simply can’t go wrong with it!

Set Up a Contact Form (Optional)

Setting up a contact form is not so essential, because you can always leave your email, social media, and phone number to be contacted. But a contact form makes things much easier and user-friendly.

People on your website don’t have to leave or open a new tab if they wish to contact you, they can simply write down what’s on their minds in the text area and then submit. By having a contact form, you reduce the chances of your visitors giving up on contacting you in case they are too busy or lazy to send an email.

I prefer to have both professional email and contact form displayed, this way my clients choose which method they like most.

You can implement a contact form by simply installing and configuring a contact form plugin. I’ve already told you that the contact form I use on my Contact page is developed by Contact Form 7, which is not a user-friendly plugin, especially for beginners, so I don’t recommend it to you.

I will leave a 7-minute video below that explains step-by-step how to set up a contact form using WP Forms, a much better option for you. This tutorial was created by Dale from Create A Pro Website, check his page if you want more helpful content on how to create a website.

The only thing you are going to do differently than the video is selecting a different WP Forms widget. Instead of picking the one with the WordPress icon, you will pick the one with 4 little squares inside. Let me show you: 

This way, you will take the “Elementor version” of WP Forms, instead of the default WordPress. With the Elementor version, you will be able to customize and style it just like you did with everything else on your website. 

If you choose the WordPress version just like in the video, you won’t be able to change much, and your form will be really simple and boring. Not cool!

Essential Plugins to Install Before Publishing Your Freelance Translator Website

Hang on a bit more, we are almost at the end of our tutorial, I promise. You just have to install two more plugins and then you are free to publish and promote your website to the world. 

These plugins are Cache and Backup plugins, and they are extremely important. I’ll explain why:

Set Up a Cache Plugin for Website Speed

I am quite sure you’ve already noticed or heard something about cache at some point in your life, whether it’s on your browser or mobile phone. The cache is nothing more than the data that is stored to be accessed later, instead of downloading everything again.

That’s why every website page loads much faster whenever you visit it for the second time (or third, fourth, etc.). Instead of downloading the entire design, text, and images again, you are actually accessing the data stored the first time you downloaded it.

This speed upgrade is seriously important for user experience, after all, who likes to keep waiting for a website page to load?

Cache speed

The cache plugin we are gonna use is called WP Fastest Cache, and it’s one of the most popular and useful plugins that you can have for free on your website.

You are going to install and activate it just like you did with all the other plugins before. Take a look:

After activating it, you just have to configure the cache settings. The options may look complex, but you don’t have to worry about it; the plugin is so well developed that your job is just to mark all the allowed options (some of them are for Pro users only). 

Take a look at the WP Fastest Cache setting from inside my panel, the only options I did not check were Preload and Disable Emojis, and I recommend you do the same.

And just like that, you significantly increased your website speed. 

Install a Backup Plugin

A backup plugin will do exactly what you’re thinking — a backup of your website. 

There are a lot of reasons why you should have a backup of your website. You are probably thinking about some of them already. 

Fortunately, our good friend Dale, from Create A Pro Website, created a video that explains not only why you should have a backup, but how to do it in less than 5 minutes. Have a look:

Publish Your Website, Promote, and Get Hired!

Congratulations, you officially have your own freelance translator website! Now it’s up to you to make the best use of it.

There is no point in creating a beautiful website and not promoting it, otherwise, how would people find you? This is the part where you put all your marketing skills to use, whether it’s through social media, job boards, or even sharing with your family and friends.

If you have no clue where to start, then before you do anything, take a read at — 25 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website, published by Dan Shewan at WordStream.

Conclusion

I am sure some of you started reading this article thinking that it would be impossible to achieve its goal: build and design your own freelance translator website.

I hope I proved you wrong. 

Freelance translators like us sometimes have to deal with things much more complicated than that or have to adapt to difficult situations that were not foreseen. That’s why I am confident that each one of you is capable of following this guide and creating your unique website.

I know the struggles and difficulty of being hired through freelance platforms and job boards, where you have to compete against hundreds and even thousands of other translators of the same language pair.

Although I still recommend freelance platforms to those that are just starting out, creating your website is a step you’ll have to take sooner or later. That’s why I strongly advise you to start building yours as soon as you can.

I put a lot of effort, knowledge, and experience in this tutorial and I made it especially for freelance translators like you, who would like to achieve financial independence. It covered everything you should know about creating your personal website and working from home as a freelance translator.

You just have to follow the steps, and once it’s done, dedicate some of your time to promote it.

This website is entirely designed and developed by me.