How to count the words on a website using the ATLS online word counter

Count the number of words on a website

A question we frequently ask when we want to translate a web page is: "How many words are there on my website?", "How can I count the words on my website? To do so, we offer you our free online word count tool. Our web word counter counts the words on your website at no cost. Just enter the URL and in a few minutes we will send you the number of words it contains.

Do you know what an online word counter is? Well, you should, because if you want to translate your website with a certain guarantee of success, you will have to use an online word counter, more than anything else in order to know what volume of work (and, therefore, how much and for how long) we are talking about.

But counting words is not as easy as it seems when we are talking about a website; particularly if it involves dynamic pages or an e-commerce site. Whatever the case, they contain everything you see (and which is scattered on different pages and files), but also what you don't see (source code, SEO content, etc.). In short, there are, of course, specific tools for counting website words. We have our own web word counter, and you can use it for free and online to count the words on your website (and to obtain a translation quote too). But firstly, let us explain what this whole word count thing is all about, how we do it and why it is important in the world of translation.

Do I need to count the words of a website to translate it?

No, you don't. You don't need to. If you translate it yourself "by hand", the number of words doesn't matter much to you, or if you are foolhardy enough to put your website in the hands of a machine translator (we wish you the best of luck...), you don't need to know whether it's a hundred words or a hundred thousand, except for the sake of statistics.

But if what you are looking for is a truly multilingual website, conveniently localised, where users from all over the world will feel at home, then you should consider having professionals on board. And generally in the translation industry, you are charged on a per-word basis. So, in that sense, yes, an online word counter will be very useful (also for calculating turnaround times). There are many ways to translate a website depending on its characteristics and your purpose: a static personal web page is not the same as a localised e-commerce site, a wiki of local information is not the same as an international news portal… Whatever the case, a web word counter is a tool that you will use more than once.

Find out the number of words on your website with the ATLS Word Counter

Before we go any further, try out our online word counter here so you can experience the service first-hand and get a better understanding of what we're talking about. You'll see that it's as straightforward as entering the URL of a web domain and choosing the source and target languages (and hitting the button to have the count emailed to you).

A web word counter is nothing more than a crawler, meaning an automated crawling programme, like the one used by Google to detect web positioning factors, but in this case only to count words. It works on any web platform with all kinds of texts. It is the classic case in which automation does help you, and a lot.

Should I count ALL the words on ALL the pages of a website?

Well, since you can download the source code of a website fairly easily, using a web word counter afterwards is straightforward. However, this depends on whether you want to translate the entire website. You might want to count only the parts you want to translate, for instance, the subdomain of your e-shop, but not the subdomain of your blog.

In any case, <sup>there are many parts that it is more than advisable to translate</sup> when making a multilingual site. We are talking about all the textual content of the main pages, but also about legal sections, metatags and SEO content, product descriptions and categories, audiovisual content tags, etc. (here are further details). In any case, you can count the sections separately.

What methods are available to count the words on a web page?

As we have said, different pages will require different counting methods. And when we say different, we mean static pages in HTML or PHP or dynamic pages based on CMS content management systems or e-commerce platforms (or mixed forms such as WooCommerce), with databases, and so forth. Additionally, you can find text of different types and in different locations.

count words website

Keeping this in mind, below we will try to present you with all possible methods for counting the number of words on a website (some examples of these methods will be presented later in this article):

  • Copying and pasting into Word. This method is as old-fashioned as they come, and is only recommended for small, static websites. You may have to write a few things, such as navigation menus.
  • Downloading HTML files. You can locate the source code files (html, php, js, xml, etc.) but without leaving any of them out (such as the classic error pop-ups) and then use custom programs.
  • Using .po files. If we are talking about "modern" websites, they may have these files used in GNU GetText based applications. You can locate them and count words with custom programs.
  • Database export. On dynamic websites there are databases for content. You can export them in different formats (XML, TXT, CSV) and then use Word to count them.
  • Buying custom programs. There is specific software created for counting website words for translation. They have usually fallen into disuse in the face of new solutions and those that survive are fee-based.
  • Using translation plugins. This is the most common resource for CMS-based websites. These specific extensions for various content management systems can have a certain complexity and a variable cost.

How does the ATLS online word count tool work? Step by step

Our web word counter has the advantage of fully automating the counting process and integrating with our other translation tools, and it can also be used separately. Here is the step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to ATLS and enter to the section "Technology Solutions/Website Localisation" where you will find "WEB WORD COUNTER". Click and you will be taken to the online word counter.
  2. You will see a white bar with three sections. In the first one it says "Copy your url here"; now paste it.
  3. The second and third sections of the bar are for the source and target languages (for instance, if your website is in Spanish and you want to translate it into Polish, the source language is Spanish and the target language is Polish). Use drop-down menus to choose them.
website word counter
count words website
  1. Click on "Start Analysis". We will ask you for your contact details (name and corporate email address) and your consent to the processing of your personal data.
  2. And that's it! You will soon receive your word count by e-mail together with additional data from our online word counter: a report with the number of URLs on your website, the number of keywords and the number of unique segments and repetitions (important for pricing purposes).
count words website
web word counter

BONUS: If instead of counting words you want to see what an automatically translated website would look like, enter here to see our AT-WST in action!

Other tools to count the words on a website

As you have already seen, counting words is just a part of a larger process. To show you how proud we are of our web word counter, we are happy to offer you other alternatives, in case you want to try them out and compare.

  • TransAbacus: This web word counter is highly recommended if you are going to count words before starting a professional translation.
  • Word Count Wizard: one of those WordPress plugins (there are literally dozens). They do the same thing we do, but more complicated.
  • WPML: more than an online word counter, we are talking about a comprehensive multilingual site management plugin. Too powerful (also, we are partners).
  • Poedit: do you remember we talked about .po files? Well, this is the "standout" programme for working with them. It's not easy.
  • FineCount: this professional-oriented software reads a lot of file formats and discriminates untranslatable ones.
  • StripHTML: a handy tool that will not save you all the work, but it will eliminate HTML language.
  • WordCounter: perhaps the best online word counter for its diversity of options and features.
Our advice

As web translation specialists, we have created a solution that counts the words on a website in a quick and easy way. The word counter online from ATLS saves time and lets you count the words on the web pages of any CMS and any type of web platform.

Our crawler, the ATLS online word counter.Fast, simple and effective!

And how much would it cost to translate the website?

Now that we have the first task solved thanks to the online word counter, we can move on to the real issue: How much does it cost to translate my website? The final rates and prices usually depend on certain factors such as the total volume of the work, the desired quality threshold and the level of complexity and specialisation of the content.

This last aspect is the one that offers the greatest variability. Some highly technical content may require the involvement of human translators specialised in the subject matter, which will increase the price. This is directly related to the quality threshold referred to above; as a general rule, a general human review of any public content is recommended. In any case, and regardless of the technology or platform your website is based on, its technical characteristics or the content it contains, the same logic applies here as when purchasing any product or service: when you have your count, request not one, but various detailed estimates from different professional agencies; from us too, since we give you our web word counter right here.

If you are thinking about translating your website, get in touch!.

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Written by ATLS

Translation and digital marketing agency
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