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How To Build A Successful Multilingual Website (P2)

Posted by Gummy Tran on April 21, 2022.

Every global business needs a multilingual website to reach more clients, increase leads, and boost revenues. 

The internet is now used by approximately 4.54 billion people, making it a great place for businesses to find customers. As a result, almost every business goes online in order to get the upper hand and be more successful than their competitors. With a successful multilingual website, we can get ready for your globalization.

After part 1, in this part 2, we will show you how to build an effective multilingual website.

How To Build A Multilingual Website?

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Are you ready to tap into the multilingual market? Use this guide to help you get started.

#1. Define your expansion goals 

The first step is to choose which languages will be included on your website. Your geographic appetite (and audience), budget, and resources will all influence your decision.

So, before you start building a multilingual website, consider the following:

  • Do you want to target a certain country, or do you just need to translate your website without focusing on a specific region?
  • Is there a demand for your products/services? If so, are you able to compete on pricing, service quality, and brand name?
  • How many languages are you willing to spend money on? And how many people are you going to need to plan and develop content in all of those languages?

 

#2. Choose your domain strategy 

You may create a multilingual website in one of two ways: by using a subdomain or by using a separate domain. That means you may have a single website domain with other-language linked pages, or you can have separate domains for multilingual content.

Both approaches have benefits and drawbacks. Although the subdomain strategy is less expensive (you won’t have to pay for dozens of URLs and domains), it is a much higher risk of broken links. A separate domain approach is easier to set up and has fewer issues, but it is more expensive.

 

#3. Select the right software 

The next step is to select a content management system (CMS), which will assist you in creating and managing digital content for your multilingual website.

WordPress and Joomla are two popular CMSs. Both are open-source CMSs that have been operating for over 10 years and are self-hosted. The first offers a lot of flexibility, a huge support community, and minimal development costs. The second offers more extensive user management as well as greater flexibility when it comes to displaying non-standard information.

But the main thing you need to know is that Joomla comes with inbuilt multilingual options, but WordPress requires the installation of a plugin. You’ll want to make sure your content management software can handle your multilingual requirements while staying within your budget.

 

#4. Pick a plugin for your multilingual website

If your CMS requires a plugin for multilingual content, you’ll need to switch to a different CMS before continuing. Fortunately, there are a lot of options, with the most popular ones being WPML, Polylang, and Weglot. 

WPML is the most frequently used, advanced, and feature-rich plugin for WordPress. Polylang has over 500,000 users and is a good choice if you want to translate your content without using translation services. Weglot concentrates on automated translation, although there are lots of manual translation possibilities as well.

Regardless of which choice you pick, be aware that certain CMS solutions are only compatible with WordPress.

 

#5. Translate your multilingual website

The most popular misconception when it comes to creating a multilingual website is that activating a plugin would automatically translate all of the content for you. This is only partially true.

In fact, the above-mentioned WPML plugin is a fantastic tool for translating nearly any information on a website, but it isn’t designed to perform the actual translation.

Also, don’t rely only on automated translation software or services. The best option is to hire a professional Language Service Provider. Human translators can analyze language from an emotional and contextual standpoint, resulting in a more accurate translation of your text.

 

#6. Choose a place for a language selection menu 

As with any website, functionality and overall user experience (UX) should be paid extra attention. Therefore, one of your key tasks is to decide how users will select a language on your site. 

One of the most popular ways to provide language selection options is in a conveniently-placed drop-down menu. These menus are usually seen at the top-right corner of a website’s homepage, as users will naturally take a glance there. 

Alternatively, depending on the design and your own preferences, you might simply put a list of languages to pick from in your website’s header, footer, or sidebar.

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#7. Optimize multilingual website

When it comes to SEO, multilingual websites require extra attention. You’ll get the most traffic from search engines if you have a good structure, language tags, and schema hacks for multiple locations.

Below is a short checklist of best practices for multilingual optimization:

  • Translate URLs
  • Research long-tail keywords in different languages
  • Use only high-quality translations
  • Translate meta descriptions
  • Use hreflang tags
  • Use plugins with robust multilingual SEO

 

#8. Localize your multilingual website

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A multilingual website is not simply about accurately translating the texts. If you’re building a multilingual e-commerce site, keep in mind currency conversions and marketing sensitivities in different regions.

Translating a language as it is spoken in different countries is also part of localizing your website. Even though a language is spoken all across the world, distinct dialects exist depending on where you are.

For example, Dualoo – a Swiss company that operates in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria (all German-speaking countries), had to localize its website since there are a lot of different words for the same notion in each country. 

Users anticipate a nice welcome when they visit your website; otherwise, they will leave almost immediately. As a result, using the target audience’s languages and localizing for each nation will lower your bounce rate and boost your SEO.

 

GTE Localize – Your go-to website translation provider

Building a multilingual website is a difficult task but it can be done seamlessly with the right solution. 

Over years, GTE Localize is a go-to website translation provider for various businesses and industries. We offer high-quality website translation services at competitive rates without hidden fees with a lifetime warranty for all global clients.

How To Build A Successful Multilingual Website

With a network of 1200+ skilled native translators, GTE Localize offers comprehensive website translation services for your open or closed source websites. We also support C/C++, Java, PHP, Asp.net Ruby, Solidity, SharePoint, HTML, CSS, XML, and many more.

To get a free quote and a 300-word translation test, get in touch with our website localization experts today.

You can download our 40-page step-by-step guide to help you with website localization planning and preparation.