5 Tips for Building a Multilingual Website
Multilingual websites are becoming more present in an increasingly connected society. However, building them is a bit more complicated than you might expect.
To build a multilingual website more easily, below you will find various tips that have worked for other such sites before. Take a look.
Make sure your content is unique
Without a question, unique and high-quality content is critical for a website. Especially for a multilingual one.
High-quality material has a plethora of benefits, both short- and long-term. Unique content increases your website’s value and serves as a source of credibility. It makes no difference how much traffic your site receives or how small the niche is.
Focus on adding high-quality, unique content to the page. If you’re unsure how to increase organic traffic to your website, you should concentrate on providing distinctive content.
Besides that, your content needs to be translated into other languages. And these translations have to be unique. You don’t want search engine algorithms to penalize your website for duplicate content.
For this purpose, you can use a plagiarism checker tool. A good plagiarism checker tool highlights the pieces that should be removed or edited and it also shows you the sources so that you can look for the duplicated content yourself,
Make sure you have this under your belt. Also, refrain from using the built-in website translators. Rather, find a translator or an interpreter to translate and localize all content pieces into target languages.
Use a translation management system
We have touched upon this topic above, so let’s get into specifics right away. For a good multilingual website, you need a translation management system. As the name implies, translation management software enables you to successfully manage your translation and localization tasks from a central location.
With this tool, there will be no more spreadsheets, no more lost email threads, instructions, or feedback.
Effective translation management software enables a business to engage with all stakeholders involved in localization from inside a single platform. It supports a variety of file formats and programming languages and enables one-click cooperation.
Your translation management software should allow you to access worldwide audiences and automate your localization tasks, while also allowing you to conveniently track the work of your translators and communicate with them.
The effectiveness of your translation management software will determine whether a localization project is a success or a costly, protracted, and poorly managed failure.
Make the language switcher prominent
Choose a prominent location for your language switching drop-down on your homepage and all other pages of your site.
You’ll notice that multilingual websites typically include a language switcher in the page’s header or footer.
Whichever place you choose on your multilingual website, ensure that it’s extremely easy to discover. Additionally, you want to be certain that your language switching options are easy to use.
You want your multilingual website’s visitors to feel at ease regardless of the language they speak. And placing the language switcher in an easily accessible location will help in accomplishing this.
A well-designed bilingual website is intuitive to use.
Technically, you must consider how the translated text will be implemented, particularly if you are dealing with non-Latin script languages and/or bi-directional text. HTML/XML, Hreflang tags, Unicode, and redirection techniques all require consideration.
If that sounds complicated, you will need to hire a professional. You will require the assistance of web developers that are knowledgeable about the subject and have experience dealing with a variety of languages.
Alternatively, your translation service should possess a thorough technical understanding of website translation. Make sure that your translation service possesses sufficient technical expertise in website translation to ensure that the job is completed appropriately.
Use culturally appropriate visuals
Images, symbols, and other visual elements are critical components of any online page. However, visuals are subjective by definition and might be understood differently when placed in a different cultural environment.
Visuals can also be offensive. Images that appear harmless to Western audiences may be considered taboo in other cultures.
Additionally, you’ll want to examine little things such as icons and what they mean to visitors from specific areas who visit your multilingual website. You’ll need to assess photos and other graphic components, taking regional and cultural sensitivities into consideration.
Also, be smart when using culturally appropriate colors. For example, in Western culture, the color red represents love, vitality, passion, and danger. It is a significant color in Asian cultures, indicating good fortune, prosperity, festivity, and long life. In certain African countries, on the other hand, crimson is connected with death and hostility.
Due to its numerous positive connections, blue is regarded as the safest and most widely accepted color option for design. It’s a tranquil color that is seen to be soothing and serene, despite its association with melancholy and depression. Blue is also the most frequently used hue in bank logos, as it symbolizes trust and authority.
There you go. You are now familiar with the basics of building a multilingual website. It will not be as simple as you may have thought, but you will get through it. Be patient and good luck!
Dave is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Shortlist in 2018, a marketing un-agency that serves as an outsourced dedicated marketing team. He has also co-founded Less.churn, a churn reduction app, prior to selling it in 2018. In 2012, he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries.