Guide for Creating a Multi-Lingual Website
By Jithin on December 25th, 2019
A multi-lingual website is a crucial step to spread your website globally. While creating a multi-lingual website, you need to keep different aspects in mind, if you intend to create a site of strong online presence or to create money through the same. A multi-language website should be flexible or adaptive to international standards. The localization of the website is essential if you are trying to create an equivalent version of your website in a foreign language.
The various elements that need to be kept in mind while creating a multi-lingual website are as given below:
Use global templates for consistent branding
The content present in your multi-lingual website should be consistent. That means if a Chinese client visits your English site, they should see the same branding and design as the Chinese version. The branding, layout, design are the main elements that need to be kept in mind while creating a multi-lingual website.
The Weglot is one of the plugins present in WordPress CM, which helps language translation. Weglot interacts with the other plugins present in WordPress, which helps to have the same theme and design for your multi-language sites.
The consistent content in your multi-lingual site helps in instant recognization or branding of the site, and it also helps with simplifying future updates with UI or UX changes.
The language switching option should be in a notable location on the homepage and the other pages of the site. Either keep it in the header or footer of the page as the standard practice. Always keep in mind that the language switching option should be crystal clear and try to refer to a language in its language. For example, use “Deutsch” instead of “German”. The importance is to make the visitors feel welcome, no matter what language they speak.
Give Privilege for Visitors to Select Desired Language
Some of the multi-lingual websites autodetect the language of the web browser to set the language for the user. This feature does save time for visitors, but the client doesn’t need to land in the exact version of the website which they need. For example, if an English-speaking person visits a country like “Spain,” then the website automatically sets the language to “Spanish,” which makes it difficult for the visitor to understand. So, if you are going to auto-detect locations, then you have to add language switcher to your website.
It doesn’t mean that if a person lives in a country, then he/she can understand their local language. So, it is always vital for a multi-lingual to give privilege for their site visitors to select the preferred language. To further improve the user experience for your website visitors, it is considered to remember their language preferences so that next time they visit the website, it loads the language automatically.
Content is King, so we need to keep in mind that a person visits your website, not just for its design. So, it is imperative to offer content that is useful for both domestic and international visitors. The contents should always pass the localization and optimization criteria.
We can set the localization aspect by hiring a professionally qualified translator for each of your target markets as a single word can be meant differently in a different language. So, it is crucial to know the local language/dialects to reach a wide range of people. It is difficult for the search engines to detect words inside the Flash files, that is the reason why the websites with a lot of Flash are not SEO friendly.
While optimizing your website, avoid direct translation of all the keywords and phrases through any English language website as visitors may use abbreviations, synonyms, or acronyms to search the product/service on a regional basis. It is essential to research the terms used by the customers in your target market for searching for products or services.
The length of a text can vary from one language to another. So, it always essential to keep that in mind before designing the layout for your multi-lingual website. For example, German and Italian are wordy languages, so it requires an upward of 30% more space than some other language. So, it is crucial to keep a flexible design for your layout. The thing to remember while designing the layout is that the text expands or contract in both width and length. The character and line-height should also be kept in consideration because non-Latin texts are much taller than Latin text.
Images and Icons
The images, icons, and other graphics add life to your website. So, it is essential to use images and icons which are globally accepted as they are subjective and can be interpreted in different ways when put into a different cultural context.
One of the critical aspects of web designing is choosing the correct color scheme for your website. It is essential to use culturally appropriate colors as different cultures see and interpret colors differently. Blue is always considered as the safest and most globally accepted color choice for design as it has many positive associations. Blue also symbolizes trust and authority. It is always essential to research the symbolism associated with any color before using it in your multi-lingual website design if you are not sure of cultural implications.
Navigation plays a vital role in the website designing process. Consistency and landmarking are the two factors that help visitors to find your website. The navigation part should be intuitive while designing a website. For example, if there is a vertical menu bar on the left-hand side of the website for the English version, then it should be present on the right-hand side of the website for the countries that read from right to left like Arabic or you can also make use of a horizontal menu bar to avoid changes.
These are some factors you have to keep in mind while creating a Multi-Lingual Website. We hope this guide was helpful to you. If you need more help, please use the comment section given below or contact our support desk!