5 Best Practices for Multilingual Websites

Category: Website Translation

You’ve invested time and money into translating your website into multiple languages. But if no one can find the version that they need, what’s the point? (If a tree falls in the forest…)

Here are 5 tips that you can use to ensure that your site visitors can easily find the right language version of your website.

1. LANGUAGE NAMES
Present the names of available languages in their respective translations, rather than in English. Data backup company i365 does this.

2. FLAGS
Do not use flags to signify languages as this may confuse or even upset users from other countries speaking the same language. A Canadian flag may confuse Canadians searching for the site in French, for example.

3. NON-LOCALIZED
If you haven’t localized all of your content and are linking to material that has not been translated, you might want to consider managing users’ expectations by letting them know they are about to navigate to a non-localized area.

4. CLARIFY
Make it easy for users to find localized versions of your site by using good navigation placement. For example, most people look in the top right corner for navigation to a different language version.

5. STANDALONE URL
Use a stand-alone dedicated URL. This is for marketing and SEO purposes. Ideally, you should host your localized site with a hosting company in the target market so that search engines will index the site for the local market.

For more information on how to lead clients to alternate-language versions of your site, read our article, Navigating Multilingual Websites: Finding the Right Language.