Translating your website for foreign markets is a bit like heading out into the wilderness: you’re armed with just a few basic tools and your own knowledge to use as resourcefully as possible against never-before-seen obstacles.
So what’s the best way to proceed? Take a page from the book of the Boy Scouts of America. Be Prepared.
The more you do up-front to prepare your site for localization, the less you will spend, both in time and money, fixing issues that affect your ability to have a fully functional, localized site.
Easier said than done, right? Here are three (well, four) questions you should ask yourself before beginning, to get started on the right foot.
- Have you clearly defined the objectives of your multilingual strategy, and have you communicated those objectives with your teams, your partners and your local offices or resellers?
- Are you going to support and maintain completely separate, multiple local sites, or would you prefer to install a centralized, connected multilingual setup? (And is your web team ready to develop, maintain and support not one, but multiple sites, most of which they will not be able to read?)
- Is your navigation and content localization-friendly? For example, are you going to keep your localized sites at the same folder and directory level as the English? Is your web content terminology consistent and free of English slang or idioms?
For more questions to consider and a full overview of the preparation process, see our whitepaper on preparing your website for localization.