Do I translate or localize my website?
Translating vs. Localizing:
Sets of questions an online business looks for
How are our organization and marketing efforts structured?
Do we market differently by region or country?
What percentage of our audience does not speak English?
Are we speaking to different audiences within the United States or is this a global effort?
Does our business operate under the same brand worldwide?
Do our products and services vary by language or country?
There’s a wide range of reasons that all add up to one greater goal—to create an exceptional user experience (UX) that helps convert more prospects into customers for more sales and profitability. Offering content in several languages can add many new layers of complexity to web design. Translating articles is only the first hurdle; structuring a multilingual website can be pretty difficult.
Multilingual Website Style Tips
Try not to use multiple languages on one page. It might be tempting to create one page and just put text for both languages on it, but it’s better to avoid this. It’s hard for readers to have to wade through different languages, and neither audience will be totally comfortable.
Choose your fonts wisely. Whatever fonts you set in your Style Editor will apply to all pages, regardless of the language. So make sure you choose a font that’s easy to read in both languages and has all the characters you need.
Think carefully about the parts of your website that will appear the same to all visitors. Because of the way templates work, your website Header, Sidebar, and Footer will appear the same on every page of your website, regardless of the language. In other words, if you have English text in your sidebar, that English text will appear on every page, even your Spanish language pages. That could be confusing to some viewers. So if you have a multilingual or bilingual website, it’s a good idea to rely more on images or information that doesn’t need translating in your headers, sidebar, and footer. You can also leave these areas blank.
Fill out your SEO settings for each page. You want to make sure that customers using Google are directed to the right page on your site, in the right language for them. Take a few moments to write unique SEO descriptions for each page, in the correct language for that page.