How to translate your website, multilingual website best practices

(Last Updated On: August 31, 2018)

Building a multilingual website can be a challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be if basic multilingual website best practices are followed. Structuring your web pages to meet the requirements of your audience can offer the best user experience. Using a customer-centric way of creating content gets new visitors to feel welcome and returning users come back.

Getting trust amongst your audience is a standard of reliability and security. It shows you are an internationally-savvy business who cares about their customers.

Multilingual website best practices

  1. Language

Users have to be capable of reading the site in the native language or the language of their choice. This doesn’t only involve all content but also buttons, functions, and features of the website. Machine translation is wholly discouraged, even if a disclaimer is attached, and every translation has to be evaluated by a qualified translation expert before it is posted.

  1. Access

The best multilingual website is worthless if users can’t find pages in their language. Toggle buttons that allow users to switch languages easily have to be accessible and visible on every page, generally on the top right.

  1. Culture

Beyond the attention of the language, it is essential for multilingual websites also to discuss cultural considerations to relate to their audience easily. The solution to a successful multilingual website is translation and localization by a specialist who understands the target culture and can avoid possible localization obstacles and dead-falls.

  1. Maintenance and Comparability

Make sure the user experience on the various language subsites on your website is comparable and that you have systems in place to keep it that means. Maintenance and updates on a multilingual website have to follow continually across all languages.

  1. Users’ Expectations

Make sure you alert users with a notice before you send them to a part of your site that hasn’t been translated yet, to an external link in a different language or if a file needs special software that may not be possible in their language. An icon or short text letting them know about the target’s language may be sufficient to avoid trouble.

Bored already? Instead of trying to understand the most common multilingual website best practices, why not leave your website translation project to specialized translators? Or read on…

  1. URL Strategy

Use a stand-alone, dedicated URL for marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. That URL can then redirect to another one more in line with your agency URL convention.

  1. Toggle

Enable users to toggle between comparable content or features on the English-language and multilingual websites if available.

  1. Online Marketing

Generate and execute a targeted multilingual online marketing plan, including social media, and track results. This introduces multilingual blogs, Twitter and Facebook account as well as the tracking of results of your multilingual marketing attempts.

  1. Online Features

You’ll need to make sure that not only content has been translated, but that online features as well. For example, users should be able to share, print, email and subscribe to your site in their native language.

Contact ISO Translations to know more about the multilingual website best practices!