A multilingual website is a website where content is written in many languages. This practice has an increase in demand, as websites aim to reach as large an audience as possible.
It is a strategy mainly built for search engines, to enable a user get the website result they requested in their desired language.
Designing multilingual websites is different from the normal websites, with these ones requiring extra skill and expertise, since they are aimed at getting to a wider audience.
Below is a guide on how to properly design a multilingual website.
Make use of global templates
The reason for choosing global templates is the websites will be accessed all over the world, in different regions. These templates seamlessly switch from different devices, such as computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
They also allow for text expansion improving the user experience in visual presentation. In this approach, the website is able to maintain a consistent global image over all the websites.
Incorporating a user-friendly global gateway
Global gateways are drop-down lists, which allow a user to select the specific website they need, by selecting their language of preference.
The gateway should be placed in an easily accessible part of the website, like on the header, to ensure its ease of accessibility. No matter the base language, finding the gateway should be effortless for the user.
Build sites that accommodate different internet speeds
Different regions have different internet speeds, with South Korea having the fastest average internet. Good multilingual websites should be easily accessible in areas of low internet speeds, to accommodate international users who have a challenge of low speeds.
Internationalize for e-commerce
In the case of shopping cart websites, the developer should also include a conversion of currency formula. Basic language translation can work for basic sites, but currencies need special conversion rates.
It helps to avoid undercharging or overcharging clients due to variances in inflation levels. The developer can also opt to use a single currency, such as the Dollar on all the websites.
Consider cultural beliefs
Different regions have different cultural and social beliefs and practices. A developer should avoid using graphics that can be considered immoral in certain regions.
Due to this, they should familiarize themselves with what is acceptable in the different regions they intend to cover. This ensures there is no conflict between the website owners and the intended audience, which would lead to serious lawsuits and possible banning of a website in a region.
Consider appropriate date and time conversion
In time, different regions use different formats, with the English-speaking countries such as the U.K and her colonies using the 12-hour format.
Majority of European countries, however, use the 24-hour clock, and this applies to most countries outside Europe.
Calendar formats also vary from one region to the other, and the developer should ensure the conversions are done appropriately for each site.
Multilingual websites are mostly used in big organizations’ websites, such as YouTube, Google, and many others. Due to their importance and large exposure, the above guidelines should be observed to make them a good build for search engines.