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The Basic Guide for Developing a Multilingual Website

If you have a chance to deal with the international audience and let them walk through your business website without any glitches or hassles, would you do give it a shot or not.

Precisely yes! Therefore, if you would want the international eyes caught on your business website, primarily doing a page that is internationally understood is definitely a must. Here’s how:

Know the culture and tradition

The first thing you must do before localizing content, choosing the right color, and some other steps below is to know your goal; and alongside for that goal is to know whom you are talking to. In this episode of developing a multilingual website, we will talk about cultures, traditions, and all the necessary details of your target locale.

Better or not, segmentation of audience is must-do in this action. One of our latest articles about developing a multilingual website discussed the proper way to segment audience.

1. Better know what Unicode is.

We, readers understand the text. We read content, copies, and all stuffs in the web textually; so after all, we may conclude that we are textual. But the episode of being textual is too far from computers. We, people understand texts; computers understand numbers. This is the baseline of having a Unicode, a unique number designated for every character used as an international encoding standard.

People may ask the essence of a Unicode in multilingual website, we’ll see: acclaimed industry leaders like Apple, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun and many others use Unicode.

The UTf-8 (U from Universal Character Set + Transformation Format—8-bit) is capable of encoding all possible characters in Unicode. The encoding is variable-length and uses 8-bit code units. It is the most widely used among programmers and the best selection for making Unicodes in the international market.

2. Pick the best Domain name (and remember ccTLD).

Your domain name is the gateway for your website. Basically, this is a part of a network address that identifies a specific area of domain essentially followed by .com in most instances. .com is the TLD of the Top-level domain it belongs to. So, these are what you need to consider before getting up a domain:

  1. Generic Name or Brand Name domains. Just make it sure that the domain name matches your brand name or industry that you belong to or for at least a much related terms for your business.
  2. Long and Short domain. Doing this action may be rooted in the fact that SEO still runs on a domain name; still, domain name is affected by the SEO updates. On the other hand, think of the user; is your domain name easy to understand and remember?
  3. Domain name registrar. There are numerous domain name registrar on the web, but few are reliable enough to deal with. To list, these are (but not limited to) Hostgator and GOdaddy.
  4. The TLD.  TLD or top Level domain is the highest level in the hierarchical domain name system of the internet. This can help you localize and be located at targeted area when localizing a website or having a multilingual website. We have listed an article, Tips Your Team Must Know on How to Work on a Multilingual Website, for getting to know the Creating Country Code Top Level Domain or ccTLD, a domain suffix that links a web page with the geographical area.

To end, here what Vangie Beal has to say, “Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.”

3. Choose the right Color.

Your color suggests a lot to your website that would speak about it and suddenly will attract customers’ wit to engage with its content and the overall webpage. The things you need to remember when putting colors to your website are simple: it must compliment, it must have a good contrast, and it has to have a bit of animation.  Check out our latest article, “#WebDesign2015: Choosing the Right Color for Your Business Website,” for tips and concepts while starting a website in a color aspect.

4. Localize your Content (and make it locally appreciated).

Create a main language website, which is basically an English Language and Add pages in other languages based on the target marketing. Here are the different tactics to localize content:

  1. Entity translation – translates fields instead of full entity.
  2. Content translation – translates an article and integrates other tools machines translation services.
  3. Consider dialects – local language is not the only one to consider in multilingual website, there is also a distributed variety of language in a country called dialects. Philippines for instance have 13 dialects or 120-175 languages. Better have a research for these dialects and languages before engaging in the market itself.

5. Create Buttons and Navigation

Navigation can make your website organized. This is one of the most important parts of having a localized website. Additionally, navigations can make your user have a free, ordered, and centralized user experience in your website. Through navigation and the other buttons, your user can go to your website within a vast direction.

  1. Add custom buttons menu – these are buttons that allow users to select the desired language.
  2. Add language icon – this can make a user experience more freely when browsing.

6. Social Networking Channels

Social networking sites are the most vital marketing gateway for a multilingual website. This is where a lot of people rely, and consume almost all of their time.

Look for the top SNS channels in a specific area and create a strategy on how to get here with a great impact. In this aspect, you need to be careful with the culture and study its disparities to get the “inside” job. To start, here are some Social networking sites (aside from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram) to consider per country:

  1. QZONE. An SNS in China.
  2. FAcenama. An SNS widely used in Iran.
  3. V Kontakte (VK) in Russia.
  4. Odnoklassniki a minority SNS in Russia.
  5. Drauglem also a minor SNS in Russia.


Developing a multilingual website comes with three cores:  developing a target list, making a localized website and making it work.


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