In today’s business world, it is essential to do business globally. The need for multilingual websites is increasing, but again, it is not easy to translate a website into different languages. In this article, we will explain what you need to know and what to keep in mind when creating a multilingual website.
What is a Multilingual Website?
What is multilingualization?
Multilingualization means making a website available in multiple languages. It can be in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Korean, etc., as well as Japanese.
Multilingualization can increase access from overseas. Many companies that are expanding their business to overseas markets are working to make their websites multilingual, as this can lead to increased business and improved user satisfaction. Many companies that are expanding their business overseas are working to make their websites multilingual.
One of the possible disadvantages of multilingualizing a website is the cost. The cost of translation and operation increases, requiring more budget and manpower. Also, it is important to note that making a website multilingual may slow down the display speed of the site.
Establishing an operational system is essential.
In order to operate a multilingual website, it is necessary to establish an operational structure. It is important to assign personnel for translation and operation, and to have an operational process in place.
How to Make a Multilingual Website
CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress and Drupal have plug-ins to make multilingual support easy. By installing plug-ins, they automatically generate translated content for each supported language and display it according to the language selected by the user.
However, when using plug-ins, it is necessary to make sure that the necessary settings for a multilingual website, such as translation quality and URL structure, are sufficient.
How to Create a Multilingual Website
Creating a multilingual website requires several steps
1: Determine the languages to be supported
The first thing to do is to decide which languages to support. To determine which languages to support, you need to consider your target audience and business objectives. For example, if a Japanese company is targeting a global audience, it should support English, Spanish, Chinese, etc.
2: Decide which pages to translate
Next, you need to decide which pages to translate. You do not need to translate the entire website. Instead, it is important to focus on translating key pages and content. For example, the home page, product information pages, service pages, and contact page are examples of pages to be translated.
3: Create URLs in different directories for each language
Each language should create its own directory and change its URL. For example, you can create URLs using the language code “example.com/en/” for Japanese and “example.com/en/” for English. This allows search engines to index pages in each language correctly.
4: Adjust design and layout for each supported language
When creating a multilingual website, the design and layout should also be adjusted for each supported language. For example, for languages such as Japanese, where text is written vertically, the design and layout must be adjusted. Also, attention should be paid to the fonts and colors used in different languages. By adapting the design and layout for each language, users will be able to browse the website more comfortably.
Considerations for Multilingual Websites
When creating a multilingual website, the following points should also be kept in mind
Make sure your website is SEO-friendly.
A multilingual website must correctly tell search engines in which language the content was written. To do this, it is necessary to set the language of the content using the hreflang attribute. It is also important to set up metadata that includes appropriate keywords and create language-specific sitemaps.
In addition, since web search trends and needs differ from country to country, first conduct keyword research in each language, and then apply SEO settings appropriate for each country based on the results of the research. When native users of each language conduct searches related to products and services, sites with multilingual support are more likely to appear in the search results.
Place multilingual selection buttons in easy-to-understand locations
A multilingual website should allow users to select the language they prefer to use. This requires placing easy-to-understand language selection buttons in prominent locations on the page. It is also important to design the display method and placement of the buttons to take into account cultural differences between countries and regions.
Increase your global competitiveness with a multilingual website!
Multilingual websites are an essential part of today’s global business environment. They can transcend language barriers, provide information to a broader audience, and facilitate business growth.
To build a multilingual website, you need to take steps such as determining which languages are supported, deciding which pages to translate, creating URLs in different directories for each language, and adjusting the design and layout for each supported language. In addition, there are two ways to build a multilingual website: to create it yourself using a CMS or service, or to outsource it to a production company. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you need to make the appropriate choice.
By building a multilingual website, you can not only reach new markets, but also increase your global competitiveness. However, you need to pay attention to the cost of multilingualization and control of translation quality. As the demand for multilingualization is expected to increase in the future, building a multilingual website is one of the most important issues for businesses.
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