Small Business Brief

Technology & Software

3 Effective Tips for Building a Multilingual Website

Do you want to reach a global audience? Having a multilingual website can open a lot of doors for you as only a quarter of all website users are English speakers.

In other words, if you want more business and higher conversions, you should have a multilingual website.

Read on to learn how to convert your site into a multilingual site and attract more customers and traffic to your business.

1. Start with Your Domain

It’s important to make sure your website is set up right from the beginning. How you build your multilingual site will impact everything from SEO to the user experience.

You have a choice when you set up your site’s URL. You can get a top-level domain if you plan to target a specific country. For example, would work if you were targeting customers in Italy.

You would have to have separate sites, but it may be better because it’s specifically for your audience.

Now, if you want to target Spanish speakers in many different countries, you could use a subdomain, like

If you’re concerned about how your site’s structure impacts SEO, you should read Google’s guidance for a multilingual website.

2. Pick a Website Platform

Next, you have to pick a backend for your site. Some platforms are easy to use, but they aren’t great for supporting a multilingual website.

Some of the easiest platforms that you can use are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Which one you use depends on your needs and your comfort level with website design.

WordPress is the easiest to use and it’s good for many types of websites. Drupal is another one that can support multilingual websites, but there’s a higher learning curve to use it.

3. Use Basic Design Principles

The principles of multilingual website design are the same as a site that was in plain English. Make sure you have quality content and your site is fast.

Your site has to be easy to navigate and your users have to have an easy option to change the language of the site.

Your content needs to be easy to read. Make sure you use plenty of whitespace. The font size of the site needs to be easy to read on different types of devices.

Quality content matters to users and search engines. When you translate your content, you have to use more than Google translate to make it work.

There are cultural aspects of language that online translators won’t pick up. This service can help you set up your site to speak to your new audience and to search engines.

Build a Multilingual Website in a Few Steps

It’s not a complicated process to build a website that’s multilingual. You want to make sure that you follow basic design principles and use a backend that can handle the rigors of a multilingual website.

Of course, your content is going to matter above everything else. You have to make sure your content is translated in the right cultural context to appeal to your new audience.

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