Common Mistakes When Building Multi-lingual Websites

Common Mistakes When Building Multi-lingual Websites

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Sunday, 08 May 2016
Web Design

Many websites are available with excellent graphical page. In these websites, users are able to choose their desired languages. They may only choose specific languages in the dropdown menu. Often, we can specify one primary language of the website. It means that when users open a website, it will be presented with a default language and they could choose the preferred language by accessing the dropdown menu. Languages can also be changed by clicking the small flag icons somewhere on the webpage, but often located on the top right corner of the webpage. One common mistake we do is not giving a straightforward option for people to change specific languages of our website. This is something that we should avoid whenever possible.

Another common way is to use IP address detection to define the geographical locations of users. It means that the language of the website is changed automatically, based on where the website is opened. However, we should know that the method is not completely accurate. There are some people in specific country who prefer to use English as the main language of our website. It means that the system fails to accurately detect the preferences of users. This leads to one common mistake of relying too much on IP address and geographical detection. If the available system is somewhat inaccurate, it is better to display the primary language instead, but offers a way to change it in a convenient manner.

There are also font-face considerations related to multi-lingual websites. One mistake is that we fail to use the proper font faces. In general, font faces should be used automatically and multilingual characters should be displayed directly. It means that users shouldn’t be asked to install specific fonts to read the website in their native language. This will help to improve the overall experience. The use of Unicode and symbols that are already available in the operating system should help us to make access to multi-lingual website more seamless. This is an important thing to do if we want consumers to better access our website.

Standard websites are driven by database and it is important that database fully supports all the special character of any major language. We should consider many technical issues and data should be retrieved in a correct manner. It is a mistake to choose a database platform that doesn’t fully support the use of specific special languages. Another thing to consider is the SEO factor. This is something that we need to think about since the development phase of our website. We should know that promoting on the English version of our website will have no direct effects on other language versions. It’s a big mistake to think that we should only promote the English version of our website.

Another mistake is related to the placement of our server. It is actually possible that users in specific countries won’t be able to access our website quickly. When using a web hosting provider, it is important to make sure that our website could be loaded quickly, regardless of the user locations.

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