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Do you have a multilingual website? 

Nowadays, it is a necessity. 

Why?

English is estimated to be 55.5% of all web content.

However, only around 20% of the world's population speaks English at all, and just 5% of the world speaks English as a native language

Every fourth website is in English.

The conclusion is simple.

You lose potential customers. 

In order to avoid that, create a multilingual version of your website.

If you don't have an English one - what are you waiting for?

You do have a website in English?

Great!

Now do some research and find out what would be the second most popular language in your target group. 

And create a version of your website in this language.
 

What is a multilingual website?

It is a website, that has more than one language version. 

Thanks to smart design, it allows users to intuitively switch languages. 

Multilingual website constantly increases the number of users who come across content on your website. 

Did you know, that WebWave is a multilingual website?

In the footer, users can choose between English, Polish, and Romanian.

 

Why do I need a multilingual website?

Multilingual websites are usually used in websites that are business cards or online stores.

If you don't have a clear goal of a website, you should think about it first.

It will narrow down your field of expertise and users will more likely visit your website and get to know the product, service, and brand. 

It will also increase brand recognition and position in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). 

This is the reason why more and more bloggers publish content in two (or more) languages.

They want to be perceived as professionals among users and get a wider audience.

However, a poorly made multilingual website can cause more harm than good...

Double content

One of the most common mistakes is the lack of explicitness in language on a website.

Not translated elements of a template cause duplicate on an entire domain. 

And this lowers its authority. 

That's why you need to make sure that all content on a particular version of the website is in one language only. 

In another case, setting a separate domain is just pointless.  

Every language version can have a different domain, compatible with its description.  

The most recommended structures are:

1. Country-specific (yourwebsite.fr)

Google will perceive every version as a separate website.  

This makes positioning on different markets efficient. 

The only issue might be difficulties with purchasing these domains. 

For example, in the Spanish market, there might already exist a website under this domain and redeeming it might be very expensive.  

 

2. Subdomains with global domains (fr.yourwebsite.gb)

The main advantage of this solution is that you do not need to purchase many domains because Google sees every subdomain as a separate website.

 

3. Folders with global domains (yourwebsite.gb/fr)

There is no need to purchase separate domains for every language.

If you remember about a couple of things, Google still manages to index all subpages. 

Did you know, that in WebWave you can create many website versions in just a few clicks?

And we take care of all additional settings, so you don't have to worry about them.

Join over 150 000 people who build websites with no coding for free

Website builder WebWave allows you to build free websites with no coding for free. Start from scratch with a blank page or use one of many free templates.

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SEO vs multilingual websites

A multilingual website is sufficient when users typing a key phrase in their language come across a corresponding language version of your website. 

That's why I need to mention about hreflang.

It defines the language and set content location. 

You can point out the addresses of subpages with different languages versions and set a location for each subpage. 

It is not always worth to link language to location (eg. es-ES), because some people outside of Spain might also look for Spanish websites. 

Thanks to hreflang, Google knows which content to rank.

That's why users typing keywords in their languages are able to find your multilingual website.

It is also the reason why when creating a multilingual website you need to create a separate SEO for every language. 

Before translating content, take a look at some SEO guides.

It might turn out that the original website is not SEO-friendly and you should fix that first.

Is SEO time-consuming?

Definitelly yes. 

But it is worth it.

By using White Hat SEO you can see lasting results of your hard work. 

Remember about the users

First of all, the languages menu should be visible. 

Secondly, a huge faux pas is using country flags to describe a language.

Using a Spain flag for the Spanish language can be disrespectful for others (twenty!) countries speaking this language. 

A good solution is using shorts of languages names like we did in WebWave (EN, PL, RO).

You can also help yourself with geolocation, which automatically adjusts website language to the user's IP.

Unfortunately, this functionality is not available for addresses with a structure of folders with global domains ( yourwebsite.gb/fr).

But if you want to use any other structure - be my guest.

And don't worry.

When you decide to use geolocation, the language menu will still be displayed.

So every American in Europe, or anywhere in the world, can still read your website in English.  

Not translated elements like a footer or articles cause duplicate on an entire domain. 

Creating a multilingual website in Wordpress

Implementing an easy and accessible solution should be a priority for such a developed company like Wordpress.

Nevertheless, the only easy and working solution are external plugins, which you need to install and configure on your own. 

And of course, there is a catch.

Free plugin version does not translate continuous text and often does not cooperate with other, important plugins on a website.

You can always solve this problem by installing other plugins for these not working plugins.

But it is a mess.

You can always pay for the plugin, it is 99 euro.

In order for a multilingual website to work well in WordPress, you need to install a dozen or so plugins.

Luckily for us, there are other, simpler solutions.

With website builder WebWave, creating multilingual websites is simply easy. 

There is no need to install external plugins.

All you need to do is make a copy of your website and translate content in the website builder. 

Try it yourself, with no coding, for free.

Make sure to read articles below:

 

Author: Julia Madraszewska

22 April 2019

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