Achieving Success with Multilingual Website: Expert Advice!

A multilingual website is necessary for businesses that want to reach a global audience and increase brand exposure in international markets. Building an effective multilingual website can open doors to new business opportunities, enhance customer engagement, and provide a significant competitive advantage in an increasingly tight digital landscape.

However, achieving success with a multilingual website is not easy. There are key challenges to face, so you need to overcome these challenges and ensure your multilingual website achieves the desired goals. Keep reading this article until the end!

Why is a Multilingual Website so Important for Your Business?

Having a multilingual website is very important for your business. It not only reaches a global audience but also offers many benefits. Here are some of them.

web design

  • Reaching a Global Audience: A multilingual website can reach audiences from various countries and cultures who speak different languages. This opens up opportunities to expand your business reach globally and increase market share.
  • Increasing Sales and Conversions: According to CSA Research, 65% of consumers prefer content in their native language, and 40% will not buy a product if it is written in another language. A multilingual website can help increase sales and conversion rates.
  • Building Customer Trust: By providing a website in a language customers understand, you show that you value and appreciate their needs. This can build customer trust and loyalty.
  • Local Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing your website for local search engines can increase your business visibility in international markets and reach a wider audience.
  • Business Expansion: A multilingual website helps prepare your business for global expansion, opening doors to new markets and business opportunities worldwide.

Considering the importance of a multilingual website, your business can communicate effectively with a global audience, enhance user experience, and maximize growth potential in international markets.

Challenges of Building a Multilingual Website

Building a multilingual website can be challenging. Here are some main challenges you might face when creating a website in multiple languages.

  • Quality of Website Translation: One of the biggest challenges is ensuring the website content is accurately translated into each supported language. Poor translation quality can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and a negative user experience.
  • Technical Setup: Setting up a multilingual website requires technical expertise, including choosing a content management system (CMS) that supports multilingual functionality and designing a user interface that accommodates various languages. Website owners may need developers or web designers to assist with the technical setup. Moreover, utilizing one of the popular headless CMS is particularly advantageous, as it decouples the backend from the frontend, allowing for more flexible and efficient management of multilingual content.
  • Responsive Design and Layout: The website’s design and layout must be responsive and adapt well to all supported languages. Some languages have right-to-left reading directions or require more space for text, which can affect the overall layout.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing the website for local search engines in various countries and languages requires different SEO strategies. This includes using hreflang tags, optimizing keywords in multiple languages, and creating SEO-friendly URL structures.

9 Tips for Achieving Success with a Multilingual Website

Creating a multilingual website is essential to reaching a global audience and boosting your business growth. However, this process has challenges that must be addressed with the right strategies. Here are nine tips to achieve success with your multilingual website.

1. Choose Your Target Audience

The first step in creating a multilingual website is identifying your target market and audience. Conduct thorough research on your potential audience’s demographics, geographic locations, and language preferences. This will assist you in determining which languages to incorporate into your website. For example, if you want to target the European market, it is advisable to include languages such as German, Spanish, etc.

You can also use analytics tools to see the countries of your previous visitors. Two tools that can be used are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. In Google Analytics, you can navigate to Audience > Geo > Language, while in Search Console, select Performance > Countries. You can use the visitor countries as a reference to determine the languages to use.

2. Choose your Target Countries and Languages

After identifying your target audience, the next step is to choose the specific target countries and languages for your website. Consider factors such as market potential, competition, and ease of business in each country. You might also consider including some of the most widely spoken languages in the world, such as Mandarin, Spanish, English, Arabic, and Hindi. This will help you reach a broader audience and increase global business opportunities.

3. Choose the Best Platform for Your Website

The next tip for creating a successful multilingual website is choosing the right multilingual website builder platform. Various CMS and website builders, such as WordPress, Joomla, Shopify, Wix, and others, support the creation of multilingual sites. However, when selecting a website builder platform, it is crucial to understand your site’s needs because some platforms are more specifically designed for specific websites. Here are some categories of platforms you should be aware of.

  • CMS: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
  • E-commerce platforms: Shopify and OpenCart, fall into this category.
  • Website Builders: Squarespace, Webflow, etc.

4. Build a Responsive Design Across Different Languages

A responsive and adaptable design across various languages is essential in creating a multilingual website. Translated text often has different lengths compared to the original language. For instance, translations in German tend to be longer than in English, while languages like Italian or Spanish are shorter.

These text length differences can affect the layout and appearance of the website. If the design is not flexible enough, longer text can get cut off or overflow from containers, while shorter text can create excessive space. Here are some best practices that can be applied:

  • The website design should be responsive and able to adjust to various screen sizes.
  • Use flexible containers and layout elements, such as flex-box or CSS grid.
  • Some languages, like Arabic or Hebrew, use right-to-left writing formats. The website design should be able to adapt to this text direction.
  • Ensure the fonts support all special characters required in the target languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, or Russian scripts.
  • Always check the website’s appearance in various languages by previewing directly or using cross-language testing tools.

5. User-friendly Language Switching

Adding a language switch button allows website visitors to switch between available languages easily. Some considerations when designing a language selector include:

  • The language switch button should be prominently located, such as in the header or footer, so visitors can easily find and access it.
  • The design of the language switch button should be clear, intuitive, and easy to read. Avoid using only flags, as this can confuse visitors unfamiliar with the flags.
  • Use text or icons that describe the function of the button or menu, such as “Language” or a globe symbol.
  • Ensure the design of the language switch button is consistent with the overall style of your website.

6. Use the Best Automatic Translation Tools

When translating a multilingual website, it is recommended to use automatic translation services to detect and instantly translate content.

In addition to automatic translation, there are two other options: manual translation. However, manual translation may involve human errors and be expensive, while machine translation cannot automatically detect content, thus requiring manual copying and translation. When choosing a translation service, it is important to consider the following points.

  • Automatic content detection
  • Live editor feature
  • Offers a variety of language options
  • High-quality translations
  • Supports multilingual SEO

One translation service that offers all these points is the Linguise automatic translation service. It is worth exploring for your automatic translation needs.

7. Consistent Design Across Languages

Maintaining a consistent design across all languages is crucial for providing a seamless and professional user experience on your multilingual website. Inconsistencies in design can confuse visitors and diminish trust in your brand.

Ensure design elements such as layout, typography, colors, and visual styles remain the same in all language versions of your website. This will create continuity and help visitors feel familiar with the website interface, regardless of their language. Additionally, consider cultural differences and design preferences in various regions. For example, some cultures prefer simple and minimalist designs, while others prefer rich and colorful designs.

8. Multilingual SEO Consideration


Optimizing your website for multilingual SEO is crucial for improving your site’s visibility and ranking in global search engines. By optimizing for multilingual SEO, you can increase the chances of your site being found by users worldwide searching for information in their language. Some multilingual SEO considerations you should implement include:

  • Translating URL slugs.
  • Using hreflang tags and hreflang codes.
  • Including keywords in URL slugs.
  • Translating meta descriptions.
  • Submitting multilingual sitemaps.
  • Optimizing on-page SEO elements such as titles, ALT attributes for images, keyword distribution, internal links, and others.
  • Setting canonical URLs.

9. Localize your Content

In addition to translating text content, localizing images, videos, and formats on your multilingual website is important. This involves translating and localizing content as well as images and formats.

  • Image and video localization: Images and videos used should be relevant and appropriate to the cultural context of the target language. For example, when translating into Arabic, use images or videos that reflect the Arab culture or context to make it easier to understand and accept by the local audience.
  • Format localization: Formats here can include dates, times, currencies, measurements, and more. Date and time formats vary by country/region. For instance, in Indonesia, the date format is dd/mm/yyyy, while in the United States, it is mm/dd/yyyy. Similarly, currency symbols differ in each country. Currency symbols should be adjusted, such as Rupiah (Rp) for Indonesia, Dollar ($) for the United States, etc. Localizing images, videos, and formats will provide a more relevant and intuitive experience for your website visitors from different cultures and regions.

Start Your Success with a Multilingual Website!

Building a multilingual website is crucial for expanding your business reach to global markets. One of the tips for creating a successful multilingual website is automatic translation.

One recommended solution is to use automatic translation services like Linguise. Linguise offers features such as automatic content detection, a live editor, diverse language options, high-quality translations, and support for multilingual SEO. By using Linguise, you can easily translate and manage your website content into various languages.

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Published on June 25, 2024 by Lucija; modified on July 17, 2024. Filed under: , , .

I used to write about games but now work on web development topics at WebFactory Ltd. I've studied e-commerce and internet advertising, and I'm skilled in WordPress and social media. I like design, marketing, and economics. Even though I've changed my job focus, I still play games for fun.