By their very own nature, multi language websites always need more planning. Here are some points to make it an easier ride.
1. What kind of multi language website is needed?
The first thing to ask is what kind of multi language website is needed. Is it a matter of adding a couple of pages in another language to your current presence? Maybe that is enough, especially, if through your requests and analytics you realise that the queries from a particular country are always about a particular topic. However this is not always the case and you might find yourself in a position where you feel that strategically speaking the best thing to do is develop a full website in another language. This is often the case where the international side of the business is a core to the main operations.
2. Preparing the content in another language /s
Whatever the case, it is important to understand that content for a multi language site is a serious matter. Ideally, content needs to be written by native speakers of the language and under no circumstance should one consider going down the route of automatic translation services. This is a process that can take time as the original content might also need to be revised before passing it to translators. Once the website has been built and is being tested, it is also ideally reviewed by someone who understands the language (maybe the original translator) as this ensures that certain errors are not overlooked. Many often the website developers and designers might not be fluent in the language. The ultimate aim is to present to the client a website in his or her native language that is free from mistakes. Language blunders can result in lost business.
3. Working with different languages
Finally keep in mind that once you set up a website in a variety of languages you’re opening the door to queries and messages in other languages in which you might not be comfortable or fluent. For example, after adding the Russian version of a website, the owner can find himself dealing with requests in Russian language and in order to reply to these requests, he needs the assistance of someone who is fluent in the language. Another point to note is that once you have a multi language presence, you might need search engine optimisation services that factor this phenomenon and likewise other digital marketing initiatives might also need to be fine-tuned.
Although it is true that websites in multiple languages are more laborious, sometimes it is a necessary tool to tap into international markets. Guidance from expert web developers, especially those who have experience in such matters can be the linchpin for success.