Having a bilingual website will be crucial for businesses trying to expand into multiple markets in 2023. Despite English being the most used language on the internet, it only accounts for a quarter of the languages spoken online.
Translating your website is the best way to access new international markets, such as China, Spain, Arabic and France, all of which are seeing an increase in web usage. It's especially important for e-commerce businesses, as 75% of people prefer to shop online in their native language and 60% won't buy from websites which are only in English. Let's look at the choices for adding a language to your Webflow website to get you going.
1. Duplicate websites and pages
Duplicating websites and pages is a potential solution for creating a multilingual website. However, this can be a time-consuming and tedious process, especially for larger websites with a lot of content.
You can duplicate collection items using static pages, but this requires a lot of manual work to add and manage multiple pages. Updating the original website content also means having to update the duplicate pages. If you create duplicate websites, you can create language subdirectories, but you’ll need to add hreflang tags to distinguish between the different language versions.
The downside of this process is that you’ll also have to take care of translating the content of your website, either by yourself or with the help of a translator. After the content is translated, you’ll need to manually add it to your website. This adds to the overall time and effort required to make a multilingual website.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether the time and effort required to duplicate websites and pages is worth the outcome.
2. Use the Weglot integration
Weglot is a no-code translation tool developed to make the challenging manual process of building multilingual websites more manageable. With this approach, there is no manual labor required to get a website up and running in several languages.
Weglot works by scanning the content of the original page and replacing it with translations.
There is an automatic translation layer that can be edited, managed, and fine-tuned in the Weglot dashboard and access to professional translators is available if needed. The user may concentrate on the content because the technical aspects of building a multilingual Webflow website are taken care of.
Weglot provides separate language subdomains for SEO, which is recognised as one of the key components when following Google best practices for multilingual SEO. Additionally, a front-end language switcher is automatically added so users can select the language of their choice.
Weglot is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to have a multi-language website without the complicated manual process, or the need for duplicate pages or websites. The Weglot setup process is quick and easy, and all the necessary components needed to create a successful multi-language website are provided.
Weglot pricing is based on the number of words that need to be translated. The price per word changes depending on the language combination you choose. For example, translating from English to French is cheaper than translating from English to Chinese.
For translating a 3 languages site with 250k words and CMS content:
- Up to 200k words
- Custom Domain
- CMS translation
- 5 languages
3. Use the Polyflow
Polyflow is a native solution built just for Webflow creators to help them simplify the process of translating content to multiple languages. The platform automatically syncs all your static and dynamic content, attributes, components, and images, meaning you don’t have to repeat the same manual process for each language. With Polyflow, you can easily translate into over 120 languages, allowing you to reach a wider global audience and maximise your website’s potential.
Polyflow also features an intuitive dashboard that provides real-time insights into the translation process. This feature allows you to monitor the progress of your translations, assign tasks to different teams, and ensure that your content is always up-to-date and accurate. With Polyflow, you can quickly and easily create multilingual websites that can keep up with the ever-changing needs of your customers.
Polyflow pricing is based on the number of pages that need to be translated. You can translate up to 20 pages for free. Paid plans include unlimited languages.
- Unlimited pages
- Custom Domain
- CMS translation
- Unlimited languages
4. Native Webflow multi-language/localization in 2023
Webflow has taken a new direction, shifting its focus from solely a multi-language solution to emphasizing Localization. Localization is now available for all user to try for free.
Understanding Localization: How it Differs from Multi-language
It's important to recognize that "multi-language" is only a part of the broader concept of "localizing" a website for a global audience. Webflow's research has showed the fact that users want more than just translation of website text. They want the ability to tailor the entire website experience for various regions they serve. This extends to images, displayed content, and even stylistic elements and layout – precisely what localization aims to facilitate.
The Components of Webflow's Localization
Webflow is working on a native, yet extensible, localization product that presents a comprehensive solution for adapting websites to cater to visitors across multiple languages.
Localization will have three core components, which we will get into further:
- Design and Development: Collaborating with localized content within the Designer, fine-tuning designs and content to suit all locales.
- Content and Translation: Translating the site's content for all locales, either internally or by connecting with external translation management systems.
- Publishing and Delivery: Regulating the publication and presentation of localized content to visitors on the website.
Technical aspects of translating a website
Consider the following factors when selecting a translation solution for your website.
When translating your website, multilingual SEO is critical. If the solution you’re planning on using doesn’t take into consideration the many aspects of SEO, then it’s likely to have an impact when it comes to the visibility of your newly translated website. You choose to add additional languages to your website so you can enter new markets. But if you’re using a solution that doesn’t include language subdomains, then it’s unlikely you’ll be found by your new audience due to duplicate content penalties from Google.
You can target a wider range of keywords with translated content on your Webflow website, as well as translated meta titles and meta descriptions. Weglot also detects and translates content not visible on your site, such as metadata, increasing your chances of ranking in Google SERPs in your new markets.
To ensure that your website's multilingual SEO is effective, make sure the proper hreflang tags are used. This tells search engines which version of the page to serve to users in various countries and languages.
By doing this, you can help ensure the right users visit your multilingual site and that the content is indexed correctly. This is essential for your website to be visible in the SERPs in the countries and languages you’re targeting.
It is critical to choose a solution that allows for simple translation editing and management. Duplicating websites and pages may appear to be a convenient option, but it can be a source of frustration later on when minor changes must be made manually on each page. This can be a time-consuming and tedious process. As a result, it is wiser to invest in a solution that simplifies translation editing and management.
Benefits of translating your website
1. Translated Versions of Your Site Improve Its Overall SEO Rank
By using different domain names, subdomains, or subdirectories to host different language versions of the same website, search engine rankings are improved, and search engines are better able to understand the content of the site.
Check out our SEO guide to learn more about Webflow and SEO.