As your business grows, you’ll probably eventually opt for the extension of the audience of your clients to other countries. Even though a vast majority of the world, civilized or not, has some knowledge of English, a site that is provided in different languages will be still a more convenient and thus a more attractive option, that will definitely get you more customers. But creating a multilingual site should not be taken for granted and, apart from technical issues of site design, needs also the right hosting solution, also considering the financial aspect of translating. In this article, we are going to have a look at the options available and which of them will be the best for your website.
How do You Create a Multilingual Website?
When looking for a multilingual website solution, there are two general strategies of how you host it and thus organize its structure: either you have a site hosted on one domain or you have multiple domains for each language’s version. Both approaches are valid, but each of them has its specifics which makes it more suitable for certain types of websites. Let’s see how this works.
One Single Domain for all Languages
When creating a site hosted on one domain (let’s say .com), you get a website where you simply switch the language version using a correspondent button on the website. For example, if you have a page for “offers” on the English version, it will look like this: bobbusinessman.com/offers/en. The correspondent version in, let’s say, Ukrainian, which will appear after pressing the UA button, will look like this: bobbusinessman.com/offers/ua. This variant is rather handy, it will cost less, the domain can get successful for SEO, and more convenient when you handle analytics.
However, at the same time, it can be problematic in terms of translation. With such kind of organization, the website has to provide a corresponding version for each page in each language. This is generally OK for websites that provide a finite amount of content. However, if you are dealing with a site whose content constantly expands – as when the site contains a blog – so the things can get troublesome as you’ll have to provide translation for each page of content, thus spending much money even for the pages that aren’t really needed in all languages available.
Otherwise, you’ll have to link the main page every time you create a page with a translation missing, or you’ll have to create a page announcing the absence of translation. Both options aren’t too good for the user experience, which will create a negative impression and make the site less popular, worsening eventually the SEO rates.
Furthermore, it’s highly probable that you won’t really need all the content you have in one language version for the audience of another language version. For example, if you offer traveling options, you may need different texts to aim for different types of clients according to their cultural particularities.
So, in any case, when hosting a site with extensive content on one domain, your business may suffer.
One Domain Per Language
Another hosting configuration for a multilingual website for your business would be to host each language version on a separate domain. This will, of course, cost more than the previous variant, but it will pay off with a number of advantages.
First of all, by having two separate domains – like .com and com.ua in our case, you’ll be able to geographically target potential customers from corresponding regions.
Secondly, the two (or more) resulting websites won’t depend on each other, so you’ll be able to develop them and fill them with content separately, at the tempo needed.
And you’ll be able to vary the content much more. You can add the corresponding button for switching between the languages whenever this or that article exists in both languages, or you can drop it out whenever it’s not the case.
To sum up, having multiple domains give you more flexibility both in terms of better targetting specific regions and in terms of content management and efficient translation strategy.
If you are going to create a multilingual website, the way you shall host it is an important choice and depends on various aspects of your website. Basically, there are two main options – either you host all language versions on one domain, or you have multiple domains, each for each language’s version. As we can conclude from this article, the first one is good if you are going to have a more static website whose content isn’t too extensive and isn’t updated too often.
If instead, you are going to constantly fill your website with new pieces of content, then you’ll face some troubles hosting on a single domain, and it’s better to have one domain per language, especially if want to prepare different content for different languages and want to target better the audience of specific regions. Whatever your choice is, make sure to check HostZealot’s dedicated server hosting UK. We hope that this article was useful. Take care!