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Multi Language Site?

Thread began 9/27/2010 10:54 pm by eopco265885 | Last modified 10/10/2010 5:47 pm by eopco265885 | 613 views | 2 replies

codamedia

Hi Rich,

I've built a lot of multi-language sites over the years and to put it mildly, there is no easy way to do this. You mention creating a second page, but this is likely my least favorite way to do it. It does double your work load, but it also created a hornets nest of files and images. As for $$$$. It's not my business, but be careful. When I do a multi-language site the cost is at least double that of a single language site, not including the cost of actual translation. Don't sell yourself short! The workload might be double, but so should the pay. A customer should not expect this for free!

I don't know of any magic tool you are asking about. Sure there are page translators out there, but they are not that good. Your site will look like it went through an auto translator, and the 2nd language people will not be impressed.

The easiest way to do a multi-language site is to simply mirror each language into it's own folder. IE: Set the English site into a /en folder, and a french site into /fr or a spanish into /es. YES - this will double your work load, but the separation of the sites makes it easy to organize and maintain. If you maintain your url structure in both, it is really easy to maintain. (ie: same image and file names, just different language content)

The more difficult way is to create a CMS that handles multi-language and pulls the content from a database into each page, depending on a URL (GET) variable (lang=en, lang=fr, lang=es). You should use GET variables rather than Sessions or Cookies, as that is the only way a user can bookmark the page, and search engines can find it. Even in this method, you increase your work load because each lanaguage content needs to be added. There is one other "gotcha" to this method. Don't forget you will likely need to display different images and logos for the site as well. IE: logo-en to pull an English logo, logo-fr to pull a French logo etc... That makes image management a little trickier.

Which ever way you choose, organization is the key. Lay things out, and stick with it! As soon as you deviate just a little your site(s) will become a complete mess.

Just my 2 cents.

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