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multi-language ecommerce site

Thread began 10/09/2009 2:34 am by CraigR | Last modified 10/09/2009 6:21 am by CraigR | 1949 views | 6 replies |

CraigRBeta Tester

multi-language ecommerce site

i am planning a multi-language site, a project i have not previously attempted, and wonder if anyone has experience of this, whilst i consider the best approach.

my plan is to create a single database to hold all the product and order information, with any appropriate text content in the relevant language.
(i'm sure i have the knowledge to do this)

i would then have a number of identical sites (excepting html content which would be language specific) held in subdomains, all of which would interrogate the same database.
each site would use its own sessionid for set language.

the php code and sql on each site should be identical, the sql filtering the relevant recordsets by the appropriate sessionid.

if my database is structured correctly, i think this is achievable.

if anyone has experience of this, i would be interested in their input, as to what approach they took

regards

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Dave BuchholzBeta Tester

Craig,

not something I have done yet either but after having an enquiry last year for a multi language site I did a bit of research and my idea was to "sniff" the browser header as this returns the preferred language of the surfer and use this to present the appropriate language drawn from the database but it never went any further than that so I have no idea how workable or not my idea is.

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CraigRBeta Tester

thanks for the reply Dave.

i have heard about translation on the fly services ranging from free to £££.

i remember trying to use babelfish for my spanish studies a couple of years ago, and whilst it is ok to translate a few words or the odd sentence, it isn't really a solution, as there are so many phrases which do not have a word for word translation into another language.
i don't want to end up with something which looks like a 'pidgin' language version which might put people off

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Dave BuchholzBeta Tester

I might have mislead you a little, I was planning on drawing the text out of a database, much like you mentioned, based on the browser header not translating from english on the fly as it were.

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CraigRBeta Tester

I get it.

thanks for the update.

my approach is that the product content is stored in the database, which will have the appropriate descriptions by language, this is essentially the dynamic part of the site, and using a sessionid dependant upon the subdomain used, the sql will filter the data accordingly.

the textual content of the site(s), such as the menus and some descriptive text is (presumably) going to be fairly static once set up.

more dynamic info, such as news etc would need to be in multi language form anyway, and could be driven from the database if required

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Dave BuchholzBeta Tester

Personally I would not use subdomains but filter content, menus etc. as includes so I would have an en, fr, de, and es folders for example holding the english, french, german and spanish static content and draw in the static content via a switch statement for example based on the browser or client choice as you would still want to offer the client the option of choosing a different language.

This would make maintaining the site a lot easier in the long run.

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CraigRBeta Tester

good point

thanks for your input Dave, that seems an appropriate path to take

Regards

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