7 Ways to Successful Website Internationalization

7 Ways to Successful Website Internationalization

7 Ways to Successful Website Internationalization 1920 1080 Sergio Guillén

Enter Foreign Markets Faster with Proper Website Internationalization

Does your code support Arabic? When entering Arab markets, your site must be able to render the characters of that language, and it must be readable from right to left. These are just two of the factors you must consider for successful website internationalization. Here are more tips to get you started.

1. Know What Internationalization Is and Is Not

Internationalization is defined as the process of making sure that your website’s platforms, workflows, and architecture accommodated multiple cultural conventions and languages so that you can create localized sites.

You are making your content management system (CMS) and website functionally and technically global ready by internationalizing them. This will ultimately improve the global customer experience.

CMSs and other back-end technologies are the focus of website internationalization. The goal is to support web publishing processes that are multilingual. Internationalization is not translation or localization. Although, it supports these efforts.

2. Simplify Future Projects by Separating Site Variables and Constants

In his 2003 book Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies, John Yunker points out that internationalization enables the separation of site variables from site constants. Variables change for each locale, but constants remain the same regardless of location.

Brand names, source code, logos, generic user interface elements and navigation, and global page templates are all examples of constants. Variables may include international currencies, localizable text strings, conventions for phone numbers and addresses, and much more.

To minimize rework, you will want to identify which elements will remain constant and which are variables. It is generally harder to internationalize sites with more variables.

3. Understand the Importance of Unicode

Computers in the past used encoding systems to assign specific numbers to represent characters in a particular language. Problems arose because none of the encoding systems had enough characters to cover every language.

Some systems even used several numbers for the same characters or one number for numerous characters. And, when data passed between different platforms or encodings, there were issues.

This is where the Unicode Consortium fixed things. No matter the program, language, or platform, Unicode offers a one-of-a-kind number for each character. It has been adopted by all of the top software and hardware companies since its inception. Unicode is your best option.

4. Think of Your Multilingual Site as a Car

In Yunker’s Beyond Borders book, he provides an in-depth analogy comparing building multilingual websites to manufacturing cars.

Instead of developing new car models for each country, car manufacturers will develop models that are easy to adapt to several countries to maximize returns and minimize costs. This requires internationalization, which takes place “behind the scenes” unbeknownst to the consumer.

The internationalization part of the puzzle features extensive testing and planning to create the global template. At this time, some manufacturers or startups looking to go international may decide that certain markets are not worth the localization efforts.

5. Make Sure Your CMS Is Global-Ready

The foundation of your website is your CMS. It allows users to collaborate to manage, publish, and create content. The abilities of this system will determine whether your localization projects will be successful.

There are a number of features a global-ready CMS will have, including interoperability with other applications, a workflow engine versatile enough to handle translation in the content lifecycle, support for third-party plugins, and much more.

In addition, you want a CMS that can manage version control, variation support, and content change across several multilingual websites.

6. Ensure Your Website Is Global-Ready

We suggest performing an audit for website internationalization before you start the translation process. This will identify whether you have a global-ready website and, if not, what you need to do to get there. Magento goes into detail about how to make your website global-ready.

Global-ready sites use graphics and photos that are not locale-specific. Icons are generic and do not have text. Menus, buttons, and layouts can easily handle text contraction and expansion. And, users can easily get to the international site that they want using a permanent global gateway.

Most of the CMSs today are Unicode-enabled, but at this stage, it is important to confirm that this is the case. You want your product information management and marketing automation systems, CRM software, and databases to conform to Unicode.

7. Your Site Should Be Developed with Internationalization in Mind

If you are lucky enough to be reading this before starting your website, then now is the perfect time to have globalization in the back of your mind. You can create a site that is fully internationalized and will be prepared for localization down the road.

During the critical stages of the globalization process, it is a good idea to seek the expertise and experience of a reputable language service provider. They can help you localize, globalize, and internationalize your multilingual websites successfully.

Accelingo has the software to make your internationalization process as seamless as possible.

Sergio Guillén

As the CEO of Accelingo, I believe in a globalized world where businesses flawlessly share their message across different cultures.I strive to empower startups to scale up globally and take over the world by providing compelling multilingual content that preserves their brand’s message and identity while increasing their reputation and visibility among global clients and partners.If you’re an ambitious startup hungry for international success, get in touch with me today and let’s find out how your startup can benefit from my expertise!

All stories by: Sergio Guillén
  • I like how this article has the analogy of building the internationalization of a website like a car, wherein, manufacturers develop adaptable models to lower production costs yet increase income. This seems too complicated for me, so if I were a business owner, I’d probably leave these to the experts that can really develop a functioning global portal for my business.

    • Thanks, Claire! I’m really happy you found this article interesting and decided to reach out to us. It’s been a real pleasure working with you, and we look forward to collaborating with you as your preferred translation agency!

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