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Multilingual Best Practices fro WF in 2020?

Hello!
Most multilingual workarounds in the forums are from a few years back.

@sabanna , you’ve helped so many people with this issue, I’d like to ask if you or anyone else has an update on the best practices to set up a bilingual / multilingual, given WF’s evolution.

What’s the best way to have 2 or more languages on a website?

  • Ideally, it would be:
  • SEO-friendly
  • Client-friendly
  • User-friendly
  • Low-cost
  • Plays well with CMS, @foxy and 1000 + products

I’ve seen @sabanna 's mentions of 3rd-party services (WeGlot / Multilingualizer) as well as workarounds for dynamic collections using Webflow’s CMS. Since then, I imagine these and other options have been tried and tested so…
What is currently the best option?

Planning for the future:
Is there an option that can be adapted to Webflow’s own multilingual solution when it comes out?

Thank you so much!

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I’m having a bad time now as well looking for multilingual options and best practices. I have 2 websites delayed because of it and one that it does the work but it’s gonna be a headache if my client wants to change something (I’ve multiplied every page, translate it manually and relinked everything to it’s corresponding language page)

It would be awesome to have a webflow native alternative (already voted for it on the wish list) but in the meanwhile, I too would be thankful for anybody here in the forum to share their updated opinion about it :innocent: :kissing_smiling_eyes:

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@sabanna @cyberdave do you have any suggestions? Always seem to find your answers on the forum very helpful. Thanks!

I’ve heard good things about Webglot, so we are using it for an Italian website I am doing. I can’t give you feedback yet, but their support is very good so far and so are the features and price.

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It’s a shame that multilanguage is not a priority for Webflow. I rejected some good projects because of this meassing feature.

Please fell free to use my solution. It works very well, at least for 2 languages.

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Thank you @Hywel , That seems to be what most people are recommending and it is what I’m leaning towards. That their customer support is good is definitely a huge plus.

Please keep us posted about your experience with Weglot!

Thank you @mmbn I read through your solution and will come back to it later to see if I understand it all right. It seems quite clever, I’d just be concerned about the SEO aspect as part of the project is implementing an SEO audit that partner did for the client. I’ll check on her thoughts SEO-wise on this approach.

Thanks for sharing!

Hi All, still looking into this.

I’ve found WeGlot amazing, however, I’m concerned about preserving SEO for a site that’s being migrated. Anyone have experience with this? It’d be great to know if WeGlot is good at preserving the second language’s SEO after migration, as a lot of what I’ve found so far points to subdomains losing a lot of power, affecting marketing and search visibility.

@Hywel How’d it go? Curious if you have any feedback now, especially in regards to SEO.

I’ve tried weglot superficially and it seems great, but SEO has me concerned as mentioned in my last comment.

Hi again

Well, it all fell apart and the website was canned! So I can’t tell you about the effect on SEO. I would assume the SEO title and description should be part of any translation, but I’m afraid I have no experience of the effect on subdomains.
My apologies and good luck with your site!

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Hello hello!
I am re-opening this topic because I cannot seem to find anything to answer my question.
We have created a new website and we have both English and German translations that have been made by a professional translator.
My question is: what is the best practice for creating a multilingual site? Should I just create a new DE folder in the current project (the original is in Eng) OR can I just copy the project and have the original link to the DE site when clicking on the language?

I looked into WeGlot but it does not seem to fit our use case because we already have the translation ready.

I am new to Webflow, apologies if this question is very basic!

Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!!

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Hi Sofia!

Since my original post I’ve had experience with Weglot and with using 2 separate projects.
I also did a ton of research on these and the subfolder option back then.
I also worked with an SEO expert on that project and did some multilingual SEO research.

In a nutshell.
The general consensus is that subfolders are ok for small sites and 2 languages, even 3, and WeGlot is advised for larger sites with 2+ languages.

Below I go into more detail based on those experiences. Let me me know if you have any questions. I’m not often on the forums so I might be a few days to reply.

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Weglot
This is by far the quickest way to get set up. It takes care of SEO (see below) and automatically creates your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc site.

Re: Your Translations: You can edit and replace WeGlot automatic translations with your own.

The main drawback: is you get some limitations on how much you can differentiate the experience in either language. This may or may not be a drawback depending on your site.

You don’t directly modify the 2nd language site. You always work on the main site, then WeGlot creates and translates the copy. There are some resources for you to assign what does and doesn’t get displayed in either language based on user browser settings, but you can’t modify anything for specific locations via WeGlot (you can via other apps, including foxy for eCommerce and localization platforms that integrate with Webflow).

Also keep in mind WeGlot’s pricing as it scales with the amount of content you need translated. At this point it doesn’t matter that you translate the content yourself, as WeGlot prices are not just for translating, but for handling all the setup, SEO, and translation interface.

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Subfolders:
Could get unwieldy depending on your site structure, but have the advantage of using up a single site plan, and one project and admin for controlling everything.

Static pages are very easy to set up. CMS items are a bit more work and you can find clever solutions here in the forums.

For SEO, you need to use hreflang tags on each page. As an example, this basically tells Google that Page A in English is equal to Page A in Spanish. Otherwise, Google will see the similar pages as duplicate content and penalize them. It’s not catastrophic if you don’t do it but it’s the best practice.

An additional benefit is that this helps you localize your sites, so that Google prioritizes one over the other in search results based on a user’s language preferences and even location. Example: you tag Page A for US English and another Page A for Australian English. Google will prioritize them accordingly in search results for users in the US and in Australia, or that are anywhere in the world but have a preferred form of English in their browsing settings.

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Separate projects
Works fine, and lets you use specific top level domains for local targeting and SEO benefits. For example, website.com is international and website.uk is aimed specifically at the UK.
You still need to use hreflang which can get impractical with CMS items.
If using different languages with the same top level domain, subdomains is a good idea. For example, something like site.com for your main language and de.site.com for the German version or fr.site.ca for Canadian french and en.site.ca for Canada in English.

Design and add a language switcher to both sites.

The drawback here is managing a second site.
So if you create a new page in one, you’ll have to migrate it to the other. Update in one, then update in the other. This is not bad and is only annoying when migrating CMS and in some cases, symbols get wonky (unbind them before copying if you spot any issues).
Any site expenses might double (like double hosting on Webflow). You can usually create a subdomain with your domain registrar at no extra cost though.

Cheers and welcome to the forums!

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Thank you so much @Yaco for your explanation and reply.
In the end, I decided to go the subfolder way. It’s a bit of work but not too much because our site is not too big.
I also added hreflang tags on all the pages.
We went live yesterday so fingers crossed!

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Glad you launched @Sofia_Filippova , congratulations! Sounds like subfolders is a good fit.

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@Yaco I haven’t tried Weglot but any migration from folders to subdomains will be affected in SEO. Subdomains are considered as separated site and will not receive the total “authority” as a folder.

I’ve been doing SEO for the past 10 years and I’ve seen website traffic crash due to subdomain localization “migration” and grew exponentially by migrating to subfolder. I would not recommend that to anyone except on “rare” occasion.

Here is a good reference on the subject. Subdomain vs. Subdirectory: Which is Better for SEO?