These are the website internationalization best practices (2021)

website internationalization best practices

When it comes to internationalizing your website, this article should assist you in determining your best practices. This could be as a result of a strategic shift or if you want to start an international company or project this is for you. The process when your web app becomes international should not be a difficult task.

Another article about website localization shows you the process of planning, and if you read further in this article we try to help you to avoid any mistake. Make website internationalization easy with these couple of best practices:

Best practices summary

  1. Use as little text as possible in your pictures
  2. Separate code from translating
  3. Consider different ways of pluralizing words
  4. Check to see if the layout can support longer or shorter text
  5. Make it easy to find strings
  6. Set character encoding to UTF-8
  7. Consider the also the colors
  8. Choose the right localization translation service

Best practices in detail

1. Use as little text as possible in your pictures

Because you will end up uploading several images for the same piece or web content, as it has to be translated during the localization process. If you don't have any text in your image, there's no need to modify anything when it comes to localizing your website. Another possibility is to separate the text from the image. You may create a layer that will be placed on top of the image. Alternatively, make picture files easily accessible. Sometimes even if there is no legible text you may want to adapt the art asset (i.e. an image) because of cultural reasons. There are some libraries that can help with this issue i.e. Fragment replacement for links and images.

2. Separate code from translating

It seems logical to keep the code separate from the translation process. During the project, the developer may work freely without being interrupted by any colleagues. This way, you won't lose sight of the project and guarantee that no mistakes occur. This way you gather new content automatically and smoothly, posting it for translation, getting translations, and integrating them back into the product. A good localization management solution can really help here. All team members can collaboratively work in parallel. In this way, you can get to your objective in a faster way. When using locize as a localization management platform, this feature will be offered.

3. Consider different ways of pluralizing words

Various languages have different grammatical rules for dealing with plural nouns and units. Ensure to offer a separate translation for each plural form in the language when localizing formatted strings that include variable quantities. In Polish, for example, imagine you have a singular and then a plural depending on whether the number of objects ends with 2, 3, 4, or any other digit. And each collection of things more than 20 requires a separate plural in Romanian. Locize recognizes and accurately estimates your progress in the various languages by taking into account the various pluralization laws.

plurals

4. Check to see if the layout can support longer or shorter text

The fact is that translations can take longer than the original text and will break the layout. So check in advance that your translation approach can support different sizes of translations. Particularly in Europe, where various languages might have many more terms for the same statement. In this blog post, you will find a comparison of European languages with a table showing a very nice overview "how the languages are different". You may use the locize review workflow to guarantee that changes to translations are accepted before they are published. Until one of the translation proposals is approved, the real value will remain unchanged.

5. Make it easy to find strings

Strings should definitly not be directly in the code. Make it simple for developers to externalize their strings and include them in resource files from the beginning. This implies that any hard-coded string will appear in their original language, regardless of the user's language. You will never face such problems again if you use a translation management software such as locize. With the integrated search feature, translators may discover any string in seconds.

6. Set character encoding to UTF-8

Select an encoding that is compatible with all target languages. If you are unsure, simply select UTF-8. If you're wondering why UTF-8 is the greatest encoding, read on this FAQ about UTF-8. To distinguish assets meant for a certain region, utilize ISO 693-1 & 3166-1 language and country codes to mark assets by locale.

7. Consider the also the colors

In terms of user experience, the culture of your target consumer may make a significant difference. When creating your web design, consider which markets you want to target. You want to leave a favorable impression on your target clients, not something that will remind them of a terrible incident, political issue, or something similar. As a result, make it simple for your website to swap colors based on target country or region.

8. Choose the right localization translation service

When choosing a localization translation service, there are two major topics: one that focuses on professional and long-term software localization, and the other that focuses on a rapid and transparent translation work.

Topic 1: Use locize as localization platform

There are numerous ways to use locize for your localization-translation-service, such as managing all of your translations during a specific project such as a website, app, or video game. Planing and managing your localization project cuntinuously translating, while your project's development team adds new features. Allow in-house translators to manage translation without interfering with the development process. You may either request a translation from a third party using the locize interface, or utilize localistars to connect directly with the translators themselves in a fair and open manner. Check out this guide to know more about how to integrate with localistars. Overall, locize is a very versatile solution for your company's or software's localization needs.

Topic 2: Use localistars as translation marketplace

Beside having the possibility to directly use localistars from withing locize, you can use localistars also for sophisticated papers, product brochures, as well as for financial, legal, and technological topics. Localistars is a marketplace with a large network of translators, where you can work directly with the translator. There is no middleman.

Conclusion

If you follow the best practices, you may create a seamless procedure and save money in the long run. In general, it is advisable to get assistance from an adviser who has extensive experience. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We're offering a free 14-day trial, so you may have a nice opportunity to try all features anyhow. Register today for a free trial period and begin your finest experience.

You are a developer

So here you can find more information about how to integrate locize, like for javascript localization. There are also some dedicated articles about react localization.

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