Creating a Bilingual Website

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If you’re bilingual or multilingual, letting potential clients know you can serve them in their own language can give you a significant edge over your competition. Diana Vela and Heather Shute did this by creating a Spanish page on their Moving On Organizing website.

When I met Alison Lush at the 2010 Professional Organizers of Canada Conference in Montreal, she was one of the first solopreneurs I knew to have a fully bilingual website. (In the Province of Quebec, French is the official language.)

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After becoming the first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization in Quebec, it was time for Alison to streamline her website and make it more relevant to her current service offerings, and I was delighted to be offered the opportunity.

My initial thought was to simply create the pages in both English and French, but I realized developing unique menus and widgets for each language would be quite involved. However, one thing I’ve discovered over the years is that there are WordPress plugins to accomplish just about anything you can imagine, and this project was the perfect chance for me to try out a new one.

I selected WPML, a premium plugin for building and running multilingual WordPress websites. Instead of just creating extra pages in the alternate language(s), it actually links those pages together so the user can easily switch languages for whichever page they happen to be looking at. You can also set your widgets to display in the same language as the current page. It’s really quite an amazing tool!

Please note that WPML doesn’t do the translations for you, however, if you don’t have your own translator, you can use the plugin to connect directly with professional translation services (for a fee, of course), which could be a real time-saver.

Alison applied her well-developed organizing skills to this project, interacting with her copywriter, graphic designer, translator, and myself, all while staying on top of a busy workload with her clients. Here’s what she said when it was all done:

Wow! I am SO happy with my new website! I love the cleanliness overall. We NAILED it!

Alison Lush, CPO-CD®

Check it out – do you agree?

Are you thinking about a new website, bilingual or otherwise? Contact me to schedule a no-cost Get to Know You session.

Image © iStock.com / makromedya 

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Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

8 Comments

  1. Avatar Seana Turner on May 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Ah, I wish I were bilingual. I encouraged both of my children to study Spanish because this is such an important language in the US now. Great thoughts here…

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you, Seana! I wanted to offer more than just “hey, look at my work!”

  2. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on May 5, 2016 at 8:56 am

    That is wonderful, Janet. What a great service you give to others! I will share this with my bilingual clients. They would definitely appreciate it. If my parents were around, they would have loved this.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 5, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Thanks so much, Sabrina. It was very exciting to see it all coming together.

  3. Avatar Alison Lush on May 9, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Big thanks again Janet for the extra efforts you invested in order to meet my needs!
    Thrilled with my new site 🙂
    Alison

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 9, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Alison, you really were a joy to work with. Thanks again for the opportunity to learn something new!

  4. Avatar Abby White on May 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Hey,
    I think that it is essential especially if you are operating within the tourism sector. Such ideas are greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 14, 2016 at 6:34 am

      A multilingual site would definitely be a huge plus with a tourism site!

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