You know the opportunity is out there. The research says it’s a global opportunity and, rather than leave the wider world open for a copycat competitor, you really want to be able to add countries and languages rapidly as and when you roll out. And that means taking account of international needs right from the outset in the website design concept. It also means enabling a system which can accommodate the translation process later at minimum cost.
You’re in the right place. There’s some cultural, some linguistic and some technical issues to think about, but don’t worry, we’ve “thought” about them all before. In fact, we have a solution for each of those which can really help you reach the four corners of the world at a lower cost than you expect.
Let’s take a look briefly at each in turn starting with “culture” and design where there’s some practical common sense needed – and some cleverness. Common sense means learning from experience that a design has to accommodate some differences to cope with language structures. So, for instance, Arabic websites run right-to-left instead of left-to-right and German words tend to run longer for headings. Now a designer who knows that, who has worked in an agency which has produced websites in multiple languages since 1997 will make sure that all the obvious issues are accommodated in the design – won’t they? (Clue: Webcertain started in 1997). Even if you’re only producing a single language website now, this simple step can avoid significant re-build and re-design costs later.
But culture also means considering that the number “4” is unlucky in Asia and that purple sometimes represents mourning and sometimes madness. This involves some research. Webcertain has a research team which produces guides on how to produce websites for different markets – so that can be helpful and cost effective. (Clue: Webcertain’s website guides are free to customers).
Then there’s all those dreadful foreign character sets, accents and diacritics to worry about. Well have no fear. We operate in 44 languages in-house and ALL of our divisons have native speakers of various languages from around the world. So this aspect will be taken easily in our stride – we promise. (Did we mention that one of our divisions is a translation agency so you can do everything in one go?)
Now for the technical stuff (rubs hands in glee). Like all technical stuff it’s all very complicated unless you speak the jargon – and we do. We know how to worry about SEO and language translation technologies at one and the same time. So when we’re encoding in UTF-8, we know that’s going to work for search engines AND translation systems. We cheat of course, since we built a content management technology of our own to handle this rather than relying on others less focused on international projects.
There you go, let's have a chat to see if there’s some common ground!