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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Multilingual WordPress Site

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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Multilingual WordPress Site

More people than ever are now shopping and socializing online. Given that they can easily comprehend product details, reviews, or in other words they are more likely to conduct cross border activity if they are provided the content in the native language.

According to research 2020 will be the year when half of the content over the internet will not be in English but in Multi-Language. With so much on the table, you would not want to make any mistakes while building a WordPress website.

The following are some of the most common mistakes and their fixes when creating a multilingual WordPress website.

Not considering SEO when translating your website

WordPress is by far the most used CMS in the world. Therefore there are tons of translation plugins that may work exceedingly well. You may get them for free or at a premium, but chances are you will end up messing up the search engine optimization.

One common thing that you should ensure is that the pages are fully indexed by the search engines in the relevant language. Plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO has great capability for multilingual SEO.

Too Many 301/302 Redirects

Among too many mistakes people make while translating a WordPress website is to try to make the navigation too complicated. By having 301 or other 300 series redirects from your main website to the other language website, makes it complicated for search engines to understand the structure of your website.

Make sure you handle it with care or hire some professional developers to take care of these things.

Opting for Machine translation

Well, this may not be so technical sort of a mistake, but it brings about a lot of impact. By getting your content translated via Google translate or other machine translation service may not be ideal in the long term. Even though machine translation is in the stage where it can produce some good translated content but there will always be a need for the cultural touch which can only be met by a human translation.

Machine translation also sounds cheaper but, a native speaker would easily identify if the content is humanly crafted or not.

Misplacement of language change button

A visitor on your website could come from any region, and they will probably look for a button to change the language. If they cannot find the button they will instantly leave, resulting in the increased bounce rate for your website and a lost visitor.

The best solution to this is that you follow the strict guideline of your web page. In LTR languages the button is usually placed in the top right corner of the page. This makes it easier for the visitors to see the button as soon as they land your website.

On the other hand in RTL languages the button is supposed to be on the top left corner of the website. But then again it would depend upon the type of website you have. If it is an informational website you can let the readers know that there are other languages the page is available in, therefore you can place the language drop-down in the left sidebar as Wikipedia did.

Duplicate content

For a multilingual website, the content usually remains the same. But duplicate content is one of the biggest issues which Google dislikes. Issues like these can result in penalties. Therefore to solve this problem the developer or the SEO specialist shall apply the hreflang attribute also referred to as rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” tags, which makes it clear to the search engine that this is a translated page. This will also help with optimizing your website in terms of SEO.

Wrong Dates format

Dates are an important part of the content. And they vary across the globe. For instance, you may schedule a sale or a promotional campaign for May 1, 2020, this date will look different in Europe and the USA. The French write their date in the format: day/month/year, however, the Americans switch month and day and it would look like this: month/day/year.

It is highly important to keep check of this as not knowing this can lead to a false impression to your visitors.

A thorough website translation will allow you to take your content to the international level. It even allows you to expand with localization and talks to the heart of the native reader. 

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