If your website offers products or services to an international audience, a multilingual site can help you reach your target audience and explore new international markets. There are many benefits to creating a multilingual site, including:
- Increase your reach by speaking to a wider audience
- Create unique content for language-specific segments of your audience
This guide shows you how to make your Yola site multilingual. You will create language-specific versions of your site. You simply switch between these versions to make changes.
Before you begin
You may wish to create all the essential pages of your site (e.g. Home, About Us, Contact, etc) before making your site multilingual. This will ensure that all of your existing pages are created in your new language at once and nothing is missing. You can add new pages in your secondary language at any time.
Add a new language
To add new languages to your site:
- Go to the main menu and click Settings.
- In the Settings menu, go to the Multilingual tab and click Add language:
- Add the language of your choice, e.g. French:
- Click Submit. You will be prompted to save your site.
- The Multilingual tab will now look like this:
In this example, English is the main language and French is the secondary language.
Your site is now multilingual. You can now start manually translating your content into the secondary language.
You can also replace the images and blocks completely so that different audiences see different content.
The Language Selector will automatically appear both on your site and in the top bar of the Sitebuilder to simplify the navigation between your languages during site building:
The flag icons are adjusted automatically based on the languages you add.
Changing the main language of the website
If you want your site to display in a different language, the best way to achieve this is to create a new language for your site.
When the second language will be created, you will be able to make it the main language, so that this new language becomes the main language for your site.
When you add a new language following the steps outlined above, hover over the language you want to make the main language and click the "home" icon:
This language will become the new main language for your site.
How to switch between languages
When offering a multilingual product or service, you may think about giving your users an option to view your content in a different language.
You can enable the option to choose among multiple languages so that your global audience can choose which language they want to use.
When you switch to the multilingual site, your Header will automatically show a language switch that allows visitors to pick a language version of your site:
Then users can choose the language they want to access by selecting the flag icon in the dropdown menu:
Translating and managing language-specific content
You can control which content is displayed in certain regions. A multilingual site allows you to display different product offerings for specific countries and provide a more tailored experience for users and audiences in each market. Here’s how to translate your language-specific content:
- Use a variety of translation services available online: Google Translate (free), Gengo (paid), Translate.com (free plan available)
- Hire a translator at Upwork, Fiverr, or a similar freelancer platform
You can offer a language-specific product catalog, use different images, backgrounds, and page/block layouts on language-specific pages.
You can also add and remove blocks in order to better target different audiences.
Managing your language-specific pages
When you add a new language, the Sitebuilder creates copies of your existing main site language pages.
These new pages will have corresponding language settings. You can check these at Page Settings > Language Code:
Creating new pages in a secondary language
If you have created a new page, for example, Services in your main site language (English), and you want to have the same page Services in your secondary language French, there’s an easy way to do it:
- In the Language Selector in the upper left corner of the Sitebuilder, switch to the French language:
- Click Pages… and in the Page Manager, click the Translate page button:
- Select English and then select the page Services:
- Click Submit. You receive a ready to translate the Services page in the French version of your site. Note that it will be named as Services-2 (or another "page title-2") but you can always rename it in Page settings:
You can now manually translate the page into French since we chose French for this example.
Once done, click Publish to make the changes live.
Translating the language-specific navigation
To help your international visitors easily navigate through pages in their own languages, you can translate navigation that is specific for each language version of your site. Here's how you can do this:
- Choose the language version using the Language Selector. For this example, we would like to create navigation for the French version of the site.
- Hover your cursor over the navigation area in the header. Alternatively, click on the Navigation settings icon in the vertical main menu or on the Navigation tab in the upper horizontal menu of the Sitebuilder:
- Make the translations of all language-specific items in the navigation. In Navigation Settings, hover over the page you’d like to rename in the navigation and click Settings:
4. Enter the French text as you would like it to appear in the navigation:
5. Click Submit.
6. Repeat these steps for the rest of the menu items:
7. Click Submit.
Your French site version menu should look similar to this:
Make sure to publish your site to make the changes live.
How to reference multilingual pages on your site
Whenever you make a site multilingual, the way you reference pages also changes a little.
When you set up a link to another page of the site, a new language selection step appears in the Link settings menu. You will need to select a language of the page where the link would lead. Here’s how it works:
- Select a portion of the text which will become a new link. Click on the Link icon in the menu:
- In the Click action dropdown menu, select the option Open page.
- In the next drop down menu, select the target language:
- Select the target page for this link.
- If this is a language-specific page, enter the page title in the page language:
- Click Submit. The link to a language-specific page will be displayed on the page.
Make sure to publish your site to make the changes live.