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Web Design
5 min read

Strategies for Multilingual Engineering Websites

Creating a multilingual website is essential for international engineering businesses in aerospace, manufacturing, and other technical fields. 

Webflow, a powerful web design and development platform, offers various methods to manage multilingual content, each with its own advantages and considerations. 

This blog will focus on strategies for web design and development in Webflow, specifically for international engineering companies. 

We'll discuss options based on budget, the number of languages, potential for language expansion, accuracy needs, collaboration requirements, and more.

Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the technical strategies, it's crucial to understand your specific needs:

  • Budget Constraints: How much are you willing to invest?
  • Number of Languages: How many languages do you need to support initially and in the future?
  • Expansion Scope: Do you plan to add more languages later?
  • Language Accuracy: How critical is the accuracy of translations, especially for technical content?
  • Collaboration Needs: How many people will manage the content?

Answering these questions will help you choose the most suitable strategy for your multilingual Webflow site.

Strategy 1: Using Folders for Basic Multilingual Sites

Best for: Low Budget and Few Languages

If you are on a tight budget and only need to support one or two additional languages, duplicating site content into folders is a cost-effective solution. This method is particularly useful for smaller engineering firms or projects with limited multilingual requirements.

Steps:
  1. Duplicate Pages: Create a folder for each language and duplicate the existing pages into these folders.
  2. Translate Content: Manually translate the content of each duplicated page.
  3. URL Structure: Use a clear URL structure, such as example.com/es/ for Spanish and example.com/fr/ for French.
Advantages:
  • Cost-Effective: No need for additional tools or subscriptions.
  • Control Over Content: Full control over the translated content.
Disadvantages:
  • Manual Work: Requires manual duplication and translation, which can be time-consuming.
  • Maintenance: Updating content across multiple languages can be cumbersome.

Strategy 2: Using Weglot for Easy Integration

Best for: Future Expansion and Language Accuracy

If you anticipate adding more languages in the future and need accurate translations, Weglot is an excellent choice. Weglot integrates seamlessly with Webflow and handles multilingual content efficiently, making it ideal for larger engineering firms with global reach.

Steps:
  1. Sign Up for Weglot: Create an account on Weglot and get your API key.
  2. Integrate with Webflow: Add the Weglot script to your Webflow project settings.
  3. Configure Languages: Select the languages you want to support.
  4. Automatic Translation: Weglot will automatically translate your site’s content.
Advantages:
  • Scalability: Easily add new languages as your needs grow.
  • Automated Translation: Saves time with automatic translations that can be manually edited for accuracy.
  • SEO Friendly: Automatically creates SEO-friendly URLs for each language.
Disadvantages:
  • Cost: Weglot requires a subscription, which can be a consideration for tight budgets.
  • Dependency: Reliance on an external service for translations.

Strategy 3: Using Webflow's CMS and Custom Code

Best for: High Customisation and Collaboration

For engineering businesses with specific customisation needs and collaboration requirements, using Webflow's CMS combined with custom code might be the best route. This approach provides flexibility and control over the multilingual setup.

Steps:
  1. Setup Collections: Create a CMS collection for each language.
  2. Custom Code: Use custom code to dynamically load content based on the selected language.
  3. Translate Content: Manually translate and input content into the respective CMS collections.
Advantages:
  • Customisation: Highly customisable to fit unique business requirements.
  • Collaboration: Multiple team members can work on different languages simultaneously.
Disadvantages:
  • Complexity: Requires knowledge of custom code and Webflow’s CMS.
  • Time-Consuming: Manual setup and translation can be labour-intensive.

Strategy 4: Webflow Localisation Services

Best for: Comprehensive Language Needs

If your engineering project requires comprehensive language support and professional-grade translations, using localisation services integrated with Webflow is the optimal strategy. These services provide high accuracy and manage the translation workflow efficiently.

Steps:
  1. Select a Service: Choose a localisation service compatible with Webflow.
  2. Integrate Service: Follow the integration guidelines to connect the service with your Webflow project.
  3. Translation Management: Use the service to manage translations and workflows.
Advantages:
  • Professional Quality: Ensures high-quality, accurate translations.
  • Workflow Management: Efficiently manages translation tasks and revisions.
Disadvantages:
  • Cost: Higher costs associated with professional localisation services.
  • Complex Integration: May require more complex setup and integration.

Conclusion

Choosing the right strategy for your multilingual Webflow site depends on your specific needs and constraints. 

For budget-conscious projects with a limited number of languages, duplicating site content into folders is a simple and effective solution. 

If you need scalability and accuracy, consider using Weglot. 

For high customisation and collaboration, leverage Webflow’s CMS with custom code. 

Finally, for comprehensive language needs, professional localisation services are the best choice. 

By carefully assessing your requirements and selecting the appropriate strategy, your engineering business can create a multilingual website that effectively reaches and engages a global audience.

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