O'Reilly logo

Web Site Cookbook by Doug Addison

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

7.11. Internationalizing Your Web Site Problem

Problem

You need to make your site usable by a worldwide audience.

Solution

Internationalization is not the same as localization. Internationalized web sites strive to meet a wide range of users through a single version of the site. Localized sites offer a complete (or nearly complete) translation of every page on the site into all the languages spoken by frequent visitors to the site.

Here are some steps you can take to improve your web site's utility with a wide range of users through internationalization:

  • Know your audience

  • Use international time and date formats

  • Design forms to accommodate non-U.S. addresses

  • Avoid culturally specific icons and language

  • Translate critical information

  • Test or review

Discussion

Given that more than half the world's web surfers speak a non-English native language, international users likely make up a notable component of your web site's viewers.

A good web site statistics package should be able to give you some information about where your web site visitors live (see Recipe 9.9). After you've reviewed your site statistics, make a list of the top 10 or 15 countries from which you get hits to your site to guide your internationalization efforts.

Taking a global perspective is the key to successful internationalization. Perhaps you've seen the Australia-centric world maps with the South Pole at the top and most of the world in the bottom, northern half. A whimsical map is good for a laugh, but a web site operated with ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required