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Other languages - Advice, Options

lan.domain.com or domain.com/lan/

9:29 am on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

New User

5+ Year Member

joined:Apr 23, 2010
votes: 0

Hi guys,

A lot of my users are not from US/UK - and i'm thinking of offering my site to them in other languages.

I have some questions...

1. Do you think the other languages would be better as sub domain, or a directory?

lan.domain.com/page.php or domain.com/lan/page.php

2. Should i use just the country code for the language choices or the words?

If i have a drop down like this:


Or this:

3. Would you put each of the new languages in the sitemap, or have a seperate sitemap for each language?

Any other advice from people with sites with multiple languages would be great!

Thanks for reading my post :)
9:40 am on June 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from KZ 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 10, 2005
posts: 2933
votes: 20

Using country codes for languages may confusing. I expect that US visitors should be served the UK pages and that people from Austria and part of Switzerland are targeted by the German translations. That may not be obvious for first time users and they may leave your site because they might think you are not targeting their country.

I personally prefer a third method page.lang.html, because this naming convention is compatible with the automatic browser language negotiation in the Apache webserver which takes place when a browser connects to the webserver.

In practice if people go to www.example.com/page then the server automatically serves www.example.com/page.en.html to visitors with English as preferred setting in the browser, www.example.com/page.de.html for German language visitors etc. The only drawback of this naming convention is that you need to be careful to get all the different language versions properly indexed in the search engines.
9:58 am on June 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

New User

5+ Year Member

joined:Apr 23, 2010
votes: 0

Thanks for the reply lammert -- that really is another option i will have to look into. I'd really like the site to auto switch to the users correct language. I didnt even know apache could do that.

I'm still open to other thoughts aswell guys if anyone else reads this post.

Many thanks.

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