The Importance of Language For Websites

At Pesola Media Group, we’re all fluent in English. Although this sounds like a no-brainer, language is important to your website development. For a local business, your web developer and copywriter should be fluent in whatever dialect you and your customers speak. You want to make sure your website designer can tailor your content and design to match your target audience’s preferences. This can become an issue when you outsource to international website design companies and freelancers.

This is something we recently encountered. Within the past couple months, we’ve had to work with website back-end and files that contained Chinese and Italian. Neither of our clients spoke either of those languages. How did we deal with it? Well, simply put, we dealt with it very carefully. When you’re at risk for deleting an entire Google Analytics account or wiping a WordPress clean, you tread lightly.

So how did our English-speaking clients end up with foreign accounts? Here’s what we think happened:

Although your designer may speak English, they may not be comfortable working in English. There’s a big difference between being conversational in a language and being able to do specialized work. As a result, your website or social media account may be designed in a different language. This is something to consider when turning to low-cost website design alternatives online.

When there’s a communication barrier, there’s a major problem. Language is behind every element of website design. Think of it like the fuel to a car. Websites run on language and code. It’s all a big word and numbers game that relies on every little piece of information, from your metadata to basic website details like currency, time zone, and phone number.  When your website is in a foreign language, you have a whole new slew of problems. Nobody needs that. Website design is already hard enough.

So what does this mean for you, as a business owner?
It could potentially mean you’re not being able to properly access the back-end of your account. Language becomes especially important when it comes to design elements and back-end experience. There’s nothing worse than opening a program and not being able to read anything because it’s in a foreign tongue.

If you want to update your own website or look at your Google Analytics, your account should be in a dialect you understand. If it’s in a different language, you’re tied to your foreign website development firm until they can switch over the preferences. Sometimes it’s an easy task, sometimes it’s more labor-intensive.

Some websites are easy to switch. Let’s take Facebook for example. You can easily switch your language setting on the desktop version of Facebook. Whichever language you select will determine your user experience, even when it comes to different variations of English. It affects your time format, default currency and other small details. In some cases, language settings change the layout of Facebook pages as a whole.

Facebook English-UK

Facebook English-US

We’re not just talking about generic text preference. We’re talking about that way you interact with pages and how information is displayed. Regardless, it’s done with a click of the button.

Does this look familiar to you? It’s Facebook. Do you think you could navigate your Facebook account in Korean? No? We couldn’t either.

The SEO Factor

Language settings can also affect vital factors like SEO and overall user experience. In other words, if your web designer is building your website on a non-English content management system, you’re probably not getting the best SEO results for English speakers. If your website copywriter isn’t able to write keyword rich content in your language, how do you expect to pull for those keywords?

There are countless foreign content management systems and blogging platforms. Each language has its own SEO requirements. Not every platform is appropriate for English speakers. For example, XWeibo is a Chinese blogging site. Have you ever heard of it before? No. Would you want your company blog to be built on it? We didn’t think so. Are the keywords on your XWeibo blog going to pull well in US-English Google? Probably not.

On the other hand, if you want to specifically target foreign markets, you need a copywriter that can write for the language of your audience. Every search engine has its own set of requirements and foreign language search engines are no exception. What may work for English-US Google may not work for Beijing-based Baidu.

No matter what language you want to develop your website in, you need an expert that’s going to be able to design and write according to your requirements. You can count on Pesola Media Group to develop a customized website in English. Instead of turning to cheap international alternatives, let the experts take care of you.

On the other hand, changing the language of your WordPress website can be a little more difficult.

The internet is full of user-generated content and debates on the best way to change over WordPress language settings. Changing language settings in your admin options may not mean the settings are changing everywhere. Changing the display language may not mean your back-end access changes. What if your plugins aren’t in English? What if your theme wasn’t designed in English? There are a lot of moving parts. Needless to say, things can get a little messy.

On the positive side, HTML is an English-based computer language. If your website is hard coded, basically all of the back-end elements will be in English regardless of your website designer’s preferred language. On the downside, very few website designers hard code websites anymore.a