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Bilingual website advise pls!!


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Hello all!I want to add a second language (English) to an existing website (Spanish). I have name1.com redirected to name1.com.mxShould I just create a subfolder, copy all the existing pages into it, and replace the text/menus on these new pages as needed and put links to the different languages version on all the pages? ORShould I use name1.com as the second language website and just copy all the existing pages into it, and replace the text/menus on these pages as needed and put links to the different languages version on all the pages?What would be the best way to go about it? Which would be better to the page rank?Does anyone have any experience with that? Any suggestion or advise would be appreciated.Best Regards,David

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In some sites I use query strings to tell PHP which language to put, the drawback with that is that the site has to start with a default language when you visit it, and it may not be the language of the visitor.I guess putting the site under a folder for each language is probably the best way to do it. With a URL like website.com/en/index.php and website.com/es/index.php. Then you need a splash page to select the language under the top directory.

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I guess putting the site under a folder for each language is probably the best way to do it. With a URL like website.com/en/index.php and website.com/es/index.php.
Right! That's the common way to proceed. Although I was curious if I use the website.com as the English site and the website.com.mx as the Spanish site since both have the same domain name except for the locator (.mx) I know that in terms of maintenance it's more work but the site it's really small and that won't cause problems. So what would be more benefit in term of SEO purposes?
Then you need a splash page to select the language under the top directory.
I've seen this in some sites but to be honest I don't like them much and the aim target of the website are Spanish readers. And as I mentioned website.com is redirected to website.com.mx at the moment.
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Most, if not all, sites I create are bilingual. My system is for example English language pages will be index_e.html and French would be index_f.html all in the root folder. Same for images and more... Works great.

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Most, if not all, sites I create are bilingual. My system is for example English language pages will be index_e.html and French would be index_f.html all in the root folder. Same for images and more... Works great.
Very nice site Vchris, I see yours is a truly bilingual site and gives the option to visitors to chose the language, and that's a good option since you're in Quebec or Qu├ębec, aren't you? So your target has to be bilingual by default. Also I tried to find your other sites without success, could you please give urls of them, I'm interested.Although your personal site it's nice I see you didn't applied any SEO recommendation on it, is there any reason for that? I know SEO strategies are tedious and in many senses abstruse and there are a lot of myth around but on the other hand works, at least a good organic keywords do it.I'm still dubious in which method apply, if built a bilingual website or built two websites of the same company but in different language. That would be the real question. Bilingual website vs two websites in different language of the same company? What do you think?So what would be more convenience in terms of how search engine behave in related of positioning your bilingual website or the two different websites? I know by experience that a good organic structure does a good job. So as I mentioned my aim target is Spanish visitors (Mexico and Latin America). I'm still searching and reading all I can, comparing websites that use one or the other technique if you or someone else want to suggest or share experiences are very welcome.Cheers!
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In some sites I use query strings to tell PHP which language to put, the drawback with that is that the site has to start with a default language when you visit it, and it may not be the language of the visitor.I guess putting the site under a folder for each language is probably the best way to do it. With a URL like website.com/en/index.php and website.com/es/index.php. Then you need a splash page to select the language under the top directory.
Or you could combine the two ideas you have there. For example index.php is a splash page with simply two flags on it, a spanish flag and a british/american flag. The spanish flag could then link to index.php?lang=es, a variable you'd have to transfer between pages, or use sessions to keep the language spanish until a change was made (two link-flags on the bottom of your page, left, right wherever depending on the design).I don't know however how session variables works with SEO.
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Or you could combine the two ideas you have there. For example index.php is a splash page with simply two flags on it, a spanish flag and a british/american flag. The spanish flag could then link to index.php?lang=es, a variable you'd have to transfer between pages, or use sessions to keep the language spanish until a change was made (two link-flags on the bottom of your page, left, right wherever depending on the design).I don't know however how session variables works with SEO.
Aha! This is a good one, thanks Jonas.I also search in some others forums and books. Well most of the consensus was agreed in using one aim domain and redirect the others just like IBM for instance. I checked what they did since obviously they invested a hush budget in developed that site. Well it's pretty amazing, they redirect domains from all over the globe, just look at it:ibm.com, ibm.co.uk, ibm.com.mx, ibm.es, ... and many many more and all redirected to its proper folder inside the domain ibm.com.Might be that's the best way to go even though I don't know how do they avoid to duplicate content since it appears they are duplicating, aren't they?
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I don't know how do they avoid to duplicate content since it appears they are duplicating, aren't they?
The sites probably all connect to one server that serves common content, and then connect to a different server for language-dependent content, then to another server for regional content, and then bring it all together.
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I'm personally on the bilingual side of this.From a user point of view, I like it when a site is able to guess that I'm a Bulgarian and serve contents in that language. At the same time, when I search Google, I usually search in English, so when I click an English link, I expect an English page (ideally, I'd be able to manually switch it to Bulgarian from then on).The best option in my opinion is for one to use a subdomain for each language, and use the main domain to redirect users to the appropriate subdomain based on language detection (a lot like Wikipedia).However, for sites with only two or three languages, the other best option is probably the "one file with a query string variable" option, described earlier by Ingolme, as long as language negotiation is performed when the variable is not present, i.e. instead of (for example) defaulting to English, default to whatever the user specifies in the HTTP request.

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