Well, while working as a freelance graphic designer, I have come to such typical question of feasibility of bilingual website design. I like to answer the question through the following points:
- Business may limit to a specific location: It is not always possible to spread a business to so many locations. So you may have to limit your market to a specific business zone and certainly the language of the location has to be the language of your site! Say the language is French for the targeted location then the primary language may be French for the website. While you may go for a bilingual website design keeping English as the other language. It will increase the chances of business with those people who know English. At the same time some products (cosmetics for special temperature zone) or the services (pest control for specific insect prone zone) you have to pursue people in their own language!
- English is not the only language: Till date the convention of web design is of building the site in English. Yes, it was true that once English was a highly popular language. But there are other languages like French, Chinese, German, Spanish and so many others which are getting popular. If you would like to grab the attention of the users who speak one of those languages, you have to think of bilingual website designing. In addition to local language keep English as secondary language to give your site a global attitude.
- Priority to specific search engine: Do you think it is possible to optimize your site fast and easily for varied foreign search engines. Yes, I am talking about Spanish, Japanese and other search engines. Why don’t you begin with a bilingual website designing. It is always easy to rank high in foreign search engines if your website language is same of that. When you have gathered considerable business via one of these SEs catering to your local market, you may try other languages. But for start-ups it is always recommended that they start with bilingual website designing.
- Money matters: Last but not the least is the investment of money! You may easily go for multilingual website designing as there are some added benefits. But do you think the cost of building such site is easy to bear? Especially for the start-ups? If no, then go for bilingual website designing. Having two languages – one being English and other catering to your local market, you have the opportunity of grabbing the world market.
Well, these are a few points that try to prove that a bilingual website designing is still relevant in today’s multicultural world. But at the same time you have to remember that building a bilingual website is not a child’s play! You got to get help from the expert. An expert web and graphic designer knows how to technically build a bilingual website. If you just assign the work to Tom, Dick and Harry, you will find all your investment has gone to sea. So select the web or graphic designer after you have carefully looked into their web or graphic design portfolio and satisfied yourself about the ability of the designer. Hope you choose the right person and your initiative of bilingual website design gets successful.