How to Build a Bilingual Website

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    Building a bilingual website has never been a simple undertaking. Translating primary content is challenging enough but then translating all the smaller global content throughout the site, from navigation and CTA's to testimonials and blog posts, can be exhausting.

    Any one who has attempted this knows Google Translate, while convenient and easy, does not do the best job translating content. It might get you 60-70% of the way but with some unexpected or confusing translations.

    Marketpath CMS Makes it Easy

    In Marketpath CMS, there are few ways you can go about doing this. I'll present one of them, which is the most comprehensive for a bilingual site. A multilingual site, with more than two languages, would require a different approach.

    For a bilingual site, we'll add a new group with two fields to our header template - that way every single page of the site includes those fields. The editor simply selects the language of the page and its corresponding counterpart. In the image below, the page language is selected as English and the translated Spanish version of the same page is selected.

    Our header template then checks if a corresponding language is selected and if so, shows the language button at the top of page.

    Here's the code that performs this logic:

    {% if entity.language.is_valid %}
      <li class="nav-item pt-2 px-5 fw-bold text-white bg-secondary">
        {% if entity.language.value == "spanish" %}
          <a class="text-white fw-bold" href="{{ entity.english_version.value }}">English</a>
        {% else %}
          <a class="text-white fw-bold" href="{{ entity.spanish_version.value }}">Espa&ntilde;ol</a>
        {% endif %}
    {% endif %}

    Want More Details and Instruction?

    Hopefully, it's pretty straightforward. If not, feel free to check out the How-to article How to Build a Bilingual Website for more granular details. Or send us your questions at We're always happy to be your guide.

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    About the Authors

    Kevin Kennedy

    Kevin Kennedy, Marketpath’s VP Marketing and Professional Services, has been working on business strategy, digital marketing, and website technology for over 20 years. Prior to joining Marketpath in 2009, Kevin worked for Delta Faucet Company, including roles as Director of E-Business, where he led the company's technology strategy, and Director of Interactive Marketing. 

    Kevin graduated with a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and received his M.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University. In his free time, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, Bridget, and their five children, travel, and various sports activities, while also participating on the non-profit boards for The Children's TherAplay Foundation and Juega Como Campeon.

    Matt Zentz

    Matt Zentz launched Marketpath from a small Broad Ripple bungalow in February 2001 with a focus on custom web application development. He built the first, basic version of a hosted CMS called Webtools and shortly afterward expanded his team and created the first version of Marketpath CMS.

    Matt has worked for a national consulting firm, taught computer programming to high school juniors and seniors , and led the information technology arm of the auxiliary business units at Indiana University.

    Matt graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Science and has built custom web applications since 1995. Matt is husband to an amazing & supportive wife, has three beautiful children, supreme master to Archimedes (Archie) the dog, and mostly tolerant victim of 2 flying rats (cockateils).

    He coaches various kid sports, enjoys furniture and home renovation projects, and plays guitar and piano. Matt is also active with his church as a parishioner, technical advisor and board member on the festival committee.

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