Bilingual Website- Best Way?

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January 2, 2009 at 19:32:42
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I am designing a website for a nonprofit organization that wants it in both English and Spanish. We have someone to translate the text (which is currently 100% in Spanish). What would be the best way to do this so that when the user clicks the right button the text reverts to their language?

I only know HTML and some CSS. As a last resort I could just create two separate websites with the same main page where the user would click one link for Spanish and one for English. But then updating the website would require fixing two pages for every one page of content (one for English and one for Spanish). Is that the normal thing to do? How do professional web site designers deal with this problem?

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January 2, 2009 at 21:57:10
I would imagine most websites use PHP (or another server side scripting language) and a database. If you don't know how to do that, then I suppose having two html pages would be your best bet. Perhaps name them as "pagename.en.html" and "". Just be careful when linking to pages to be sure that English pages only link to the English version of other pages.

-Ryan Adams
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January 4, 2009 at 22:39:36
Many CMS type site (e.g PHP nuke) code the "content" of the pages with placeholders and pull the actual text from "language" files. This would require a server-side language such as PHP.

If you ONLY have to have 2 languages, then just sticking with flat HTML pages is an option. But, even with two languages it can still be problematic when updating. If you were to have more than two then you definitely need to look into a server-side language.

Michael J

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March 16, 2009 at 14:34:49
Hi, if you know that you are only maintaining two languages, then the solution that you proposed is a common one for web designers. If there is a lot of translated content and anticipate frequent content updates, then you might consider implementing a CMS (Content Management System) for your website for easier site maintenance.

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