Tl;dr

A delightful user experience is when you delete the Language ISO in the domain and get redirected from

https://blog.example.com/de/funny-german-title/
to
https://blog.example.com/funny-title/

Great User Experience Browsing Multi-language Sites

Now, today I had an excellent user experience while browsing a multi-language website.

I entered a website from Google

I didn’t read the entire search result, but I knew from the domain name and my experience that they have some good content on Social Media Strategy, so I just clicked.

Got to a website with the following domain structure:

https://blog.example.com/de/funny-german-title/

Didn’t like it because strategy content in other languages than English usually are of lesser quality or not as current. Especially if the publisher is English speaking or the content is not specifically geared towards that local market (remember the triple intent with the Multi-lingual Content Strategy: localization and regionalization and language).

So didn’t like it and just deleted the language specifier “/de” since it is hosted on a “.com” Top-level-domain TLD and the subdomain is “blog.”

The moment deleting the language definer “de/” and hitting enter I expected to getting a “404”, page not found error message and landing somewhere on a somewhat funny page but in the nirvana of that blog (BTW there are great ways to turn a 404 Error into a sale!).

But instead, the user is being re-directed from

https://blog.example.com/de/funny-german-title/

to

https://blog.example.com/funny-title/

Notice that they did not just drop the "de/" in their folder structure but took full advantage of it. Now they have the possibility to write a new domain slug in another language with new keywords and all.

Isn’t that beautiful? Don’t ask me; it even made me write a blog post about it: What a delightful user experience that simultaneously offers great strategic opportunists.

In the larger picture of Multi-language site strategy

And I am even more confident in the www.domainname.tld/OTHER_LANGUAGE_ISO/content structure.

the “www.” vs no “www.” could come into play depending on what CDN (Content Delivery Network) strategy you are using, therefore I don’t know how it plays out with the OTHER_LANGUAGE_ISO. domainname.tld/content approach and I would refrain from using it.

Adding a different TLD at a later point is not as difficult and complex as you start basically from scratch and set up 301 redirects (redirects indicating that content has moved permanently) from the original version. IMHO with a subdomain you just as much complexity in building and maintaining two structures but a bigger mess in administrating.

Photos by Kelly Sikkema.