Importance Of Testing Across Languages

Something happened on my own site here at Web Polyglot, that has highlighted the importance of testing across languages as you initially build your site and as you apply changes over time.

The Angry Spaniard And The Missing Contact Form

I got a very angry email from a Spanish chap because there was no contact form on the Spanish version of my quotation page .  A complete stranger felt the need to tear me a new one because he was unable to get a quote from me.

What I learned from this is that people are very territorial about their language choice and if your site is under performing in their language you are going to annoy them and miss sales.

Imagine you had a single language site and it did not work correctly, what sort of message is that sending to your potential clients or customers, it’s exactly the same if, when, someone clicks over to another language and they find missing content and or functionality missing or not working.

It makes them think they were a secondary thought tagged onto the main site, not a real concern of the business.

Invisibility Of Secondary Languages

It is very easy to miss changes on secondary languages if you don’t speak or read that language yourself.

We think once the site is built that is it, we don’t need to check the other languages but you are wrong, a website is an ever evolving thing, new content is added, new marketing techniques and social media platforms arise requiring changes.

I know exactly what happened, I was translating my contact form and forgot to re-add the new form on all pages. School boy error!

If, as I am, you concentrate on one language, the others become invisible, ask yourself when was the last time I flipped the language switch and tested my site?

Website Audit

On the back of this I’m running a details website audit to ensure I have multi language compatibility across my site, and this is something I suggest you do also to make sure you have not missed anything.

I’ve created a list of pages and posts and website functions, I’m going to manually test each one and tick it off my list.

Wrap Up

Treat your secondary languages as well or better than your main language, ensure everything is working correctly and test test test as you add new functionality.

Sorry angry Spanish dude.

Photo Credit: thebarrowboy via Compfight cc

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