How to Design Bilingual Websites that are User-Friendly and Accessible

how to design bilingual websites

In order to appeal to a global audience, your website must be user-friendly and accessible. Here’s how to design bilingual websites following these usability principles:

  • Use clear and accessible language.
  • Make sure that the website is easy to navigate.
  • Use responsive design techniques.
  • Make it easy for users to switch between English and Spanish versions of the website.
  • Provide customer support in both languages.

Businesses need to reach out to their target markets. How to design bilingual websites that caters to a multiracial market is a great way of doing so in as many languages as possible. However, it’s integral to understand that people will only buy from a website if they find what they want and if the site is challenging. So, if you wish your website to succeed, it must be user-friendly and accessible.

Determine the Target Audience is the first step on how to design bilingual websites

Before designing a bilingual website, it’s crucial to determine who your target audience is. First, find out what languages are usually present in your area. Second, choose one of those as the leading language for your site (you can always add other languages later).

Understand the Language Preferences and Search Behavior

When creating a bilingual website, there are two things to consider. 

  • FIRST: You decide whether you want the two languages on the same page or separate pages. Then, you can work out how to provide content in both languages (you can have parallel text or embedded subtitles). 
  • SECOND: Resolve which language(s) your target market uses most frequently. Also, ensure that it is well-represented on your website.

Conduct User Research

Part of how to design bilingual websites is conducting some user research. It will help you recognize your audience’s needs and preferences, allowing you to create a website that serves them.

Your users are the most critical part of any website. If they are happier with your product or service, it doesn’t matter how beautiful or well-designed it is.

The Right Platform

Your chosen platform will significantly impact how easy it is to create your website. If you use the wrong platform, you might spend more time trying to get things done than actually making them.

Evaluate Different Website Platforms

Decide which web platform you’d like to use for your website. In addition, platforms will depend on your target audience, business goals, and budget. 

Here are the most venues on Bilingual Websites:

Wix and Weebly: 

  • If you want a simple but effective solution, consider using a website builder with built-in support for multiple languages, such as Wix and Weebly. 

WordPress and Drupal:

  • You can use WordPress or Drupal for more advanced sites with features such as translation tools or multilingual SEO optimization capabilities.

Consider Features and Functionalities Required

Considering which platform to use is an important part of how to design bilingual websites, evaluating each platform’s features and functionalities is essential. 


  • Multilingual SEO tools to optimize content for search engines in different languages.
  • Multilingual forms and surveys.
  • Responsive design templates.


  • Built-in translation tool to automatically translate content.
  • Multilingual editor to create pages in different languages.


  • Multilingual plugins like WPML, Polylang, and Weglot manage and translate content into different languages.
  • Multilingual SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, optimize content for search engines in different languages.


  • Language switcher modules enable users to switch between languages.
  • Multilingual SEO modules, such as Yoast SEO and Pathauto, optimize content for search engines in different languages.

Website Design and Structure

The content is the most important thing to consider when designing a bilingual website. Thus, it’s vital to ensure that both versions of your site have an identical structure so that people can easily navigate between languages without learning new navigation paths.

Use a Simple and Clean Design

A simple and clean design will allow users to easily navigate through different sections of your website without any confusion.

Here are some tips for creating a simple and clean design for a bilingual website:

  • Use high-quality images: High-quality images can enhance the design of a website and make it more engaging for users. Then, make sure that photos are related to the page’s content and that they are web-optimized.
  • Use white space: White or negative space refers to the area around content on a web page. Using white space can help make the content on the page more readable and improve the website’s overall design.
  • Avoid clutter: Avoid cluttering the website with too much content or design elements.
  • Use clear and readable fonts: Use a clear and legible font, even at smaller sizes. For example, consider using a sans-serif font, which is generally easier to read on screens than serif fonts.

Localization is very important on how to design a bilingual website

Localization is the process of adapting a website for different languages and cultures. Therefore, it is significant to consider localizing your website to make it more accessible to your users.

Localize the Website Content

Transforming your website from a mere bilingual platform to a fully localized one is crucial. To make this happen, here are three essential steps that you should follow:

Step 1: Conduct thorough research on your target audience.

Step 2: Create a localization plan.

Step 3: Utilize localization technology.

Consider Cultural Differences

When considering bilingual cultural differences, some of the primary considerations include the following:

  • Language proficiency.
  • Cultural values and beliefs.
  • Historical and political context.
  • Contextual factors.

Content Development is also important on how to design a bilingual website

It is necessary to ensure that the content on your website is easy to read and understand for both people who speak English and those who speak your target language. Thus, the biggest challenge in designing a bilingual webpage is that the content needs to consider two different audiences.

Create Content in both languages

Bilingual website design is a complex process. 

  • First, the designer must ensure the content is accessible and user-friendly in both languages. 
  • The design of the bilingual website should be such that it can be easily understood by all users, despite their fluency in English or other languages.
  • Ensure that the content is grammatically correct and easy to understand by both the target audiences. 

Use Language-specific Keywords for SEO Optimization

Including specific keywords in your content can improve your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more traffic. However, not all languages have the same number of words as English or even have similar meanings and uses. 

If your website is written in English only, you may need to realize that search engine crawlers need help understanding your content when they come across a word or phrase not in English. 

  • For example, if you are writing about “la casa blanca” and want to ensure it ranks well for Spanish speakers searching for this phrase, you should also include the translation: “the white house.”

For more information about building a bilingual website, contact 833-WEBSITE.