iWeb FAQ - Multilingual websites



I would like to have a website in multiple languages. How can I do that? And how can I have the buttons displaying in the right language?

La stessa pagina in italiano                             Die gleiche Seite auf Deutsch

First let me say...

Please don’t use internet translating tools to translate the whole content of a website. They aren’t accurate! I myself speak italian, german, english and french (in order from best to less good). Browsing through the internet I sometimes read awfully translated stuff which makes no sense at all and comes straight from translation tools. So please translate it yourself or ask someone to translate it for you.

Now, sadly, it isn’t possible to switch languages while working on a project in iWeb. Which means that you can’t have one part of a website showing english iWeb buttons and the other part of the website showing german buttons or whatever.

Chapter 1: So what’s the solution?

Chapter 2: Adding a “Translate this page” widget to your website

Chapter 1: So what’s the solution?

There are two solutions: the easiest solution and the more complicated solution.

Easiest solution (the one I use)

The easiest solution would be having iWeb in English. Almost everyone has basic knowledge of english and will understand the few iWeb navigation buttons you find in Blogs or Photo pages.

My iwebfaq.org site is made of three sites showing up in iWeb at the same time (meaning: in the same Domain file). Most top site is called “site” which is the one in english then I have the site called “ita” which is the italian version and “de” the german version. Resulting in:




When I add a new FAQ I build it in english then duplicate the page and move the copy to the “ita” site and translate it.

The sites are linked to each other as you can see at the top of the page: “The same page in english”, “La stessa pagina in italiano” and “Die gleiche Seite auf Deutsch”. So people can choose on each page what language they want.

Every language should have it’s site just like mine does (“site”, “ita” and “de”)...

On all sites you then would have an index page from which users choose in which language they want to visit your site (on my site it’s the Welcome page) and best would also be to have links on each page (like the ones with the flags at the top of this page).

The index page should be exactly the same on all sites and needs to be put at the top of the site’s pages list on the left side in iWeb.

A good application for translations...

A good application for translations is Easy Translator made by AceTools.

However even using this tool you will have to read it once you translated the text and correct some things. So if you don’t know the language you shouldn’t use it to build a website with it.

Chapter 2: Adding a “Translate this page” widget to your website

There are a lot of services providing translation tools on the web. BabelFish is just one of them but it was one of the biggest some time ago. I personally don’t think it is good. To me it’s quite hard to understand an english text which was translated to italian with BabelFish. To me the best is the Google widget. Please note that the widget doesn’t work if added with an HTML Snippet. It would just translate the HTML Snippet page which is empty and not the page you added the Snippet to. We will have to use what I call Alternative HTML.

1. On the pages you want to add the widget to add a textfield with a code in it (something like TranslationGoHere)

2. Publish your website to a folder

3. Open or download MassReplaceIt (freeware)

If it’s the first time you’re using MassReplaceIt read the “Alternative HTML” FAQ among the first pages of this book to make sure the settings are right

4. In the Search field type TranslationGoHere (or the code of your choice)

5. In the Replace field paste the code of the Google Translate widget code.

To get the code you have to Login with your Google account and visit this page. Copy the code you get at Step 3 and paste it into the MassRepalceIt Replace field.

Of course if you’re using MassReplaceIt for other codes as well you can add it to that query.

6. In Files add your website's folder

7. Save the query by hitting Command(cmd or Apple)+S and enter a name for it so the next time you publish your website you will only have to hit the Replace button

8. Hit Replace and MassReplaceIt will search for files it has to make changes to

9. Again hit Replace All and MassReplaceIt will automatically replace the code “TranslationGoHere” and add the Google Translate widget code instead

Note: You have to repeat the process from step 8 to 9 every time you re-publish.

Here’s an example of the widget for you to test how it works/feels/looks...

This FAQ is also discussed in my iWebFAQ.org E-Book (sample)

iWebFAQ.org - Tutorials, Tips & Tricks is made with iWeb and for iWeb.

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- Cédric -