Best practice for multi-language websites

If you operate in a territory and wish to offer your buying experience in multiple languages, then this guide will show you how to do it for the best possible experience. 

Let's assume you are a Canadian company and wish to have 2 versions of your checkout, one in English and one in French. 

The simple method

When you create your account, you can specify that you'd like the checkout to have a language chooser for these languages, which will do this:

When your customer chooses a language in the checkout and subsequently places an order, we'll remember what language was chosen and all emails we send will be in the chosen language.

Notice that the item names are not translated as you can only specify the items on one language, your primary language most likely. Not great for customers so far... but close.

Overcoming the item name language non-translation

If you want to have a complete translation done on your checkout, you need to do this:

1) Create 2 item groups, one for English items and one for French items

In items for sale in the dashboard create 2 groups of items and copy / translate the items accordingly.

2) Install an English version of your checkout

Go to the installation page in the dashboard and select the following options: 

This will give you code you can copy/paste onto the English version of your website (i.e. that is in the English language and only shows the English items:

3) Install a French version of your checkout

Do the same thing, but for French this time:

4) Disable the language chooser from your checkout

Now you've installed 2 versions of your checkout in both languages, you'll want to turn off the language chooser in settings back to a single language (which is over-ridden by your installation code anyway):

What about the emails that get sent?

When you set the checkout to a particular language (or the customer chooses a language), we store that against the order that get placed and the emails that get sent are all in that language, so a French checkout order will have French emails, and the English one will have English emails. This is all taken care of you if you use the default email copy and built-in translations we've already included. 

If you have written custom email copy in your email settings, you will need to create 2 email templates, one for English, and one for French accordingly. Read our separate guide on working with multiple email templates.

What about terms & conditions?

You can either include both English & French language versions in the same field for your default terms & conditions. 

Terms & Conditions: Can only be used on Wednesdays
Ne peut ĂȘtre utilisĂ© que le mercredi

Alternatively, you can specify additional terms & conditions per item, meaning that your French items can have French terms, and your English items will have English terms:

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