Best Practices

Localized Site Strategy Comparison

Smartling offers 4 options to serve translated content using the Global Delivery Network:

  Pros Cons
Subdomains
  • Easy set up.
  • Allows for easy failover configuration.
  • Clear separation of sites.
  • Not the most SEO friendly: content under ccTLDs and subfolders tend to be better ranked by search engines.
Top-Level Domains (TLD)/ Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD)
  • Clear geo-targeting (search engines tend to favor ccTLDs.
  • Clear separation of sites.
  • Expensive: each foreign domain name needs to be secured.
  • Strict ccTLD requirements (sometimes): Some countries require you to have a local business presence in order to secure a ccTLD.
Folders (GDN, CDN, or HTTP server with proxy capabilities)
  • Search engines usually recognize language subfolders and provide better rankings.
  • With a CDN, content delivery for the site can be accelerated, same as it would for English.
  • Configuration ranges from complex to very complex.
  • Setup time is longer and troubleshooting can prove difficult as there are several servers chained, and it’s not always possible to understand where the problem occurs.
HTTP Header Value, Cookie Value
  • Only use when the source configuration requires it.
  • The translated content is invisible to search engine.
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