Choosing a Domain or Routing Strategy
There are number of ways that sites translated delivered via the Global Delivery Network can be presented in terms of domain structure to your end users. The 4 most common methods are:
- Top Level Domain
Technical setup requirements, SEO, and user experience typically drive the domain routing strategy your organization will set. In the following sections, we'll expand on these 3 considerations and provide a strategy comparison to help you make the best decision for the needs of your organization.
While domain routing can be done by a simple DNS configuration for subdomains or top-level domains, additional complexity and greater level of effort can often be introduced in subfolder or cookie/header routing configurations. It is typically the responsibility of your domain, web server, or Content Delivery Network (CDN) administrator to configure these options, and requires the assitance and expertise of your IT Networking and Operations team.
Language subfolders will require custom configuration of a web server or CDN to route traffic on subfolder locations to Smartling. You should check with your web server administrator that location proxies are supported, or with your CDN provider that folder routing rules are supported. Alternatively, Smartling can handle routing of all traffic on a domain if these options are not available, but a pass-through of source-language requests will also be counted towards capacity outlined in your contract with Smartling.
Traffic routing by header or cookie are less common strategies and require the origin server to be configured to return the header or cookie with the language-locale code value in its response. This type of set-up is typically used to translate API services or private applications that are not indexed by search engines.
Search Engine Optimization
The URL structure of your localized sites plays a significant role in Search Engines' ability to find and index your localized content. You can find more information on SEO for Translated Sites here. There are also many resources which can help guide your domain and international SEO strategy, such as Google Search Console's article on Multi-regional and multilingual sites and Moz.com's International SEO Best Practices, Checklist, and Guide.
When localizing a global website for multiple countries, it is important to consider the user experience. There is no one correct way to structure your site and its localized versions, so it is recommended to analyze how best to present your site to provide a user experience appropriate for your brand and target audience.
Domain and Routing Strategy Comparison
|Top-Level Domains (TLD)/ Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD)||
|Folders (GDN, CDN, or HTTP server with proxy capabilities)||
|HTTP Header Value, Cookie Value||
After you've determined your domain strategy, you need to completed two steps to get your site running through Smartling's Global Delivery Network:
To complete this setup, you will need a Smartling CNAME. This is a unique record in our infrastructure and can be issued to you by your Customer Success Manager.