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Maintaining Multi-country sites: Best practices?


#1

Hey guys,

We currently have duplicates of our site that is more catered to a particular country for SEO purpose and to increase local exposure. We also setup HREFlang codes to redirect segmented traffic to their suitable site.

My main problem is:

  1. We add new content (in our collection) frequently
  2. We make a variety of iterations to our website and want to show the same iterations to the rest of the multi-country site but it is very time-consuming to recreate some of the iterations (especially when we have 2 other sites)

Our main goal right now is to able to ease the maintenance duration between multiple sites and have thought of a particular workaround:

Frequent duplication of the site
How it will work is

  1. Once iterations and new contents are added, Webflow site is duplicated
  2. Delete the current Webflow sites without the changes
  3. Since the domain is already pointed to webflow, you only need to add the custom domain and update billing
  4. Re-update the navbar and google analytics (or any other specific changes that are specific in other country websites but It’s not a lot)

The only caveat here is that I’ve not tried the method yet and I’m not sure if there’s any technical consequences that comes from recreating the sites except for the small time drop-out in propagating the domains - which for me is way better than spending time recreating changes (a method we don’t want to keep doing if we’re going to stay in webflow and we’ll have to expand to more countries)

FYI: We’ve found a way to efficiently update the collection items but not the design iterations (but Webflow’s API doesn’t have the upload images function yet…)

Keen to hear some thoughts on this.


#2

You mean the only caveat apart from the whole process being a hassle? :wink: I don’t mean to be mean but multilanguage is often tedious even when using a dedicated module/feature. So I don’t mock you, I just feel your pain.

I’m not going to comment too much on your expected workflow, it should work, it’s not super ideal.

First you should go to the whishlist here and give as many of your votes as you can https://wishlist.webflow.com/ideas/WEBFLOW-I-58

Now there’s maybe an easier solution for your workflow, but it involves programming, so you’ll need a programmer and a server admin to put that in place.

Inside of Webflow, you can add custom fields to any element. It’s not functions, it’s just filed filled with vocabulary. Like <div name:value> The name and value part are the custom field. You can add as many per elements that you want. So in your deisgns in webflow you’d be adding those custom fields when coders ask for them and you’d also call for their API program from the head section of the site.

Developpers can then build a program (API) that will scan your pages and populate their content with data when they find a custom field that they’re looking for. So the goal here would be to export the site, host it somewhere on your server and have a JS program that is populating it with appropriate data. Benefit: the site itself is never touched, so you can continue to develop its design in Webflow, and export whenever and it always works.

I’m being quite vague here, it’s just the principles. I had a 5 languages webflow site working this way for 2 years 1/2, was very fun :slight_smile:

But again, we all need a serious localization solution, if possible Webflow native.


#3

Haha. I’m taking solace from the fact that this is the lesser frustrating option to make. I’ve done the above method and it felt very easy to do until you realise the little bits and pieces you have “forgot” to do. I’ve created a checklist to keep track of this and scheduled to do this maintenance once a month. Hopefully, the journey to make this maintenance work less painful and time-consuming is short-lived.

We currently don’t have a programmer right now but I like your idea so I’ll keep it in the backlog :blush:

Yes, serious localisation solution, please.


#4

I smile reading you, I’ve been there, it’s one of those “how difficult can it be, right?” thing, until you raise a new aspect of the problem, and another, and another… :slight_smile:

It’s a complicated feature in design, graphic design and development, yep.


#5

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