Blog / Everything you need to know about Webflow Localisation

Everything you need to know about Webflow Localisation

In this introductory guide, we delve into Webflow’s localisation features, exploring its significance, functionalities, and application, with a special focus on its implementation for the Chinese market.

What is Webflow?

Webflow is a cloud-based website design and development platform that empowers users to create responsive, visually stunning websites without writing code. Launched in 2013, Webflow has gained popularity among designers, developers, and businesses seeking a flexible, intuitive solution for building custom websites.

The platform offers a robust set of features, including a visual drag-and-drop editor, customizable templates, hosting, and powerful integrations. With Webflow, users can design and prototype websites with pixel-perfect precision, explore advanced interactions and animations, and publish sites seamlessly to the web.

What is Webflow Localisation?

Webflow Localisation is a relatively new feature (July 2023) that offers a comprehensive, built-in solution for tailoring your website to meet the needs of visitors from diverse global backgrounds — from initial design to translation to final publishing.

For businesses aiming to expand their reach on a global scale, it's essential to customize their websites to resonate effectively with international audiences. Localization goes beyond mere translation; it involves adapting various elements ranging from design aesthetics to image selection to region-specific content. Moreover, it ensures that your website remains easily accessible and discoverable to the audiences you're targeting in different regions.

Webflow localization is a premium feature available to Webflow users. You can explore its functionality for free, but you can't publish localized content during the trial period. This lets you test its benefits before deciding to commit.

There are three pricing options:

Essential Plan: Suitable for small sites and businesses entering localized markets. It costs +$9 per locale/mo annually and +$12 monthly. It's an add-on to Basic, CMS, and Business Site plans and supports up to 3 locales. Features include machine-powered translation, CMS and static page localization, and localized SEO.

Advanced Plan: For users with larger localization needs. It's priced at +$29 per locale/mo annually and +$35 monthly, supporting up to 5 locales. Features include asset localization, localized URLs, automatic visitor routing, and more.

Enterprise Plan: Tailored for businesses expanding globally, available exclusively with the enterprise site plan. Pricing is discussed with the Webflow team. It includes custom locales, asset and style localization, enterprise-scale capabilities, and seamless integration with Webflow Enterprise.

Note that this pricing is pulled directly from at the time of this publishing date, and may be subject to future changes.

How can I use Webflow's Localization APIs?

Webflow's localization APIs provide developers with the tools to streamline and automate the localization process across multiple websites, ensuring uniformity and excellence in execution. With these APIs, developers can facilitate dynamic content updates and implement tailored localization workflows, thereby enabling scalable solutions for growing businesses seeking to enhance global user engagement and optimize performance for international audiences.

Webflow localization encompasses three primary features:

Designing & Building: With Webflow's localization capabilities, users can design and build their websites while seamlessly integrating localized content. In the Designer interface, users can work with their localized content, adjusting designs and content to ensure coherence across all locales.

Content & Translation: Webflow facilitates the translation of website content for all targeted locales. Users have the option to translate content manually or connect to third-party specialized translation management systems for efficient localization workflows. This feature ensures that the website's message is effectively conveyed to audiences in different linguistic contexts.

Publishing & Delivery: Users have control over how their localized content is published and delivered to visitors on their website. Through Webflow's publishing and delivery mechanisms, users can ensure that localized content is delivered seamlessly to visitors, optimizing the user experience across diverse locales.

How to achieve further Webflow website optimisation for China?

Websites hosted on Webflow itself are generally accessible, though not always performative, in China. Although Webflow websites can offer localization capabilities - including content in simplified Chinese, its infrastructure and front end does not prioritize optimization for the unique internet landscape in China.

Consequently, these websites encounter similar challenges experienced by other non-China-centric platforms concerning compatibility, function, and speed in the region.

This limitation stems from the inherent incapability of CMS platforms inherently to address compatibility issues with software-layer web resources. These plugins, libraries, 3rd party resources and more are either often blocked, inaccessible, or simply slow-loading within China. More on specific examples below.

A typical website comprises numerous components, collectively referred to as resources.

These components encompass visible elements like images, Instagram embeds, Facebook Like widgets, or Google Maps, as well as less conspicuous entities such as JavaScript, fonts, Recaptcha, or analytics trackers. Unfortunately, many of these resources fail to load in China.

Read more on “Why websites don't work in China

This is where Chinafy comes in. Chinafy is the only China web compatibility solution that identifies, modifies, substitutes or removes incompatible resources to ensure that the website is able to quickly and completely in China. It also identifies slow resources and accelerates them as needed.

Case Study: China x Ace Studio

Ace Studio House, headquartered in Shanghai, China, specializes in web design and development, offering services such as UI & UX design, Webflow CMS design and development, WeChat mini programs, and brand strategy. Their clientele comprises a diverse array of companies, including Bulgari, Accenture, and KFC.

While Webflow stands out as a fantastic CMS platform, renowned for its customizability and user-friendliness for developers and non-technical individuals alike, it, like all CMS platforms, can encounter speed and functionality issues in website development, hosting, and launch. Despite incorporating interactive and well-designed elements to enhance user experience, the large size of these elements often results in slow loading times, which can be exacerbated without proper optimization.

Prior to leveraging Chinafy, Ace Studio House's website took approximately 35 seconds to fully load from China. The transformation post-Chinafy implementation was remarkable.

Before Chinafy: Visual loading in approximately 35 seconds, with occasional timeout errors.

After Chinafy: Visual loading in approximately 3-4 seconds (approximately 10 times faster!).

With Chinafy, the Ace Studio House team achieved the following:

Consistently smooth website experience with fast-loading media assets.

Enhanced user experience highlighting past work and offered services efficiently.

Seamless operation of functions like Google Analytics within China.

Continued website updates and ongoing optimization facilitated by Chinafy from their end.

Read more on Does Webflow work in China?

Ready to optimize your website for China? Click Get Started to evaluate your website with Chinafy.

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