If you serve an international audience, having a multilingual site can help you reach your target markets. This guide shows you how to build your Squarespace site in multiple languages.
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Before you begin, plan and translate your content
Before you start building pages in Squarespace, create content in your main language and prepare translated versions. Squarespace has tools to organize and design your site (you can even duplicate pages for a consistent layout), but we don't provide language translation services.
We recommend preparing an outline of your navigation first. Planning your site’s structure now will save time when you create it in Squarespace.
Basic structure for multilingual sites
While a site's structure varies by template, content, and taste, all multilingual Squarespace sites generally follow this formula:
- Cover Page set as the site's homepage (in Not Linked)
- Index Page or folder in the first language (in Main Navigation)
- Index Page or folder in the second language (in Main Navigation)
Here's an example of how the structure looks in the Pages panel:
SEO for multilingual sites
Best templates for multilingual sites
We recommend using one of these templates for creating a multilingual site. This list is grouped by template family.
- Adirondack - Drop-down menus and on-page navigation bars
- Bedford, Anya, Bryant, Hayden - Drop-down menus and on-page navigation menus
- Brine, Basil, Clay, Feed, Foster, Greenwich, Hatch, Heights, Hunter, Hyde, Jaunt, Juke, Keene, Lincoln, Marta, Mercer, Mojave, Motto, Nueva, Rally, Rover, Sonora, Thorne - Long scrolling pages
- Marquee, Adversary, Alex, Eamon, Ginger, Mint, and Shift (discontinued) - Long scrolling pages
- Pacific, Bryler, Charlotte, Fulton, Horizon, and Naomi - Long scrolling pages
Multilingual sites have the same design and content across all languages. If you're using Regular Pages, you can duplicate these to avoid manually recreating page layouts. After duplicating each page, translate the text in Text Blocks and Image Block captions.
Using Marquee, Pacific, and Brine templates
Follow these steps to build a multilingual site with long, scrolling pages using templates from the Marquee, Pacific, or Brine families.
Tip: Although you can use any template in the Brine family, we recommend Nueva as a good place to start.
Step 1 - Add Index Pages and content
- Add one Index Page for each language to the Main Navigation section. Add them in the order you want the languages to appear. The Index Page names should be the name of each language, like "English" or "Español."
- Add pages to each Index in their appropriate languages. The order, titles, and URLs of the pages should be consistent for each language. (For a shortcut, duplicate Regular Pages.)
Note: Pacific's Index supports Regular Pages, Gallery Pages, and Album Pages. Brine's Index supports Regular Pages and Gallery Pages. Marquee's Index only supports Regular Pages. To display other content, like products and galleries, follow the steps below.
Note: For Pacific, if an Index Page is set as the homepage, uncheck Expand Homepage Index Links in the Style Editor.
Step 2 - Add a Cover Page (optional)
You can use a Cover Page to create a full-bleed landing page with buttons that lead to the different language sections, as seen in the Pacific and Marquee demo sites. See the steps below.
Step 3 - Create anchor links (optional)
To display a second level of navigation (like in the Pacific example site), you can add anchor links to the top of every page using text links. When a visitor clicks a link, they'll be redirected to the top of the corresponding page within the Index.
- Hover over the page’s content and click Edit.
- Click an Insert Point, and select Text from the Block Menu.
- Enter a section title, then highlight the text and click the link icon.
- Add an External link for the Index URL slug (not the full link) for that page in the language’s section. The Index URL slug will start with #, not /, and end with -section.
- Repeat the process for each page in the language’s Index.
- For detailed steps, visit Creating anchor links.
See this structure in action on a site built with Marquee:
Or a site built with Pacific:
Note: The Pacific example also uses anchor links to navigate within each language section.
Using Adirondack and Bedford templates
Using Adirondack or any template in the Bedford family, you can add folders that create drop-down menus with all pages in a specific language.
Adirondack and Bedford also have automatic folder navigation designs that you may find useful for your multilingual site. These give you quick access to other pages in the language's folder.
- Adirondack - All pages in a folder appear in a navigation bar at the top of the content area.
- Bedford - All pages in a folder appear in a navigation menu on each page.
Step 1 - Add folders and content
- Add one folder for each language to the Main Navigation section. Add them in the order you want the languages to appear. For Bedford, the folder names should be the name of each language, like "English" or "Español."
- Add pages to each folder in their appropriate languages. The order, titles, and URLs of the pages should be consistent for each language. (For a shortcut, duplicate Regular Pages.)
Note: Folder navigation displays on mobile devices only when mobile styles are disabled.
Step 2 - Add a Cover Page (optional)
You can use a Cover Page to create a full-bleed landing page with buttons that lead to the different language sections. See the steps below.
Step 3 - Add Main Navigation links (Adirondack)
- For Adirondack, add a navigation link to the first page in every language's folder. Add them in the order you want them to appear.
- The Link Titles should be the name of each language. For example, English, Español.
See this structure in action on a site built with Adirondack:
Cover Pages can be a powerful introduction to a site and guide visitors to pick their language. Here’s how to use a Cover Page to create a landing page with buttons leading to the different language sections:
- Add a Cover Page to the Not Linked section.
- In the Actions panel, add buttons that link to the first page in each language's folder.
- Follow the steps in Building a Cover Page to complete your Cover Page.
- Set the Cover Page as your homepage.
Displaying other content
Each template's Index supports only certain page types:
- Marquee family (discontinued) - Regular Pages
- Pacific family - Regular, Gallery, and Album Pages
- Brine family - Regular and Gallery Pages
You can display content from an unsupported page by adding a Regular Page and customizing it with blocks. For example, you could:
- Create two Blog Pages, one in each language.
- Move the Blog Pages to the Not Linked section.
- Add one Regular Page to each language-specific Index.
- Add a Summary Block to each Regular Page and connect it to the correct blog for that language.
To learn more, see our tips for adding unsupported page content to an Index.
Use a translation service
Instead of manually building multiple language pages on your site, you might consider using a web translation or localization service like Localize.
Note that Localize is a third-party code solution that falls outside of the scope of Squarespace support. To learn more, visit Using Localize with Squarespace.