What’s so great about Squarespace?
There are a few possible, and equally valid, responses to this question. Squarespace is user-friendly, it has beautiful templates, and requires minimal effort to create a high-performing site. Plus, they now offer e-commerce solutions and have become a favorite site-building platform for businesses (both small and rather large).
If you’re new to the digital design world, or simply looking to build a site as fast as possible, Squarespace is a viable solution.
One thing that’s not very fast or low-effort on Squarespace? Making your site multilingual.
Unless you use an app, like Weglot—in which case your proliferation into multiple languages will be easy as A, B, C. In order to expand your site’s reach abroad (or even at home, if you live in a multilingual country), using Weglot to translate your site takes only a few minutes and clicks.
What’s more, Squarespace’s templates are, for the most part, minimalist and visual-heavy, meaning that they’re generally readily compatible with the translated versions of your site.
So, what kinds of internationally-minded businesses and individual entrepreneurs are picking Squarespace as their launch platform and using Weglot as their translation solution?
Let’s look at examples from a few different industries.
Hotels: tourist-tempting templates
The Miramonti in Corteno, Italy
It’s well known in the web design world that white space translates to elegance and smoothness. The Miramonti Cortena’s simple, scrollable site is a breath of fresh air—probably exactly what its creators intend to evoke, with crisp natural imagery and a stripped-down typeface.
What else is elegant about the Miramonti website? The fluidity of its translations, for one. Available in no less than seven languages, this mountain hideaway stays secluded in real life, but readily accessible online to millions of potential guests.
Gitana del Mar in Santa Marta, Colombia
Gitana del Mar’s website is available in English and Spanish, which makes sense—they’re a small boutique hotel in a region where most tourists come from the Americas, and their wellness-focused ethos is likely aimed to attract a cosmopolitan crowd.
International Real Estate: Cross-border appeal
Barleigh Ellis: luxury on Spain’s Gold Coast
The marketing team at Barcelona-based Barleigh Ellis Realty has clearly also understood the value of white space in projecting elegance; like the Miramonti, they opted for a bare-bones Squarespace template that allows their beautiful photography to really shine.
And as for the text? It’s limited on their main and gallery pages, but each property listing is highly detailed—and perfectly translated into 4 languages (English, French, Spanish, and Catalan), right down to the print-friendly PDF generations that you can make of any listing page.
(That kind of attention to detail requires no extra effort with a Squarespace translation app like Weglot—which translates all of a site’s text features, including documents.)
Artist portfolios: simple setup & aesthetic result
Kirk Studio: a gallery and a store
Danish lighting fixture designer Brian Kirk has combined Squarespace’s built-in e-commerce features with a template that suits his work’s contemporary aesthetic.
Any artist or artisan looking to bring in international business should take note of Kirk’s translated “Add to Cart” button and product options—every element of the user’s buying experience is adapted to their language preferences.
Cultural projects: for a cosmopolitan audience
Ault Studio: a multilingual website for a multimedia collective
It’s not immediately clear what Ault is when you load their homepage, and that appears to be the point: “We are makers, handmakers, sometimes making more than we think,” their intro reads.
Once you’ve scrolled in, though, the Ault site is intuitive, and guides you around the studio’s various creative projects—a gallery space in Paris, a design store, and even an art periodical.
What sets Ault’s content apart from that of other art collective blogs, and online journals, is that all of its articles are bilingually translated.
Paris to Katowice: A (virtual) trek across Europe
American teacher and climate researcher Edward Goodall Donnelly put together this “multimedia journey,” tracing Europe’s cross-border coal transport routes, in an effort to raise awareness about coal’s impact on the environment.
While this is far from a typical Squarespace site—it doesn’t quite fall into any of the categories of portfolio, business site, event site, or personal site—it’s a visually interesting example of how big text blocks can actually look good on a page.
With a strict black-and-white color scheme, and a focus on the featured photography (also exclusively black-and-white), Donnelly’s site looks good and reads smoothly in all three languages he’s made it available in: French, English, and German.
SaaS: When your website has to say it all
Remcom: Software that knows no boundaries
Using one of Squarespace’s sleeker business-friendly templates, Remcom packs a lot of information into one site.
The highly technical nature of their product—electromagnetic simulation software—means that they have a lot of area-specific jargon on their product descriptions and “about” pages (do you know what “waveguide excitations” and “dielectric breakdown prediction” mean? Neither do we).
But this isn’t a problem for their international clients, as all of this text has been translated—into no fewer than five languages.
Political campaigns: Reaching a multicultural electorate
Stevens Orozco’s U.S. Congress campaign: Made for the Melting Pot
Multilingual campaigning is the norm in many parts of the world, and has only recently become so in the United States.
Houston, TX Congressional candidate Stevens Orozco is running his official 2020 campaign site in six languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Hindi) that are widely spoken in his cosmopolitan district, and his Squarespace site renders just as cleanly and fluidly in all of them.
What makes these sites stand out?
Now we’ve seen how Squarespace works as a site-building solution across a variety of industries, you might be wondering—what have these sites done well in terms of going multilingual on Squarespace, in comparison to others?
- Taking advantage of Squarespace’s text-light templates. Reducing the density of text on a page (if not the amount—the Paris to Katowice project site, for example, is text-heavy by nature, but uses a large font with lots of wide spacing to separate text blocks) is pretty easy on Squarespace. This also reduces the risk of text boxes overlapping when translated into an inherently wordier language, and keeps the page layout clean between languages.
- Translating every step of the user journey. Especially on e-commerce sites, this is super important: it can be tough to remember to translate all of the product descriptions, checkout buttons, and other variables that a customer will eventually interact with, since none of these necessarily show up on the home or main pages. (Weglot can help you with that—it’s an all-encompassing translation app that doesn’t leave any of these elements behind.)
- Picking the right languages. If you’re a large actor in a decentralized industry, like Remcom in the engineering software world, having your site in 5+ languages is probably worth the investment. On the other hand, personal projects and smaller businesses, like Ault or Kirk Studio, may have an intentionally narrower online reach.
With a solid translation app connected to your Squarespace site, it actually isn’t any more difficult or time-consuming to translate your site into more languages than you may have originally planned.
It’s important to keep in mind, in any case, that adding a personal touch to your translations is still easier when you actually interact in all of the languages you’re using, so focusing on your clients’ most-spoken languages is always a good idea.