When you are building a Chinese language website for the first time, you will be asking yourself: Do I need a completely new website for my Chinese customers, or can I simply upgrade or rearrange my existing website?

The answer to this is not straightforward and will be unique to every business owner. To help in the decision-making process, we have put together a questionnaire below.

With the exception of Question 7, if you answer NO to any of these questions, then you need a new website:

QUESTION 1: Do you love your current website?
If you don’t already love your website, or it’s old and needs a new lease on life, then it’s probably best to start afresh and get a new site. This gives you the option of upgrading to a multi-site (with multiple languages) or a purely Chinese language website.

QUESTION 2: Does your web technology support additional languages?
You will need to check with your developer to see if the platform on which your website is built, supports the addition of multiple languages.

Modern websites tend to use Content Management Systems (CMS) and many have language plugins. If you have a website that uses XTML or HTML files, it’s important to double-check they can support Chinese.

QUESTION 3: Are all your graphics up to date?
Does your current website imagery suit your Chinese audience? For example: is it representative of the products and services you want to sell to your Chinese customers, and is the imagery used appropriate for China?

QUESTION 4: Is your home product or service offer the same as your Chinese one?
If you are developing a dual language website, you may have products and services for your home market that are different to the Chinese market. To avoid confusion and particularly disappointment in your customers, it may be good idea to offer separate sites if the products for each country are quite different.

QUESTION 5: Can you plug-in the online shopping tools you will need for your Chinese website?
Selling products for personal consumption to Chinese online shoppers requires an online payment gateway that will allow them to transact with you.

While some Chinese citizens have access to foreign currency Visa, Mastercard, American express cards or even Paypal, the larger majority do not.

They transact using Chinese currency or renminbi, referred to as CNY on the foreign exchange indexes. If you intend to offer a payment gateway, you will need to know that your website is capable of integrating Chinese payment platforms, such as WeChat Pay or Alipay?

QUESTION 6: Can your online forms incorporate Chinese language?
Some websites have online forms that visitors will need to complete to receive information or transact. If you are building a Chinese language offer then naturally your forms need to be in Chinese, so it’s worth checking if the technology you use can support Chinese characters.

QUESTION 7: Do you have Youtube, Twitter and Facebook feeds?
Web platforms that are popular in the West such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook are unavailable in China. If your website features these feeds, then when it is viewed in China they will not be able to be seen and make your website look strange.

Building a Chinese language website is critical to expanding your business into the global arena, especially if your target audience is Chinese. It’s always important to choose a web designer that has experience, not just in build websites, but also in developing strategies that best serve your Chinese customers. If you are considering a Chinese language website, book a FREE one-hour consult us to find out what your options are.