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Mass Appeal

What to know before your website goes global
June 1, 2006
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/160002

Got a website? Good start. But when dealing with global customers, you have to take a giant step further.

According to Internet World Stats, internet users who do not speak English now outnumber internet users who do. Constructing a successful global website-one that users can navigate effortlessly--is a must.

John Yunker, president of Escondido, California-based Byte Level Research, says language is only your first concern. "People often assume the most challenging aspect of web globalization is translation," he says, "but often it is such things as customer support, fulfillment and usability." Yunker offers these tips:

"Test your site for international readiness," adds E. Smith Yewell, president and CEO of Welocalize in Frederick, Maryland. "For example, can it process foreign date, time and currency formats?"

Laurel Delaney runs GlobeTrade.com and LaurelDelaney.com, Chicago-based firms that specialize in international entrepreneurship.