Creating localizable web content

Text content

  • Check that the text is factually correct for an international audience (e.g., mentions of en-US specific product pieces like specific search engines or dictionary should be adapted)
  • Look for strings that are likely hard to translate because they are unclear, use play on words or colloquialisms. Depending on context, find alternate strings or document an explanation of the string for localizers
  • Check that we don't link in new pages to sub-pages with anchors. E.g.: a new page is announced with only 100 words but it is actually content added to an existing page in English. Happens for things like Faq, or video pages for example. For video, use the code to display the video in an overlayed video player on the page instead of linking to a video section in English.

Per-locale customizations

  • Check if there are alternative links for localized pages (e.g., links to MDN,, or other external resources, are there translated equivalents we can use). If there are alternatives, use them by adding the $lang; parameter in the urls
  • Evaluate the impact of new pages on all our web properties, especially links to community sites and redirects. Sometimes you can leave some freedom of modification for a block of text so that the localizers link to relevant local resources.


  • Check that images are not going to be a problem for the audience (cultural references, positionning, mirroring for rtl, text in images...) and spot what sizes/margins can be tweaked by CSS or have to be fixed for all locales but English
  • Don't use text in icons

    Images 1&2. Bad: do-64.pngdonot-64.png

    Image 3. Good: error-64.png

    Image 4. Good: information-64.png

    This icon is recognized as the international symbol for information. It can stay this way.

  • Use localized screenshots if possible

    Screenshots are important informative graphics, often times explaining how to achieve something in a desktop or web application. As such, they should be perceived as an essential part of the content and should be localized.

    Image 1. Bad.


    If the screenshot shows the application that the website directly relates to (Firefox on, Personas on, try to use screenshots from the localized version.

    Image 2. Acceptable.


    If however the screenshot shows a third-party application or website, it's acceptable to use the English version if it's not available in the target language.