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ACTING LOCALLY

Internationalization generally focuses on those web site elements that remain invisible to the end user—architecture, databases, modular design—but localization focuses on those elements that are visible: text, images, and the manner in which they’re presented.

If you consider how companies struggle to target their web sites toward various groups of users within the U.S., you can understand the challenge of localizing a site for new, global markets. Every locale is going to require its own degree of customization. Even within a market, there are always smaller markets that require an even finer level of customization. Some of the changes you make will be cosmetic; others will be highly technical. Given the complexity, it’s not hard to imagine a time when entire books will be devoted to localizing web sites for each market.


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