A website is very important for any business house or professional individual. It gives a face value to the customers and followers while giving them the information about the products and services that you provide. When you are planning to build a website for Chinese audience, the conditions are little different from rest of the world. Most of the basic concepts are similar but there are some aspects that you need to consider before moving ahead.
First of all, you need to decide the purpose of the website. You need to be clear in your mind if it is going to be a website that provides complete details about your business, if it is going to be a blog, or if it is going to be an e-commerce website where customers can place orders for the services or the products.
1. The domain name: The second point that you need to consider is the name of the website. When we discuss the importance of the name, a lot of people use the famous phrase “What’s in the name – Williams Shakespeare”. Now, if you notice, his name appears at the end of the quote and everyone knows that he said this phrase. This is how important the name is.
When we talk about the name of the website, consider the following points:
- Pick the word or combination of words that mean something to a Chinese audience. The common English names and combinations generally do not work for them.
- A domain name that has foreign influence will be hard to remember for the customers in China. Avoid such names.
- There are some words which have awful meanings or usage in China. Please do consider checking the meaning and usage in the country before finalizing it.
- Keep the name of the domain small and meaningful.
- Do not use “-“ in the name of the website and people do not remember to put the “-“.
- You can use Chinese PinYin as an alternative choice. The Chinese customers remember the name of the websites which are easy to pronounce for them.
- If your desired domain name is already registered, you can contact the owner to negotiate a purchase.
- Do remember that if you plan not to go for a .com domain and prefer a .cn domain, you will have to go through a lot of paperwork. The domain name with a .cn extension is not a necessity to establish a name in Chinese market so if you can, avoid it.
2. Web hosting: First of all make sure that the location of the server is as close to China as possible to ensure faster loading time. You can choose Chinese servers but they require a lot of paperwork just like registering a domain name in China. However, if you host the website in Hong Kong China, Singapore, Korea and Japan, the location will be much closer to the mainland China and it will work like a charm for you
The next point to remember about the web hosting service is how reliable is the hosting service provider. Do not randomly choose the service provider and do check the online reviews for the company. If possible do consult with the friend circle to get some offline reviews.
You also need to consider the amount of traffic that you are going to get. A small blog may not get a lot of visitors on daily basis as compared to an e-commerce site. So choose the hosting plan according to the number of customers you expect that you will get.
3. Administration: When you are setting up a website in or for the Chinese audience, you will require doing a Real Name Verification of the business entity. You will need to provide your documents that contain personal and business details. Also, it will require a submission of ICP license along with some other formalities.
4. Content Management System: Better known as CMS, it is the backend of the website based on a coding language like PHP. The CMS helps the owner of the website in making simple changes without the in-depth knowledge of the coding languages. You can add pages, posts, images, videos etc. via CMS and make some design changes as well. There are a number of CMS systems available in the market like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magneto, Blogger, Shopify etc. Out of these CMSs, WordPress has the market share of above 50%. It is easier to hire a WordPress developer at an affordable price and the CMS has tons of add-on as well which can be helpful in making the website an easy deal for both owner of the website and the customers.
5. Importance of translation: When you get a website done for China in English, you may need to add the whole content in the Chinese language as well or vice versa. Make sure to hire a professional translator so that your customers do not get lost in the translation.
6. Website design: Make sure the color, style, theme, structure, and language meet the eye of the customers that you are targeting. For example, if your target is mature people, you need to keep the color scheme calm while for the young people, it should give the energetic vibe.
7. Functioning: Make sure to sit and discuss the functioning of the website with the developer for the Chinese audience. You should be clear on the points that if it is going to be a combination of information, blog, e-commerce etc. or you want to have just a blog or just an e-commerce website. Also, you need to consider the best possible payment gateway for the e-commerce website. There are services like Alipay, WeChat payment etc. which you can use in China.
8. Website testing: It is very important to test all the aspects of the website for the Chinese audience before making it public. You need to make sure that there are no services included in the coding which may block or slow down the website. The services including Google, Facebook, and Twitter etc. are banned in China. Make sure the Google fonts are not used by the website. Also, do make sure that website is mobile friendly as most of the Chinese users use their Smartphone to access the websites. A mobile app for an e-commerce website can do wonders for you.
The process of making a website for the Chinese audience may look overwhelming but it is a small price that you need to pay to have the access to the biggest economy in the world.