Wix Multilingual: Editing Your Multilingual Site's URL Structure
4 min read
Determine the best URL structure for your multilingual site to improve your SEO ranking. The readability and indexing of your site by search engines depend on the URL structure you choose.
In this article, learn more about:
Types of URL structures for multilingual sites
Wix automatically creates a free Wix URL for your site when you publish it for the first time. The format of this free Wix URL is "accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress".
You can also connect your own custom URL when you upgrade to a Premium plan, e.g. "https://mystunningwebsite.com".
You can create multilingual versions of your site with both free URLs and custom URLs. After you publish your multilingual versions, you have a number of options for the URL structure you use for your URLs.
A subdirectory uses your site's main URL and adds a language code to the end of it. An example of a subdirectory URL is: "https://mystunningwebsite.com/fr".
The main benefit of using subdirectories is that all of your site's language versions contribute to your search ranking because they share the same domain. Subdirectories are the default option when you create a new multilingual site.
A subdomain uses your site's main URL and adds a language code before the domain name. An example of a subdomain URL is: "https://fr.mystunningwebsite.com".
Search engines consider each subdomain site as unique and distinct from your main site. This means that any search engine optimization on your main site may not benefit your subdomains and vice versa.
For example, if your EN language site has a high ranking, your FR language site's ranking may not benefit from this.
- You need a Premium plan to use subdomains.
- It is not possible to use subdomains if you purchased your domain elsewhere and have connected your domain via the pointing method. This is because Wix needs to modify your Domain Name System (DNS) settings to create your subdomains. To use a subdomain, you'll need to connect your domain via the name server method, or transfer your domain to Wix.
A URL with language parameters uses your site's main URL and adds a parameter which includes a language code to the end of it. An example of a URL using language parameters is "https://mystunningwebsite.com/?lang=fr".
Search engines like Google do not recommend using language parameters because of the negative effect they can have on ranking. For example, search engines may consider your multilingual site versions with parameters as duplicates of your main site and exclude them completely from search results.
Reasons for changing your URL structure
If you're not sure whether you should change your URL structure or not, there are some factors to consider:
- If you currently use subdirectories, we recommend not changing your URL structure. This is the default setting when you create a multilingual site.
- If you currently use subdomains and you're happy with your search engine ranking, we recommend not changing your URL structure. You should only change your URL structure if want to try improving your ranking. This is because changing your URL structure may negatively affect your site's ranking.
- If you currently use language parameters, we recommend changing your URL structure.
Risks of changing your URL structure
Any significant changes you make to your site's design or content can affect your search engine ranking. This includes changes to the URL structure of your site's pages.
This is often not something to worry about unless your ranking doesn't recover. However, it can take search engines time to crawl and index your site again. This also means that it may take time for your site to regain its previous ranking.
Before you make any changes to your URL structure, it's a good idea to consider if the possible risks to your site's ranking are worth the benefits of making the change.
Want to learn more?
Read our article about understanding other possible reasons for a drop in your site's search engine ranking.
Changing your URL structure
Change your multilingual site's URL structure directly from the Site Languages tab in the Multilingual dashboard with just one click. When you change your site's URL structure, your site's previous URLs automatically redirect to the new URLs.
To change your URL structure:
- Go to Site Languages in the Multilingual dashboard.
- Click Settings.
- Click Edit next to URL structure on the right side.
- Select the checkbox next to your chosen structure.
- Click Save.