Building a website for Arab uses is different from conventional websites. It is mainly because of language and ethnic differences. When we talk about website development, we have to address issues to the US, Canada, Australia, and European countries.
They all have a common language, tradition, history, or religion, which narrates their lifestyle as well. However, English language varieties still exist but do not make their distinct from one another. The Arabs are different as their language is vast and complex. To have a website for them, you need to know their needs, lifestyle, and preferences.
They may like a design that is not liked in English countries or vice versa. Their choices extend to the font, color, buttons, options, images, and the entire layout of a website. Failing to understand it all, you may not be able to build a website exclusively for the Arab Users. I am sharing some of the tips that can help you understand and document the differences in developing an Arab website.
1. Mirror the layout
Building a website for Arabic users may require you to adopt RTL – Right to Left – reading layout. Any kind of content that you may choose to add in the design of the website has to follow the pattern either it is images, calls to action, stories and text, or product display.
You can say it has to be right indented. In other words, the designers call it mirroring the conventional web design layout. Mirroring is one of the innovative and useful techniques for developing a website exclusively for Arab users.
You might have experienced the layout of different websites that are built for the speakers of the English language. Their reading pattern if left to right (LTR). In Arab countries, the users have the opposite reading behavior because of their language.
The simplest solution lies in mirroring a website for considering their requirements. For reference, you can visit https://www.centralbank.ae/ar as its website design agrees with the common user behavior.
2. Selecting the Best CMS Platform
There are various CMS platforms, which support regional and global languages other than English. Developing a website for the Arab audience may demand a platform that can easily be localized without much coding.
At times, you may need a CMS application that offers both localization as well as internationalization of business. The available options you can choose from including WordPress, Drupal, or Craft CMS. WordPress is a widely used platform in UAE as it powers around 8466 websites. The other preferred technologies include Adobe Muse, Microsoft SharePoint, and IAPPS.
Have a custom solution is always desirable when you need to reach out to your targeted users in Arab countries with a distinct appeal. Go Gulf is one of the reliable web design agencies that specialize in building region-specific websites. Click the link to find more about them at https://www.go-gulf.com/saudiarabia.php
3. Having Professional Images
Flipping images from LTR to RTL is not a professional way to represent your business, product, services, or staff. If you already have a set of images that were taken with the perspective of a conventional website layout, these images are not going to work in a design that is particularly for the Arab users.
Invest a bit in the professional shoot to have high-quality images that comply with the screen-reading pattern. The content, story, or the object you aim to portray in images must have a focus from right to left side of the page.
4. Use Formal or Informal Arabic Variety
Arabic is a vast language. It has multiple dialects and varieties that are widely spoken in different states of the Arab region. Understanding it is like getting acquainted with two or three different languages.
Furthermore, the written and spoken versions of the language are not the same, which makes it more difficult to understand and convey your message to the locals. Despite the enormous variety of the language, there exist two official forms of Arabic, which are named as Fusha and Ammiya.
Your selection of Arabic depends on the user-base you aim to target. Fusha is more about writing classical literature or political content, whereas Ammiya is the language of common people. This is used for seeking direction and asking for product prices in the markets. For better readability and understandability, I suggest you use Ammiya for building a website for Arab users.
5. Add Calligraphy to Design
Arab is a Muslim-majority region that loves the art of calligraphy. If you have ever visited their home or shop, you might have noticed a decoration masterpiece with beautiful calligraphy on it. They like the same on their websites too.
The addition of calligraphy to the design of your websites makes a visual impact. As a result, the designs relate to the Islamic tradition. The impressive look starts attracting users, making them stay more, and taking your desired action on the website.
6. Seek Assistance from Native Speakers
Tools like Google translate and other localization technologies can help you a lot in meeting expectations of the target audience, whereas, for absolute accuracy in terms of design, layout, and content, you can seek assistance from native speakers of the Arabic language.
If you are building a website for Arab users, it is highly recommended to hire services of the locals who are more fluent in the language and closer to understanding the cultural aspect of a website design or its element. They can help in optimizing the content of your website for a different set of Arab Users.
For example, people in Saudi Arabia speak the language a bit they are different from Oman and Qatar. Their language differences influence their traditions and lifestyles as well. Therefore, find a local who is an expert and a keen observer of the Arab audiences.
7. Take Advantage of the Tools and Libraries
Using off-the-shelf tools for building a website for Arab users can save you a lot of time, cost, and energy. For example, you can have a tool for simplifying the mirroring of your website rather than coding for the right-to-left layout.
Similarly, for localization, you can find built-in tools in different themes of CMS platforms. Check for templates that support multiple languages specifically the Arabic language. It helps you take advantage of the readymade tools and speed up the website development.
8. Pursue Mobile Responsiveness
The number of mobile and smartphone users is increasing in Arab countries at the same pace as any English country. Check for statistics and you may find that more than 30% of your target audience is comfortable browsing the website on a mobile screen. To provide them with brilliant user experience, you may need to build the Arab website that specifically focuses on mobile-friendliness. It may help you gain better rankings in search engines to attract organic traffic.
9. Work on Arabic Typesetting
Arabic font is small but wider if compared to the English language. If you plan to build a website with both an English and Arabic version, you have to improve the typesetting a lot. Try to match typefaces of both languages so that a translated page appears the same as other pages.
For example, if English is the default language version of your website, the Arabic version must look aesthetically as appealing as the previous one if the user switches between them. You may not find much of the options in selecting a font for Arabic, as they are few in numbers.
The most used fonts are Verdana, Ariel, and Tahoma. Whichever you use, try to remove the display game of this regional page version with the global one.
The basic difference between building an Arab website and an English site is the language. English is written from left to right, whereas the Arabic writing style is from right to left. To reach out to Arabic users, developers can use the mirroring technique for considering the language pattern.
Try following other tips that are discussed in this post as it may help you build a website that is in-line with requirements, choices, preferences, and culture of the Arab users.