is getting translated download pages


As you may have learned recently on Seth's blog, we have been working lately on creating translated landing pages on for all of the locales that are not already supported on an official regional portal (that is those not on Mozilla Europe/China/Japan).

Now that I have a bit of time I can blog a bit about how this project is going.

We have created this week landing pages on for 7 of our locales (Afrikaans, Frisian, Irish, Indonesian, Georgian, Slovene, Swedish) which is a good start given that we (Laura and me) plan to have all of the 37 locales we are targeting done by the end of the year. By the way, the list of targeted locales is on the Web Dashboard, if your language is on the list of languages we are targeting, don't hesitate to come and help with the translation!

So what does it change for let's say a Slovene user compared to the previous situation? Until one week ago, a user with Internet Explorer in Slovene going to or was redirected to and was offered a link to download Firefox in Slovene but the page was all written in English. This is good enough for people speaking English as a second language, but our target audience is no longer the computer and English savvy advanced users. We were certainly losing potential users for one of these reasons:

  • The user gets to an English page and concludes that Firefox is not localized into his language.
  • The user just doesn't understand what the page is about and leaves.
  • We misdetect the visitor's locale and he downloads Firefox in the wrong language.

It is very clear to me that translating a whole portal like and keeping it up to date is not scalable. Maintaining a reduced version of a portal like we do on Mozilla Europe for 22 languages is already a very big task and could be seen as an ideal solution, but many of the locales we are speaking about have little human resources to keep and, more importantly, maintain an entire web site.

Another drawback of a multilingual portal is that any technical change in the reference language (English) may have an impact on localized pages. This is particularily true for stylesheet changes, I have already seen minor visual fixes on an English page impacting negatively the same page for other languages. So as to avoid that, updates on the English version have to be very carefully done and planned and lots of QA of localized pages has to be done when some files are updated in English. Definitely, this is not scalable or would be possible for a handful of languages only.

The solution chosen is one single landing page to propose the download of Firefox, give a few informations (among which a link to the locale's community portal) and also a link to Thunderbird pages in English. We have a separate stylesheet for that and we only share a cut-down version of the template. Our Hebrew localizer is also working on a Right-To-Left stylesheet, thanks Tomer for that!

Additionally, offering the right locale in a page written into the right language is not the only good news about it. This is also going to help promoting localized versions of Firefox more easily with a short url such as for Afrikaans. Great for printed material, banners or simply to give the url of the site verbally to a friend. This will also allow us to do real Search Engine Optimization in the user's language (as we did in the past on and one of the next things to do will be to evaluate the wording of this page for better result, I'll open bugs about it and we will work with our communities on optimizing the language for better search results. By the way, these pages are in Google results since this morning, which is a good start :)

One other good news is that we promote on this page community portals, which means that this will give more visibility to these portals and hopefully new contributors will join the Mozilla project.

Here is the list of current languages done (in the visitor's language so as to give it a small SEO boost ;) ):


One more locale done today, Galician:


1. Le mardi 18 novembre 2008, 17:28 par Sigurd

Hello, the Swedish link leads to the Afrikaans version.

2. Le mardi 18 novembre 2008, 18:03 par marcoos

Can we have the existing locales redirected from URLs like the ones mentioned in your post?

I mean, it might be nice to have redirecting to etc.

3. Le mardi 18 novembre 2008, 18:15 par pascalc

@Sigurd, thanks for noticing, this is fixed

@marcoos, yes, but probably not in Q4. We are targetting first the most 'neglected' locales and we have excellent results for downloads on mozilla europe, so they are less of a priority. Also, I think we will use a slightly different template on for the locales already supported on and I want to get some metrics in Q4 on the new landing pages before doing the new template.

4. Le mercredi 19 novembre 2008, 16:08 par John Silvestri

@pascalc: I believe in the shorter term, marcoos is simply suggesting a 302 redirect of the URL, which really doesn't involve any templates or landing pages. Per your comments, this may be less essential given existing search links to mozilla-europe. (That, and may not wish to arbitrarily redirect for some URLs and not others.)

Otherwise, it looks great, and will hopefully reach out to other locales well.

5. Le mercredi 19 novembre 2008, 16:37 par pascalc

John, really I prefer to go step by step and solve well defined problems. There are drawbacks to simple redirects, the main one being that it would become very difficult to reach the unique content on that is only available in English.

6. Le jeudi 20 novembre 2008, 00:05 par jmdesp

The redirect would be only on , not on any of the rest of

I think too it would be good for consistency to have it.

7. Le jeudi 20 novembre 2008, 00:08 par jmdesp

Another remarks that I have : Make sure to leave an English language "escape" link reasonably visible on the page, in case someone has been mistakenly directed to it.

8. Le jeudi 20 novembre 2008, 00:10 par pascalc

so I will repeat again, if I put a redirect on ALL french speaking users visiting will be AUTOMATICALLY redirected to mozilla europe and won't be able to visit in English.

I am all for consistency, it is planned, but not at the price of breaking things for end-users with temporary hacks on our main page.

9. Le jeudi 20 novembre 2008, 00:18 par pascalc

>Another remarks that I have : Make sure to leave an English language "escape" link reasonably visible on the page, in case someone has been mistakenly directed to it.

There is one only big link for that in the page header