My first experience with Webflow's localization feature

Today, I'm thrilled to tell you about my first time trying out Webflow's cool new feature – localization. Imagine my good fortune when a client of mine with a construction business in Panama sought a bilingual website, featuring content in both English and Spanish. This presented the perfect opportunity to implement Webflow's localization feature on a real project.


Setting up localization was a breeze – just a few clicks, and voilà, we had subdirectory URLs ready to roll. Customizing the subdirectory to "/es" instead of the ISO code "es-PA" for Spanish (Panama) was a cinch, maintaining a clean and simple structure.

Webflow localization feature is enabled - screenshot


Now, onto translation! I effortlessly tackled the main pages in just a few clicks. A quick note: while machine translations are handy, remember, a human touch elevates the game. After all, no one wants a website lost in translation.

The first challenge arose when translating dynamic items. Ten properties, a couple of categories, and a handful of tags seemed like a breeze until a pop-up notified me of word limits. It was a surprise for me because while I was well aware that I couldn't enable publishing for localized pages without purchasing an add-on, I completely overlooked the fact that there was also a limit on words for translation. A $12/month add-on later, we were back on track. However a closer look at the plans revealed that the Essential plan wasn't enough – the Advanced plan, priced at $35/month or $348/year, was the real deal. A well-maintained, SEO-optimized website should consider the Advanced plan, offering not just static pages, CMS, and SEO localization, but also features like assets localization, localized URLs, and automatic visitor routing. Remember, this is an add-on, and the cost will be added to your website plan subscription.

As I freed myself from translation limits, I dove into translating CMS items. Be mindful that there's no magic “Translate it all” button. Each field required individual attention, a detail to remember when dealing with extensive content.

Update: on 12/15/2023 Webflow announced that the bulk field translation for single CMS item was added.

Freedom and responsibility intertwined – once field is localized changes made in one language did not automatically reflect in the corresponding locale, necessitating manual updates.

Webflow's notification about how updates are inherited when localization is enabled


Another challenge emerged with styling. Want to tweak styles in each locale? You'll need the Enterprise-level add-on. My navigation bar didn't quite make the cut and ended up spilling over to the next line because some Spanish words we were using turned out to be longer than their English counterparts. Ideally, I would've tightened up the spacing and shrunk the font a bit to make it all fit, but no such luck there. I understand that styling is a big deal and a good selling point, but I was hoping to find those option available at least in the Advanced tier. Is Enterprise level a budget-friendly solution for most clients? Not so much.

Language Toggle

The language toggle brought its own set of hurdles. Styling it proved trickier than expected. Opting for a dropdown resulted in the toggle being labeled "Language." A preference for a switch-style presentation with abbreviations (EN, ES) introduced complications due to the fixed ISO code for Panama Spanish (ES-PA). While Webflow's website showcases a nice implementation, I couldn't crack the code on how they did it. If any of you out there know the secret, feel free to spill the beans! Good that there is a label BETA on it... It definitely can be more intuitive.

Example from Webflow website of how Localization toggle can look
In a nutshell, Webflow's localization is a mixed bag. Starting off, you're hooked by its simplicity. But as you dig deeper, small hurdles emerge. It's a fantastic feature, long overdue, yet it comes with a price tag. The advanced plan is a must for a well-rounded experience, making it a potentially pricey affair for smaller businesses.

My advice? If you've got the budget and the need, go for it. Localization is no longer a distant dream for website owners, opening new horizons for businesses. Yet, it might be more tailored for corporate and startups eyeing expansion. As for me, I'm optimistic about the future of localization – with a hope that Webflow makes it more accessible for the little guys. As of now, the significance of localized content for SEO cannot be overstated, making it a worthwhile investment for those with the budget and need. Localization has indeed drawn closer to website owners, opening new horizons for businesses.

Written By
Karina Demirkilic
Founder | Lead Developer and Designer