I'm new in the i18n world, searching online the best structure to deploy my i18n website, I've found two solutions with the subdirectory model:

  • Every language in /locale_code
  • Default language in / and others in /locale_code

Is there was any difference for SEO (i18n targeting, crawling rate, etc?) Which would be the best approach?

1 Answer 1


Either way can work fine for SEO. There is going to be no difference in crawl rate. Targeting can be done either way with hreflang. I have a site with great SEO with English at the root of the domain but subdomains for every other language. Wikipedia (which also has great SEO) uses a language subdomain for every language including English.

Advantages to every language in a subdirectory

  • Easier to construct hreflang, XML sitemaps, and language switchers because there is no special case for one of the languages.
  • Users don't feel slighted that their language isn't the most important one.
  • No possibility of conflict between page URLs and language subdirectory names.
  • Ability to do language aware redirects from the document root. (Note you never want to automatically redirect from one language to another, but it can be good user experience to redirect to the appropriate language when a user lands on the home page and there is no page there for a specific language.)

Advantages to one language at the root

  • No need to change URLs for the original language when internationalizing a site that was originally single language.
  • Cleaner URLs for that one language.

For more information about structuring international URLs see How should I structure my URLs for both SEO and localization?

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