Weebly Non-English Language Search Engine Friendly URL Work Around

As much as I love Weebly and actively promoting Weebly to small businesses, there are few annoying issues with Weebly's capability. Obviously, their developers haven't had chance to even look into solving those issues. So I have to find work around to get my job done right the client and get them done properly for search engine as well.

For non-English language website, there are many issues that I want to resolve.

  1. HTML Encoded title and description in meta tag. 
  2. HTML encoded non-search engine friendly URL

Problem 1: 
I did not realize that Weebly don't really support NON-English language very well at beginning. Even you are using HTML5 and UTF-8 encoding, the NON-English language in the actually HTML code just don't look right. For example, the following Chinese character in the HTML Code is encoded into HTML code. 

As you can see, the title tag shows encoded HTML code for Chinese characters. Although the modern browser suck as IE11, Chrome, Firefox, can Opera can parse the HTML code and display Chinese characters OK, it's not readable to the website owner and third party program. The scrambled HTML code in the open graph tag may cause more problem down the road. 

I just can't believe that Weebly did not thought this carefully since beginning. Talked to Weebly tech support, I was told that they don't have any place to fix this any time soon. 

Solution: No solution! 

Problem 2:
The non-English character issues goes deeper and create more hurdle to the website owner. If you have a page with NON-English name, it will automatically translate the page's file name into number based on the HTML encoded the characters. The following image shows a numbered file name which is NOT search engine friendly, no way to remember and hard to link to it. 

Well, since the URL isn't search engine friendly, it really makes no sense to use it. 

Solution:
The good news is that Weebly allows you to high a page from the navigation bar and also add external link to the menu bar.

So the step to create a search engine friendly URL page for a non-English language page like the following Chinese merchant account website is very easy. 

  1. Create a page with English Name and hide it from navigation bar. For example: Contact Us. It will use contact-us.html as the file name. 
  2. Create an external page in Chinese language (or your targeted language) and allow to show in the navigation bar. Link the page to the contact-us.html page as external link. 

Here is how it will look like. 

With this solution, there is only one downside. Since the link in the menu bar is an external link, the link won't be highlighted when you visit the page. That's not a big deal to me. So I can live with it. 

Again, I still like to use Weebly, because it's the most efficient way to create a professional website at very reasonable price. I just hope they get the problem 1 solved soon.