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I've been asked to create a website that can identify the user's country and then route them to a specific site that was designed specifically for that country. While this task in itself is not terribly difficult using some Google API's, I'd like to know what the industry standard is for domains and different countries.

As of now, each country has their own domain name and it at times is a sub-domain on a larger site.

These are the options I've come up with, but would like to try and preserve brand image first and foremost and a single brand message is key to doing so. In bold is the domain name with the redirect that would occur based on country and potentially language preferences.

mydomain.com
1. mydomain.us
2. mydomain.ca
3. mydomain.mx

mydomain.com
1. mydomain.com/us/en/
2. mydomain.com/ca/en/
3. mydomain.com/ca/fr/
4. mydomain.com/mx/en/
5. mydomain.com/mx/sp/

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on the industry.

I've found that most companies that have the different country codes after their domains have them because they have operations in those countries - so a US company with operations in the UK would often have domain.co.uk in addition to domain.com.

If the company operates out of one country, but has customers in others, then I've seen the domain.com/<language> form.

Some may opt to do both - or use the .<country> to redirect/reread from the <language> form.

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What we do is put the main country (normally US) on the com, and make the rest subdirectories www.domain.com <- US www.domain.com/de/ <- Germany www.domain.com/fr/ <- France

I wouldn't go into the /ca/en and /ca/fr direction. I don't think this is particularly user-friendly. For most countries, there is only one primary language. And domain.com/de/de or domain.com/fr/fr ist not a very nice-looking URL.

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