Creating a Multilingual, Mobile-Friendly Website and Print Publication

Authors: Tamara Hill-Tanquist, Bryan Mayjor and Dio Morales, Oregon State University

The Oregon State University Extension Service has developed bilingual print and online publications to help Oregon Christmas tree farm owners and employees manage pests and prepare trees for export. If you are considering developing a website that is both multilingual and mobile-friendly, this blog post is for you.  The key features of the “Best Management Practices for Christmas Tree Export” website include a dynamic user interface and easy navigation between English and Spanish. The site was built with Drupal 7, using a mobile-first approach. The Organic Groups Module allows the site to accommodate additional bilingual publications.

Christmas trees are big business in Oregon. To keep trees healthy, workers, crew leaders, and farm owners need quick access to information about pests, insects, and diseases. And because many of the industry’s Latino workers speak little or no English, the information also has to be in Spanish.

That was the challenge the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) put to us. “People on the Christmas tree farms need something they can use in the field,” said Luisa Santamaria, NWREC plant pathologist. “And they need a way to communicate better on the farm.”

So, we published two Christmas tree flipbooks: one for identifying problems and one for exporting trees. Both are:

  • English on one side and Spanish on the other, so users can easily learn key vocabulary
  • Image- and graphics-rich
  • Pocket-sized
  • Printed on water-resistant paper

In trainings and an informal focus group, some people said they also wanted the information on their phones. “I don’t touch paper anymore,” one Christmas tree owner said.

So, we developed mobile-friendly websites for the identification and export flipbooks. The websites were developed in Drupal 7 using Internationalization modules and a custom responsive design theme, which allowed us to:

  • Build one-touch toggling between English and Spanish to preserve the characteristic “flippability” of the books
  • Ensure page resizing would look good on any device
  • On the homepage, dynamically display content from the publications’ calendars to prompt workers, crew leaders, and owners to take specific actions each week

The combination of paper and mobile has allowed us to expand the reach of this important publication.

The printed books are not available to download, but can be purchased from


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