Localization with EPiServer CMS Part 1

October 04, 2010

A Content Management System (CMS) provides a powerful way to create a professional website and manage its content. Today many websites are powered and managed by web content management systems (CMS) and many enterprises author, manage, store, and publish web content from a website CMS.

Eventually nearly every company and organization will find that running a multilingual website in more than one language is a requirement. Because of this, content management systems (CMS) have been focusing on incorporating multilingual and localization capabilities into website platforms for some time.

What is Content Management System (CMS)?

A CMS is a powerful, organized environment that allows you to manage your website content and features. CMS's are used primarily for storing, controlling, authoring, editing and publishing your website's content.

A typical CMS usually uses a database and XML to store content and server-side scripting to manage and recall data.

A CMS can enable many useful website features for you:

  • CMS would allow a large team of editors and contributors to Add, Edit, Delete, Publish content.
  • CMS would control access to the data, based on custom user roles and privilege level.
  • CMS provides many tools to manage and edit content.
  • CMS provides central environmental control for your website data and content.
  • CMS integrates tools for web localization and globalization.

Content Management Systems and Website Localization

By default, your website creates an online presence that is globally accessible. Therefore you need to ensure your site can communicate and conduct business in the locale (country, language, culture) of your potential customers. Website localization enables your website to do just that!

Website localization is the process of translating and adapting the content, language, appearance, and functionality of a website into different languages.

The content management system (CMS) is an advanced platform that helps achieve website management and control. Most website authors and developers need this effective functionality for providing and supporting multilingual websites.

The process of website localization and multilingual website development within a CMS requires a very professional web development team, with solid experience in website localization and CMS configurations.

Why EPiServer CMS?

EPiServer CMS is a content management system that provides a very strong platform where certain features and functionality will appeal more to specific roles. This CMS uses Microsoft ASP.NET.

EPiServer is an online center with access from "everywhere" to ensure that users can manage their work efficiently and effectively at the same time. Compliance considerations for corporate governance and archiving are covered with the solution's recordkeeping features.

EPiServer CMS and Website Localization

EPiServer Content Management System (CMS) is an extended, complete solution that provides the necessary tools and plug-ins for web content export/import and localization/translation management. EPiServer's advanced workflow helps you tie all these processes together.

Here is an overview of EPiServer Multilanguage and localization features.

Setting up EPiServer for Multilanguage sites

In order to implement a website into different languages, you need to set up the languages first in the EPiServer configuration. To activate them, the first thing you need to do is enable Globalization in your EPiServer instance (Admin mode -> System Settings -> Config Tab -> General Tab). You also need to set the default language, which will be the one that is displayed when a visitor navigates the website. The default language is set up in the web.config file, under the globalization tag.

After enabling globalization, you need to add the languages you are planning to localize your site with. That is done under Manage Website Languages (Admin mode -> Manage Website Languages). In this page you have a list of all currently available languages and also a button to add more languages. Languages that are active in this list are available through the editor for content authors. On the other hand, the ones that are inactive will not allow new pages to be created, but the site will still show the pages previously created under that language.

Each language has a Web Address prefix option that will be used in the URL to identify what is the language that the user wants to render. So if we select "ES" for Spanish, our site will render the Spanish pages under the www.mycompany.com/es URL.

Another useful setting is the language fallback mechanism, where we can instruct EPiServer to fallback to a certain language when pages are not available in the languages the user is trying to reach. Each available language in the site can have another available language as default. For example, when we partially localize a website and we want one section to remain in the original language (English for example), this setting is quite useful, just by enabling the correct fallback configuration, EPiServer will handle the rest automatically.

Further GPI Resources on EPiServer Localization and Website Development

Globalization Partners International (GPI) has previously localized and published several EPiServer web applications and has several detailed presentations and case studies about web content management systems and scalable website development. You may find the following references about website localization, globalization, development and EPiServer Localization useful:

Further Information on Localization Resources

Globalization Partners International (GPI) frequently assists customers with multilingual website design and development. A suite of globalization tools developed by GPI can empower you to achieve your multilingual project goals: you can explore them under the Tools sections of our company website. GPI also offers web localization and internationalization, and can evaluate your application. Consider partnering with GPI prior to localizing or translating your application or websites as this will help you avoid many mistakes and save considerable time and money on your localization projects.

Contact GPI for more information via e-mail at info@globalizationpartners.com, by phone at (866) 272-5874, or by requesting a free web development and website translation quote on your project.

Content Management Systems
localization, CMS, Episerver, multilingual content, translation, website

Webinar: How to reduce DTP and translation costs with FrameMaker 9 and DITALocalization with EPiServer CMS Part 2


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Ayman is a native Arabic speaker with extensive expertise in Arabic software and website localization. He is a Microsoft Certified professional (MCP) since 2001 and earned several certificates including MCSD, MCAD, MCTS and MCPD. He has over 12 years’ experience in software / websites engineering using Microsoft Programming tools including C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server, Visual Studio and other tools such as HTML, JavaScript, XML, Ajax and others.