You know your business is going places, but does your website communicate that in more than one language? When the time comes to translate your site into different languages, you need to know which multilingual content management system (CMS) is right for you. There are many particulars you should consider when choosing a multilingual CMS.
Considerations for a multi-language CMS
Taking your website global isn’t easy. There are many hurdles and potential roadblocks that can slow progress if you’re not clear about what you need. To find the best multilingual CMS for your business, start by considering if it works with your business needs. Do you need internationally friendly forms or time zone-aware scheduling? Will your data be stored safely once it’s translated? Was the CMS designed with localization/internationalization in mind so updates are easily scalable?
Unless you’re a tech wiz or familiar with some of these aspects, you may not have the answers — but that’s why we’re here. Simplify your search for a good multilingual CMS by looking for the following features:
You should have the option to initiate the translation process on-demand and in scheduled batches. But you wouldn’t want this content to go live without knowing it’s accurate. That’s where pseudolocalization, staging sites and in-CMS testing come into play. With these efforts, you can verify and test the result of this process before translation begins.
Multilingual content management
You’ve spent a great deal of time creating your brand, and when you go global, you’ll want that to show with quality translations and enhanced collaboration. Multilingual content management ensures you maintain a unified brand message across all content, in all languages. With complete unicode support, the CMS will display, edit and manipulate any language accurately, while supporting all characters from every language (especially Arabic, Japanese and Russian). What’s more, a localization-ready CMS improves collaboration among team members, with scalable edits and updates across languages, even for the smallest web or marketing teams.
API integration or CMS translation connector
Your multi-language CMS should save you time and could eliminate manual handoffs for localization. It should be built in a way that allows you and your translation partner to easily pull and push web content automatically via an application programming interface (API) integration or CMS connector without having to resort to copy and paste or exporting and importing source and translated content.
To make your quest for the right multilingual content management system a little easier, we’ve narrowed your options down to the top open-source and proprietary systems worth considering.
Many companies find that an open-source CMS suits their needs because the original source code is freely available and may be redistributed and modified. There are many benefits found in the top platforms. Here’s how to choose the best CMS for your business:
Open source CMS platforms for multilingual websites
Many companies find that an open-source CMS suits their needs because the original source code is freely available and may be redistributed and modified. If this sounds up your alley, here are some of the benefits of the top platforms:
WordPress powers more than 32% of the web because of its responsive, mobile‑friendly themes and built‑in optimization. You can translate posts, pages, tags, categories and themes into as many languages as you like using a multilingual WordPress plugin. One of the most widely used multilingual plugins is WPML, which web admins can install easily without coding. Check with your translation partner to see if they offer an integration with WPML, enabling you to initiate, manage and receive translations from within WordPress. To learn more, check out our guide on how to build a multilingual WordPress website.
If you need to manage large-scale multilingual sites, Drupal is a good option. With excellent standard features like reliable performance, stellar security and easy content creation, it’s touted as the best multilingual CMS for managing large-scale sites. But what sets it apart is its flexibility, with tools that help you build a dynamic website with versatile, structured content. Drupal’s translation management tool (TMGMT) enables users to streamline translation workflows. With direct integrations available to language service providers like Acclaro, launching and maintaining a multilingual Drupal site becomes more efficient and cost effective.
Pixel & Tonic’s Craft CMS is geared toward development-oriented publishers who want deeper control and more powerful performance from their content management tools. Known for its flexibility, scalability and user-friendly interface, Craft CMS is ideal for creating custom digital experiences on the web and beyond. Craft CMS is also a hybrid CMS, which means that you can combine monolithic and headless CMS features when building your front end. To eliminate copy and paste, you can launch and manage a multilingual Craft site more quickly and efficiently using the Translation plugin for Craft, and automate your translation workflows even further with a translation API.
Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)
Although not an open-source platform per se, AEM is a popular choice among some of the biggest brands. The platform simplifies management and delivery of a website’s content and digital assets and reduces the complications of delivering virtual experiences to the right customers. To more efficiently launch and maintain multilingual AEM content, we recommend working with a translation agency that offers an AEM translation integration.
*Based on G2 Crowd Reviews
Headless CMS for Multilingual Content Management
Contentful’s app framework is built for users who want to control content from a single hub. It integrates hundreds of tools, building digital-first experiences at scale. It has some open-source components, like its field editor libraries, which give it a certain amount of flexibility. And, as a headless CMS, Contentful’s back-end only system allows users to access content and reuse it across channels. Contentful users who work in multiple languages can also take advantage of the Translations by Acclaro app to help streamline translation workflows. Our app’s user-friendly interface provides an efficient way to create, review, approve and publish translated content from within Contentful.
Custom Content Management Systems
If your company has plenty of development resources and IT support, you might want to consider developing a custom CMS, especially if you want to control the platform’s functionality, interface and updates. A custom solution allows you to tailor everything specifically to suit your business or departmental needs, which will speed up the execution of updates or marketing campaigns. Other benefits include more control over brand consistency, less risk of hacking or spamming and more personalized support.
When evaluating whether or not a custom solution is right for you, make sure to keep your website and CMS localization needs in mind.
E-Commerce CMS Platforms
Do you sell products or services through your website? Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop or a large corporation, you may want to consider an eCommerce CMS platform or eCommerce plugin for your content management system. Many businesses use enterprise eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SAP Hybris, Sitecore and BigCommerce, which are already internationalized and localization ready, meaning they’re set up to handle multilingual product content and different currencies. Choosing the right eCommerce platform will help optimize your customer experience, leading to a more successful global business expansion.
Go Far with Experience
The ideal multilingual content management system ultimately depends on your company’s needs, budget, development resources and IT infrastructure. No matter which option you pick, it’s essential to partner with an experienced language vendor. Acclaro can take where you need to go, with expert website localization in more than 125 languages.
As a tech independent company, we help you choose the tools that are right for you. We can even help you install and configure our CMS translation integrations for WordPress, Drupal, AEM and Craft CMS or get started with our Acclaro API. We’re here to give you guidance and support to help you select the best CMS. We can achieve your global business goals together!
If you’re not sure exactly what you need, contact us today to ask for a consultation. Our experts can walk you through how to choose the CMS that’s right for you.