The idea of a website being available only in a single language is a thing of the past. The web design industry is moving towards multilingual content. Find the top ten Content Management Systems ready for building multilingual websites.
The world is in a state of constant change and requires that we follow suit to accommodate our audience's needs. As we are nearing 2022, it is becoming increasingly clear that more and more enterprises are looking for language-specific marketing strategies and online presence in order to reach their desired audience.
The globalizing world of the internet has left many businesses struggling to keep up with a new multicultural customer base. Also, with an increasing number of people living in multicultural communities, the need for internationalization has become more critical than ever, and web design companies are starting to take notice.
In addition, this movement towards multilingual content leads to new opportunities and stronger B2B and B2C relationships. As the web development industry has been evolving towards supporting more languages, Content management systems (CMS) should be ready to handle localization.
This article will explore 10 CMSs with multiple language translation features; But, before looking into those, let's first discuss some basics and important points.
❓ What exactly is a CMS? 🔗
Simply put, a Content Management System is a software package that allows users to edit, update, and publish web pages without the need to alter the code. CMSs are usually installed on a web server, and they can be both self-hosted or cloud-based.
The CMS will have any number of features depending on the site's purpose. The most common features are user account management, page editing, uploading files, page publishing, and search engine optimization.
The advantages of using a CMS include:
- 🔒 an increase in site security,
- ⌛ less time spent on making changes to the site,
- 💰 lower maintenance costs for existing sites.
Specialized content management systems are also used in e-commerce to create a website focusing on selling products. 🛍️ On top of the usual features, the e-commerce ready CMS allows you to manage the products, payment methods, and even inventory and invoicing.
They also offer an expansive array of modules, including a shopping cart, payment gateways, customer relationship systems, and more.
🤨 Things to consider 🔗
If you're dealing with a global audience, you might be confused at a point about which content management system to use. To help you choose the best CMS for your multilingual needs, here are a few considerations.
Handling Different Languages effectively 🔗
A multilingual content management system should help you manage your content effectively in different languages. 🎌 If you're operating your website from Canada in the English language and your audience is also from 🥐 France, your CMS must have the capacity to support all aspects of French, such as character set or formatting. It should help you translate the website perfectly.
Maintaining Global Website Structure 🔗
One of the most common challenges with maintaining a global website structure has been ensuring that navigation and content are consistent across different languages and formats. 🌏
Your CMS must provide an architecture that helps you maintain user experience for different people in different parts of the world with varying languages. Each version of your website should be managed independently, e.g., to hide pages available only in one language, and translating them wouldn't make sense.
Flexibility for different locales 🔗
When choosing a CMS and creating your website, it's best to think about your expansion plans and the supported locales. One surprise could be when the direction of language is changed from LTR to RTL, and it suddenly doesn't work. Your Content management system should be able to handle this bi-directional issue as well. ⚓
The 📅 date and ⌚ time formats in different regions are diverse and should be smoothly adapted to your website. Many CMSs lack this feature even though they support multilingual content management. You need to be sure of this before making a choice.
API Integration 🔗
Sometimes people prefer to use a translation management system (TMS) when dealing with plenty of content. A TMS provides the capability to manage all aspects of the translation process. It helps to translate texts into new languages and maintain translations already in use.
Many translation management platforms provide a solution that allows users to upload their content, which can be translated by translators and then downloaded back. With Localazy, you can connect your project via one of the 50+ integrations and automate the process entirely. You can also order translation services directly and get your content translated continuously. 💞
The CMS should be built so that it aids in the seamless integration of the TMS's API. Only a CMS developed with such aspects will allow for efficient pushing and pulling of information via translation API. 🔌
Integrate your CMS with Localazy API to get the best results and forget about localization hassle forever.
Search engine optimization is a challenging job, and it becomes even more problematic when it comes to international SEO. This is something that the CMS should be able to assist with. 🔎 If the CMS has built-in functionality for international SEO, you can do everything from adopting SEO-friendly URL structures to quickly optimizing metadata and language tags.
📋 The list of Top 10 multilingual CMS 🔗
The following 10 CMS have been selected as some of the best options for international organizations, businesses, and individual bloggers alike. You can check each of these to choose the best for your needs.
Storyblok is an enterprise-level "headless" content management system that has been designed for companies, agencies, and organizations with prolific content needs. It features template layouts, custom modules, pre-built components, video integration, and much more.
Storyblok also has a user-friendly interface that makes it simple for users to manage their content in any format without the need to know how to code. In fact, it is the only headless CMS that features a real-time visual editor.
Storyblok offers multilingual content and integrates with a variety of translation management platforms, Localazy included. These integrations let you make your content available to a global audience.
Looking for a Storyblok integration with Localazy? Read more.
The best part is that Storyblok offers two options for managing multi-language content. This is done to cope with different approaches to translation. e.g., field-level translation is an excellent option if the structure of your material in a foreign language is the same as it is in your default language. Similarly, folder-level translation is recommended when different teams control content for multiple languages, or your project is structured differently for each market.
Strapi is an open-source headless Node.js CMS that enables developers to build their own scalable applications. Strapi uses GraphQL, and the React framework, so developers can easily create custom interfaces for managing content.
There are many features for internationalization in Strapi. Multiple language support is available. With API integration, you can call the content from different locales. Not only that, but you can also create entries using API and connect them to the desired locale. Generating new locales from existing entries is possible as well. Similarly, you can grant access to particular people for a specific locale, ensuring security and flexibility.
Connect your Strapi website with Localazy via the Localazy Plugin.
WordPress is the most popular content management system on the internet. It is used by millions of websites, including some of the largest media outlets in the world. With thousands of plugins and themes available - as well as an active community of 3rd party developers - the possibilities are endless for what you can do with this CMS.
You might be confused to find out that when searching for WordPress, you will find two officially looking websites. One is WordPress.org, where you can download the latest release and install it on your server and the other is a hosting service on a .com website. Both achieve similar result for the end user, and the latter is actually founded by the co-founder of WordPress.org - which is also why both websites use almost the same logo and no lawsuits are in process. 🙂 You can read more about the differences on the WPBeginner Blog.
The WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML) is a powerful plugin that can help you translate your website's content into any language. This plugin makes it easy for you to create a multilingual website to reach out to international clientele. All you need to do is install the plugin and key in the languages you want on your site. With this plugin, you can also translate blog posts, menus, pages, text widgets, and many more features.
Django CMS 🔗
Django CMS is an open-source content management system that provides a robust and comprehensive framework for developing web applications. Besides the intuitive interface, Django CMS offers powerful features like role-based access control, in-line editing, previewing changes in real-time, and more. It also integrates with many other systems to provide the most comprehensive CMS experience possible. Django CMS is one of the most popular open-source, Python-based CMS frameworks in use today.
Django supports the internationalization and localization of websites, which means that you can use it to build multilingual websites. Django is designed to be language-agnostic. It does not impose any restrictions on the website's content but instead provides a level playing field for different languages. The system also makes it easier for visitors to switch between languages on the fly.
Ghost supports multilingual content management. It facilitates you in designing and developing templates with multiple languages. If you're going for this platform, you should remember that some Ghost themes need a lot of work to be translated into multiple languages. It's better to select a translation-friendly theme. You can also make your translated content SEO-friendly using the rel= "alternate" link element to the head. When a search engine crawler crawls your site, it will know which translation to display whenever somebody searching for your site in a specific language does so.
Fun fact: the Localazy Blog runs on 👻 Ghost.
Grav is an open-source PHP content management system designed with simplicity in mind to make building your website a breeze. Simply install it on your server, create your first page, and start blogging! There are no complicated processes or difficult programming to follow.
Grav CMS is a leading provider of multilingual solutions for this global digital world we live in today. It offers a lot of solutions for multilingual content.
There are different types of configurations available to keep it simple for you. There is an easy configuration if you're dealing with a single language other than the primary (English) language, but a little more complex structure is also available for multiple languages. Not only that, but Grav also offers an active language setup to keep the brilliant user experience.
Grav utilizes YAML files with strings that you can comfortably upload to Localazy.
Craft CMS 🔗
Craft also supports the internationalization of the content. It does so in a unique manner. You must create a multisite network, with each site representing a different locale. Although it may seem complex, it's good in a way that you can personalize the sites as per the taste of your clientele.
Drupal is a free, open-source content management system used to power millions of websites and applications. It also provides a platform for building highly interactive web applications which can be customized to suit the needs of any customer. Drupal was first released as an open-source project in 2001 and has been downloaded from the Drupal website millions of times. It is used by thousands of top websites around the globe.
Drupal is among the top CMSs that support multiple languages when it comes to multilingual content. When you install this CMS, the first thing you have to choose is the base language (the installer selects this based on your browser's language). You can then enable language modules from the admin panel. Detailed documentation is provided on Drupal's website for each module, from enabling a different language to translating it.
ProcessWire is a free, open-source, lightweight content management system that's powerful enough to be used for both small and large client websites. It has a simple yet powerful templating system that allows for rapid development of pages, templates, modules, or anything else created from a CMS. ProcessWire has many features you'd expect from much pricier systems like FrontPage extensions and databases.
The CMS supports multilingual website management by providing many features that you can control directly from the admin panel. Flexible translation modules make the translation easy.
SilverStripe is a robust, open-source cms system that can be installed on your server. SilverStripe provides everything you need to create a professional, well-designed website. These include an admin console for managing content and users, templates with great design to suit any industry, powerful templating languages, and the ability to integrate SilverStripe with other technologies.
Silverstripe uses a unique class called i18n (short name for "internationalization") to display templates and PHP code in different languages. Whenever you need to play with multilingual content, you can call i18n. It will listen to you! You can set up the CMS with various languages, and the system will automatically convert the content on the fly.
😊 ... and some more 🔗
🍂 October is a well-known open-source and free content management system build mainly on Laravel and PHP. By using PHP it provides a dynamic experience instead of a static one. The CMS was released in May 2014 (surprisingly not October), offering backend support for SQLite, PostgreSQL, and MySQL, while the front end relies on a flat-file database.
The self-hosted platform simplifies the creation of websites and it claims to offer advanced security. 🛡 Users can easily edit the placement of visual content, the layout, manage forums and track analytics about visitors. Moreover, the platform offers a myriad of i18n plugins to allow developers to manage the translated content.
As a headless CMS, Contentful offers only the backend for its users. Then, it allows users to streamline content into multiple channels using their preferred API or other integrations. The platform might prove tricky for non-engineers, but developers can comfortably use it. 👨💻
💻 Since it’s open-source, Contentful handles the power of customization to developers, and it unifies the infrastructure and administration of all features in one space. Similar to Localazy, the platform uses the REST API, combined with a global CDN to deliver content.
Tip: Use the Localazy API to connect & translate your Contentful website into multiple languages comfortably
The platform provides a framework to process and manage multilingual content faster but it’s up to you to provide it with top-notch localized content. This is when it’s best to hire a team. 😉
GraphCMS is a headless CMS powered by GraphQL, the query language used for APIs and developed by Facebook in 2012. The whole CMS functions as an API. Users are responsible for choosing the permissions, relations, and structures regarding the API parameters.📲 GraphQL connects with other platforms and facilitates the work of developers immensely.
The platform promises enterprise-level security for everything users develop and store on it, without impacting scalability or server performance. 🔐 The GraphQL API provides developers with the features to build apps for multiple platforms including web, mobile, VR, and IoT. 📡
⚒️ Claiming to be the most flexible headless CMS, Magnolia is simpler to manage for users with no technical background. You will still have to learn how certain features work but nothing too complicated. In contrast to the majority of CMS, it lacks an admin dashboard, which might make it confusing at first. 😵
☕️ Magnolia relies on Java which makes it ideal to integrate with Java-based systems. However, it connects and functions with XML, SOAP, REST, and API as well. It provides insights useful for performing better business decisions and supports a multilingual structure. Users can choose to organize their content in a single tree, multiple trees, or a combination of both. 🌲
🚩 How to manage multilingual content with Localazy 🔗
If your CMS supports multilingual content management, you can start using Localazy to manage your translations fairly quickly.
Connect your website with Localazy 🔗
You have three options here:
- ⏩ Quick & Easy way: First, if your CMS allows it, you can extract your content and upload your files manually, translate it and download it back. This way should be mainly used for one-off translation jobs, but it is OK to get your feet wet and learn the ropes of Localazy before you spend time with tighter integration.
- 💡 The smarter way: You can automate data transfers and use one of over 50 integrations to accommodate your project in a few steps with our Command-Line Interface - CLI.
- ✔️ Recommended: You can also use the Localazy API to exchange data between Localazy and your site. This is probably the best way to connect Localazy and your CMS that will allow you to automate all aspects of localization.
If you are not sure what type of workflow you should use, contact us, and we will happily help you come up with suitable solutions. 😉
Translate your content 🔗
Localazy can help you in three ways. It is not only a translation management system but also a computer-assisted translation tool and a translation services provider all in one.
- ⌨️ Translate your content yourself, or invite your translators to do it for you. You can invite volunteers or translators you have worked with in the past, and they will feel right at home. Our translation interface has everything you need to start translating your website. Plus, there is no contributor limit, so don't worry about pricing per seat.
- 🤝 Order translations from our professional translators. You can fully automate the localization process and order services from our Continuous Localization Team. This way, our translators will translate your content, and whenever you add any new texts, we will pro-actively deliver the translations as long as the service is active and you have enough credits. We can handle the localization management for you entirely.
- 🤖 Translate everything in a click by a machine translation engine of your choice if you want to see quick results. With the 🚀 Autopilot plan, you can use a feature called MT pre-translate. Select from four popular and powerful translation engines, pick a language and apply the suggestions to all of your content immediately. This approach is excellent if you want to see how the website will look in the new language or for less important content that needs just a quick translation, and quality doesn't matter too much to you.
✔️ Conclusion 🔗
In conclusion, it's worth your time to see if any of these CMS will work for your project so that you can get the most out of it! All of these CMS have great options for multilingual support.
But, how do you know which one to go with? The answer is to work with a developer who has experience with whichever CMS you choose to see if they can get it to work for your needs. Or select the ones we have already listed in our integrations.