The best multilingual CMS for your website

Hydroplant

gridonic’s hydroplant website runs on our Drupal plugin.

In this post, we compare content management systems (CMS) and show you how a good CMS improves content marketing – and to use it to your advantage.

So you want your website to be top of the Google results list? Then you need SEO (search engine optimization). You’ll also need good content, as Google now ranks quality over quantity. This is known as content marketing. And if you want to increase your impact even further, it pays to make your content available in multiple languages. A CMS can help you manage a multilingual website – but which one is right for you? Almost all modern content management systems contain basic tools for site management, but to create a professional multilingual website, you’ll need to bear the following three points in mind:

Versioning: can you restore previous versions of a site, and can you see what you’ve changed?

Approval workflow: ensures translated articles aren’t accidentally published by the translators.

Support for multiple languages: this vital feature still can’t be taken for granted with every CMS. The following functions are often missing:

  • Specific URLs for each language, e.g. supertext.ch/de/team, supertext.ch/fr/team

  • Direct links, e.g. from the English to the German version of the site

  • Simple import and export of site content

Below, we give you the low-down on the various open-source content management systems out there.

 

Drupal

Drupal is ideal for complex multilingual websites and offers plugins to meet every possible need. Switzerland is home to a large professional developer community, with many agencies specializing in Drupal.

With Drupal, you can order translations directly from us using the Translation Management Tool developed by MD System and Amazee Labs – no copying and pasting, no tedious formatting, just two clicks and you’re done! And we save the finished translation directly to your CMS.

Technology

PHP

Registered users

900,000

Core developers

90

Languages supported

180

Online since

2001

Versioning

Yes

Approval workflow

Yes

Multilingual

Yes

 

Social Media Kit von Blogwerk

Blogwerk’s Social Media Kit is the odd one out in this list – it’s no longer completely open-source, although it’s based on WordPress. It’s also not free and you can’t install it yourself, but these disadvantages are a reasonable price to pay for the convenience of having Blogwerk take care of all your site management.

An example: http://blog.local.ch

Translations are also simple: you can send your orders to us with the click of a button, and we’ll save the finished product directly to your CMS. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

Technology

PHP (WordPress)

Developers at Blogwerk

5

Languages supported

See WordPress

Online since

2006

Versioning

Yes

Approval workflow

Yes

Multilingual

Yes

Contao

Contao was originally known as TypoLight, but people kept mixing it up with Typo3. Its CMS is very easy to use, but unfortunately it lacks support for multilingual sites. Import/export is difficult and the versions of the site for each language are completely independent of one another.

All in all, we don’t recommend Contao for multilingual websites.

Technology

PHP

Registered users

10,000

Core developers

20

Languages supported

30

Online since

2006

Versioning

Yes

Approval workflow

Yes

Multilingual

Basics

 

Typo3

The grand old man of CMS may be getting on a bit now, but it’s still in use on countless websites worldwide. It offers everything you need from a CMS, and is well worth the slightly more complex installation and operation. Typo3 is never the wrong choice.

Technology

PHP

Core developers

125

Online since

2000

Versioning

Yes

Approval workflow

Yes

Multilingual

Yes

 

WordPress

WordPress originated as a blogging platform, but is now increasingly used as a CMS, for example by qumram. However, it’s not suitable for multilingual use without additional plugins – qumram uses WPML – which are usually proprietary or have other serious drawbacks.

There’s no better CMS for a simple website or blog, but there are much more well-developed solutions out there for multilingual sites.

Technology

PHP

Registered developers

10,000

Core developers

20

Languages supported

50

Online since

2004

Versioning

Yes

Approval workflow

Yes

Multilingual

Only with plugins

  django CMS

django CMS is the only system on this list written in the programming language Python. It’s relatively modern and has a modular setup, meaning that it’s easy to expand and already contains almost all the necessary modules. Its leading developer is the Zurich agency Divio, and

we’re currently working on a direct integration with the Supertext Translation API.

Technology

Python (django framework)

Developers

20

Languages supported

42

Online since

2007

Versioning

Add-on

Approval workflow

Yes

Multilingual

Yes

 

Of course, there are dozens of other good content management systems out there, such as Joomla! and Magnolia… but Joomla! has become less significant in recent years and Magnolia is designed for more complex projects.

The perfect CMS for you

So which is the right multilingual CMS for you? Any of the systems on this list would be a good choice – with the exception of Contao. Get in touch with us if you need support: we’re happy to help or to direct you to our partners.

Integrate your CMS with our API

Already working with a CMS and want to simplify the process of translating your content? We can help! Get in touch with our Head of Technology to make copy and paste a thing of the past.

Cover picture: Screenshot hydroplant.ch



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