We continue our look at what's new in the Sitefinity RC with a quick look at the new Localization features. The RC will be available for download later this week is now available, so be sure to download it and send us your feedback on your experience!
Please note that Sitefinity 4 will be released with multiple options that differ in price and included features. For specific details, please see the Sitefinity 4 Pricing and Licensing.
Supporting multiple languages is a key feature needed to help websites reach broader audiences. Sitefinity 4 makes accomplishing this task easier than ever with enhanced Localization support.
The Sitefinity 4.0 RC also introduces a new basic settings editor in Administration. This editor makes it easy to modify common Sitefinity configurations. To enable localization we’ll use this settings editor. Supporting a new language is as simple as going to the Languages section and choosing a new language for your public content:
This will bring up a language selector, allowing you to not only select additional languages you wish to support, but also individual cultures as well. A search box at the top helps you filter the list to quickly locate the language for which you wish to add support.
You also have the option to choose how you want the URLs for your localized pages to be routed. You can use directories, such as yoursite.com/services and yoursite.com/es/servicios, or you could use domain aliases, such as yoursite.com and yoursite.es or even a subdomain such as es.yourdomain.com..
Without localization enabled, the Sitefinity Pages list simply shows the current pages that you have already defined:
However, when you enable Localization and go to the Sitefinity Pages, you'll now see that each page now has a new status icon showing whether or not additional languages have been defined.
In this case, we have not translated any pages, so all of the ES icons are dimmed. You can also use the dropdown menu on the right to toggle between the different languages for the Pages list. Once again, since we don't have any pages translated, all of the pages in the Spanish version are dimmed. Clicking on one of the ES icons allows us to create the Spanish version for that page.
Adding a translated page is similar to creating regular pages; you still define a name, URL and title for it, but notice that the dialog indicates that you are working with the Spanish language version.
When your page is created, you are shown a brand new option in Sitefinity 4, which is the ability to synchronize content between different language versions of your pages. This means that any widgets, content controls, images, etc. that are added on one version of the page are automatically synchronized to all other versions that have this option enabled. While you can certainly start from scratch with a blank page, this new option can save you a lot of time if you have multiple widgets and content placeholders, as well as layouts on the page.
As an example, for the Spanish version of the Services page, I have added a 50/50 Layout as well as two content boxes to the page. Since the pages are synchronized, after publishing the Spanish version, I can navigated to the English version and see the same content added.
Now all we have to do is translate the English content to complete my multiple-language support for the Services page. As you can see in the screenshots below, the URLs define which language version you will see. It's just that simple!
Translating the Sitefinity Administration
In addition to being able to support multiple languages on the front-end, Sitefinity 4 allows you to easily translate the Administration pages. The Languages section of the Sitefinity Administration Settings allows you to quickly add support for additional languages using the same process as the front-end pages.
The final release of Sitefinity 4 (scheduled for January 2011) will include several languages out of the box. However you can easily define additional languages of your own using the Interface Labels & Messages section of the Sitefinity Administration. Choosing a label will allow you to create alternate versions for each language for which you've added support, as well as a global invariant version.
Finally there is an import/export tool so that you can migrate your translations for other sites you may manage, or even share with others in the Sitefinity community.
For More Information
In addition to today's release of the Sitefinity 4 RC, the Sitefinity 4 Documentation has also been updated. Be sure to take some time to read through the documentation, including the section on managing languages in Sitefinity 4. Like the RC, the documentation will continue to grow and evolve with each release.
It is clear that localization is a key component of a professional website, and Sitefinity 4 has recognized and stepped up to the challenge to produce yet another simple but powerful interface to fill this need. Using this tool will empower websites to reach the broadest audience possible in a timely fashion, helping developers and site managers to continue to deliver more than expected!
Be sure to download the Sitefinity RC, and as always, share your feedback in our Sitefinity 4 discussion forums.