You may have heard the term CMS (Content Management System) if your company is making its content more widely available to reach a global audience. Though CMS is not a new concept, having been around since the 1990s, it is gaining popularity due to the great efficiencies it offers.
A CMS is used in the process of creating and managing content by organizing the information for ease of access and control. A CMS makes it possible for users to participate in the process from almost anywhere in the world so long as they can connect by computer to your system (and are authorized to do so).
Users don’t need to know how to code, or to be particularly tech savvy, because the CMS takes care of the underlying technology leaving users to focus on the actual content.
Most CMSs have features such as publishing, formatting, indexing and revision control. Editing is quickly accomplished as the CMS allows you to search and index documents as well as specify keywords to optimize search engines.
If you plan to globalize your websites and localize the content, then it’s important to think about a CMS that supports multilingual content and offers features for translation tasks.
Unicode is typically used in a multilingual CMS to support encoding and representation of characters in most or all languages you would choose for your business, including those that read from left to right and use non-Roman scripts. You should also be able to easily swap to different currencies, times and numerals.
Another important consideration when going global with your system’s content is to ensure the CMS has an integrated or linked translation memory tool. This tool, used by professional translators, finds similar and repeated translated text when localizing web sites or documents, therefore making future updates and revisions even easier.
Below are a few details about some well-known CMS tools for your consideration:
Joomla! is an open source application, so it can be used anyone, whether small businesses and large corporations.
Joomla! is ideal for a business that has a number of user groups who need access to documents for editing without losing control. It offers 66 languages, which means that you have a wide choice when it comes to putting your websites into another language. Keeping Joomla! up to date is simple as they have a one click update feature.
You can organize folders and files for your content by using the Media Manager tool, which also allows you to seamlessly access images and any other files because its integrated with the Article Editor.
You don’t need to know any coding to add content to your website. Pictures and photos can be dragged and dropped and you have a choice of layouts. Content can be easily found and changes tracked by using content versioning.
Drupal is another open source application for commercial enterprises. Drupal has an easy to use interface, which makes it easier for users who don’t have a lot of HTML knowledge. It has a web-based translation module, which means that translations are managed from a central location and translators don’t need to know anything about Drupal.
Completed translations can be viewed together with any new information and content that needs updating. Translated content from whatever translation tool is used can be uploaded back to Drupal after completion.
Drupal is ideal if you have a large quantity of website content in different languages.
Not strictly a CMS, DITA is an authoring tool used by global businesses that have a lot of content in different languages. It makes brochure writing and updates of instruction manuals easy to control.
Content is written in segments so that text can be built up piece by piece until the work is completed. That means each piece can be accessed and used again without the need to revise and replace the whole body of content. Authors also have the benefit of using the system in Microsoft Word, so they don’t need any XML training.
Revisions to content in DITA also make the translation process more efficient. For example, when updating an instruction manual, you only need to have the translation updated for the revised segment. This saves time and money.
The most important consideration when implementing a CMS is to ensure it will best fit your company’s current and future needs. Though you may not be translating content now, you may open new markets that require materials in another language. Should you ever have a question about CMS and translation, don’t hesitate to contact your localization partner who should be able to help support your efforts.
Terralingua is a professional ISO certified translation company specializing in localization and desktop publishing. We have worked with many of the world’s industry leaders and if you would like to talk to us about your company’s global communications, please visit our website for further information.