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Umbraco 8: Language Variants

Get to know all about one of the new key Umbraco 8 features

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Written by Jacob Midtgaard-Olesen

We live in a global world. Umbraco is used everywhere and across everywhere. That’s why we are very excited to offer you Language Variants in the upcoming release of Umbraco 8. A feature that allows you to have variants of the same content all gathered in one project - perfect for managing multilingual content! No more hacks, workarounds or the need to sync with external packages - in Umbraco 8, Language Variants becomes part of the package.

We previously blogged about the upcoming release of Umbraco 8 in the introduction of Infinite Editing and in the developer perspective on Umbraco 7 to Umbraco 8.

On the 10th of January, during the live stream of the Umbraco News Year’s Reception, we announced that Umbraco 8 will be released in this first quarter of 2019 and we also shared the news that what we have named “the editor track” of Umbraco 8; meaning all the changes, improvements and new features for content editors in the back office, is now complete! This means that if you go and download the latest nightly build version of Umbraco 8 you can explore all of these editor-focused features and flows today!

So it’s all getting very real now - Umbraco 8 is right around the corner. As mentioned in our previous blog posts, Umbraco 8 consists of 3 big new features: Infinite Editing, Variants and Content Apps. Today, I’ll introduce you to Language Variants. A new feature that adds built-in support in Umbraco for multilingual content - something we know has been a big demand from many Umbraco users.

The Complexity of Multilingual Content

Content is king! But sometimes also complex. One issue when dealing with online content is the variety of languages ranging from supporting a few languages to supporting multiple regions, languages and language variations. Without the proper setup it can be a real challenge to manage all these variations of the same base content. Especially, as the number of languages and amount of content grows. Wouldn’t it be great if you could manage and updates it all in one place? Well…

A German, a Dane and a Scotsman walk into an Umbraco project

To help reduce the complexity of multilingual content, Umbraco 8 brings you a completely new set of built-in tools by introducing Language Variants. This is a huge change as the entire model of Umbraco has been updated to support variations of content at the core. This basically means that in your Umbraco 8 project, all content can exist in multiple variations at the same time.

Not only do these changes give you the opportunity to build all the needed content variations in one single content tree in your Umbraco project, but it also gives you built-in support for Language Variants throughout the platform.

Let me give you some examples:

  • The ability to switch between languages in preview mode for easy comparison. E.g. How does your Spanish site look compared to your German site? 

  • A new side-by-side mode when editing two different pieces of content at the same time. E.g. When an editor has to translate one page from English into French they can do it directly and easily in the back-office due to this side-by-side mode.

V8 side-by-side

  • Support for mandatory languages that can be configured to define which languages must be in place before a content node can be published. E.g. Your two main markets are Denmark and Iceland so content for both languages must be in place before you can publish - a smart way to ensure all your required content are kept available and up-to-date. 

  • The opportunity to select which content variants you want to publish enabling you to publish all variants or a subset of variants in one go. E.g. Click publish and the information about a new product is published to all your markets worldwide at once. Or; a new product is only introduced to 2 out of your 5 markets worldwide, so once you hit publish, content will only update on the pages relevant to those 2 markets.


V8 Publish variant

With all the added functionality and the built-in support for Language Variants, Umbraco 8 is well equipped to handle the complexity of multilingual content all whilst giving your editors a pleasant, streamless editing experience that doesn’t get in the way but rather supports them in their work.

What’s next?

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, all the editor related functionalities for Umbraco 8 are complete and ready to go! In order for us to launch Umbraco 8, we still have a few areas to work on. These areas include additional improvements to the core codebase and APIs as well as a refinement of the package engine to make sure you can easily extend Umbraco 8 with new functionalities through packages.

Very soon I will release the final of the three feature introductory blog posts. In this post, I’ll introduce you to the new Umbraco 8 concept of Content Apps. If you can’t wait, then remember, like Infinite Editing and Language Variants, this is a feature you can go explore today by creating your own helpful Content Apps (find Content App documentation here).

We are very excited that we can finally share all these new features and improvements with all of you and we are looking forward to releasing the final version of Umbraco 8.0 this quarter.

Try Umbraco 8 today

Did I mention something about a nightly build? Yes. Umbraco is open source, so you are invited to try out the upcoming improvements already today! You can access a nightly build of Umbraco 8 or go straight to the source code at GitHub.





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