Multi-Site Manual / Version 2210

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3.1.2 Variants of Site Hierarchies

The following are variants of site hierarchies, which are most commonly used, sometimes even in mixed forms:

Language First (Recommended)
Sites: Language First

Figure 3.1. Sites: Language First

This approach focuses on minimizing costs for translation by only having to translate content into each language once. It enables rolling out campaigns quickly and with little manual work once the content has been translated.

On the other hand, it is potentially more difficult to apply structural differences that are only relevant for sites that belong to one country. These site are distributed across the hierarchy and consequently changes need to be applied manually to each one. Translation and synchronization works best when the site structure is mostly the same. Introducing Section “Abstract Sites” as master sites can simplify this manual process.

From a given master site you can perform translations to several derived sites. If a given language is applicable for multiple countries and for example the navigation structure needs to be adapted in these countries, the translations are synchronized to country-centric sites.

In Figure 3.1, “Sites: Language First” the sites for Switzerland are once located beneath the site having locale German (Germany) and once beneath French (France), as it is the language which decides on the structure prior to the country.

Country First
Sites: Country First

Figure 3.2. Sites: Country First

In contrast to the Language First approach, this approach optimizes for easily propagating country-specific changes. This might require translating content multiple times though.

From a given master, you synchronize (or translate) to a site per country you want to deliver your website to. If you want to deliver your website in various languages in a given country, you must create a translation site for each of these languages.

In Figure 3.2, “Sites: Country First” the sites for Switzerland are both located beneath the site having locale German (Germany), first synchronized to German (Switzerland) as it has the same language as the German site, then translated to French (Switzerland).

Alternatively, you may have placed the sites for Switzerland below French (France), first synchronizing to French (Switzerland) and then translating to German (Switzerland).

Abstract Sites

Abstract sites are an approach to consolidate content globally. An abstract site provides a pool of all editorial content and a common structure for all its derived sites. There are real-world examples where multiple abstract sites helped minimizing the editorial workload even further by integrating the market-specific changes.

Take for example an abstract master English (North America) that is derived from another abstract master site English (World). Both will never be seen by the end-users but editors can integrate changes that apply to North America in the corresponding abstract site. As long as the (abstract) master sites and the derived sites use the same language, editors can use the synchronization workflow with little manual work to propagate changes and new content.

Again, an abstract site is a master site, which is not published at all, thus, it is not available as a website. This abstract site holds all content items, which are relevant to at least one of the derived sites. You synchronize and translate its content to these sites which are derived from the abstract site.

Even if a content is only necessary for one specific site, create it in the abstract master. You can later easily re-use this content in other sites, if requirements change.

As every site needs a valid locale in terms of a IETF BCP 47 language tag, you may require to create some artificial language tag, as for example en-US-u-ty-abstract, which will be displayed to CoreMedia Studio users as English (United States, ty: abstract). For details see Section 3.2, “Designing Locales”.

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