Version 6 of the open source Content Management System, Drupal, was released last week. We are really excited about this release, as we specialize in Drupal and have been playing with the beta releases of this version for many months now. Version 6 represents a significant step forward for Drupal. You can see a breakdown of all the new features here.

Since The Bivings Group builds a lot of websites that feature multiple languages, we are particularly excited by advances in Drupal’s language support. In previous versions of Drupal, to run websites in multiple languages you pretty much had to hack into the Drupal code and make it work using duct tape. It wasn’t pretty. Drupal 6 is the first release to natively handle multiple languages. The new release allows for:

  • On the fly creation of multiple versions of the site in different language, including custom URLs.
  • The ability for site visitors to set language preferences themselves, so they can control what language the site is in when visiting.
  • Support for both left to right and right to left languages out of the box.
  • Most importantly, the ability to manage pieces of content in multiple languages.

This last point is particularly important. Below is a quick breakdown of how this works with screenshots taking from a video demo by birdmanx35.

(1) First, you simply enter your content in its original language.


(2) After saving and viewing the article, you have the option to translate the document.


(3) You then select the language you want to translate in. In the example below the other option is French.


(4) You then put in the French version of the content and you are done.


It seems simple, but these improvements are going to make things much easier for folks like us that frequently build websites with content in multiple languages. Check out the screencast and Drupal website for more details.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.