Manage website languages

  • Updated
This topic is for Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) administrators, and developers with administration access rights.

Editors can create content in a particular language after you add and activate the language and set an access level for a language. This prevents unauthorized editors from creating or editing pages in that language.

When an editor copies a page, language versions are copied regardless of the editor's language rights. This means that if an editor with access rights to English only copies a page that exists in English and French and pastes that somewhere, both language versions are copied.

Language overview

Go to Settings > Manage Website Languages. The installed website languages display. You can see which languages are turned on for active editing in edit view, and the order in which languages are available. You can adjust the order of the languages using the arrows to the left of the language. To change a language's settings, click its name.


Add and turn on languages

Before an editor can edit content in different languages, you need to add and turn on the languages in the admin view and then turn them on for editing in the CMS edit view.

1. Add and edit languages

  1. Go to Settings > Manage Website Languages.
  2. Click Add Language to add a language.
  3. Click a language to edit its settings. A list of available language codes displays. Select a language code by clicking the name.


    • In Name, enter a name for that language to be shown in the edit view. The field contains the name of the language encoding, but you can change this if you want.
    • In the Template icon field, enter the relative path to an icon symbolizing the language. Several flags are zipped in modules\_protected\\App_Themes\Default\Images folder. If you want to make your own icons, make them 15x15 pixels, so they fit properly in the edit view.
    • In the Web address prefix field, you can provide a specific prefix to show the content of the relevant language. If you do not provide a prefix, the language code is used, such as
    • Select Enabled if you want to turn on the language to be active for editing in edit view. This option also affects whether the language is available to website visitors. A disabled language is not visible in the edit view. Existing content in that language is still accessible but cannot be edited.
    • Click Add Users/Groups to define which editor groups have access to create and edit content in this language (see below). When you add a language, it is available for the Everyone group by default. Only users with access rights for a language have it available on the Sites tab and can create and edit content in that language.

      An editor's create and edit access rights to content and language determine which actions the editor can perform on the content. This means that an editor must have edit access for a specific language and a specific item to edit the content in that language.

      When a language has Everyone as access rights, access rights for an item apply to all languages. This also means that an editor with delete access rights for content can delete an entire node with content in all languages, including content in languages to which the editor does not have access.

      Removing the Everyone group in a certain language may cause some editors to lose their access rights to create and edit content in that language.

  4. Click Save.

2. Turn on a language on a website (if not already done)

  1. Go to Settings > Manage Website Languages.
  2. Click the desired language in the list.
  3. Select Enabled and click Save.

3. Turn on a language for editing in CMS

This step makes the language available for content creation by editors. A language can be made available for the entire site structure or parts of it. By default, subpages inherit language settings from their parent page.

  1. Select the root page for the branch you want to turn on the language in the CMS page tree. In this example, you want to make "French" available for the entire site, so the start page defines the language setting.
  2. Open the page in All Properties editing.
  3. Select Tools and Language Settings in the header.
  4. Deselect Inherit settings from the parent page to allow changes.
  5. Under Available Languages, select Change.
  6. Select the language you want to turn on, click Save, and close the dialog box.
  7. For a correct display, the website start page must also be available in the new language. To do this, switch to the newly activated language, go to the start page, select Translate, and then publish it.

    Image: Translate button

When the language is turned on, as described above, it is available for content translation.

Delete an existing language

Remove a language from the website by opening the language for editing and clearing the Enabled option.