I have a certain site on a Sitecore instance with 3 sites. One of them must become multilanguage, where the content tree is done already. But the media items under the media library cannot be easily extended with another language, as they are stored as unversioned media items, by default.

Therefore I think I need to change the default behavior of Sitecore. I've read about the config patch to use the versioned media item template from system by default. This is not exactly meeting my requirement as other sites in my instance do not have the desire to have versioning on media items. Though one might question, why not enabling media item versioning by that config patch? Maybe this impacts performance? I won't go further than 2 languages at the moment, and maybe a few more in the future). So what's usual out there?

Alternatively I could manually create a media folder per language for this specific site and leave it all unversioned, but that's a no-go for me.


Enabling versioned media by default is mostly a storage-related thing. Imagine a careless editor who creates 50 versions of a 20MB PDF, for example - the database would expand at a rapid rate. That said, versioning won't auto-create new versions unless workflow is involved, so usually it's less of an issue. Since workflow does not apply to shared fields, it's not a concern for any existing media.

The main breaking change if you made media versioned by default is that the other sites would need to maintain a version in each language if they later became multilingual (theoretically language fallback could eliminate this limitation).

The ideal solution is for media uploaders to intelligently choose whether an asset would even require translation or not (the advanced upload options allow choosing versioned or no when creating media), but that may be unreliable depending on the skill level of the authors.

  • 1
    Also, media does not care what site it belongs to, it can be used by multiple sites (and the path generated will be the same)
    – jammykam
    May 7 '18 at 20:39
  • Thanks for the explanation. That results in on demand selecting the upload files (advanced) button, with the "make ... versioned" checkbox checked. Theoretically the uploaders can do it, but I guess lazyness is their main pitfall. We'll try it first, then we'll see what happens.
    – Michael
    May 8 '18 at 5:31

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