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I have a site collection with two publishing sites, say en and es. There is already content in them. I now wanted to turn on the variations for the site collection. I enabled the variations in the site collection admin settings. But when I create new variation labels/hierarchies, I get site "en" already exists.

Is there a way to set the sites to variation sites after they have been created?

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Variations will create the sites for you, you do not create the subsites for each locale manually.

This blog post has extensive information around Variations and what the settings mean: http://blog.consejoinc.com/2011/01/creating-multilingual-sites-in.html

Variations can be very fragile and easy to break, so it's a good idea to plan from the outset if variations will be used. If you already have content, I'd probably suggest consider recreating the site collection from scratch then build with variations in mind.

  • Right. I was hoping for a way without having to delete already existing sites. I exported the webs, set variations and tried to reimport the webs, but ended up with error like "Cannot replace site STS#1 with site BLANKINTERNET#2".. Looks like there is no other way but to create the content manually after creating the variation sites. Thanks for help. – vasya10 Aug 15 '11 at 20:53

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