Multilingual WordPress – WPML Plugin Review


Photo by derSven ¶

One of the hardest things to do with WordPress is creating a multilingual blog / website that is easy to maintain and develop.

My interest on the subject comes from the need of my customers for easy to maintain multilingual websites. This way they can extend their services to new markets.

I’ve had this discussion in the past, with a description of various plugins and methods to develop a multilingual WordPress blog / site.

In that article I’ve talked about the theory behind multilingual web-developement and mostly about the multilingual WordPress and four ways of implementing it:

  1. The “Two-Tree” concept ( we use “language” categories )
  2. Automated translation (using google languages or babelfish)
  3. Manual translation using plugins ( I could only find one really good plugin that can do that so we’ll look into that)
  4. Semi-automated payed translation. (this is rather an ingenious concept and I believe the people who created the service will have a lot to gain from it)

Today we’ll talk about a new and really interesting
WordPress multilingual plugin: WPML.

The interesting thing about this multilingual plugin is the way it organizes the information. It’s completely different from qTranslate (that I presented in the previous multilingual blog post). Instead of using language tags (that separates the content in different languages), MPLM links one post in English to another post that will represent it’s translation in Spanish for example. This way you get to translate everything in a very clean way.

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Multilingual solutions for a wordpress installation

Photo by mykreeve

From my point of view the internet has became a really crowded place. No more “build it and they will come” mentality. Today’s internet business have started to compete for every single user and the need to address all potential users is more important then ever.

This is where multilingual web-sites and web-applications come into place. Limiting your business to a single language or expanding it to target users from all over the world could mean the difference between failure and success.

The big players on the internet seem to get this. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and many more offer they services in numerous languages. The introduction of tools like Google Language Tools, Yahoo! Babel Fish and similar ones have opened the multilingual doors for the masses. You can now view an entire web-page in your native language at the click of the mouse.

However things are not quite there! Even though the automated translation of a web-site is acceptable for getting a general idea of the content, mistakes are common and things can and are misinterpreted between languages.

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