As I already stated in my blogpost about “Multilingual Content Management Systems” (in German) I’m not a big fan of using WordPress for multilingual sites. I think there are better options out there.
Nevertheless, it is possible, with the aid of various plugins available.
One of the most popular is WPML. While I haven’t used it much personally, I’ve heard many people complain about it. All I know is that the XLIFF export from WPML is close to useless.
I started a discussion on this topic a while ago on stack exchange:
Another plugin that always comes up is qTranslate. Although this plugin seems to work well, it stores all translations into the same database field as the original post. I don’t think this is a technically good solution; it means that if you remove the plugin, you will see every post in all languages. For me, that is not an acceptable solution.
Personally I think Multilingual Press is the most promising and clean solution currently on the market. But it requires a Multisite setup, which is not for everybody.
Of course Blogwerk has a very nice multilingual solution, but the extension is not freely available to download.
What’s the perfect multilingual WP plugin?
- Pages in different languages linked together (on the public page and in the admin interface)
- Automatic fallback available if translation is missing
- Real XLIFF or HTML export/import for posts and pages (individual and bundled)
- Workflow approval
- Translates site features (e.g. “Leave a reply”, “Submit comment”, etc) AND the blogpost content
- Does not affect the DB structure
- Individual languages in individual posts
- Localized URL: e.g. site.com/en/2013/12/english-title
- API to integrate external translation providers
- Clean and simple implementation
- Does not require a Multisite installation
Let’s hope the perfect plugin is being developed soon. Or have I missed it so far?