WordPress and multi language

12th – Mar – 2013


Yes I was a flash guy, it was 2002. We all shared fla’s. We experienced the open sharing nature of the web and felt a warm tingle, and it wasn’t pee. Learning was not just fun, but a refreshing challenge. Well I have that tingle all over again, thank you WordPress community. The swathe of nerds contributing to the platforms extendability is a real wow. So many truly great plugins are available. Plugins can extend WordPress to do whatever you may dream up (most likely).

A client of mine, edgy clothing label, Silent Theory, have a responsive WordPress website, which is used to showcase their latest ranges, stockists, sign-up and brochure. With recent success, comes expansion. So the request came through to make the website available in another four languages (French, German, Italian & Spanish) for the European market. Step right up WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin).

Having worked in producing multiple language versions of a software product in the past (many many moons ago), and knowing how much work was involved, I initially baulked. And while you have to pay for the plugin, it is money very well spent. I was able to easily translate pages, posts, custom types, taxonomy, and menus. It’s even possible to change the theme’s texts, should you need to for a frenchy client. On the front end, the language switcher sits neatly in the top right hand side of the website. Allowing the user to switch language at any point. Only translated pages are shown, great feature (notice the stockists only display in English).

I prepared translation documents, had them translated, and simply inserted the multiple versions of pages or posts where applicable. Was honestly very impressed with how easily and well this worked. Not unusual to experience this nice feeling with paid for plugins.

But wait there’s more. Also noticed that integrating with .mo files and having the actual translations handled by computer (look mum no hands), was possible. Super impressive.

The internet allows for your website to be seen by so many, so easily. No doubt, down the track google will probably translate everything on the fly based on the fingerprints of the user, but until then, thank you WPML.

Please visit –

WPML in use –

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