Multilingual WordPress

Based on my thoughts about the future of this Blog, I searched for Plugins that allow the creation of multilingual contents and separate them from each other.

My second try was also a successful one. Here I will present what functionality I’ve found with the Polylang Plugin:

  1. Definition of arbitrarily many languages, that the blog can then use.
    Any confiuration is done via the dashboard of your blog, so that no configuration or php-files have to be touched.
  2. Define the language for each article seperately.
    The same can be done for categories, tags, menus, etc.
    Different language versions of the same content can be linked together.
  3. Users can select their language through a widget.
    For every language only posts in that language appear to the user.
    The widget can be customized or you create your own.
  4. Selection of the admin panel language is possible.
    Very handy if you have several users.

These functions have advantages and disadvantages, which I want to discuss from my point of view:

1) Having an UI for configuration is always the best, especially for users without any knowledge of php and stuff. The good point is Polylang allows “power users” to customize the functionality and play around with the plugin. Information for the basic and advanced usage can be found in the docs.

2) Creating any post, category, menu, etc in every language creates a large amount of content. The more languages you got the more confusing it’ll be. That’s the disadvantage of the polylangs approach. But you can filter the language in each part where you create/view these contents, so you can just view the posts in a special language in the admin panel of Posts. The readers only see the content in their language anyway. I think this approach is not the best, but much cleaner as if you got copies of fields for every language on any content creation page.

3) This is the most important thing to think about! Users only see content, created in the language they chose. No posts in a default language will be visible to them.
For my reasons, this is ok as I want to access different people with the different languages, but if you see the translation just as an extension to your existing content you may better look for another tool. It should be said that you can tweak this plugin to show the posts of the default language too, but this involves hacking the wordpress php-files, which may get overriden on the next update (see docs for that).
In my case it’s good as it is. In german I write my daily stuff, kind of a personal log and for some friends. In english I try to provide tutorials or more general information for a broader audience and with the finnish page I log my progress in learning finnish. So this should just be viewed by people that want to help me or laugh about it :). Separation of concerns, so to say.

Well that’s all what I wanted to say. If you need help look at the docs or the plugin page or write a comment to me. I’d be glad to help.

I hope this post is not too long and provides the information you searched for.

German version




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