Session: The State of Multilingual WordPress

Unsurprisingly, we got a lot of applications to speak about solutions for multilingual WordPress. With so many options, we wanted to give more than one solution a chance. So rather than just settling on one, we invited three applicants to speak in a special session dedicated to the state of Multilingual WordPress.

WordPress is used all over the world, with versions supported in more than 70 languages. The polyglots team provides translations of the WordPress back-end, but what are the options for creating a multilingual website? Different solutions have been developed for creating websites that can display content in multiple languages but as yet no canonical method exists. In this double session, three developers will each present on their method for creating a multilingual WordPress website.

The developers and their multilingual solutions are:

The session will be introduced and moderated by Zé Fontainhas, WordPress Polyglots lead, who will talk about why multilingual WordPress is a problem and why it’s important. After the presentations, there will be a panel discussion with the developers and the audience will be invited to ask questions.

This session will run for 1 hr and 30 minutes.

22 thoughts on “Session: The State of Multilingual WordPress

  1. David Decker

    May sound nice & interesting on paper…? — On the other hand, the given time leads to 30 minutes for each speaker at maximum – minus time for moderation and questions. Not very much for this important topic. And it touches “only” the multilingual website approach, the whole topic of internationalization (i18n) should have been covered with more/ “deeper” sessions than this tiny bit of scratching the surface.

    I know, I know, I should be pleased and applaud, that this session is already 90 minutes. But I won’t, had really hoped for more!

    1. Remkus de Vries

      To be honest David, you’re beginning to sound like someone who is determined to disagree with the choices we made no matter what those are. Why not just come and enjoy what the venue has to offer and refrain from viewpoints filled with your expectations? Why not just come and expect the unexpected, you know, to let be what’s going to be.

      1. David Decker

        Right, Remkus, I really disagree with a lot of your (team?) decisions for this event. And in the end, why not? In a real community other opinions, viewpoints or whatever will be respected and tolerated – even welcomed(!). So far, I did not experience that to the fullest here.

        Didn’t you experience similar things in life before? Once enthusiastic about a thing, then something changed and you may be (a bit) disenchanted? After all, I am still a human with emotions and all those things ;-). I just was so disappointed about some things (I guess you know exactly). Sometimes that can change a lot!

        I agree, I won’t have any other chance then to let it all be as it will happen. This saddens me still a bit, but I will see how to make the best out of it.

        1. Remkus de Vries

          Of course you’re entitled to an opinion and by nature opinions should differ in order to get ahead, but I’m not the kind of guy to sully in things I cannot change personally. Nor do I let that type of stuff make me sad or get me down. Life is too precious for it be wasted on such emotions for me personally.

    2. Kim

      90 minutes for a session in a conference is actually a lot of time.

      TED presentations are 15 minutes, and no questions are asked.

      1. David Decker

        Right, Kim! Still, that is not entirely my point: the whole topic needs more time/ sessions, whatever. All countries – except UK + Ireland – are directly affected in Europe, so it’s really a huge thing!

        I know it was decided this year this way. I hope we all can improve next time. There’s a huge demand, I get requests every day for the whole i18n topic. More devs need to be aware for that.

          1. David Decker

            Ah, you’re right, Simon, thanks for the correction! Just overlooked these…
            So, the whole topic is even more important, as everyone/ every country is affected!

    1. Kim

      I’m sure that qTranslate will be mentioned, despite not being listed here.

      I’m pretty sure it’s not listed because it’s simply not recommended. 🙂

      1. David Decker

        This might be a reason, I can imagine as well. I wouldn’t use or recommend that either 🙂 However, you brought a great new session idea on the table: “Why qTranslate (or such and such) should never be used…”

        Though, above 3 ways are listed that will have a short presentation — there are many more solutions (plugin-wise), or other alternatives possible. Again, this is huge, and only in the beginning steps in WordPress ecosystem regarding the multilingual website, admin, plugin whatever approach…!

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  3. Daniel Koskinen

    I was suprised that Polylang was not on the list, but on the upside I’ve never heard of Babble or Multilingual Press, which makes it all the more interesting. What would be the point of going to hear a presentation of something you already know well? 🙂

    Can’t wait for October!

    1. Frank

      All speaker of this session send a noun for his topic and we discuss the chance to create a session with all solutions and speaker. The current session is the result of the idea and I think is a good idea to demonstrate different solutions. But it is not possible to speak for other solutions, like qTranslate or Polylang. But the session and the time on the camp is a good chance to discuss with the speaker.

      To the background of Multilingual Press. There is a solution, there we use many often on different customers, about many years. In the last time we have create a ready usable solution, free and pro version with different features. Often we create custom solutions for the customer and our plugin give other users the solution to easy to use and maybe enhance to his requirements. More input give it on the session.

    2. Siobhan Post author

      The idea for the session came from the fact that we had a number of credible applications to speak on multilingual WordPress. We didn’t want to favour one particular solution so we picked three from the applicants and came up with this session. The fact that a particular solution isn’t represented may be because they didn’t apply to speak at WCEU.

    3. David Decker

      …to include all possible plugin-solutions or non-plugin solutions ONE session alone could not be enough. You could do a complete WordCamp to this topic and maybe that wouldn’t be enough to cover all things.

      “Multilingual WordPress” is a misleading term for me, because it sounds un-complete. I guess what is meant, translated: “How to make multilingual websites with (different) WordPress plugin solutions”

      “Multilingual WordPress” could mean a lot more:
      – WordPress itself multilingual (backend, inline, whatever…)
      – only backend
      – only frontend
      – Plugins for that
      – non-plugin solutions
      – the technical aspects
      – the aspects regarding content creation/ maintaining – editors, organization etc.

      You see, the list goes on and on… 🙂

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  5. lonchbox

    90 minutes is more than enough for an start, for sure this will be open new views and opportunities

    In my personal experience think multilingual as a “country” matter is not correct, think in international communication. I´m in spain, most of my client sites have to be at least in two languages es_ES and es_CA and for my southamerican clients also two es_ES and en_US, but I have clients that they call them self “international” most of them are related to Travel & Hotels sites, where their customers/users are from any part of the world, even if they are in an spanish, english or german speak country they need to give information in other languages to make the people come to their country or buy anything and they want as many languages is possible to handle.

    As a developer I always recommend WPML, when they change to a premium plugin I don´t dough to buy it, I did since the beginning, even if is a nightmare to setup and for a client is a total challenge to learn how to manage. I think the community should understand why some people beg for a multilingual core support even if the “demand” is not enough.

    So well done guys to bring this topic to the WordCamp.

    1. Frank

      I´m in spain, most of my client sites have to be at least in two languages es_ES and es_CA

      Thanks for this hint!

      This was also a big part for our motivation to develop a custom plugin. We have many customer there have the same topic, like de_AT, de_CH – it is often the same language, but different topics and also important for change the content. Also the Suiss have this topic with 3 default languages: german, france, italian.

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