Multi-Lingual Website – WordPress with PolyLang
I had a chat request come in from a fellow from Tahiti yesterday. He was looking to set up a WordPress powered site, using one of our themes, for a scuba diving web site with a caveat: he needed it to support a multi-lingual website plugin.
Tahiti… scuba diving… crystal clear blue waters… [daydreaming] [drool]
Chances are, we’re not going to be traveling to French Polynesia any time soon. Too bad, hey? I guess we’ll just have to enjoy Tahiti that this website will have to offer. [sigh]
But, that one other requirement — it needed to be to provide multi-lingual website support — that can be a tricky thing. It needed to support a WordPress plugin which allowed for the user to switch between languages. In the event that they didn’t speak-ah da-english, if you know what I mean, there needed to be a French version of the website. Je ne parle pas tres bien francais (that was with a little help from Google), or as we out here on the west coast might say if someone started speaking French to us: “Huh?”
Truthfully, though, I’ve wanted to vet our WordPress themes for WPML, which is a highly popular multi-lingual plugin, for some time. This potential client, however, was already using PolyLang, a completely different plugin, that I was totally unaware of.
After doing some investigation, it turns out that our themes work pretty well with PolyLang. There are a few small hurdles that you have to take in to consideration, and a couple of widgets which are not yet fully compatible however I believe anyone could make their i3dTHEMES Aquila Framework WordPress Theme multi-lingual with the PolyLang plugin.
A couple of things to note:
- An unique slider needs to be created for each language
- A unique contact form needs to be created for each language
- A unique call to action needs to be created for each language
- A unique home page layout (which uses either of items 1-3) should be created, each referencing the appropriate version of the slider, contact form, or call to action, for each language
- Those unique layouts would be assigned to the different version of the home page (english, french, spanish).
- For any widget that did not have support for multi-lingual language strings (currently, the Info Box is the major one that I can think of) you can always create a duplicate widget, in the widget panel, and set it to only display for a given language
All in all, I was able to really dig in and get a multi-lingual version of the Diavlo site slapped together in a couple of hours.
One other thing of note is that PolyLang works with another third-party plugin which allows for free translations of your pages and blog posts. This second plugin also helps to provide multi-lingual website support, which is pretty handy. Okay, très handy.
Over all, I give it a two thumbs up.