Want a headache free multi-lingual website? PolyLang can help you.

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]

Multi-Lingual Website WordPress PluginBut, 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:

  1. An unique slider needs to be created for each language
  2. A unique contact form needs to be created for each language
  3. A unique call to action needs to be created for each language
  4. 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
  5. Those unique layouts would be assigned to the different version of the home page (english, french, spanish).
  6. 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.