Wordpress for a 2 language website: best approach?

Hello -

I have been asked by a client to convert a static site to wordpress. Easy, right? But this site has an english section and a french section and I’m getting different answers about how to implement it.

We need a simple language switched with little flag icons in the upper right, and there is some chance that we’ll add another language in the future.

Can anyone please help me understand the best way to do this? Any input much recommended.

thanks! Dave

Any reason you must use WP?

This would be a pretty trivial requirement for Drupal (the language part). The rest depends on what the existing site is capable of.

Wordpress was chosen because it was a good fit for the client, who has a bit of wordpress experience and isn’t’ interested in learning a new cms.

Fair enough… WP is a fast out of the box CMS.

Unfortunately I’ve done a few multi-language Drupal sites and zero multi-language WP sites. As I understand it, WP has been making strides in that area though.

Good luck,

Andrew, to my knowledge WP allows you to convert text to different languages, based on the user’s system or browser prefs, which is different than sage’s question.

This plugin was suggested: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sitepress-multilingual-cms . It seems good, and is certainly popular which is important with these types of platforms.

Yup that looks like it should do everything you need for multi-language capabilities. In fact according to the literature they have taken the capabilities I was championing in Drupal and created this module to do the same with WordPress. From the sceenshots and description, they’ve done a good job and you’ll be up and running in no time :smiley:

I think that’d work pretty well.

Basically Wordpress has built-in multi-lingual stuff and supports it pretty well. The main functions used are __($text) (returns a string with the translated text) and _e($text) (echos the translated text).

Wordpress uses .po files to contain translations. It takes the $text you sent in and looks for a matching bit in the .po file for the appropriate language and then uses that.

However, for pure content writing it can be a bit of a pain, so that plugin would definitely be a good way to go. 4.5 out of 5 with 180 ratings is pretty high for a Wordpress plugin, so it should be pretty good.

Although we haven’t used the WPML plugin on an sites (yet) - I did install it and try it out on a site a few months back (then the client decided NOT to have multi-lingual capabilities…for now) - and I have to say I was impressed overall with the quality and config/styling options. When I sent in a question to the WPML team they got back to us quickly and were very courteous, so that’s about the best recommendation I can give for them at the present. Now if we can just convince our client to go-ahead with a Phase 2 multi-lingual integration… :slight_smile: