Today you can find two great things in our Advent Calendar: One the one hand, you get an explanation about how to build a multilingual online store with WordPress. It’s going to be a two-part article: First – and today – we’re– going to explain different multilingual approaches. And at another day we’ll give a deeper insight into how to create an online store. And on the other hand you can get our multilingualism plugin with a 30% Advent discount. So continue reading!
Online shopping is indispensable these days. While buyers can purchase products from nearly any place in the world, language barriers remain. Therefore a multilingual eCommerce store is the solution for all vendors who want to sell their products on the international market. So far, so good. The question now is how to create such a multilingual eCommerce store. In the mass of possible eCommerce systems, what is the right thing to do to build a multilingual online store?
Choose the right system for your multilingual online store
As we cannot outline all eCommerce systems out there, check, describe, and compare how to make them multilingual, we focus on the most popular one – WooCommerce.
1.2 Multilingualism in WordPress
Multilingualism in WordPress is not provided by default. You need a plugin that enables multiple languages. There are a couple of plugins which can add this option to your WordPress installations. We chose three popular options to give you some background information about what is possible: WPML, Polylang and MultilingualPress.
1.2.1 WPML and Polylang: different languages in one single WordPress website
WPML is a fee-based plugin. Originating from the primary language of your website, WPML translates articles, categories or tags. WPML can also implement multilingual versions of plugins. Moreover, WPML can make the WordPress admin area available in several languages. Depending on the license you choose, you can administer multilingual versions of online shops on the basis of WooCommerce.
The comprehensive translation management they offer is a real benefit. As a paying customer you can outsource your translations to freelancers as well as professional translation agencies, directly via the WordPress dashboard. Of course, you can also translate your texts independently, too.
Polylang is a free plugin. A fee-based version of this plugin adds a couple of enhancements. Polylang works similar to WPML and translates, originating from one primary language, all desired contents. Likewise it supports WooCommerce online shops. The main difference between both plugins lies in the translation management. Polylang requires users to translate and add their texts themselves. Even if you decide to outsource your translations, you still have to add them to your site yourself.
All plugins managing multiple languages within the same WordPress installation have a couple of disadvantages. There’s a risk they disrupt WordPress internal processes. This can have negative effects on its smooth operation and can cause conflicts with other plugins. Moreover, they may slow down the whole website. If each article comes with many language versions, the website quickly gets very complex. The solutions load the content of all languages, but only show one. So you are loading a lot of unnecessary content. Also, if at some point you don’t want to use the plugin anymore, it gets difficult to separate each language page from each other.
1.2.2. MultilingualPress: The multisite approach
MultilingualPress uses a very different approach. Thus a comparison isn’t that easy. But let’s give it a try.
MultilingualPress uses the WordPress core feature multisite to enable multiple languages. The feature allows to integrate several independently linked websites in one WordPress installation. MultilingualPress uses the multisite feature by treating the possible independent websites in the WordPress multisite installation as independent, but linked, language sites. MultilingualPress connects the posts and pages of the different language sites with each other.
This behavior leads to a couple of benefits. For example:
1. Performance you’ll love
- performance issues are, compared to the mentioned plugins WPML and Polylang, not relevant to the plugin. With MultilingualPress each site is loading just one language and no other languages, plugins, content, code, you won’t need for this specific site and language. So you always load only the content, plugins, queries you need in exactly that language, nothing more. With one site multilingual solutions, all contents, plugins, functions of all languages are loaded but only the required contents and functions of a language are displayed. The more languages you have, the slower the loading time, with MultilingualPress you can have 2 or 100 languages, the difference to the performance is 0. If your WooCommerce shop needs to scale, this is the solution for you!
2. Endless Flexibility
- With the multisite solution, as opposed to solutions with one site, you have complete control and flexibility in your hand. You can design the language versions flexible in their designs and function, if you like. You can add individual features to each language version of your website. For example, you might need a plugin for legal security on your German website which is not relevant in other countries. Absolutely everything can be very different, design, function, branding, you name it. Or you let them just alike – it’s your own decision.
3. Core Feature
- there is no conflict with other plugins. Multisite is a core feature and not a workaround. If a plugin is well written and works in a multisite setup, it also works with MultilingualPress
4. True SEO
- better performance leads to better SEO. Because Google and other search engines pay a lot of attention to the performance of websites. Additionally, you can easily optimize absolutely everything in each language. MultilingualPress gives WordPress the ability to use your permalinks exactly as you create them. No rewrites or other workarounds. In addition, you can e.g. name images tailored to the language, give alt tags, description, etc., you can create the media content individually for each language.
5. Great Usability
- You can duplicate pages and posts with all settings within your network. With MultilingualPress, you can even duplicate whole sites within your multisite installation.
6. No Lock-in Effect
- another benefit is, that all your language sites remain unchanged in case you uninstall MultilingualPress. That’s because you created different websites which run on their own. Your content will be as you expect it to be, whether our plugin is running or not. Only the connections to each other are then no longer given, since it is a core function of MultilingualPress.
7. State of the Art Code
- MultilingualPress is based on PHP 7, comparing to other solutions faster and build for the future, with elegant and state-of-the-art clean code. Other solutions has been out there for a while, that means old code gets dragged into the new versions. This is a considerable burden and can lead to complications, conflicts, performance losses and might also result in a higher security risk.
8. Translation Service
- the translationMANAGER (link) Plugin by Inpsyde and Eurotext is a WordPress extension. Once you installed it, you can order paid professional translations for more than 50 languages. All translations are provided exclusively by native-speaking experts. The whole translation process takes place in the WordPress backend, so there’s no time taking copy-and-paste but instead a smooth and intuitive workflow.
9. Optimized for WooCommerce
- last but not least, creating multilingual shops and translating WooCommerce Post Types is a simple task that allows you to create and manage your shops more easily. With MultilingualPress you also have great flexibility in shipping methods, payment methods, products, etc.
MultilingualPress recommended Plugin for a multilingual Online Store with WooCommerce
That’s why MultilingualPress is the recommended plugin for a multilingual WordPress website. Due to the multisite approach, all language versions of the website are technically separated, work independently but at the same time are visibly connected for website visitors. It’s a future based approach to a multilingual WordPress as the plugin doesn’t intervene into the working processes of WordPress. So, it’s thought on a long-term basis. A solution that is based on WordPress’s code and complement it useful instead of changing it.
MultilingualPress is also the technical cleanest way to a multilingual eCommerce store in WordPress. You can configure each store individually, for example with its own currency. And as it’s the recommended way to build a multilingual eCommerce store with WooCommerce, the plugin MultilingualPress is also available in the WooCommerce marketplace.
So, in the next blog post about MultilingualPress we’re going to explain how to create a multilingual online store with MultilingualPress and WooCommerce – so stay tuned! And now … :
MultilingualPress 3 30% Advent Discount – Only Today
To get the 30% discount on MultilingualPress 3, simply go to our website www.multilingualpress.org , choose the license that fits most to your needs and put it into the shopping cart. Then enter the coupon code InpsydeAdvent12 and then, you’re finished.