Using WordPress? Try WPMU for Multi-lingual Websites!

December 31st, 2008 admin

wpmu-logoWPMU lets you run several WordPress based websites with a single installation and a single administration panel. Typically, it’s used to build blog farms but it’s also a great tool for running multi-lingual sites.

What’s WordPress MU (WPMU)?

WPMU is an extension for WordPress, allowing to run multiple WordPress sites from a single install and with a single administration login. We’ve already written here about how to install WordPress for multiple language blogs. WPMU is a much more systematic approach for running multiple blogs from the same code, sharing plugins and themes.

Besides sharing the same install directory, WPMU includes essential management for administrating multiple blogs from one central admin panel.

How can WPMU help build multi-lingual websites?

This is what we’ll do:

  • Run each language as an independent blog within the WPMU install.
  • Use the ICanLocalize Translation system to synchronize between contents in different languages.

If you want to see exactly how to do this, follow this detailed guide for using WPMU to run multilingual websites.

What’s good with this approach?

The best thing about building your multi-lingual WordPress site with WPMU is that everything just falls into place.

WordPress is designed to serve contents in a single language. Some plugins aim to provide multi-lingual support by duplicating tables and adding custom fields. These things work, but require major changes throughout WordPress. As a result, they’re very sensitive to WordPress updates and often cause conflicts with other plugins or with code in themes.

When you run each language in its own blog, everything works as intended. Each blog runs a single language, without any changes to the normal tables. The collection of blogs, implemented by WPMU provides the multi-lingual experience.

WPMU can be used to create full multi-lingual websites, not just blogs!

WordPress, although started as a blogging platform can be used to create full websites. We’re using it for our developers site, and our digital photography software site. WPMU makes it possible to do the same and create great multi-lingual sites.

A recent entry in our developers site shows how to use WordPress as CMS, by setting a static home page and assigning the blog page to a different page. The same thing can be applied to WPMU, when each blog instance is serving a different language.

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ICanLocalize WordPress Translation is Live

December 3rd, 2008 admin

Our “human” WordPress translation system has been running for a few weeks on the popular Weblog Tools Collection producing its Spanish translation.

Mark Ghosh has actively participated in defining and testing it and now, after its beta run, we’ve made our first public release.

How does it work?

Our system produces a translated blog with contents that are based on the original language blog. Whenever there are new contents or when contents update on the original language blog, they are sent to translators. The translations are then published in the translated blog.

The entire process is fully automated. Bloggers don’t need to spend any time administrating the translation. From the translators’ point of view, the process is seamless. They are notified whenever there is new work and translate inside ICanLocalize’s system. Translations are being sent automatically and published.

There are two plugins that make this translation possible:

If you’d visit Weblog Tools Collection in Spanish, you’d see that the contents are identical to the English contents (but a small delay, due to the translator’s work). Since this blog is intended for a wide audience, we’ve chosen to translate it to Neutral Spanish. This makes it enjoyable for Spanish speakers all over the world.

Our system translate all contents. As of today (Dec. 3rd), the blog’s theme is not yet localized (we’re working on that too), so menus and other texts are still in English.

Who’s translating?

We have a pool of professional translators who can translate blogs and entire websites between most languages.

If you’ve already got your own translators, you can assign the translation to them and still use our system. You’ll get all the automation our system provides.

I want too!

To get started, visit our blog translation page.

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