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WPML includes API functions that allow themes and plugins to get multilingual services from it, but it seems that no major theme framework or plugin is using them – and they’re right!

puzzleMost people who use WordPress don’t run multilingual, so it actually makes little sense for theme designers to add support just for us. And, there are other multilingual plugins out there, so should the theme author add support for all?

We have a different idea, and I want to hear your opinion about it.

Instead of asking them to play by our tune, we’ll play by their. WPML will include a compatibility module which will allow it to use hooks by themes and plugins. This will allow us to make those themes fully multilingual without changing a single line of code (in the theme).

Here are some examples we’ve looked at:

We’re going to make this very easy to use and well documented. Users will be able to contribute their own theme/plugin compatibility code, so if you’re using something that we don’t know, you can make it multilingual yourself.

For example, a compatibility module for All in One SEO Pack

AIOSEOP includes hooks for reading and modifying the blog title and other texts that users enter in the plugin admin page To run multilingual, these texts need to be translated.

The compatibility module for AIOSEOP will use these hooks. It will get the texts that need translation and add them to WPML’s string translation screen. Then, when the site is displayed, it will use the same hooks to replace those strings with their translation.

Things that it will be able to do

A multilingual compatibility pack for a theme will do stuff like:

  1. Translate texts that you enter in the theme administration page.
  2. Turn featured categories and other IDs into multilingual.
  3. Allow inserting language selectors into different places in the theme (already styled to fit that theme).
  4. Fix navigation, so that everything points to the right language (like the home page link).

How does this sound to you? Would you be interested in compatibility packs for any theme or plugin?

12 Responses to “WPML compatibility for popular themes and plugins”

  1. Sounds like a great idea!

    If they don’t accommodate you, then you’ll have to approach them.

    With a compatibility module you can cut out the “begging” part and the result is the best solution. This will perhaps be(come) a paid-for addition?

    • We’ll try to implement this so that people can easily create individual compatibility modules and contribute them back. Many times, the work itself is pretty simple so the authors, or advanced users, can do it on their own.

      Like you’re saying, if we need to do it ourselves, we’ll have to charge a bit for it to make up for time we’re spending.

  2. this will be welcome news to many audiences. I’m wondering how /if wpml could work with multilingual comments using disqus for example.

    What eta on these integrations?

    • We should be able to start with this next week, but there are always surprises that creep in and change our plans.

      The more cooperation that we get from the theme authors, the faster it will go.

  3. I would so love compatibility with Thematic theme framework. I have just recently switched to it and the possibilities with filters and hooks amazes me.

    That said, there are one or two strings on the admin side that needs registering. I managed to use icl_register_string() on the footer text by putting the call in a custom footer.php-file, right before displaying. This is of course a hack/workaround since strings should be registered from the admin side upon creation, and this way you have to reload the actual website before you are able to translate the string from the admin side. But it is an interim solution, and does the job while waiting for a better solution.

  4. hi,
    can i assume no movement regarding the plugins you mention above? i am particularly interested in headway or thesis.

  5. I’d be very interested in hearing about updates for the Headway theme – as this is probably the most versatile designer/seo charged theme out there. Much nicer than Thesis, imo.

    But… what WPML seriously lacks is a computability with two things:
    1. using custom menus with Headway theme
    2. integration with either wp e-commerce or PHPurchase plug in.

    If – there was a full integration with e-commerce, then point number one wouldn’t be a concern (so much). As it is, however, those two major issues make it very difficult to create a multilingual site out there. And, a huge population surfs in English – but I have other markets which I deal with and there’s very limited workability with wp/wpml and an e-commerce solution.

    Otherwise – keep up the great work! 😉