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Since making WPML a commercial plugin, we’ve been spending significant resources working with other developers on their themes and plugins. This gave WPML a huge boost in quality faster than we could ever do alone.

You’d be surprised about how complex things can get. It’s very easy to keep testing and validating the same things while overlooking bugs in hidden corners. We found that the best way to uncover and fix bugs is by always testing against something different.

Testing WPML repeatedly with the default theme is like searching for your keys under the flashlight. It’s nice to see that you haven’t broken anything basic, but it’s not going to reveal anything new.

On the other hand, when we test against new themes, we always find something. In some cases, these are real bugs. In other cases, those are missing essential features and in other cases, we learn about usability problems.

For example, this week we worked on Striking Theme, BrightBox and 3 in 1 Business Portfolio. You can see the results here and here. We found a couple of bugs in both WPML and in the themes and now they’re fully compatible. Hurray!

As a result of these bug fixes and improvements, many developers using WPML are getting a better experience for other themes. When we carefully debug themes, it’s like a sterile operating environment. We turn on WP_DEBUG and pay attention to every single notice. Even if it’s not visible on the screen, it still shouldn’t be there.

These innocent-looking notices can manifest into serious problems under other conditions, so paying full attention to them helps save valuable time later.

Get Your Theme Vendors to Play With Us

When we check which theme authors cooperate best with us, we often find messages about WPML in their support forums. It’s much easier to get the attention of (very busy) theme developers when they already know that their clients are asking for multilingual support.

Then, when we contact them, we’re greeted with open arms and warm cooperation. We saw that with the great team from Headway and from WooThemes. As a result, both WPML and their theme got a great boost forward and clients get a great experience. Whatever time we’ve spent investigating their code, we already made back in support.

If you read through our support forum, you’re going to see very few support requests for themes that we’ve handled. You spend the time once and enjoy the benefits for months.

So, if you’re using a theme framework that hasn’t been fully tested with WPML, head over to their support forum and mention WPML. When you hear back the slightest sign of interest, let us know and we’ll initiate contact. A short while after this, you’ll see that all your issues are magically resolved.

What theme framework are you using? Leave a message and tell us about it!

4 Responses to “Why We’re So Eager to Work with Theme Developers”

  1. What about non-commercial developers and freely available themes? I’m new to WPML and one of my concerns, both before and after purchase, was the lack of discussion in your support documents about whether WPML plays well with Twenty Ten and other common themes. I was pleased to see that no theme hacking is necessary to start using WPML but I had to figure that out for myself.

    At a minimum I would suggest a tutorial or demo showing how to use WPML out of the box with Twenty Ten.

    For bonus points, if there are simple enhancements that would make some common themes work even better with WPML, it would be great if you offered them as child themes.

    Thanks.

    • WPML works smoothly with TwentyTen. We also test it against other popular themes such as Thematic, Hybrid (which we’re using ourselves), Atahualpa, Arras and others.