It’s no secret that we consider multilingual e-commerce to be a core strength for WPML. We’re in the middle of major development for a new version of WooCommerce Multilingual. I want to share our progress and direction with you.
Right now, WPML provides support for WooCommerce, Jigoshop and MarketPress.
The current implementation lets you translate products via the product-edit screens of each e-commerce plugin. You can click on the + icons to add translations. This is also where problems are starting from.
As it turns out, the long instructions that are needed to produce a fully multilingual e-commerce site are difficult to follow. Today, you need to:
- Create the translated store pages
- Translate product categories
- Translate products
It sounds easy, but in reality, it’s a pretty long process with plenty of room for errors. Making a mistake in one of the steps leads to things going very wrong later.
Our new approach to multilingual E-Commerce
Now that we know the problems a lot better, we think that we also have a good solution. Instead of long tutorials and multi-step instructions, our plugins will do most of the work for you. Your task would be just to translate, without having to worry about what to do next and where things go.
We’re starting with WooCommerce Multilingual and will later extend this to Jigoshop, MarketPress and hopefully, WordPress E-Commerce.
Automatic duplication for store pages
Remember the 900-words instructions on what pages to duplicate? Don’t worry if you didn’t learn it all, because it’s no longer needed.
WooCommerce Multilingual checks that all store pages appear in all languages. If not, it will gladly create them for you. One click and you’re done.
To enable multiple currencies and manage exchange rate, you’ll now have a convenient table on the WooCommerce Multilingual admin page.
Now we come to the part that matters the most – translating your site’s products and categories.
Up to now, translating products has been somewhat of a challenge. You had to know what goes where and follow a winding road through taxonomy, products, attributes and variations. Take a wrong turn and things go wrong.
The new WooCommerce Multilingual plugin includes a single table for translating products.
This translation screen is a lot simpler to use and is forgiving about usage mistakes. There are no special instructions to follow and no traps to avoid. Go through your products and translate them. The plugin takes care of what goes where. It will setup taxonomy, fields and variations for you automatically, so that you only need to care about the actual translation.
Full integration with WPML’s Translation Dashboard
Another important change in this version is the complete integration with WPML’s Translation Dashboard. The new products translation table lets you translate products from within the WordPress admin.
We’re making sure that it works in full sync with the Translation Dashboard. This means that you can assign product translation to your team of translators and have this work done either inside of WordPress or by a translation service.
We are including the logic that will protect you from editing products that were sent to external translation and making sure that all product attributes are saved correctly when translations complete.
When and What Next?
Our aim is to provide this all new WooCommerce Multilingual in about two weeks. The first beta versions will be ready in a few days and we are already looking for people who would like to test them and give us feedback.
We know that multilingual e-commerce is complicated. We’re trying to cover everything according to our experience, but the more help we get in testing, the better release we’ll have.
So, if you are running a site today with WPML and WooCommerce, you should definitely join the beta program. Please leave your comment here and we’ll contact you with a beta version, as soon as it’s ready.
After we are done with WooCommerce Multilingual, we will turn this into a generic glue plugin, which will also handle Jigoshop, MarketPress and WP E-Commerce. This is still a bit later, but we are certainly interested in beta testers.
So, once again (if you skipped here directly), we are looking for beta testers. If you want to enjoy a much smoother multilingual e-commerce experience, add your comment here and we’ll get back to you.