I hear a lot of requests about multilingual classifieds sites, but I’m not sure exactly what that means. Can you help us understand it, so that we can deliver something that you can use?

Craigslist is probably the biggest classifieds site on the web. For instance, look at Craigslist Geneva.

Craigslist Geneva
Craigslist Geneva

Geneva is as multilingual city as it gets, so I’m using it as a good reference as to what a multilingual classifieds site should do.

Here is what I see:

  • You can easily switch the site’s language (top right of the page).
  • The site language determines all the ‘hard coded’ texts, as well as the ad categories.
  • The entire interface switches, including the dialogs for setting up ads, managing your account, etc.
  • Ads themselves stay in the original language.

To me, the last point is critical and makes perfect sense. Visitors submit all these ads. What are the chances that a visitor would submit an ad and translate it into our site’s languages? I’m betting it’s zero probability.

Moving forward with multilingual classifieds sites with WPML, does this recipe work for you?

Switching the site languages would control everything that YOU write (interface, categories, dialogs), but all the user-generated content remains in the same language.

Right now (really now) we are working with leading classifieds-theme developers, as well as our own solution via Toolset, for multilingual classifieds site. The more input we get, the better suited solution we’ll have for you.

Write your comment, describing what you want to build and we’ll see that our plans cover it. Thanks!

32 Responses to “What would you want in multilingual classifieds?”

  1. I’d personally prefer if you stick with the stuff that it’s already on your plate (WPML & eCommerce), and make it work better that it currently does.

    Also, apart from bug fixing, I think you should take better care of your (paying) customer base. Too many threads in the forum go totally unanswered and are closed by admin even if they are unresolved.

    • You are absolutely right and I need to explain. At the moment, we have two developers working only on WooCommerce Multilingual. We had a huge side-project that caused a big delay.

      As we understood (too late), we had to completely rewrite the Media Translation plugin to support everything needed for the new WooCommerce Multilingual. Today, we’re at the end of this painful rewrite and it’s going into QA. So, next week, we’ve got WooCommerce Multilingual and WPML Media Translation, in brand new versions with completely new code.

      Alex, who’s leading WooCommerce Multilingual, is already working with a number of clients who are stuck and making sure that the new release addresses these problems.

      If you are not getting a good service in our support forum, can you please paste here links to your threads? I’ll look into them ASAP.

      • It is a very good news, I’m having trouble with exactly these two modules and I’m waiting anxiously for this release !

    • I forgot to mention. Other people, not involved in WooCommerce Multilingual, or WPML support, are working on the classifieds sites. These are in our theme-compatibility team. Theme authors contact us and ask for help making their themes multilingual ready. In the case of classifieds sites, we’re not sure what YOU need, so I’m asking here 🙂

      Makes better sense now?

  2. Hi Amir,

    maybe some of the “plugins” should be made paid.

    I would for example pay for the BuddyPress Multilanguage plugin to have it better and faster supported.

    As my site will make heavy usage of BP my focus is more on support than on saving money.

    And the second wish I would have is to better filter for multilanguage content. I think at the moment I can filter only for all languages with ?lang=all or one with ?lang=en but I want to do something like ?lang=en+de as most of my customers can understand more than one language but not all content created in a community like BuddyPress or on my bbPress forum is available in all languages.

    I would pay for an extension to support more than one language at a time. Like one base language plus getting all other content for the other languages you understand. Configurable for every user itself…

    Kind regards

    • Can you tell us more about it? Craigslist only translates the interface and not the ads. How is it going to work for you?

      • You’d better negotiate with Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin developers to let their plugin support many languages through WPML.

        • We’re doing exactly that. The problem is, they know they need it to be multilingual-ready, but they don’t know what’s actually needed from them. We weren’t so sure what you need, so I’m asking 🙂

  3. Hi! I support the RugWarrior’s idea – this would be interesting for me too if I would be able to offer to show more then one language content to visitors.

    We have a website in 3 languages, and the content is not ONLY made by posts translated to all languages. Some posts are written only in one of the languages. Now you can choose to see the content in language A, B or C. It would be really useful to be able to choose to see the content in language A, or B, or C, or A+B, or B+C, or A+C, or A+B+C.

    Kind regards

  4. I agree that the content of the classifieds should stay in the language that the user has used, while the interface might switch. But the user should also have the possibility to enter classifieds in multiple languages. Just as the reader might be multilingual, the advertiser might also be multilingual.

    Another aspect: classifieds sites also resemble a lot industry directory sites. So it’d be great if your plug-in supports not only a classifieds, but also a directory logic. Users should be able to search the directory through different criteria (i.e. location, kind of service, etc.) and reach a search result page with all directory entries/classifieds that match the search criteria.

    I would be happy to give you more detailed requirements for one of my projects! 😉

  5. I would love to see the location module (the one similar in craigslist) which I believe many users (including me) might be looking for.

  6. Interesting question with this post Amir. AppThemes would certainly be interested in knowing what ClassiPress customers would expect with this. I’ve asked CP customers to hop into the conversation and add their opinion.

    Which ever direction you head, AppThemes is committed to making ClassiPress fully compatible with WPML.

    • Great to hear that. ClassiPress + WPML is one of the main reasons I asked this. We’ve been working on ClassiPress compatibility and then we understood that we don’t exactly know what people really need. I think that we’re getting there now.

  7. Hi, what i need is a site like where the translation involves all you have as fixed parameters (can be height, weight, jib, hours, etc. as well as categories of course) .
    The user who insert the ad will only fill the forms (already translated) and the comment to his ads must be written by him in his mother language (ex. if he’s russian he will write in russian the description of the item) and the people who look the ads and are not the same nationality as him, will get the parameters in their language and the description in another language, but this does not matter.
    To translate the description (maybe automatically) is not good as per my experience.
    There are also many other things top translate , ex. the emails text ..
    To know of what site i am talking about please contact me private.

    • What you’re writing makes perfect sense. I’m sending you a private email to get more project details, so that we can understand better.

  8. Although I have no experience building a classifieds website, I think it makes sense to make the site around the classifieds (user input) multilingual and keep the the classifieds itself in the language of the writer. I think it should be possible for a writer of classifieds to add it in more than 1 language and within the WPML context that then ideally is a translation.

    I do not agree with what Cris wrote above to make translations available (whether automatic or human translated) for the simple reason that I would reply in English to the ad that was translated from Russian to English; that just doesn’t make sense to me.
    But perhaps I misunderstood what Cris meant exactly…

    • Sure thing. We’re working with AppThemes folks on this, which is one of the main reasons I wrote this blog post. We already got some great inputs and we know what we need to do. There’s some coding change and some writing needed.

  9. Very cool idea – have you looked into providing a WPML-style plugin for ossclass – the open-source free classifieds script?

    They have a language option available, but it only translates part of the site functions. I would be nice to have a plugin that could fully manage the translation of the site functions.



  10. I like the idea very much; for example my country Belgium is both dutch and french.

    By the way; translation for Gravity Forms can also be better and more userfriendly. Certainly the error messages from Gravity.

    • Thanks for the feedback. Actually, we are almost ready with a major update for the Gravity Forms support. This upgrade includes the new texts in GF and the error messages. It’s going to QA in a few days and then will be released. I’ll write about it separately here and describe the new features.

  11. Hi Amir

    Funny to see my hometown as the example 🙂
    Over here, Craigslist is not very popular, and the most popular classified site in Switzerland is http://anibis.ch and they do all the 4 points as you mention, the most important being “The entire interface switches, including the dialogs for setting up ads, managing your account, etc.”

    a nice other feature than the 4 you list would be to be able to have the ad marked as written in a given language, then add in the search options (such as a checkbox to search in ads in All lang, or lang A, lang B, lang C)

    Living in a very small country with 4 national languages, I can tell you than yes, it makes perfect sense that the content of the ad is NOT translated, however the other popular site in Switzerland is http://ricardo.ch (it’s not a classified site, but an auction one), when we insert an item, we can choose in common paragraphs to use (like the condition of the item, the shipping options) and those get translated when we switch language.

    If you are interested, see how those 2 sites works, and ask me if you have a question about how they work when we are logged in, as I do have an account on both.


    • Thank you for the detailed feedback. I’m glad to see that we are on the right track with this solution. It took a while to understand it, but now I think that we can finally implement what’s needed. Having an indication for the language of the ad and allowing to filter by it also makes perfect sense.

  12. Amir, I agree with most of the other comments here, site navigation, links, etc. switch, but ad remains in the original language the user has written it in.

    In fact, I’ve already built a semi-classifieds site using your CRED plugin along with WPML. One of the main obstacles I’ve faced was how to let users edit their ads and maintain these edits synchronized across the multiple languages. It sounds like a simple thing that should just come “by design”, but it doesn’t. I have opened a ticket in your support forum seeking help, but so far the devs response was that this is a technical limitation in both CRED and WPML.

    I can let you see this in action if you want. Let me know.

  13. With your permission I indicate on my site that need very schematically:

    1 User puts your ad in English (for example)
    2 The user can decicir if publish with visibility to only the original language or all languages
    3 º The ads are visible throughout the community regardless of the selected language

    For starters I think this is basic

    • Makes sense. This is pretty much what we were thinking too. I’m glad to see that we’re talking about similar requirements.

      We will work on this with ClassiPress team. We need a bit more time to handle other issues and will get to this too. I’ll write again in our blog when such integration is ready.