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WPML 3.0 is out, with a neater interface, better multilingual WooCommerce support, improved menu synchronization, improvements for Google and more.

This week, we’re having an e-commerce party. Today, we are releasing WPML 3.0, which includes a bunch of new code for WooCommerce Multilingual.

Then, here is the plan for the rest of this week:

  • Tuesday (Tomorrow), we release WooCommerce Multilingual 3.0.1, which uses that new code in WPML. We are also releasing a beta for WooCommerce Multilingual 3.1 with support for multiple currencies independent of languages.
  • Wednesday, we release a first version of WooCommerce Views, which enables building custom multilingual WooCommerce sites, without going through the WooCommerce templates system.

We will write about each of these separately, as each is a major subject by itself.

New GUI for WPML’s Language Administration

I hope that you’re not too emotionally attached to the old interface, because you’re getting a new one. Borrowed from our Views plugin, WPML 3.0 gets a new look. It’s more than appearance. The new interface makes it easier to find what you need and setup WPML quickly. We’ve reorganized the Languages setup page, with clear separation between different features and better internal organization inside each block.

Languages admin screen in WPML 3.0
Languages admin screen in WPML 3.0

The most used section on this page is the language switcher setting. Since WPML includes different language switcher styles, with different options, this section is pretty loaded with details. The new design consolidates different options for different switcher types, making it easier to enable and style the switchers that you want.

Language switcher settings in WPML 3.0
Language switcher settings in WPML 3.0

Credit for this great design and usability work goes to Cezary, who’s leading our front-end and GUI design.

These screenshots are unreadable even on my huge screen. To fully appreciate it, upgrade WPML and you’ll see it on your own admin. You’re welcome to use Firebug and see the underlying CSS. Cezary took great care into writing clean and light CSS. Feedback is always welcome 🙂

Complete Menu Sync

WPML’s menu sync got a big push in this release too. If you’re not familiar with it, the menu sync tool lets you automatically create menus for translated content. It reads the menu for the default language, looks for translated content and builds (or updates) similar menus for translations.

This version adds support for custom menu entries (a.k.a links). Now, if your menu includes custom entries, the translated menus will include them too.

Custom menu entries are a bit of a challenge, because you surly want to them to appear with translated texts in the other languages. We use the String Translation for this. When you synchronize menus that include custom entries, we will now create strings for each custom menu item. You can translate the strings and WPML will build the translated menu, to mirror the one in the default language. If this process sounds complicated, don’t worry. WPML will guide you about what exactly you need to do when it encounters custom entries in menus.

Here is how it works, from start to finish:

The menu sync tool shows you what needs update
1. The menu sync tool shows you what needs update

Review the changes, select what to apply and start
2. Review the changes, select what to apply and start

Review the sync results and note Link entries that require String Translation
3. Review the sync results and note Link entries that require String Translation

Translate strings for Link menu items
4. Translate strings for Link menu items

Run the menu sync again to rename the Link items, using the translated strings
5. Run the menu sync again to rename the Link items, using the translated strings

Your translated menu appears
6. Your translated menu appears

Fix for Google Language Links

A couple of weeks ago, Google got a lot more specific about how language links should work in multilingual sites.

Content in each language must link to all translations (including itself), showing Google the full picture of all language variations for the same content.

We’ve updated the algorithm for internal translation links and we’re very happy to report that Google will understand your site’s structure better with WPML 3.0. We can’t tell for sure what will the full benefits be, but Google says that properly inter-linked language content has a very positive effect on SEO in different languages. I guess, we’ll have to wait and see. If you have results after a few weeks of this update, please share with us. Multilingual SEO is a result of many factors. This is only one of them. Of course, as always, the most important factor in your site’s SEO is your content.

General Bugs Fixes and Improvements

Besides these major improvements, there are a few other fixes and improvements in WPML 3.0:

  • Bulk deleting contents doesn’t cause issues anymore
  • Hierarchical taxonomy are properly translated when duplicating content
  • Gallery shortcode now makes use of the Auto Adjust IDs feature (that is, you can use the same shortcode among translated code, without “translating” attachment IDs)

We’re very happy to see that the number of bug fixes goes down from release to release. There are just a lot fewer bugs to work on, allowing us to push new features our faster.

Download

This release of WPML is ready for you to download and install. If you are using the Installer plugin, you should get the update automatically to your WordPress admin. You can always download the ZIP files from your WPML.org account and install manually.

Coming Next to WPML

WPML team is already working on the next major version. WPML 3.1 will bring major speed optimizations, new ‘language manager’ capability (which you can map to different roles or users) and a brand new interface to translation services.

Exciting times ahead!

20 Responses to “WPML 3.0 – New GUI and Better E-Commerce”

  1. Good job, folks!

    But why is the new GUI only for two or three admin screen?! I know these were the most cluttered, but why not continue the goodness and redesign the other areas of WPML as well? You need to “modernize” the GUI for every possible element that WPML adds to the backend in preparation for MP6 integration into WordPress 3.8. I am currently running MP6 and WPML’s GUI does not feel like it belongs to the backend of my site. Most of all, I dislike those old colored icons and the design of the tooltip which pops when clicking a help icon. The language switcher on the admin bar also looks odd as it’s the only item with two colored icons.

    Just my thoughts.

    Also, what happened to the roles management thing? Do we have this feature already?

    • Thanks for your feedback. You always have good stuff for us 🙂

      Roles management got pushed to WPML 3.1. We decided to break releases according to date and not content. This way, we keep a nice and steady pace of new features and stability updates. We find that it’s better for everyone to have little updates once a month than huge updates once every few months. Less broken stuff on the way…

      You are right. We need to use native WordPress tooltips. We started with our before WordPress had its own and now is time to update.

      • Thanks for the reply, Amir. Yes, I also like the process of pushing timely updates rather than hold a release until that one last feature is complete (and there is always another last feature) 🙂 WordPress itself is adopting this updates scheme; it’s proven to be more beneficial for both users and devs.

  2. Sounds great, well done on the updates. I’m really looking forward to 3.1 and those speed optimisations which are much needed.
    Thanks

    • New WPML releases should never cause you problems. Your content doesn’t change with any upgrade. All that you’re getting is new functionality and better stability.

        • Very safe. We haven’t had any reports of anything breaking to anyone following this release. Of course, we are the first to run new versions on our sites.

  3. Great, when are you planning to work on errors too?

    ( ! ) Strict standards: Non-static method WPML_Media::create_duplicate_attachment() should not be called statically in \wp-content\plugins\wpml-media\inc\wpml-media.class.php on line 681

    ( ! ) Notice: Element ID already exists with a different type in \wp-content\plugins\sitepress-multilingual-cms\sitepress.class.php on line 2507

  4. Why did you jump the version number from 2.9.3 to 3.0 instead of 2.10.1?

    Above you say, that the update does not make anything incompatible – which is what I want, anyway 🙂

    When I read “3.0” in the updater and in the mails, I thought it means “this is incompatible to anything before, be prepared for manual work”. In other software systems I use, the major versioning numbers are bumped only when things get incompatible.

    • We are incrementing 0.1 version on each release that includes new features. When it gets to 0.9, it changes to 1.0. Then, another 0.1. Our releases that add 0.0.1 normally only include bug fixes and not new features.

      In any case, we make sure that any WPML upgrade, no matter large or small, doesn’t change your existing sites or cause compatibility problems. We will never create updates that are incompatible with previous versions or require you to make manual updates. I wouldn’t want that happening to our sites too.