This is a minor release of WPML, including fixes for several glitches and a potentially big performance improvement for sites using W3TC and Object Caching.
We’re very happy to see that the recent major version of WPML (3.3) went smoothly for almost everyone. This quick release addresses a number of issues found during the last week.
Performance improvements with W3TC Object Caching
W3TC implements object caching in a unique way. This uniqueness caused sites using object caching and WPML to typically decrease performance, instead of increasing them. It was due to incorrect interpretation of missing objects from the cache. In WPML 3.3.1, we added specific code to handle the way W3TC reports items that are not cached. As a result of this, WPML and object caching (via W3TC) now play nice together.
Object caching is especially helpful for sites that cannot cache entire pages. We see a lot of it in e-commerce, membership and directory sites. In these sites, many visitors are logged-in and the site displays customized pages for different users. So, there is no way to speed up these sites with page caching, because every logged-in visitor sees a different version for the same page.
Object caching offers a significant performance improvement. Instead of caching the entire page, themes and plugins can cache smaller ‘objects’.
If you are using W3TC and WPML, update to WPML 3.3.1 and try again object caching. Until this version, you might have gotten worse results with object caching, because the cache kept flushing for no good reason. Now, object caching works as it should. Please remember that the effectiveness of object caching still depends on many factors.
Bug fix and improvements
- Split ‘word count’ to multiple AJAX calls – the new ‘word count’ functionality may have failed in sites that have a whole lot of content. Now, no matter how much content your site has, it should work for you. The ‘word count’ functionality lets you see how much content needs translation, so you can estimate the cost and schedule.
- Resolved a conflict between the caching engine of WP Engine hosting and WPML.
- More related to performance – resolved performance issues when editing WooCommerce products and W3TC is active.
- Improved polling translation jobs (more robust and recovers well from communication failures).
- Fixed get_permalink() returning wrong url, when there is a category in the permalink structure.
Download and update
As always, the best way to get WPML is automatically, via the WordPress admin. For this to happen, make sure that you have registered your site. You can register all your sites, including development and production sites. You can also download all of WPML’s components manually from your WPML account. It’s a good idea to back up your database before running updates, even minor ones like this one.
Coming next to WPML
WordPress 4.4 is upon us, with great improvements and new features. Generally speaking, WPML 3.3.1 runs fine on WordPress 4.4. We are working on adding full support for translating taxonomy meta. This will be ready in WPML 3.4 in a few weeks. It’s taking a while because we could only start working on taxonomy meta recently (that code was a bit of a moving target before).
Also coming to WPML 3.4 is a complete overhaul of the translation UI. The current UI in WPML has been around for a while and it’s time to freshen it up. The new interface will look nicer for sure. More importantly, it will be faster and more convenient to use. The new UI is a result of comprehensive usability experimentation that we did in the last few months. The biggest winners from this new UI would be people running multilingual WooCommerce sites. We’re consolidating UI elements and making the translation workflow for WooCommerce a lot simpler. We’re targeting a first beta just before Christmas, so that you have something nice to play with, when you’re looking for a break from high-calorie food and noisy nephews.
Finally, planned for WPML 3.4 is a major improvement to the built-in language switchers. The CSS in different themes has come a long way since we originally created WPML’s language switcher. This coming update will make WPML’s language switchers work nicely with modern themes, including all default WordPress themes, Bootstrap themes and others.
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