What do you like better – building a site from scratch or connect together existing elements?

The new Modules Library, which we just added to your WPML account, lets you combine the two design options. You can build sites using pre-designed modules and then fully edit them to fit your needs.

What kind of modules are in the library?

Our modules library contains elements that you need when creating almost every website. You will find modules for:

  • Portfolio
  • Testimonials
  • Members
  • Category Grid
Modules Library
Modules Library

What do modules contain?

Modules are much more than a fancy design (in fact, we stick with basic visual design). They will power entire parts of your site.

Most modules contain:

  • A custom type
  • Custom fields and taxonomy
  • The templates that display that custom content
  • Sample data

For example, the ”Portfolio – two column grid with a gallery” module comes with:

  • The Portfolio custom type, with its fields and taxonomy
  • Views that display the portfolio
  • A Template for displaying single portfolio items
Single portfolio post - backend
Single portfolio post – backend
Portfolio - two column grid with a gallery
Portfolio – two column grid with a gallery

Single portfolio page - front-end
Single portfolio page – front-end

How do I add a module to my site?

To use modules in your site, you first need to install a few plugins. They are all coming from the Downloads section in your WPML account:

  • Types
  • Views Lite
  • Module Manager

Once you’ve installed and activated all plugins, go to Toolset->Modules->Modules Library. Choose the category and select the module to install. After you install a module, you can add it to any page. Follow the instructions to see how to display each of the modules that you’ve installed.

After we import the “portfolio” module, I edit a page, click on Toolset->Fields and Views and add the portfolio View.

Inserting the View into a page
Inserting the View into a page
Page editor with the shortcode
Page editor with the shortcode
Page with the Portfolio View - front-end
Page with the Portfolio View – front-end

Modules from our library come with sample content, so be sure to replace it with your own content.

If you’re building multilingual sites with WPML, remember to make the custom types translatable. You can do this via WPML settings page.

How do I edit modules?

This is where modules really shine. You can edit anything that came with a module. Anything means anything. You’re not limited by “option screens” and “customizations”. You can modify custom types; add, remove and change fields; edit templates; etc. Whatever we created, you can edit and make your own.

Intentionally, the modules in the library come with very light visual design. You can use simple CSS to apply your own styling, so that modules fit perfectly into your site.

Save and reuse your own modules

When you use the Module Manager plugin, you can install the modules that we’ve created. However, you can also build your own modules. Your modules can include the custom types, fields, Views and templates. They allow you to move entire sections from one site to another.

Module Manager - you can create your own modules and reuse post types and custom fields on different WordPress sites
Module Manager – you can create your own modules and reuse post types and custom fields on different WordPress sites

Feedback? Questions?

Do you use custom post types in your WordPress projects?

What is your way to speed up the process of creating multilingual sites based on custom posts?

Let us know what other post types you use in your multilingual sites. We are open for including more post types in our Modules Library to make your work even faster.

17 Responses to “WPML’s new Modules Library makes it faster than ever to build custom multilingual sites”

  1. What do you like better – building a site from scratch or connect together existing elements?

    As a matter of fact I like building a site from scratch much, much better!

    It is a shame that WPML finds it necessary to jump on the blocks/modules/pagebuilder bandwagon.

    WPML has been on the way down for a while already, this might be the final drop. Will need to start looking for another translation solution.

    • Hello AB,
      You say you build from scratch. Do you use PHP to code every single piece of your site?

      Why do you think that WPML finds it necessary to jump on the blocks/modules/pagebuilder bandwagon? It’s always optional.

  2. I just read the comment from AB. I find it very confusing. Who really wants to or needs to build everything from scratch? Why would you do that? You can build a car from scratch but noone will Ride with you. I think it is faster, easier and much smarter to use tools even if you do have the knowledge and time to build it from scratch. If I were to build everything from scratch I would need to ask for mid 5 figures just for one website.

    I think it is great to give those of us who do not have the time, knowledge or desire to spend hours building everything fron scratch an easier, smarter and faster way. GREAT with the modules system. THANKS!!

    • Thank you for your feedback, Ed. I’m not sure if you get any reply from AB since his email is not working (I tried to reach him and got Address not found). But people do build sites from scratch. Let me explain how it looks in my country (Poland). I’m attending WordPress events and talk to web developers a lot. Those who work for agencies often receive projects in Photoshop and they need to turn it into WordPress. So they create themes in PHP. I bet they do some copy-pasting as well (maybe they use something they coded in the past and just customizing it) or use themes such as the Underscore theme but the graphic design is unique so seems to be the final site.

      But if they need to use custom post types with fields, they reach out for plugins (either Toolset or ACF), I doubt anyone codes custom fields from scratch these days.

      Thanks again for your kind comment.

      • I acually do code in PHP, CSS, HTML and Javascript. Just do not see the need to go the hard way if someone else has found a faster and most often better solution. Still there are some hardcores out there with to much time on there hands. I am not one of them. Fast, easy and most of all the best solution for the situation.That is my moto.

        • I like your motto:

          Fast, easy and most of all the best solution for the situation.

          Maybe one day I will use as a topic of my WordPress presentation for some of the WordPress meetups. Thanks again.

  3. Actually, if you’re already using custom post types, such a module for reusing your own stuff is not a bad idea, as far a you only have to reuse generic/broad spectrum modules. That won’t save one the need to build for specific need for a customer, but I can see the attraction of building faster the umpteenth portfolio/event calendar etc.. with just a couple fields to change.

    Of course, you can always build your own post types manually in PHP and go the hard way. As you can write your own plugins and themes for your needs, hell you can even write your own CMS for that matter :). Nothing stops anybody from doing that and it’s probably quite fulfilling to know that you baked yourself the bricks to build your own house, and mixed the paints and cooked the tiles… It’s also quite time consuming and when time’s of the essence, I’d say having a handy library of reusable and pluggable stuff handy can’t hurt 😉

    • Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that one can always build their own post types manually in PHP but as you say that’s the hard way. Even if you have all the skills, then you need to find someone who is willing to pay you for it…

      I think that business owners (end customers) already got used to the fact that these days you need to use plugins. Last week I attended a WordPress meetup where I was told that these days it’s even normal that professional agencies use page builders instead of coding themes from scratch and hiring front-end developers. And that sometimes that’s even a project requirement (in case the end user needs to update a few pages here and there…) I’m not sure how it ends but apparently, this is how you build websites today…

      • Indeed it is… I work for a web agency, we seldom do it the hard way if it’s not needed, for several reasons :
        – the end users need to be able to update their content (and end users are often barely proficient with Microsoft office, so we need to have something _simple_ for them, such as visual composer for complex layout pages, with premade template where they only have to fill the content)
        – we do several sites/month, and we have a small team, coding everything (even reusing existing code) would be totally insane for us. We _need_ plugins and themes at least as a base to work an adapt from
        – and why would we feel the need to reinvent the wheel every time ? Code once, use many is an approach that makes so much more sense.

        Pride is a good thing, no doubt and I applaud the people that have the time to afford it. We simply don’t. We code what’s needed specifically for a customer and that we can’t find a plugin for because it’s too specific. The rest we do with the brick and mortar 🙂

        • Oh! That’s interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience then! Great to get some insights from someone cooperating with web agencies. Especially when you say that you still code but only when you can’t find a plugin. Thanks again.

  4. I really like using WPML as well as Toolset along with ACF. The functionality you are introducing is something that resembles a page builder. Why should I choose to do something like that through WPML instead of my preferred page builder? What are the advantages?

  5. I think I am on the wrong website… I thought WPML was about translations. But it seems that promoting Toolset is more important.

    In the early days there was a discussion about creating websites with HTML in a simple text editor opposed to WYSIWYG. I understand that a solution like WordPress adds a loooooot of extra code. But it will work in every browser, on every platform.

    But Toolset is another cup of tea. Apart from the licensing, Toolset is a set of tools aimed at the regular Joe who is just capable of installing WordPress. And it is presented that way.

    As professional, whatever I create, it will be on top on Toolset: as something that average Joe could have done as well. Besides that: If I use Toolset I don’t have a stand alone product anymore.

    So Toolset is a no go. Yes, I use building blocks that I re-use. Like a plugin and settings page skeleton but that is part of my plugin, not a separate framework.

    And I don’t like that WPML is putting it under both my nose like this, promoting and discussing other products on WPML website. This promotion and discussion belongs on the Toolset website.

    • Thanks for your comment, Teo. Yes, you are right that this post is more about Toolset plugins (which are now part of the WPML package as well) but on the other side, we have many many WPML and Toolset users who come to us and say “So you guys are the same company? You are both the author of WPML and Toolset? Why don’t you even mention that…?” This is happening a lot at WordCamps, I see it in Toolset pre-sale questions, we hear it in our feedback calls which we organize both for Toolset and WPML users.

      But back to the point.

      I was happy to read your comment actually. I understand you are a coder and you have a different perspective. It makes the whole discussion well-balanced and fair. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I must disagree on one point with you. I don’t know how well you know Toolset but I tend to disagree that average Joe could have done the same as well. I mean comparing to what Toolset offers.

      Teo, do you really think that an average WordPress user would create a custom search? Or a bunch of front-end forms that are available only for users with a specific role on your site? Where everything is multilingual ready. If you do, I think we have a different perception of an average WordPress user. But that’s fair enough considering the fact that you are a programmer.

      Teo, what other blog post/materials you would like to see on wpml.org that would attract your attention and you would find interesting? That fit the multilingual area of course and don’t look like we are trying to promote something. I’ll be happy to hear your ideas.

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