We’re starting to work on an importer from qTranslate to WPML. This importer will convert the mixed-content that qTranslate creates into per-language posts and taxonomy.
How this works
qTranslate holds all content in the same post, taxonomy or custom field. WPML created different items per language. Without going into a discussion about what’s better, it’s clear that the migration process needs to address this.
Instead of one post that includes language meta tags, you’ll get several posts – one per language. Same goes for tags, categories (taxonomy in general) and custom fields.
Once this data migration is complete, a whole round of content fixup is needed. The importer will go through the new posts and update internal links. This way, existing content keeps pointing to valid posts and not to non-existing content.
When you migrate to WPML, you’re going to get some immediate benefits. For starters, you get to use a plugin that’s actively maintained and enjoys a team of developers working on it full-time. You also get high-response support for each and every issue that you encounter.
To demonstrate this, WPML is always ready several weeks in advance of any new WordPress release.
Then, there’s SEO. Since WPML uses different posts per language, these posts come with their unique URLs. No more having the same post name in the URL. Now, each language gets its own unique permalink. That’s pretty major for search engines.
There are also nice things like having comments separated for each language. Most consider this a very important feature, other see it as an issue.
No matter how much we try, this import process is not going to be 100% automated. Unless you’re running a very simple blog, with just posts, tags and categories, something is not going to be included in this migration and you’ll have to transfer that data manually.
We’re doing our best to minimize this, so that 95% of the work is done for you. Due to the way qTranslate works, there’s an endless range of creative solutions that people have chosen to get things done. Many of these are great hacks, but will not survive our import process.
We hope that the import process will cover the bulk of the work for you, so that your remaining migration tasks are reasonable.
How you can help
If you want to see this migration process become robust and comprehensive, we’ll need your help with testing data. Leave messages here, describing different cases and let us know you can send test databases. If you can also provide URLs to existing sites that you’re considering migrating, it will help us get a better picture. We’ll contact you directly to get those DBs from you.
We can’t promise the import process will cover everything, but we’ll certainly give it our best efforts.