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Update – the qTranslate to WPML importer is ready. Please see the complete documentation and download.

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.

The good

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.

The bad

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.

How can we make WPML better for you?

Share your thoughts and comments about our plugin, documentation, or videos by booking a Zoom call with Agnes, our Client Advocate. Your feedback matters and helps us improve.

Book a call with Agnes

39 Responses to “qTranslate to WPML Importer”

  1. I’m glad to hear that someone is working on a converter. And I’m really happy about the fact, that it’s done by pros who will develop a robust and flexible plugin instead of a “little script that someone wrote for a single use and put it on the web afterwards”.

    Thank You – just the info is like a little christmas present and makes me look forward to 2012 😉

    You guys are coming up with really great ideas – including the other “complementing plugins” you published throughout the year.

  2. Well, I just had to migrate my blog from Splinder to WordPress and since I was new to WP and I needed a blog in both Italian and English language, I installed qTranslate. Just for two languages it is quite good, but there are few bugs and the REAL PROBLEM is support. Hard to obtain it from author and forum. So I am investigating about WPML, possibly in the cheap version since mine is a personal blog, I do not make money with it. However I am a little bit worried about migration. I spent a lot of time to migrate from Splinder to WordPress and I would not want to get back in UNDER CONSTRUCTION mode for long time. I use mostly all the standard features of qTranslate and I have two .mo files for my personal theme. I also have a lot of [:en]…[:it]… not just in theme, since I use .mo files, but in the titles and textual parameters of other plug-ins that are not localized. Those plug-ins are worrying me about migration to WPML too. I also developed a plug-in that generates two short codes to embed any article that was not manually translated by me, to allow automated translation by Google Translate. My new site is and you can switch from Italian to English and vice versa by the qTranslate flags on the sidebar. Use to go directly to English version, if you like. I would appreciate an honest evaluation based on your experience about migration effort. Thank you in advance. (PS. I am a good programmer in PHP but new to WP)

    • You’re right about having to repeat some work due to all these [:en] / [:it] tags. Our importer will split posts, taxonomy and custom fields and will correct internal links. However, in places where you currently use these language tags in your code, you’ll need to do some work.

      The easiest way would be to just wrap those texts in either gettext calls or in icl_t calls. If these are static strings, you can wrap in __() or _e(). If these are dynamic strings, you’ll need to use icl_t(). Then, you translate these strings using WPML’s String Translation module, which actually comes with the CMS version (not available in the $29 version).

      Widgets should be easier to handle. You can tell WordPress to insert different widgets per language. WPML also filters all titles for all widgets, if they are coded correctly.

  3. Hello Amir,

    with qTranslate I am using the following php functions:

    (1) <?php _e("whatevertodo lo que“); ?>
    (2) TASK

    Will I be able to use similar functions with WPML?


    • Yes. WPML hooks to the standard GetText functions and makes them translatable via our String Translation interface.

  4. Hello Amir,

    with qTranslate I am using the following php functions:

    // <?php _e("whatevertodo lo que“); ?>
    // TASK

    Will I be able to use similar functions with WPML?


    • Our plan is to have this in about 3 weeks. I hope that we can be ready before, but it may take longer too.

    • Thanks. I’ll write about it more when we’re getting closer. It’s taking us a little longer than we planned, but we’ll have this importer working.

  5. Hi guys,
    Since I have updated to the new WordPress I´m having some problems with the qtranslate plugin. I managed to solve most of those problems. However, I would like to avoid having this trouble each time an update comes up. I would like to change to your plugin. The website includes an online shop created with getshopped gold cart plugin. Will this work smooth with your plugin? I have 6 other sites with the same issues. I would like to test the import function with one first. Please let me know when it will be ready for tests.

    Kind regards,


    • I’m not 100% sure about the Gold Cart plugin. We’ll probably going to have to work on this separately with the GetShopped guys.

  6. This is excellent news! One of my clients has a Finnish/Swedish page using qTranslate and we are going to move it to WPML for many reasons. Looking eagerly forward to this plugin!

    • Somewhere between 2 weeks and a month. It’s difficult to say exactly because the same developers are also providing support and debugging user questions. Sometimes, it’s quiet and they can get a lot done and sometimes, there are many many customer questions and it’s taking a little long.

  7. Thanks, in that case, i will wait for the importer to come out before transitioning over.

    Looking forward to the change, the new update to WP will certainly bring you many new customers!

  8. Any timeline on this ? Qtranslate is really draging lately for me and I purchase WPML thinking I could convert my site to it easily. Looking forward for this plugin to be released


    • We’re working on it. qTranslate is a complex plugin and we’re trying to make this importer as robust as possible. I think that we’re about 2 weeks from a first release.

  9. I’d love to test drive this as I’m manually switching a full-fledged website (widgets, hard-coded strings, multi-language content) from qTranslate to WPML. Let me know if I can be of help.

    • Great. I hope to have a first good release in about 2-3 weeks. I’ll email you privately to get a DB dump for our testing.

  10. Any updates on this? Could I help beta testing this importer? I am in real need for this on some sites because the newest version of qTranslate 2.5.28 is completely unusable with WordPress 3.3.1.

  11. I’m really happy that this is in development. Has there been any new progress for this? Got a couple of sites using qtranslate that could use some ‘upgrading’ 😀

      • That’s wonderful to hear. qTranslate has been having a lot of issues in the previous months so you could probably get a lot of “converts” if you publish it.

  12. ok
    im waiting for “qtranslate to wpml importer”
    cuz im using qtranslate in my site and i want to change to wmpl and purchase it

    when come? and how is work?
    sorry my English not good 🙂

    • We’re very close to the first release. This importer is a pretty complex thing and we’re trying to have it ready ASAP. I think that we’ll have the first release next week.

      • This is great news.
        I have a client who would like their bilingual site that uses Qtranslate redone. I shook my head as they have over 1500 posts. If I can move them over to WPML my dreams will come true.
        I have used WPML for a couple years now and never regret my decision between it and Qtranslate.
        Good Luck finishing up the plug in.

  13. What’s the status on this migration-plugin?

    Is there a recommended guide to just uninstalling qtranslate?

    That would be a good solution for one og my clients. Other sites will surely be using wpml. Great work!