We’re ready with a release candidate of WPML 2.4.0 – a major new version with major new functionality. The best thing about this release, is the new Menu Sync, but there are plenty of other new features to check-out.
Menus are great and WPML allows translation them. But, what do you do with a complex menu, which appears in 5 languages?
Until now, you had to create translations for that menu and manually populate. No longer. Now, WPML can do this for you. Go to WPML->Menu sync. You’ll see how the menus in other languages compare with the menu in the default language.
Click on the Sync button. If other menus are missing, WPML will create them. If they already exist, WPML will update them.
This synchronization doesn’t just overwrite the translated menus. If you already have translated menus, where you made some manual edits, WPML will just update them, retaining your edits.
Filter by Parent in the Translation Dashboard
We translate much of WPML.org to four languages, but not all. There is a ton of content which doesn’t make sense to translate. We always had a tough time telling which pages need translation, in the sections that we know we want to translate.
So, we’ve added a filter by parent. Go to the Translation Dashboard and you’ll see a ‘parent’ in the filter section. You can choose to filter items according to their parent.
For pages, it’s the parent page. For posts, it’s the category. And now, you can see everything under a specific parent and fish-out those items that need translation.
Language Switcher in Menu
This has been a popular request since WordPress menus started. WPML 2.4.0 lets you insert the language switcher to your menu. Go to WPML->Languages and look for the option to add a language switcher to the menu.
It will look like another menu item, but include the languages. No more hacking needed to achieve this!
Author Names Translation Optional
Sites that have thousands of users (like wpml.org) will notice that many entries in the String Translation table include author names. This isn’t a huge problem, but creates a load on DB queries and makes the String Translation screen loaded with… junk. Sometimes, you want to translate user names, but not always.
We’ve added an option for you to choose which users get translated. Go to WPML->String translation and look under ‘more option’.
This way, you can translate the names of writers, but not the names of those thousands of subscribers.
Translation for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Until now, the ‘untranslated’ category was called ‘untranslated @es’ (in Spanish). Now, you’ll see proper translation and can later rename it if you like. WPML 2.4.0 comes built-in with translation for many languages, so the untranslated categories will already get the correct names. For existing sites, this wouldn’t rename automatically, but you can edit yourself.
Full Support for Synchronizing Custom Fields for Translations
There isn’t any screenshot to show for this feature, as it’s a set of new API calls. I’ll write about them, in details, when we release Types, which uses this API for custom-fields translation. Of course, we’ll also work with other authors to help them use it in themes and plugins.
Bugs and Performance
We’ve spent a large amount of time cleaning up bugs that were reported in the forum. As WPML matures, these bugs become harder to catch, as they only appear in very specific cases. Thanks to Daniel, our new support manager, we were able to pinpoint these tough nuts.
Among the star bugs, we had issues with categories in WordPress 3.0.x, issues with non-hierarchical taxonomy and a very illusive problem when changing custom posts to translatable.
We also managed to streamline DB usage by reducing the size of the translation table and caching SQL operations. This will improve execution time and memory consumption for some sites – especially large ones.
Download and Test
You’re welcome to download WPML 2.4.0 RC1 from your WPML account. Login, click on Downloads and scroll to the bottom. It’s in the Beta package. We have done a lot of testing on this version and it’s already running on our own site. We’re looking to go live soon and your help testing it would be great.
BTW – we wrote about handling untranslated content. This is next on our plate.