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This is the technical support forum for WPML - the multilingual WordPress plugin.

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices.

Last updated by andreaR-23 4 years, 11 months ago.

Assigned support staff: Joanna.

Author Posts
February 14, 2017 at 10:58 pm #1208512


I am trying to:

make the most basic use of WPML. Site:

1) We would like the MENU (things like "About Us") to be translated. We tried to follow all the instructions, but some pages (we have just 5 or 6) seem to have their TITLE or SUBJECT or HEADLINE translated.
2) We would like to be able to put the translation option UP TOP. Right now, all we could figure out was to place it toward the bottom.
3) We would like to use a French flag & a US flag to let people (whatever language(s) they are comfortable with) pick the language they want to view our site in.

I'm sure you have hundreds - maybe thousands - of users. So far, support seems to me to be painfully hard-to-get. This is not a FREE plug-in, so if our experience is typical, several steps need to be taken to

a) avoid WAY TOO MUCH jargon - that was the first thing that struck me. Only people with skills rivaling your best developers could even understand some of your FAQs.
b) avoid turning support into - Maybe, some fellow-user will take pity on you and let you know how to proceed. Most of that should be the VENDOR's responsibility.... i.m.h.o.

February 15, 2017 at 9:53 am #1208764


Hello @andrear-23,

First of all, you are using outdated versions of WPML. Please update it. Remember to make a full backup (files and the database) before the update, in case something goes wrong.
Also, make sure that all your other plugins and the theme are up to date.

Normally we only deal with one issue per ticket. I will try to help you with some tips for all of these issues initially in this ticket. However, if more than one issue requires further attention, I may ask you to open another ticket so that issue can get dedicated attention.

1) I assume that you followed the instructions from the video from and that it's not working as expected. Am I correct?

If so, please double check if:

  • all pages and posts added to the menu have their titles translated; if not, translated the titles; if you have any of your pages duplicated, the title will be the same for both languages and it will be the same on the menu
  • all categories added to the menu are translated (if you have any); if not, go to WPML->Taxonomy Translation and translate your categories
  • if you have any custom links in your menu, you'll need to install WPML String Translation plugin and translate labels in WPML->String Translation (just as it is shown in the video)

If that doesn't help, please switch your theme to the parent one (make sure it's up to date) and check if the issue still occurs.

2) Please elaborate more on the issue. What translation option you are talking about? Where do you want to move it?
If you attach screenshots were I can see what you mean, that would be really helpful.

3) Could you please elaborate more on this point as well? If I understood you correctly, you want to have some kind of an initial page where the user will have two flags? If so, you'll need to:

  • Go to WPML->Languages.
  • In the "Language URL format" section, choose the "Different languages in directories" option.
  • The "Use directory for default language" will appear. Enable it.
  • Choose between "HTML file" and "A page".
  • Depending on the option you chose, you'll need to click the "Create root page." link to create a root page ("A page") or provide the name of the HTML file.
    If you decide to use the "HTML file" option, you'll need to create a new HTML file and upload it via FTP to your website's root folder. In the file, you'll need to add the code that will show the flags and redirect you to the chosen version of your website.

Regarding your last comments, we're trying to make our documentation as easy to follow as possible. However, when someone works with something for years, it happens that what seems to be obvious, for the beginners is not that obvious. We'd really appreciate if you could list the documentation that was problematic for you and point us to the not so clear places, so we can improve our documentation and make it more user-friendly. Note that some words that you call "jargon" may just be the proper names for the things you use.

Additionally, we have around 500000 clients and we treat every single one the same way. There are no more important clients, as well as there is no one that would be treated worse. We're doing out best to handle tickets as soon as possible. However, imagine that only 1% of our clients wants to ask a question. This is 500 tickets. If they decide to post their questions around the same time, the time you need to wait for the answer may be longer than you expect, especially if you post your question during the weekend when (at this point) most of the Supporters are out of office. It happens that sometimes another client knows the answer and wants to be helpful. I don't think that it's a bad thing. After all, the most important thing is to have the issue fixed as soon as possible. If you can use other user's experience, that is only the profit.

To summarize, please:
* update your plugins
* follow the steps I mentioned above
* elaborate more on the issues that you have (with some screenshots)

February 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm #1209187


Joanna -
First, THANK YOU SO VERY much for your help. In every respect, it is a "model" (could not be better!) for how someone who knows a piece of software well (you) gets something of a newbie up and running.

The menu in French "issue" is now solved - I think. (As is often the case, 2 or 3 people ARE involved in "project translation," and I'm only one of them.)

The FLAGS have materialized - again, tiny image BUT BIG STEP forward.

All that remains - whew! - especially if you and your "system" like one-at-a-time problem-solving - is "placement" of those flags & words like French or Francais.

This hardly needs a screenshot, in my opinion. CURRENTLY, those flags are "below the fold," as newspaper people used to say. That is, a person coming to our home page would NOT get (immediately) the nice visual cue that would let him/her change languages right off the bat.

You can see the 5 or 6 menu items just below the org. name, ... and I would love to see the WPML Language-choice ... on a line with them, to their right. (I'm not worried about alignment down to 50 pixels or whatever - just "up there" ... not "down there."

If that is not easy (I *am* technical enough to know that just because it's easy to say something, it may not be easy to implement it that way!), we would be happy if the 2 flags - presumably one above the other - could move to the very upper left hand corener of each page - that is, this is important enough to us that if our "logo" had to share space (generally) with the flags, that's OK.

I'll deal with what I thought were weaknesses in your documentation if time permits, but

a) that video was excellent - and perfectly clear and easy to follow; and
b) If WPML has (I assume you work for them) genuine customer support - again, it seems 99% certain that you do - given our interaction - that should be a great deal clearer on any page with the word "support" on it. I may have sounded "cranky" yesterday, because I thought your model was users-help-users, which sometimes works great, ... but can also lead to problems never being solved or only being solved after long delays. YES, you want people to NOT keep forcing people like you to RE-explain things over and over, but when you have thousands of Questions-and-answers, most users will NEVER wade through even dozens of them, hoping someone had "the exact same problem" ... if only they could identify that person and problem - and the solution, of course!

February 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm #1209422


Hello @andrear-23,

From what you described, you mean the language switcher that you have in the footer. Am I correct?
If so, it seems that you have a language switcher activated in the footer only or you have a custom language switcher added to the footer.

To check your current settings, please go to WPML->Languages. You'll find everything starting from the "Language switcher options" section.

First, check the "Footer language switcher" section. If you have the "Show language switcher in footer" option enabled but you don't want to have the language switcher in the footer, just disable mentioned option.
If you want to change the specific language switcher settings, click the pencil icon under the Action column. There, you'll be able to set what should be included in the language switcher (the language name, the flag, etc.), what should be the type of the language switcher and the colours you want to use.

If the option I mentioned is disabled, you probably have the language switcher code added to the footer code. You'll need to delete it if you want to get rid of the footer language switcher.

If you want to have the language switcher at the top of your website, I think that the best option would be to add it to your top menu. For this:
1. In WPML->Languages, go to the "Menu language switcher" section.
2. Click the "+ Add a new language switcher to a menu" button.
3. In the top left corner, choose the top menu name from the dropdown menu and save changes. You can first change other settings, naturally.
From now, the language switcher should be listed in the "Menu language switcher" section and you can edit it by clicking the pencil icon.

Please check the article at
There, you'll find the screenshots with options I mentioned, as well as how to add the language switcher using PHP actions or shortcodes.

Regarding the support model, it's like each ticket gets support from OnTheGoSystems (the company behind WPML). Possibly the fact that we do it through the publicly open support forum may be a little confusing. However, we decided to have our support ticket public in case someone prefers to search for similar issues first rather than immediately describe his own problem. However, if you have issues with your specific installation and a quick search doesn't provide you with answers, it's better to post a new support ticket where we can focus on your specific case.

February 16, 2017 at 5:41 am #1209642


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I actually found - via Google - a thread in which my very last "issue" (one I never actually raised with you) was kind of touched on, ... and I'm proud I did it on my own.

But I write, because I have to think that it makes the top 10 pain in the neck things you have to deal with. BELIEVE ME, I'm not particularly proud - at this moment - to say that I am an American, but I still believe that the number of U.S. users outnumbers those who would salute the Union Jack by a very wide margin.

SO, ... given that - as a guess 95%+ of your users are dealing with English and some other language ... why on earth isn't the default an American flag. Let people think about important things. Sadly, I'll bet that at least 15% of high school graduates in the U.S. (boy is this sad) would not recognize the Union Jack.... Even sadder - but also truer - 99% of people on planet earth would recognize the Stars & Stripes as America's Flag, and that has got to be the easiest way to "pick English."

But my real bottom line is you are SO VERY EXCELLENT at customer support. Again, thanks.