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This topic contains 16 replies, has 2 voices.

Last updated by Cristina 2 years, 3 months ago.

Assigned support staff: Cristina.

Author Posts
February 12, 2018 at 2:38 pm #1514979


I am trying to:

Create new pages in Slovene language and make pages with same layout, sure with translated text for German and English version. I still don't know what type of page creation should I use - duplicate or translate?
I expected to see:
Page with same layout in different language without icon (marked in attached picture) which by one accidentaly made click can turn my whole page into Slovene version.

Instead, I got:

February 12, 2018 at 8:30 pm #1515380


Hello Tamil,

thank you for contacting and sorry for the delays.

If you are using a theme where the layout is different if you use the translate button it may be better to first duplicate a page and the edit it as independent translation.

The icons you have marked show the status "needs update".
If you duplicated the pages they have to be set to be independent translations to not get overwritten by the original version of the duplicated page.

However, since WPML version 3.7.1 whenever you open a duplicate you will set it as independent translation. This will prevent overwriting by mistake any duplicates that appear as translations.

From your debug information I see that you are using outdated versions for WordPress and WPML.

Please try first to update your site to the latest WordPress version and update your plugins too. For WPML you would need first to do this:

- Please make a full backup of your site first, to prevent any problems.

- Deactivate the WPML Plugins and delete them from the plugin list.
- Then download the main plugin WPML version 3.7.1 from your clients download area.
- Upload it and activate it.
- If there is no error, go to Plugins > Add New >Commercial tab and check for the updates and then update the main WPML plugin.
- If all goes well, you can download then the latest versions for the main WPML Addon.
- After installing them you can activate them.

After that you can check if the layout for a page is copied as you want by a simple translation. If not, the easiest will be to first duplicate and then edit the translation. The moment you open it you will see the option to translate it independently, and that will prevent the translation to be lost.

We have documentation about all these features that may help you here:

Kind regards,

February 12, 2018 at 9:14 pm #1515435


I hope you'll understand if I tell you, that I don't have time updating all plugins everytime something goes wrong and it happens quite often. I would like to ask, how can I change pages to independent now at this stage, with this WPML version. I was working all the time with duplications and it worked fine. The only thing, that bothers me, is that "needs update" icon as it could happen, that someone would mistakenly click it..

Comparing different languages, pages have the same layout looking slovene, german or english. So what would you suggest here? When making new page? And how to fix all pages not to see that icon anymore? How to make them as independant copies? For me most important is to keep all content as it is without any updates which could cause content turn into other language. How can I set duplicated pages to be independant translations? I think that would fix my problem? But plesae, don't ask me to udpate anything on our page. It so time consuming, that I can not affor doing that every 3 months..

Best regards,


February 13, 2018 at 9:02 am #1515778


Hello Tamil,

I understand what you tell about the updates and it is your decision, though it is not recommended to do so.

When making a new page:

If you want to have the exact design settings as the original page, duplicate the page.
If you duplicate an english page, the duplicated page will contain english text too.

To get the text in another language and keep that language, you have to set it to be an independent translation.

To convert a duplicate to an independent translation, you have to click on the button "Translate independently" in the Language metabox. (see screenshot).

If you then set it to translate independently, you can translate the texts and save it. It will be a connected translation. The icon will be a pencil if the translation is marked as finished and saved.

But if you after that change something in the original page, the translation will show the icon "needs update" because this is a sign that you want to retranslate any content.

If you don't want this status change for the translation, you will have to mark the checkbox in the original page "Minor edit - don't update translation", then the pencil icon will stay and you don't see the "needs update" icon in the list of pages.

The list of pages with the icons set to "needs update" is just indicating that something was changed in the original page.

As this is a status update you would have to edit the translations one by one and save or update them again. Then they are marked as finished and the pencil icon appears again.

The "needs update" icons only show if a page is a translation and already independent. It appears because the original page has a change and then alerts that there may be any translation that might be updated.

When you duplicate a page, the icon will always be a "pencil" icon, and it will always remain like that.

Only when a duplicate is set to be an independent translation, the page will show a "needs update" icon if the original page is modified with any details. Duplicates will always show the original content.

If the icons you are seeing now show the "needs update" sign, they are already set to be independent translations.

Hope this helps you to maintain the site.

Kind regards,

February 17, 2018 at 7:51 am #1520886



I still dont' get a clear answer from your message, because you're mainly telling me about things that I'dont want. Please focus on my problem and goals.

As mentioned firstly I have created slovene version site with all pages. Than I duplicated pages to EN and DE version and translate all the texts which were, due to duplication in Slovene language in the beginning. Now all text are final and won't change for a long time. That's I would like to get rid of "update icons". Firstly because button can be easily clicked by mistake and secondly it happen that in some updates (that's why I don't like to make them) text just turned into slovene as if I would click "update icon", which I never did.

Also now I realised that independent translation doesn't mean what it suggest. I think you (wpml team) should consider it. For me independant translation means, that no change of original affects it as they're not connected anymore. But it still reminds me with quite annoying "update button".

You quoted:"To get the text in another language and keep that language, you have to set it to be an independent translation.

To convert a duplicate to an independent translation, you have to click on the button "Translate independently" in the Language metabox. (see screenshot).

If you then set it to translate independently, you can translate the texts and save it. It will be a connected translation. The icon will be a pencil if the translation is marked as finished and saved."

You're talking about independant translation and on the end about connected translation??

I still don't understand the difference between duplicate and translation, I'm even more confused about what should I do.



February 19, 2018 at 9:06 am #1521697


Hello Tamil,

sorry for the misunderstanding.

If I understand it correctly, what you want is to get rid of the update icons.

This is only possible if the translations and the original page are marked as finished after updating the original page.

But if the "needs update" icons are already showing, the only way to get them again to show as pencil icon will be if you manually first update your translations to show that they are finished.

You don't need to change anything, just click on the button to update .

The only way to avoid getting the "needs update" icon in the page list in the future, if you change anything in the original page, is to select the checkbox in the original page "Minor edit - don't update translation".
Then the pencil icon will stay and you don't see the "needs update" icon in the list of pages.

About the terms independent and connected:

Connected translation:

For the system to know that atranslation is the translation of a specific page it needs to be "connected".

The connection makes it possible that a translation can be accessed with the language switcher when clicking on the flag inside the original page and it is the same content.

With the connection you can ensure that for example "about us" in english will lead to "about us" in slovenian when using the language switcher.

Independent translation:

A translation is independent because you can edit it as you like and will not act as a duplicate of the page.

Kind regards,

February 21, 2018 at 10:51 pm #1525544


Hello Cristina,

Exactly that's what I want. Only two questions according to your last mail:

1.How can the original pages be marked as finished? Where to mark them as finished?
2.Isn't it like that If I click update, page will update according to original Slovene version and get all texts in Slovene?



February 22, 2018 at 8:36 am #1525821


Hello Tamil,

thanks for the feedback.

Regarding the questions, I did not express myself correctly: The original page is already finished everytime you update it.

The translation is what need to be marked as finished:

Using manual translation mode, the translation is marked as finished if you just click the update button.

Using the Translation Editor, at the bottom of the page you have two buttons and a progress bar.
If the progress bar is up to 100% it means that all checkboxes that appear below the text boxes have been marked as translated and the translation is finished with 100%.
If you then click on "save and close" it will be marked as finished.

About the second question:

2. Isn't it like that If I click update, page will update according to original Slovene version and get all texts in Slovene?

That will only happen if the page is still a duplicate.
If it is set to be an independent translation this will not happen.

If you have an original page in Slovene, and you create a duplicate of that page, the update will retrieve all texts in slovene again, because it is a duplicate.

If you have an original page in Slovene and you have set the translation to be an independent translation, the update will save the translated texts.

If you are using the manual translation mode, you will see a warning in the language metabox about that.

If you are using the Translation Editor, you will see that the icon has a text "duplicate" right beside the it indicating that this is a duplicate.

I attach a few screenshots to illustrate.

We have a page about this in our documentation that may be clearer on this:

Kind regards,

February 22, 2018 at 9:02 am #1525880



I am trying all the time to explain that I am working with duplicates, not translations, so TranslationEditor_finish.png image for me is not useful I think. You keep explaining me about both things, that's why I'm even more confused of what should I use.

I am attaching sreenshot of how my duplicated page looks like. Where can I see, if I have already change it into independant translate?

So what should I do next?


February 22, 2018 at 10:00 am #1525964


Hello Tamil,

I may have been confused about the terminology here too, so just for clarification:

What is showing on your site now are translations from WPMLs point of view, because even if they are showing the same design, the texts are translated and connected to each other.

So these pages are translations:


The pages showing online are translations for WPML because they are in another language.
If they were duplicates, for WPML, they would be in slovenian.

And as I understood so far, you want to create new pages in slovenian.
Then you want to edit pages with the same design that you can edit in german and english and you want that the translated pages stay as the are after you have edited them.

And because you had a problem where suddenly slovenian texts were shown online after you had updated a page, you want the icons to not show again the needs update status so you do not get confused and click accidentally somewhere and loose texts.

So, the workflow to update pages safely is what I described above:

If you don't want this status change in the icon for the translations, you will have to mark the checkbox in the original page "Minor edit - don't update translation", then the pencil icon will stay and you don't see the "needs update" icon in the list of pages.

So, if I understand it correctly, when you have been updating the pages in the other languages the content was missing and showed the slovenian texts, is this the underlying problem?

If that is the problem, please confirm this before we get further and I confuse you with terms.

Documentation for this:

Kind regards,

March 3, 2018 at 10:30 am #1535066


Hi Cristina,

As I've said. You can see my pages in admin. I only wan't that pages I have made and will make in the future don't get that "update" icon anymore. I don't want that WPML remind about updating all the time, especially not with that icon in page list view, which can be easily accidentaly clicked. Yes, sometines it already happened that some of my pages which were already translated, turned back to slovene language. So what I want: I want best way to translate page, once I create it in Slovene language. Till now i thought duplicating is best option. Also for the reason, I can duplicate also media and give to photos meta tags in all three languages.

I would like to know what is best practice to achive all mentioned above. And not to have that update icon as once I translate the page, it will remain as it is for a long time.



March 3, 2018 at 11:04 am #1535075


Hi Cristina,

I consider myself for quite good skilled wordpress whole-site builder, but coming accross WPML instructions, always leave me with even more questions than I had before getting into instructions. I wen't through instruction also ones, that you've sent me links and I understand even less.

Started reading this again

Everything is understandable till image:
hidden link

There first of all it's not understandable what is the difference between:

Copy content from Slovenščina
Owerwrite with Slovenščina content

Both buttons suggest that they will override my content from Slovenščina. It's awful user experience your plugin interface. Already in button there's enough place to suggest more clearly what the button will do, not to mention that instructions at last could do that.

Further more, as I think that for me this type of translation (manual translations) are right way for me, again there come next paragraph which demantee everything. It says that when content is changed in Slovenian, that update icon will appear to synchronize my translation. I don't understand why so? Why I would like to update my translation with new Slovene content and overdrive it with it?

So what should I do with my existing translated pages. As you inspected:

are translations. Which I believe is okey! But what happened if i click update icon? Will they remain every single one in it's language or will they update with slovene language content?



March 5, 2018 at 9:36 am #1535916


Hello Tamil,

this plugin is designed to sync translations and this can't be changed.

So unfortunately, the only option to not get this icon after updating your original page is to mark the checkbox in the original page "Minor edit - don't update translation".

If you don't select this, the translated pages will always have this icon, because that is a basic feature of WPML that you cannot undo. It cannot be deactivated.

The steps to not see the icon are these:

- Use only one translation method.
- When you create a new page, finish it completely before starting a translation.
- When you start a translation, click first on "duplicate page", then click on the pencil icon to start the translation and enter all translated texts until all the fields are translated and then save it.

-If you need to update the original page again, use the checkbox "Minor edit - don't update translation" before saving the original page. So the icons stay as they are in pencil mode.

For your existing pages, if you just click on the blue update button and open a translated page, just click on "update" to save it as it appears in that moment.The translation will then change the status to finished again and show the icon pencil.

Don't use the "copy" or "overwrite" buttons for already translated pages.

Regarding the image you pointed out:
There are users who need to create pages that are just copies of existing untranslated texts and these buttons exist for that purpose. So you should not use them if you have already translated a page.

When you use "copy content" the text content in the original language text fields is copied to the translated page. This will copy only the redactional text fields, but not any custom field information.

When you use "overwrite" you copy all fields information from the original text including the custom fields (images, taxonomies, custom field values) and overwrite the translated texts that may be already there. This is similar to duplicating a page.

Kind regards,

March 12, 2018 at 6:18 pm #1543949


Hello Cristina,

Well, it happened that my support expired in the meanwhile. Anyway i got my support extended till 16th this week in order that we can solve things out.

Regarding to your last message, I went and check everything. I found something really weird: All my pages went from duplicates to translates! That's the whole problem. That's why I was confused as I did all my translations always as duplicates. I think some more insection will be needed here as I really don't know what is going on. If you need, please visit my admin site and check what was going on.

In attachment there's a page which shows up when I click one update button at page, which I strongly believe it was created as duplicate, not translation.

I believe this is also the reason why all translated pages got that update button. I didn't change all Slovene pages, but all german/english pages have that update button now.

Please respond asap, because we have only time till 16th of march 2018, after that date I'll have to extend support which I am not very eager to do.



March 13, 2018 at 10:58 am #1544608


Hello Tamil,

thanks for the update and feedback.

So the basic problem here I think is that when you click on the update icon you are getting the translator editor mask with empty fields.

This is a problem that affects all versions before 3.8.4 and which was solved in the latest versions.

The underlying problem here is that when different translation modes are mixing.

There are two methods to translate a page.
In WPML > Translation Management > Multilingual Content Setup you define which method is going to be used.

- Manual translation mode
The manual translation mode is done by changing the language in the top admin bar and writing the translated content in a page that has the same editor view in the backend as in the original page.

- Translation Editor
Using the translation editor, what you get as interface for translation is this mask with the text fields to translate in a form.

The problem here may be that mixing the translation modes can lead to problems:

- If you have defined the Translation Editor as translation mode in the settings for multilingual content setup in the Translation Management module, this will be used as default mode for translations. The Translation Editor saves the content in the WPML tables and wp_posts table.

- But when using manual mode, changes in the original content are only updated in the native WordPress tables, but not in the WPML tables that the Translation Editor uses. So if you use that method to translate a page, the translation will be stored correctly, but in another place in the database, because the native wordpress editor or the page builder editor is used.

Therefore the Translation Editor does not reflect changes made from manual mode.

The problem of getting content overwritten comes with the workflow:

Whenever a translation is startet in manual mode, it has to be continued to be translated in manual mode until it is finished, or marked as finished. This should not be used if you have defined the translation editor in the multilingual content setup for WPML >Translation Management.

If the translation is continued using the translation editor while any translation was not finished, the texts are not copied to the translation editor fields, so the fields remain empty.

Fields in the translation editor will be also empty if the original page was modified while any translation was still in progress.

So if any page is updated with some minimal detail, but a translation job is active for that page, the fields in the translation editor will be empty when the translator opens the translation with the translation editor.

What you should do:

For existing pages there are two options, either use only the manual editor mode or use only the translation editor when opening translations.

If you want to use the manual editor (the native wordpress editor) , you need to finish any translation job pending for that page in your translation management dashboard (or cancel the translation job). You may also need to copy the existing texts again to the empty fields in the translation editor to save it there and mark as finished.

I think this is the problem with your pages.

This problem was approached in later WPML versions than the one you have installed.
So with the latest WPML versions you get a clear warning about mixing the translation modes and the problems can be avoided.

Therefore I would recommend that you update your WordPress install now that you still have the valid licence for it.

But with Version 3.6.3. you have to be aware that when you open the translation editor, what you translated or updated in the original page in manual mode is not saved there.

We published some erratas for this:

If you see that translation editor popping up,it may be safer to edit the translation with your translated texts and save them there too.

I am sorry that the workflow is not as intuitive as it should, but if you still want to use the 3.6.3 version you should be aware of that. This can't be solved in that version, so the only thing you can do to not lose texts is to check which translation mode is defined and stick to use only that.

Kind regards,

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