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How WPML Works
WPML adds language information to WordPress objects. This includes posts, pages, custom post types, tags, categories and custom taxonomy.
With WPML, each object gets a language attribute. To maintain complete flexibility and high database-efficiency, WPML keeps this information in its own table.
When you’re translating with WPML, you’re actually creating new content and not adding translations to existing content. For example, if you’re translating a post, you’re actually creating a new post in the new language. That new post will have its own title, URL and custom fields.
WPML plays nice with WordPress themes. Many themes allow users to choose “special” pages or categories (like in home-page sliders). WPML will automatically modify these pages, so that the right ones are displayed in every language.
Benefits of WPML’s Architecture
The direct results of WPML’s architecture are:
- Ideal for SEO – since each page in a different language resides in its own object in the database, it also gets a unique URL and unique SEO attributes. Search engines (a.k.a. Google) will immediately catch onto this and display results in the correct language. To Google, multilingual sites with WPML are completely clear and easy to index. WPML also sets the correct language attributes for different pages and even interlinks translations, to make it even easier for Google to understand your site’s structure.
- Easily compatible with themes and other plugins – because WPML separates between content in different languages, themes and other plugins generally play great with WPML. There are few cases where any manual work is needed to make things compatible. We have dedicated support staff that helps with compatibility problems, making sure that all WPML customers enjoy full flexibility in choosing themes and using other plugins.
- Robust and insensitive to WordPress versions – of course, we update WPML for every WordPress version, but generally speaking, these upgrades are minor and usually involve adding support for new functionality. Because WPML keeps language information in its own tables and doesn’t mix content-language, more WordPress changes are not relevant to WPML. When there are new API functions that WPML needs to filter, we always come out with new version, well before WordPress releases are ready.
WPML is Part of a Bigger Family for WordPress Plugins
WPML started by itself, but today, it’s a part of our bigger family of CMS plugins for WordPress. When you need to create fully multilingual-ready sites, you’re also invited to use our Types and Views plugins and easily create and display custom content.
WPML comes from OnTheGoSystems, a global company with staff from 6 continents, creating cool WordPress stuff from 2007.