After 2 years and over 200,000 downloads, we’re turning WPML into a commercial plugin. I know this may not be the most popular move, but I can promise that the long-term results would be great for everyone.

The Numbers

We’ll be offering two versions:

  • Multilingual Blog – $29 USD
  • Multilingual CMS – $79 USD

The blog version will be fine for most blogs. It includes the standard translation controls you’re used to in WPML.

The CMS version includes the Translation Management and Strings Translation packages, which are typically used for larger sites.

Each purchase will come with one year of support and updates. After that one year, you can get additional support and update years for 50%.

The Big Difference

We thought that it would be appropriate to improve WPML, in return to asking for payment.

Instead of one developer, there are now three working on the project – full time.

The results, so far, are:

  • 17 critical bugs fixed.
  • 3 security holes closed.
  • 231 PHP warnings and notices fixed (try running WPML with WP_DEBUG to see for yourself).
  • 43 code optimizations, reducing memory consumption by nearly 50%.
  • 19 SQL query optimizations, reducing DB access by up to 90%.
  • 5 usability improvements, to help site admins find what they’re looking for faster.
  • 3 new features that we still managed to slide in.

This is the beginning. Next, we’re planning new features which have been on hold for too long already:

  • New (working) version of BuddyPress Multilingual.
  • Support for e-commerce plugins like Shopp and WPEC, without waiting for anything from anyone else.
  • Better interoperability with major caching and SEO plugins.
  • Interface for industry-standard translation software (Trados and the likes).

Premium Support

Just like most of you, we’re developers ourselves and we use tools that others have built. The thing that we suffer from most is slow support for stuff we rely on.

As we turn WPML into a commercial product, we’re bumping up the support. WPML forum is getting a major face-lift. We’ll be answering every thread and making sure that nothing is left to chance.

Some technical improvements to the forum will include the ability to subscribe to threads for email notifications, and an indication for the length of the support queue.

You can Still Use the Free Version

The current free version of WPML, on wp.org, is going to remain there.

If you’re happy with it, you can keep using it for as long as you like. Heck, we’re still running with it on our own sites.

Free For…

All current ICanLocalize translation and support clients don’t need to pay to get WPML. It’s included.

We will also give free access to non profits and theme and plugin developers.

Launch Date

Our new site, with the purchase mechanism will be live shortly. As I’m writing these lines, our folks are checking and double checking everything. We’re down to the very last issues and hope to release in a few days.

All these upgrades and payments and nasty stuff are up to you to choose. If you want to get the newer versions and enjoy premium support, you’re welcome to purchase. Otherwise, what you have is just fine.