In the following review I’m going to show you the best multilingual plugin available for WordPress Multisite. You’ll learn everything you need to know to use it: features, setup, price, etc.
After WordPress 3.0 it‘s very easy to run WordPress as a network. In a WordPress network you can create multiple sites, each one having their own administration area, theme, plugins, and so on. You can use each site for a certain language.
Multilingual Press is a freemium plugin that can be had for free or purchased as the Pro Version from MarketPress.com. This plugin is the best way to manage multilingual versions of the same content using WordPress Multisite.
Not only does it offer interlinking but the Pro version also offers to duplicate sites or edit all translations for a post from the original post editor without the need to switch sites.
- Easy of use. Multilingual Press makes content translation easy: you can view the translations for each post or page underneath the post editor and show a list of links for all translations on each page in a widget. Also, you can change relationships between translations or connect existing posts (Pro Version)
- No lock-in. When you disable the plugin, all sites will still work as separate sites without any data-loss or garbage output
- Performance. This plugin uses WordPress’ built-in core features. For large WordPress sites is the best option.
- Multilingual SEO. You can set SEO features in every site using your favorite SEO plugin (WordPress SEO by Yoast, All in One SEO Pack ,etc.)
- Duplicate sites. When you create a new blog, you get a dropdown field to use another blog as a template. Everything will be copied then: settings, active theme, plugins, widgets, user roles/capabilities and even attachments. This a one-click setting (Pro Version). Starting a new language site by cloning a complete other language can save you a lot of time.
- Preferred language. Automatically redirect to the user’s preferred language version of a post (Pro Version)
- Multiple domains. If you need to set up multiple sites across multiple domains (example.com, example.es, example.fr, etc), you can use the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin as well – as long as the domains are all hosted on the same server.
- Price. If you want a professional multilingual WordPress site, you’ll have to buy the Pro Version that costs $75 (1 domain), $95 (5 domains) and $190 (10 domains). Annual renewal costs $45, $55 and $110, respectively. Note that functionality is without time limit. Renewal is only needed if you want an update or support.
- Configuration. You have to create and configure a network of sites by using the multisite feature. Once installed all languages, if you want to make an adjustment (themes, plugins, menus, widgets, etc) you must port it to all the websites.
1. How to Setup and Use Mutilingual Press Pro
Step 1. Create a WordPress Multisite Network
You have two options to create a network in WordPress:
- Existing WordPress site: Install WordPress Multisite in your current WordPress installation following these instructions: http://codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network
- New WordPress site: The easiest way to install WordPress Multisite is to do so via the Softaculous installer in cPanel. To enable Multisite, you need to check the Enable Multisite option on the WordPress installation page. Once the installation is completed, Multisite will be enabled in your WordPress. All the best WordPress web hosting companies allow you to install WordPress Multisite in one click.
Step 2. Create any number of language sites within the network
You must decide if you want to use subdomains or subfolders and how you want to manage them. Also, you can use multiple domains with WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin.
Go to Network Admin > Sites > Add New
Step 3. Install Multilingual Press an activate it as network plugin
Go to Network Admin > Plugins > Add New (Activate and enter your license key)
Step 4. Plugin Settings
Go to Network Admin > Settings > Multilingual Press, and activate the features you need.
Go to Network Admin > Settings > Language Manager, and find the languages you want to use, and set their priority to higher values
The original language should always be set to 10, the translations to a slightly lower value. This affects the order of the language selectors and the HTTP redirect feature.
Step 5. Choose a language on each site and the relationships
Go to Network Admin > Sites configuration. On each site, go to Edit > Multilingual Press, and choose a language and the relationships.
You can enable automatic redirection. It’s a feature that sends your visitors to the language alternative of a page they understand best.
Step 6. Set a preferred language on each site
Go to Settings > General > Site Language
Also you can set a preferred backend language in your profile to get the same language on all sites: Users > Edit your Profile > Select your preferred backend language
Note that you’ll have to upload .po and .mo files for every language to your language folder: wp-content/languages
You can download .po and .mo files here: http://i18n.svn.wordpress.org/. Example for Spanish and WordPress 3.9:
(IMPORTANT UPDATE 18/12/2014: since WordPress 4.1 you don’t need to upload .po and .mo files. Just go to Settings > General > Site Language, and install new languages)
Step 7. Language Switcher
Switch to the dashboard of a site, and go to Appearance > Widgets. You have a new widget, named Language Switcher. Add it to a sidebar, header or footer.
Step 8. Start translating
Click Add New to create a new post or page, or open an existing post. You will see one metabox per language beneath the regular editor.
You have two options: Just write the translation, or copy the original post into the translation box. It will copy the title and the post content to the translation box (including formatting)
2. Multilingual Press Pricing
As mentioned earlier, Multilingual Press has a free version in WordPress.org. The free version will give you the most important components: Connect multiple sites as language alternatives, use a customizable widget to link to all sites, view the translations for each post or page underneath the post editor, and a Language Manager with 174 editable languages.
However, the Pro Version offers technical support, updates and significantly more features: Support for custom post types, automatically redirect to the user’s preferred language version, edit all translations for a post from the original post editor without the need to switch sites, duplicate sites, synchronized trash, change relationships between translations, user specific language settings for the back-end, show posts with incomplete translations in a dashboard widget, etc.
All licenses give you updates and support forum for 12 months:
- Standard ($75): 1 domain (renewal $45)
- Business ($95): 5 domains (renewal $55)
- Developer ($190): 10 domains (renewal $110)
- Functionality for the plugin is without time limit. Renewal is only needed if you want an update or support.
Multilingual Press is the best option to work with WordPress multisite. This plugin has the support of a company and a team of professional developers. With the Pro Version you won’t have to worry anymore about support and updates.
If you have a medium or large WordPress site and performance is important for you, I recommend you to use this plugin for your multilingual project.
If you have any questions please go ahead and ask away in the comments section. I’ll update the review periodically.