There are many reasons why you may want to develop a multilingual WordPress site for yourself or a client. Currently 2/3’s of the world’s population speak a language other than English. Translating your site to more than one language helps to improve distribution of your content, better service your clients, and increase the effectiveness of your Search Engine Optimization. There are many different plug-ins that make this process easier, here are the top 3 plug-ins we’ve found to help you manage a multilingual site.
WPML is feature rich multilanguage plug-in available for WordPress. Itâ€™s easy to install and set-up for beginners, but also has many advanced features for experienced web developers versed in WordPress and PHP to create a full-fledged multilingual WordPress site. The plug-in installs with over 40 languages built-in and you can add your own language using the built-in languages editor.
You have the option of displaying your separate language sites in the same domain , in sub-domains or in completely separate domain names. Features include a powerful translation management tool that makes it easier to manage a team of translators. Or, if you donâ€™t have someone on board to translate the material for you, WPML offers a professional translation service that hires a native translator to convert all of your content for a fee. Other features include, inline comment translation, making replying and moderating comments on your site in whichever language youâ€™d like easy.
There are two options for purchasing WPML: Multilingual CMS and Multilingual Blog. The Multilingual CMS, which costs $79, is the complete solution for handling multiple languages, and many of the features mentioned in this article are only available on this version of WPML. If youâ€™re simply running a blog and will want to translate it yourself, use the Multilingual Blog version, which cost $29.
qTranslate is another plug-in that offers inline editing of multiple languages for your WordPress site. The plug-in allows you to translate your blog to another lanugage without changing the .mo files, for quick localization. If you don’t have your own translators, it has a built-in features to send your content to professional human translator or an automated translation option.
Changing which language you’re working on is similar to changing the WYSIWYG editor from Visual to HTML, each language has its own tab. qTranslate comes with many languages already built-in and claims that it can handle an infinite number of languages to present your site in whatever lnaguage you’d like.
Multisite Language Switcher
Another option to manage different translations of your content would be to run WordPress Multisite, hosting each language as a separate installation of WordPress. WordPress has more information on creating a network of sites. The Multisite Language Switcher aides in connecting the different language versions of your posts, categories and tags. The plug-in even connects the admin area of each installation in one area, so you won’t have to log-in to multiple admin areas to change a translation. You can just click on the language you’d like to edit to make changes.
With the Multisite Language Switcher you won’t have to worry about making sure plug-ins work with the multilanguage plug-in you’re using, though they will need to work WordPress multisite to function properly in the admin area. It can get complicated managing content across several sites and some hosting solutions don’t allow you to install multisite on their servers.
More and more users are using the web from tablets and smartphones like the iPad, iPhone, Android, and Samsung Galaxy. Making sure your website caters to these users and gives them the best mobile experience should be just as important as developing for your desktop clients. Luckily, an array of plug-ins and themes are making it increasingly easier to reach every customer, no matter how they access your site! Here are just a few options for a mobile-friendly, responsive WordPress site.
WP Mobile Detector
The WP Mobile Detector plug-in automatically recognizes if visitors have accessed your site from a mobile device and delivers a mobile optimized version of your content. The first plug-in to differentiate between a standard mobile and a smart phone, it has support to detect over 5,000 mobile phones. Basic settings for the plug-in allow you to redirect traffice to a mobile friendly site if your visitor is on a mobile device. There is a premium version of the plug-in available for $49.99 that features stats, 10 preloaded themes, and the option to customize the theme to your liking using a built in theme editor.
Feature list from the developers:
- Automatic detection of mobile devices.
- Differentiates between standard mobile devices and advanced mobile devices.
- Detects over 5,000+ mobile devices.
- Advanced mobile statistics including unique visitors, visits, mobile search engine bots, and more!
- Automatically formats content and resizes images.
- Includes seven mobile themes pre-installed.
- Select any of the seven pre-installed mobile themes or choose one of your own.
Here's a quick tour of the plug-in:
Another simple and quick way to create a mobile version of your WordPress site is WP Touch. This plug-in automatically creates a mobile theme to deliver your content, without extra coding or modifying your existing WordPress theme. The free version of the plug-in allows for basic design changes to the appearance of the mobile version of your site and is better suited in a situation where you need to get a mobile site up quick and don't want to hassle much with coding or altering your theme.
There is also a premium version of the theme, WP Touch Pro, that allows for greater flexibility on the appearance of your mobile site and 200+ features, including: compatability with WP 3.0's custom menu's, an iPad theme, custom post types support, and advanced styling and branding control. For $49 per site, the premium version gives greater control over your mobile sites design and is a sound investment for easy mobile site development.
Download Plug-in | Visit Site
WordPress Mobile Pack
The WordPress Mobile Pack includes many features to make your site more mobile friendly. A mobile switcher will recognize if your visitors are using a mobile browser and can give them the option to switch from the mobile version or the desktop version of your site. The mobile theme included allows you to edit settings for what content from your site appears for mobile users. You can disable certain widgets from displaying and extend articles to separate pages to increase your sites mobile load time.
The basic theme is easily customizable by color specifications and more experienced coders can dip into the PHP to alter the overall structure of the theme. Mobile Pack gives you the option to disable media that is not mobile compliant, shrink images to scale on a smallery screen, and automatically simplifies the styling the page for a more mobile friendly page. Lastly, the plug-in also formats the WordPress dashboard to be mobile compliant and gives you many of the basic settings needed to write new posts and edit exisitng pages.
Rather than installing a plug-in to handle your mobile presence, using a responsive theme is another option. There are already many themes built around a responsive, grid based layout that automatically adjust to a users screen making your site look great even on tablets and other mobile devices. Here are just a few of responsive themes and frameworks available for WordPress:
- WP-Responsive: $59 - Featurs a content slider on the main page, multiple layout options, admin setting options for easy customization, and more.
- Whiteboard Framework for WordPress: Free - Whiteboard is a framework noted for helping developers save time creating new WordPress themes. It's straightforward and simple, and already features a responsive system that's easy to customize for your next theme.
- WP Bold: $59 - Similar to WP-Responsive, WP Bold comes with many great features and layouts designed for mobile displays.
iMockups for iPad
Design mockups for your next Web or Mobile App straight from your iPad, with the ability to work on multiple projects. Collaborating is easy, e-mail your mock-up as a PNG with one click of a button. iMockups allows you to focus on the basic structure of the site or get specific by importing pictures, creating color schemes, and adding inline content relevant to your project. Currently only available for the iPad.
OmniGraffle for iPad
Another mockup tool that lets designers create a preliminary design for their next website using diagrams or pre-built stencils including fonts, forms, and 3D shapes. For even more freedom and to utilize the touchscreen ability of the iPad, Omnigraffle allows for freehand sketches of layout. The app supports multiple page documents, tables, text wrap, shared layers, and exporting options to your photo library or a PDF. Currently only available for the iPad.
Inkpad for Ipad
There are plenty of drawing and painting apps for the iPad, but none provide the simplicity and intuitive usability quite like Inkpad for iPad. Though it’s not meant to replace a professional desktop program like Adobe Illustrator, Inkpad gives illustrators and designers the ability to create vector graphics from the convenience of their iPad. You can export the SVG to your Dropbox account or e-mail as a PNG, SVG, JPG or PDF. For a look at the capabilities of Inkpad, check out their Flickr photo pool. Currently only available for the iPad.
Textastic Code Editor
Gusto Web Development Environment
Gusto is another text editor for the iPad that focuses more on the workflow than Textastic does. With a layout similar to Coda, this text editor allows for multiple projects and onboard FTP downloads and uploads. Gusto has been praised for it’s simplicity and when you first open the app you’ll be greeted with "hints" to speed along the learning process. Currently only available for the iPad.
What the Font Mobile
Browsing a website or reading a PDF and see a font you’d like to use on your own design? Take a screenshot with your mobile device and submit it to the What the Font App. In seconds, What the Font will search through the MyFonts database and identify the font and other fonts that closely resemble it. Works through the network or Wi-Fi.
Discover a Color
With the ability to create a color scheme using up to 6 colors, Discover a Color allows graphic designers and web designers to discover brand new colors and color schemes for their designs and artwork. Supports RGB and HEX color codes, suggests similar colors and complimentary colors, and e-mail your color schemes by the RGB and HEX values.