Today on 12.10.2013 I have started to use a new plugin to manage and synchronise multilingual or rather in my case bilingual content. Due to this new plugin some parts of the site may not yet function as well as previously.
The earlier “fork” of a commercial plugin WMPL (WordPress MultiLingual plugin) named WP i18n has now been replaced by a free plugin called Polylang. The main reason for this replacement is the fact that WP i18n has not once been updated since its introduction at Summer 2011. Because of this both WordPress and some other plugins used here do not work well together, sometimes generating real conflicts.
Polylang on the other hand is a fairly new and continuously updated plugin and seems to work really well with new WP sites, including those applying responsive designs like this site. One example of this is that a language switcher can be included in the main menu bar like I’ve done here. With this approach you can save space on small screens and also the theme becomes technically less complex.
Moving from WPML or WP i18n to Polylang is a fairly straightforward process, because you do not need to rewrite any pages, posts, categories or menus. You need only to let Polylang set first the main language as a default for all content and then change the language code for the pieces of content that needs another language your site uses. With the plugin you can also link a direct translation of a page or post as you want. This feature helps a user who has accidentally landed on a “wrong” language page or post to switch to the other language page or post.
So far it looks like Polylang will stay as the tool for managing my content in Finnish and English, and I can also warmly recomment the use of this plugin for anyone interested in implementing multilingual WordPress sites 🙂