Well, well, well, it appears as though WordPress fanboys and fangirls are even more bent on making the popular platform a complete Content Management cure-all than we initially thought.
Though it’s no secret that additions and plugins are always being built for the blogging tool, this time we've been hit closer to home. WPML, a mega-plugin written by OnTheGoSystems, aims to boost WordPress from simple blogging platform into the realm of proper Web Content Management Systems. The method? Multilingual support.
This Time, It’s Personal
You probably have some knowledge of WordPress; the platform of choice for several websites and blog owners has been around for quite some time. Due to the high level of popularity surrounding the solution (it’s been deemed the most popular blogging platform several times), the aim to turn it into more than just a tool for bloggers has likely been on the backburner for a good minute; however, only recently has the team behind the name actually stated that they’re making conscious movements in that direction.
So what’s it missing? Some criticism heard ‘round the way is that once a site becomes complex, the limitless customization options and ease of use just don’t cut it. Dejected WordPress fans often find themselves turning to the likes of Drupal and Movable Type for support.
In the last wave of related updates from WordPress, we saw the ability to publish short posts right from your dashboard, drop-down screen options menus, increased flexibility for developing widgets, one click administration and, in the spirit of their customizable savvy, the Drag and Shuffle feature which allows users to organize their dashboards any way they want.
All valiant attempts at being a fully functional Web CMS, but still, nothing mountain-moving.
Now, enter WPML, a plug in that allows building a full multilingual website with WordPress without the need for additional configuration. This includes a top navigation menu with drop downs, a breadcrumbs trail and context sensitive sidebar navigation. And of course, users can go customize-crazy it by adding site sections and changing the way it looks and works.
Wordpress Speaks Your Language
With the new offering, one WordPress site will be able to run multiple languages. The plugin allows selecting which languages to include and how to arrange them.
Each page, post, tag or category will have a new section for translations. This section allows switching from one language to the other and adding translations to existing contents.
Fancy a quick peek? Everything is pretty self explanatory and easy to figure out, starting with the setup screen. The language setup controls which languages are to be included in the site and also how to select the visitor's language:
WPML Setup Screen
Also notable perks of the plugin are navigation options (top nav with drop down menus, breadcrumbs trails, sidebar nav) and Sticky Links, WPML’s way of letting users know that WordPress cares about broken links too. Essentially, what it does is allow the original link to track the URL of the page forever and ever, meaning it will update itself as the target page changes location.
The mega-plugin is certainly, well, mega, but more importantly, it comes at a crucial time. After Movable Type announced that it was venturing into the faux SaaS world, we knew it would only be a matter of time before WordPress did something to keep itself in the pool ring of competitors.
Language and translation is certainly a beast of an issue, and accordingly, globalization innovations are becoming more and more necessary. It looks as though making the Web a more compatible place certainly constitutes mountain-moving, and our best guess is this new direction is going to lead WordPress to some very positive ground.