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Having a multilingual site is now the norm, given the constant globalization and the business opportunities that are offered in proposing one's services and products at an international rather than a national level.
Regardless of the business you intend to develop or whether on your WordPress installation you use an ecommerce extension such as WooCommerce or not, what we want to advise you is to weigh the choice when selecting the plugin that will be used to translate the site into multilingual .
In the beginning it was (and sadly still is) WPML.
Until recently, the market choice for WordPress multilingual translation was WPML, which stands for WordPress Multi Language.
Virtually all blogs related to WordPress development have recommended it endlessly, both geared to newbies just introduced to the world of WordPress development and blogs for professionals with much higher skills.
The basic concept was certainly adequate for the period and for what the market was offering in terms of solutions available for multilingual translation of WordPress-based sites.
Too bad (fortunately) that over time things have evolved and even today we continue to recommend WPML as a panacea for all ills, without mentioning and taking into account the serious side effects that this solution will irremediably bring to your business, nor do we recommend new and promising solutions that are already considered the best in the WordPress Enterprise world. unique (let's say the ONLY) solution worthy of note that can combine functionality, simplicity, malleability of use without compromising the performance and speed of your WordPress installation.
What would you think of those who continue undeterred to recommend the steam train as a fast means of travel when you know very well that the Frecciarossa exists? Would you give credit to those who insist on such nonsense repeated aloud and shared by a bunch of fools with no art in it or would you think that they are making a mistake by making a sensational mistake?
If you think the steam train is museum stuff, outdated and useless in our day, you should start wondering if WPML isn't an absolutely outdated system as well. It is about your business, your sales and the serenity of your visitors.
Performance, a major factor and a major problem with WPML
While it is true that WPML is practically unanimously recommended, this does not mean that today it is the best solution that can be adopted on forward-looking projects that require multilingual translation capabilities.
In fact, it must be said that choosing a plugin rather than another irremediably compromises the entire future of your site. Imagine, for example, that you commission or create a company site yourself in 4 different languages and once you have finished you realize that the pages of the site load in 5 or 6 seconds instead of the second and a half that you had measured when your site did not have multilingual support. .
Imagine the navigation of a user on your site, on your ecommerce and the endless frustration that a slow and cumbersome navigation can derive from an old and poorly designed plugin that uses macaronic hacks to be able to perform (badly) its multilingual functions.
This is what happens with WPML.
Being developing without taking into account the best practices, being in fact anti pattern and anti codex, making use of unlikely tricks such as external proprietary tables and infinite JOINs at the level of SQL queries it is obvious and obvious that something is missing in terms of performance.
That something is sometimes a matter of seconds, in other cases of many seconds.
We will not go into the studies that claim that about 10% of surfers are lost every second of loading, and therefore potential sales, this is an established fact and if you think that a site that opens in 2 seconds is basically the same as a site that opens in 6 seconds, you would do well to deepen the subject and possibly review when you understand that a website is something serious that can give enormous satisfactions and even enormous disappointments if you do not follow the advice of those like us, every day we are called to solve the problems caused by improvised developers who follow the fashions of the moment, rather than the good sense.
MultilingualPress, the solution to all ills for fast and snappy sites.
Regardless of what the mass says, WPML is not the only solution to create multilingual sites, but rather Multilingual Press to date it is the only valid solution to obtain the maximum functionality without compromising performance in any way.
There are no affiliate programs, we have no interests and we don't have a single euro commission in saying what we say, we just like to be industry leader in high performance hosting and having to deal with slow and heavy plugins like pachyderme certainly does not help us systems engineers as well as you developers or customers.
However, we can say with mathematical certainty that all those times that we have "disassembled" a very slow site made with WPML to bring it to MultilingualPress that all the problems of loading speed and performance have been solved.
Just as some customers have gone from 16-core server instances with 64GB of RAM costing $ 200 per month to more modest solutions, saving more than half on server rental costs.
Nice to save, isn't it?
What is MultilingualPress?
MultilingualPress is a WordPress plugin made by Inpsyde which is used to create multilingual sites with performance in mind. It is based on a native WordPress feature, the Multisite.
Le Multisite installations of WordPress allow you to create and manage several sites or blogs using a single WordPress installation. Therefore, all these sites share files core of the CMS, that is the files that run WordPress, but also have themes, plugins, databases in common.
On the other hand, the tables relating to the individual sites remain separate, and therefore the contents, as well as the media library.
By taking advantage of the common elements, you can very easily manage different sites, which will however be hosted within the same server.
It is with this approach that MultilingualPress works, i.e. the generation of a multisite network where this plugin allows you to manage translations by creating a multisite site for each translation. The advantages are the same as those of a multisite network, not having any slowdowns on the application side and being able to centrally manage all translations in an absolutely fast and professional way.
How reliable is MultilingualPress?
Let's say it's so reliable that it's a guaranteed and recommended component from WordPress VIP and high-performance hosting like WP Engine with which we even share the same software stack.
In short, we are not talking about Pizza & Fichi, but about WordPress himself, Mr. Matt Mullenweg and all his AUTOMATTIC to be clear. Big stuff, guarantees and certainties so to speak, no runaway or improvised programmer in the creation of slow plugins like WPML to be clear.
Inpsyde is a WordPress Agency Partner, (you can check yourself here https://vip.wordpress.com/partner/inpsyde/ ) which means that in fact WordPress itself recommends and approves the MultilingualPress proposed solution as a solution officially adopted by their company for clients of a certain depth that you can view in their portfolio.
The cost ? Absolutely affordable.
The only drawback that could catch the eye of a multi-language solution of this caliber could be the cost of 199 Euros per year per site. Although in an Open Source context where many plugins are free, the cost of the plugin could possibly make you turn up your nose at first glance, but you have to deal not only with the initial price which can be considered a form of insurance on the high performance of your site, as well as the certainty of not having to take steps back to adopt it at a later time once you have noticed that a plugin how WPML made your site slow as a snail. At that point, bringing all the content from WPML to MultilingualPress could prove to be an exhausting and complex job, which is why it is advisable to start with the right tools right away rather than trying to save 100 euros or a little more and delve into a valley of tears according to the now usual and established rule, who spends little spends twice.
Absolutely recommended therefore, to the delight of hosters, developers and customers.