New WPML Compatability Plugin

Posted on December 21, 2012

For a long time now one of the most frequent questions we get is “Does this work with WPML” or for those that try the two together say “This doesn’t work well with WPML“.

That told us two things:

  1. WPML is a very popular plugin! Certainly one of the best multilingual plugins out there. They’ve taken on a very complex task and have done a great job about it.
  2. There is a big demand for multilingual events. It is certainly interesting to see how widely WordPress is being used around the world, and humbling to see how many people want Events Manager working in more than one language on their site.

So, as a result of this, a promise was made to make EM and WPML work together and bring the best of both worlds. I wrote a small snippet earlier this year to close some of the gaps, but soon enough it became apparent that there was way (way) more that needed to be done to make Events Manager a truly multi-lingual-capable plugin. Well, I’m very happy to say that we’ve taken our first step (I guess second, but in comparison it’s a huge step!) towards making EM and WPML truly play nice together.

Enter the Events Manager WPML Compatability plugin! This plugin adds some major improvements to the original snippet, here’s some of the most notable changes:

Custom texts, formats and emails can be translated straight out of the EM settings page

Events Manager is also needed for this to work (Currently available as a development version at time of writing), but once updated you’ll now have the option to translate ANY text options in your settings page which will then be used instead of the default text when viewing your event/location/etc. pages in other languages.

Events, Locations and other pages overridden by EM can be translated

Events Manager overrides certain pages with our custom formats to allow more control over how your events are displayed. The issue previously with WPML and EM is that this page wouldn’t be overwritten if viewing translated versions.

Now, if you translate say the Events page, if you use the language switcher to change languages, you’ll automatically see that page with events in that language. All you need to do now is translate the assigned pages and this add-on will do the rest.

Event and Booking information shared across translations

Previously, translations were treated as separate posts/events, meaning that events would have completely independent bookings, times, locations and more. This didn’t really make sense, because translations should concern themselves with information about the event, not so much the when/where and bookings.

Now, when editing translations, you won’t see all that extra information so you can concentrate on translating. Dates, bookings and locations can be modified in the main language of the event.

We’re still not done!

This is a pretty big task, there’s still a few known issues (see the plugin page for details) and so we’re going to be making more improvements over time in incremental stages. There’s still more to be done, notably including:

Recurring Events

I had previously said in various threads that recurring events won’t work as is, and that we’d need to rewrite the recurring events logic. This actually is not true anymore, thanks to the work put into this plugin, we’ve figured out a way to make recurrences translatable.

Whilst we’ll still be rewriting the recurrences feature (actually, adding a second recurrence feature with different advantages), the current recurrence template model will soon support translations as well.

In the meantime though, we’ve had to disable recurrences with WPML to avoid duplicate events and mass confusion.

Custom Booking Form Fields (Pro)

As is, these can’t be translated, however, we are also planning a rewrite of the Form Editor, and multilingual capability will be one of the many improvements.

Onto 2013!

I’d also take this opportunity to wish you all happy holidays! It’s been a hectic month, with our new website revamp and this add-on it has also been a productive one.

Due to the holidays, the rest of this month will be rather subdued, so we invite you all to try out the plugin and let us know of issues you experience or of if there’s something we’ve missed. We’ll be picking this up in early January again and continue with making more improvements.

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