Here at Premier Design I am happy to say that we have finished work on our first fully internationalised WordPress and Woocommerce themes. Eventually and after much debate it was decided that WPML (The WordPress Multilingual Plugin) was the best fit becasue of its ability to translate Woocommerce. Working with the plugin was a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a multilingual ecommerce website
Why Choose WPML?
After Internationalising my WordPress themes in preparation for localisation, with translated strings, I found that the plugin I had initially chosen for the task of multilingual support (Polylang) did not have as extensive support for Woocommerce. This does not mean that the Polylang plugin is not excellent also. It is just a case of WPML being a more well established plugin, with clearer and more detailed documentation. As well as fitting neatly into a Woocommerce setup WPML has numerous features that make it compatible with theme customisations.
A Simple Trouble Free Integration
Creating my first multilingual ecommerce site was very much a case of working in the dark. Everything was prepared as a sequence of steps or phases. First there was theme and plugin internationalisation, followed by multilingual plugin integration and theme development to accompany how WPML worked. In all ways it was not until the last component was added that it was fully clear that the development had been a success. WPML has numerous hooks that can be integrated into theme shortcodes and templates. All of these when programmed into the internationalised theme allowed for all the developments grey areas to be overcome.
Alternatives to WPML
WPML comes at a price there is a basic subscription for blog translations and an elevated subscription rate for those of you looking to have a multilingual ecommerce solution. If you want to try theme localisation for free then I recommend a plugin called Loco Translate. If your theme is fully internationalised the plugin allows you to create translations of all your strings. It will also create the translation files required and save these to your theme or plugins language directory. This plugin can be used in conjunction with the free version of the Polylang plugin. This plugin allows for the publication of translated posts, pages and categories as well as redirects for users based on their browsers language base.