Support » Networking WordPress » Dual-language site, Multisite or not?

  • Resolved greenleafy


    I hope I’m not asking a dumb question here, but let’s say my WordPress skill is somewhere between beginner and intermediate (I normally code straight HTML sites), so it would be really awesome if someone would carefully explain my options. So I’m helping a relative set up a website on WordPress (premium theme, customized, own content), but the thing is it needs to be in two languages with, essentially, two separate versions of the site (so no automatic translation plugins). Also, when it will be under development, the main page for the domain needs to show a plain HTML “Coming Soon” page (already coded, but just I mean the main directory can’t show WordPress).

    Whether we put one language on the main domain or put them both on subdomains or both in subdirectories doesn’t really matter, but when someone goes to the main domain, they will need to see the main language version as default. I am also fine with adding custom code to the headline that can switch the user between sites.

    So anyway, I’m wondering if I should use multisite? I’ve never done anything with that before. I guess the reason I am considering this is because I want to first make the site in one language, and then easily copy the whole thing into another WordPress site for translation. So would it let me, for example, make a WordPress site in one subdirectory or subdomain, and then clone that site to a different subdirectory or a different subdomain (or even the parent domain)? I heard of NS Cloner but I don’t really have any experience with that or know what to expect.

    I believe my other option, not using multisite, would be to use the Export tool on the first (regular) WordPress installation, and then make a new installation on the other subdirectory, and import that. But would that automatically include all the settings and photos and pages? Would that require that I first install the custom theme I used for the first site, or does that get included in the export/import process?

    P.S. This is my first post here, so Hi everyone!

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • UPDATE (if it matters): I did some experimenting.

    Without WordPress Multisite: Exporting a site and making a new one, installing the same theme manually, importing the first site’s xml file, and then tweaking a few options seemed to copy the site pretty nicely.

    With WordPress Multisite: It let me create additional sites as subdirectories. So the main landing page or redirect WordPress installation could be at the main domain, and then the site in one language would be made in a subdirectory. However, while the theme looked fine in the “main” domain site, some of the CSS seemed to get messed up going down to the subdomain-level site. Also NS Cloner sort of worked, it would only let me clone the second (subdirectory) site, but it didn’t really work until I went into the settings and fixed what the cloned site’s URL should be, and even then it didn’t seem to copy over the photos properly.

    So I kind of liked the convenience of managing everything with the Multisite tool and using a cloner, but it seems to work better just using export/import the old fashioned way. But I’d love to hear input from you guys! Thanks 🙂

    Hmm ok I’ll try that, thanks.

    That plugin didn’t work very well. It had a lot of errors during the copy, it didn’t properly set a url for the site copy, and it just was not good. Any other ideas?

    What were the errors? 🙂

    And what does “it didn’t properly set a url for the site copy” mean?

    Errors were like Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare(), called in /home/greenserv93/public_html/ on line 296 and defined in /home/greenserv93/public_html/ on line 990

    And didn’t properly set a url for the site means, this site to copy is on a “subpage” like:

    And I want to copy that child site to another address like:

    But it instead makes the site’s URL something like http://subdomain.myothersite.comclonedfortranslation/

    But with a little more effort, just exporting and importing the site works well enough.

    Okay, so the error messages can be ignored, but still if it doesn’t correctly set up the site, how can I use that plugin? I can’t seem to find any cloning plugin that works properly.

    But it instead makes the site’s URL something like http://subdomain.myothersite.comclonedfortranslation/

    What’s the main site? or

    Note: this is NOT the same as ‘what site are you trying to copy from’ 🙂

    What did you set the new blog address to be?

    Also I’m not 100% sure you can copy from the main blog, but I’ll tag this so can pop in.

    Well in the blog copier plugin you linked to me, it let me select as the site to copy, and then it asked me what I want the address to be, and it started with and then in the textbox I put clonedfortranslation and it just made the new site as http://subdomain.myothersite.comclonedfortranslation/

    I’m going to change it to a more normal environment (,, and report on if it works any better.

    I am about to embark on a dual language/bilingual site as well!
    Just curious about what your findings were?
    My research this morning brought up this type of solution where there are flags in the nav bar, but like yourself I was asked to have two versions of the site, each accessed via a landing page.
    This is the other plugin I have come across but not yet tested.

    If you can give me any ideas, thanks!

    Hey so I can’t show you what I’ve done since there’ve been delays and we’re not live. I forgot exactly what the best solution was, I think it was to use the multi-site tool after all, set up one site, make a new site and install the same theme, and then export the second site’s XML and import it in the first site and adjust any settings and rewrite the text as needed. Sorry I can’t be more help!

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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