Support » Networking WordPress » Multiple Sites on different domains in different languages

  • InventiveWebDesign

    (@inventivewebdesign)


    I’ve never used multisite but have been building WP sites for years. I don’t think that WP Multisite is necessarily what I am looking for with my client, but I thought I would ask.

    Basically, my client has their main website (based in USA) on a .com domain and a bunch of single page websites on foreign domain names (i.e. mydomain.com, mydomain.de, mydomain.it, mydomain.co.uk, mydomain.cn, etc.). There are about 14 domains right now and the one pagers have been pretty static since they translated all of them.

    Now, they want to build out those one page sites into full blown websites and are looking for different solutions. On solution will be to make an exact copy of the website on their .it (Italy) domain name and set it so that Google translate just defaults to Italian.

    The problem that they have is these sites will no longer be so static. Every time something is posted to the .com site it will need to be posted to the .it website. This is ok for one site but if they do it for 14 sites you can imagine that it will take a lot more work to keep them up to date.

    The question is, is there a way to have it so that everything we change on the main .com site will be automatically duplicated on the .it site (and any other sites that we continue to build out)?

    In my mind it is more like a staging site that we could update and send out to various domains on the same server instead of just one production site.
    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thank you!`

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Hello @inventivewebdesign, hope all is well.

    I am currently translating a big site with multiple departments as subsites, from English to Spanish, and my approach was to first do a subsite with the theme and blocks I need, style it according to, and setup everything for it to work it should. Whence I am pleased with the site, it becomes a “blueprint”, meaning that using NS Cloner, for instance, I just clone that site to a new subsite and have the header, menus, footer already setup, just missing to adjust the colours as each subsite has its own colour palette to stand out from one another, this saves me a lot of time.

    In your case, you already have the site’s setup, and if their wish is to turn simple pages into full-fledged sites, then the ideal would be to keep it as a multisite, having sites running and installed on their own language without the need for a translation plugin, however, you should ask them if they will manage such sites using a team per language, as I believe this may be also one of their aims.

    On my multisite, I have the sites installed and running in their own language, with the proper members assigned instead of having all the staff access to it, just the staff that handles the Spanish version, and the Support Department, for instance, have access to the site that is Spanish, and have a helpdesk plugin installed.

    You can clone posts and pages, and export/import them to other sites and translate them from there, or create new posts/pages and add the translation directly, keeping it cleaner.

    On my case I use Broadcaste to move and display posts/pages throughout different subsites.

    Regarding themes and settings, if using the same “blueprint” on all sites, you can consider using Customizer Export/Import to clone everything from one to another, that is, if your theme does not offers the option to export/import already.

    If the sites are static, you can opt for staging and do one site at a time. If the site is dynamic (WooCommerce, for instance, selling daily) the best option would be to export/import from one to another, or if possible, add a maintenance page to the subsite you may be working on while developing this.

    14 sites, simple, should be something quick to develop. Personally, I did 16 subsites in a matter of two months, all of which are dynamic sites, using the methodology above.

    I hope this helps.

    Thread Starter InventiveWebDesign

    (@inventivewebdesign)

    Thank you @alexdeborba! All of this info is great!

    Our sites were setup one at a time and are not on a multisite network. They are just single instances of static one page sites right now. If I understand it would be better to convert the main site into a multisite network and then create the other sites based on that. Right now we are only working with two languages but I believe the client wants to push this out to all 14 eventually.

    I have a few questions.

    Right now there are two sites that have been built out. One is the main site and another is on a German domain that is using a different theme and content creator. How hard is it to connect these two sites in a multisite network? The client wants each location to be able to choose one of these two styles of sites.

    I found this page on how to convert a stand alone site to a multisite: https://www.wpexplorer.com/quick-guide-wordpress-multisite-installation/. Do you suggest doing this or would it just be better to create a multisite install and import the current main site to it and go on from there to add more sites?

    Do the sites have to be the same (design, theme, plugins, etc.) in order to share/clone posts? I imagine it isn’t a problem if they are using the WordPress editor but one site is done with elementor and the other with Visual Composer so I imagine that any pages/posts that are using those editors will not be able to clone across sites.

    Does using multisite slow your site down since they all work off the same database?

    They have two ways they are looking at translating. One is to set Google Translate to default to a specific language and just keep the content in English. The other is to have a translator team for that specific country (as you mentioned). I was thinking if they are just using a Google Translator than we can RSS feed posts into the copies of the sites.

    Hello @inventivewebdesign, you are more than welcome, and my sincere apologies for the belated reply.

    The way I see it, if those subsites are merely a sort of landing pages, one-page showcase and nothing else, then I would say that having a multisite setup just for this purpose would be overkill.

    You can create those as pages and use hooks or code snippets to style them differently and conditional menus if those sites have different menus. This would allow you to have “look-alike and feel sites” that are pages.

    That will be one possibility if you are open to considering it.

    Regarding your questions, let us see here, considering my opinion is based on my own experience. Of course, it might differ from others as we all work somehow differently; perspectives may vary.

    Suppose both sites are on different domains, and you want to keep them under one single installation. In that case, you can opt by installing the theme and plugins related to the German site on a multisite, then activate when creating the subsite for it, and import the content, menus, etc., from the site to the multisite, and whence complete, map the domain to it.

    By connecting, you refer to share users? Products? Content? I am uncertain at this point.

    The tutorial Kinsta has put together is the strongest I have read online. Even thus, when I started using Multisite, I mainly figured out things by myself.

    No, it does not matter which theme or plugins you are using. However, if you are using any specific blocks in the plugin field and want to keep the same format, it would be better to be enabled on the site you are looking to import content. Content is written and formatted using the Gutenberg editor so that it will be cloned without issues.

    When using builders, especially on different sites to clone, I assume you will have to get those enabled to keep the same visual. However, cloning from Visual Composer to Elementor and vice versa is impossible since they work differently. For instance, if you clone Pages or Posts with VC design to Elementor, on Elementor, you will get those Posts/Pages displaying with VC shortcodes.

    I opted some months ago to redo my multisite from Elementor to Gutenberg. Besides the benefits regarding page load and fewer headaches with every significant update, I can clone pages from one site to another faster or even use the Gutenberg native Copy feature from one site to another, keeping it very lightweight and easier to maintain.

    Depending on your level of skills and the host you use, theme and plugins, a multisite can run fast and smooth. The topic is too complex to cover here. It covers many areas, from hosting fonts locally and possible scripts, such as from Google Analytics, the cache you use, and so forth.

    I would not recommend automatic translation. It will give more work, but the most translated organically, the better. I use a team to keep multilanguage sites, which works best for me. However, it all goes with the skills and the people available to perform such tasks.

    I hope this helps.

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