Support » Requests and Feedback » Why doesn't WordPress support multilingual OOTB?

  • Resolved jonazu



    I’m courious about the reasons why WordPress has no multilingual features out-of-the-box. I’ve read the official codex page about this topic ( and it only explains the how (with other plugins). Not the why.

    Maybe this was answered before. Then I’m grateful if you point me to the right place. (I used the search function and Google but I only get – again – explainations to the how.)


Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    What do you mean by multilingual OOTB? The software is translatable and changing the language is a fairly straight forward process.

    See for more information.

    OOTB = abbr. of out-of-the-box. Which means, why isn’t WordPress including multilingual in the core?

    And by “multilingual” I do mean maintaining a website (and its posts) in many languages and allowing the editors/visitors to switch between those languages.

    Actually I’m not even complaining as I use WPML and it does its job.

    I’m just curious on why WordPress doesn’t cover this in the core. Because for me it should be a core feature.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    Yes. Thanks. I know what OOTB means. 😉

    I’m just curious on why WordPress doesn’t cover this in the core. Because for me it should be a core feature.

    I believe it had at one time (long ago) but my understanding is that by keeping the language packs separate then the packs can be updated without causing everyone to upgrade to the latest version.

    If you have it in core and there is a translation update for Klingon (that would be a fun language pack and I hope you forgive my choice of example) then to get that out there the core version would need to be updated for just that language pack. That’s a lot of updating for fixing a translation issue.

    Or the Klingon language pack can be updated and users who use that can just update that one component separately. No need to release a whole version just for that.

    I’m fine with Klingon and I think we’re getting to the point slowly. 🙂

    For me it’s not only the language packs. It’s all the “logistics” in the background to manage post and meta translations for user generated content. As WordPress does not cover this, there are plugins making it easier to manage translations. (Maybe I shoud’ve used “translations” in the first place.)

    And I understand it is a lot of time and effort to make any system capable of handling multiple languages simultaneously. But everyone starting with WordPress needs to evaluate the possiblities there are of translating content (which is well described in the codex) and most likely sticks to one method to increase productivity for future times.

    Knowing that WordPress was actually a blogging system (and usually one only blogs in one language) I understand it wasn’t top priority at the beginning. But as WordPress longs for greater things, why not including such an important thing soon? Is it just to keep WordPress as lean as possible or is it on the map but there are other things with higher priority? Or…?

    As author of a multilingual plugin in WP Standalone (published as xili-language) and another for WP Multisite (network = a site = a language, not published) since more than 5 years, I will bring here some experience returns. Originally, WP was a blog but with taxonomy, custom post type and custom taxonomies, the powerful tool becomes step by step a CMS (content management system) I use WP as CMS since version 2.3 !!!. Lot of things are done in the admin side (dashboard). Basically, as I explained in WordCamp Paris several time, there multiple ways to design a multilingual website. Some are typically a series of similar clones in each language and other are unequal because different contents and not fully commun datas. The plugin must offer different ways to build the architecture, the navigation, the way were saved translation of description and more… Some plugins add lot of tables, some follows strictly the WP data model. As data-designer, I prefer to use WP as is. It is the goal of xili-language trilogy without adding tables. But do not forget… as WP tennisman, you need more than a little work to play… 😉

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    Check out

    We know it sucks and want to make it better 🙂

    After two days thinking about my question and your answers I came to the conclusion that it’s good the way it is. 🙂

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • The topic ‘Why doesn't WordPress support multilingual OOTB?’ is closed to new replies.