Multilingual Fundraising Campaigns with TranslatePress

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TranslatePress is a new translation plugin for WordPress that promises to make translating your website easier. It’s not the only translation plugin out there, but it’s the first that handles translation in a way that allows you to run fully-fledged multilingual fundraising campaigns with Charitable.

In this post, I’ll take a look at how you can create multilingual fundraising campaigns by translating your Charitable campaigns with TranslatePress.

The Problem with Multilingual Fundraising Campaigns

We hear questions like this fairly often from non-profits:

I want to use a plugin like Polylang to have campaigns in English and Spanish and share the donation amount.

Translating campaigns has always been possible with plugins like Polylang and other translation plugins like WMPL. Charitable itself fully supports translation.

But there’s a problem: When you use Polylang and WPML to translate your campaign, it treats the translated version as a separate “post” with a unique ID.

That’s an issue when you attempt to calculate the total amount donated to a campaign or show the number of donors. When you view the Spanish translation of your campaign, it will only include donations to the Spanish translation. Likewise for English. What you really want is for both the Spanish and English campaign pages to show the total raised by the campaign as a whole, regardless of which language received the specific donation.

Another way people tried to work around this was by building out multi-site networks for their non-profits. This allowed them to create targeted sites for each language, but it still didn’t solve the problem with shared donation stats. Donations to a campaign in one language were treated as completely distinct from donations to the same campaign in another language.

Enter TranslatePress

TranslatePress launched a few months ago with the goal of making it much easier to translate your website. Unlike other translation plugins, translation in TranslatePress happens on the front-end so you can see what you are translating as you translate it:

Translating a campaign page with TranslatePress.

One really nice aspect of this is that it doesn’t matter what the source is of the text you’re translating — you translate everything in the same place.

Other plugins split the translation up by source. Your theme is translated here, each plugin is translated individually over here, and the content of the post is translated somewhere else again. That can lead to confusion, particularly when both your theme and plugin include some of the same phrases. For example, some people using Charitable alongside Reach experienced problems with that, as words like “goal”, “donated” and “donors” are included in both translation files. As a result, you need to have translated the words in both translation files before it takes effect everywhere.

With TranslatePress, that’s not a problem at all. All the text on the page is available for you to translate, right there in a single unified interface. It’s delightfully simple.

How TranslatePress Enables Multilingual Fundraising Campaigns

So TranslatePress is easy to use, but how does it help with our original problem of creating multilingual fundraising campaigns?

Here, TranslatePress completely sidesteps the problems that arise with other plugins. Your campaign is your campaign, and the Dutch/French/Spanish/Swahili/Hindi translation of your campaign is just that — a translation. It’s not a completely separate post, which means donations to any translations all count towards the one total. It sounds like a simple accomplishment, but it’s a good reflection of the intelligent design and choices that has gone into the plugin.

TranslatePress is still relatively young so there are the occasional rough edges, but the team are committed to improving it. When I first played around with it, I encountered a couple issues and reported those. Cristian Antohe and the rest of the team at Cozmoslabs (the company behind TranslatePress) were quick to respond and have already resolved those issues.

If you plan to run fundraising campaigns on your site in multiple languages, I definitely recommend trying out TranslatePress. The free plugin can be downloaded from WordPress.org and allows you to add one language other than the default; if you need more languages or other advanced features, their paid plans start at $79 per year. Find out more on TranslatePress.com.

What about you?

Have you tried TranslatePress? What did you think of it? How do you run multilingual fundraising campaigns on your site?

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