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I am a WP newbie just trying to set up my own personal website. I live in a french area of Canada, so I need a french website, but my native language is english so I want an english website as well. I have bought the domains, they are structured as such: mywebsite.ca and monsitedeweb.ca (one for english one for the french version). I also bought monsitedeweb.com (mywebsite.com is unavailable and currently parked). Much of the content will be similar in each site, but not all. And different videos will be uploaded to each one, according to the language of choice.

There are a variety of options and I'm not sure which to choose to organize these sites. I understand WordPress Multisite could be an option for me, however it appears for a beginner I might have some difficulties. Should I choose multisite, it appears I have the choice of Multisite language switcher, Multilingual press, and Zanto which seem like alluring options. However I'm not sure which would be the best one for me in this case.

Then I read about WordPress MU domain mapping plugin. Can you use this instead of multisite to join 2 domains on one install? Or is it to be used along with Multisite?

I also read WPML can be used, and it appears I can use this instead of multisite to have different domain names for each language? I also read Polylang could be used in the same fashion, but I couldn't find much info on that.

As you can see, I'm a bit confused. I'm afraid if I make the wrong choice now, I will have a heck of a time trying to correct it once I start creating my site. So I would like to make the right choice from the get-go.

Also, I'm not sure the best way to go about the fact that I have monsitedeweb.ca as well as monsitedeweb.com. Will that be ok for SEO? And would I just point one to the other? Is that option possible if I use one or many of the above plugins?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

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I always use Polylang for multilingual websites. (You can even create a multisite with multiple multilingual websites!). On a network WordPress MU domain mapping can then be used to map other domains to the same blog, from there Polylang will take over and show the correct content.

I'm not a big fan of using different blogs in a multisite for different languages because you'll have two whole separate website configurations. Changes need to be applied to both.

Difference between Polylang and WPML:

WPML:

  • a LOT of integrations etc.
  • Premium plugin, most of it included in the main plugin.
  • Quite large, can be slow.
  • UI is a bit mixed, doesn't feel fully integrated with WP.
  • Also creates new tables to store languages and content connections.

Polylang:

  • Less integrated with other plugins than WPML.
  • Has a free plugin. The premium version add a bit more functionality.
  • Light weight, simple.
  • UI feels very integrated with the WP UI.
  • Only uses WP data structure, doesn't add any new tables etc.

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