With regard to the structure of a multi language wordpress site, I read articles discussing the pros and cons of a subdomain based WPMU(wordpress multisite) or a subdirectory based WPMU or WMPL plugin etc?

What about using Custom Post Types? I can use one site and segregate each language into a particular Custom Post Type.

Is there any drawback with regard to google SEO or anyother thing I don't know yet?

For example, I noticed CPTs don't have their own category taxonomy or are not supposed to have that. Does that work well with google "localization"? (since it might seem that the different languages are mingled together and served from one site)



Internal DB structure has nothing to do with SEO. SEO is all about front end content and URL structure, and while internal APIs can make some URL structures easier or harder to achieve there is no limitation at all about the front end.

This applies both to "normal" wordpress and multisite.

As for WPML, you will have to ask the author.

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  • Thanks Mark. Maybe I didn't put the question properly (maybe I need to start a new thread more clarity?). I read this post a while ago searchengineland.com/… It discusses the various options and got me convinced infavor of subdirectory WPMU for my case. But it doesn't discuss the pros and cons of using Custom Post Types as an alternative for subdirectory WPMU. And I was wondering if there is any shortcoming. (For e.g., it seems your CPTs can have their own separate tags but got to share categories with the main site) – daniel Apr 27 '18 at 17:15
  • Will repeat my answer ;) the type of software you use, its DB structure and the language it is written in (assuming all are flexible enough) have no SEO related impact. It might be more or less easy to achieve some structures but the question is too broad to get into such sort of details without knowing what structure you want. As for how easy it is to do stuff when integrating plugins, you will need to ask their authors – Mark Kaplun Apr 27 '18 at 17:59
  • Thanks, Mark. I think I got your answer. It is the front end structure not the database structure or software that matters for SEO. I am trying to rehearse this important point. :) Bless you. – daniel May 6 '18 at 16:23
  • that is exactly the point ;) – Mark Kaplun May 6 '18 at 16:48

When you choosing the set-up, remember that for multilingual sites you need to include some multilingual website elements, what is highly recommended or required.

If you use something like Custom Post Types, you will make harder to properly add proper head elements with SEO purpose, i.e. <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-GB" href="https://www.website.co.uk/" />

So, if you are asking which is better for SEO purpose, I would say, just use good multilingual site plugin which is SEO ready or get ready for some additional coding to include some multilingual SEO elements based on your setup.

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  • Thanks. That is what I noticed recently. I setup a multi-lingual site using custom post types and I found on Google search console warnings that "hreflang" was missing. I don't remember similar warning on a multi-site. So, it may be better to use multilingual plugin in your opinion? (I hope your answer doesn't assume all languages have similar contents) – daniel Jun 11 '18 at 18:16
  • @daniel Yes, "hreflang" is must have for proper multilingual setup no matter how you build it, i.e. custom post type or plugin. It's up to you, but "hreflang" is must have. If the "hreflang" is in place, then it doesn't matter is here similar content or not between language pages, because Google won't consider these pages as duplicate or similar content pages. – gintsg Jun 12 '18 at 0:51
  • To make life easier, I would recommend to use proper multilingual plugin, as it's ready to go setup and my experience is pretty promising as hreflang are in place and properly configured without headache. – gintsg Jun 12 '18 at 0:57
  • Another idea, if the website is let's say 10 pages and URL structure won't be changed much, you can use a custom field which you manually update on the content page and include hreflang tags manually with relevant links. It's just a bit more important to do it right as possibilities for human errors. As I can't imagine how to connect your custom post type pages on an easy way to create proper hreflang tags automatically. But this is my subjective opinion. Cheers. – gintsg Jun 12 '18 at 1:08
  • Thanks @gintsg. 1) I am not familiar with multilingual plugins, would you recommend the best ones, free and paid. 2) In this scenario, I am going to use a single install site? and no need for custom post types? 3) My previous question was based on the assumption that WPML is used to provide translation of a site (identical content) in multiple languages. So, disregard it. – daniel Jun 25 '18 at 16:21

I had a look at Google's 200 factors of site ranking and I didn't find Custom Post Type as a ranking factor. But maybe yes, there are.

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