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A wordpress website with bilingual setup, with three languages:

  • English ("primary language") : "en"
  • Traditional Chinese : "zh-hant"
  • Simplified Chinese : "zh-hans"

The bilingual setup is currently achieved with the polylang plugin.

I would like to have different URL structure based on the post's language.

For English,

example.com/blog/%category%/%postname%/

And the above permalink sturcture is my current set up in the WP permalink setting page. (custom structure, /blog/%category%/%postname%/)

But for non-English blog post URL, I would like to use post id instead of postname:

example.com/zh-hant/blog/%category%/%post_id%

The polylang plugin does not allow me to have different permalink setting per language, so I think I need a custom function solution to this.

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  • Please follow the plugins guides. URL Modification is answer. polylang.wordpress.com/documentation/… Jun 13, 2021 at 20:42
  • Hi thanks for the comments, but the plugin itself doesn't allow you to do different setting per language. I am looking for a custom function solution to this question.
    – Atimmy
    Jun 13, 2021 at 20:53
  • %post_title% - I think you meant %postname%? And what is your current permalink structure? Does it have "blog" - blog/%category%/%postname% - could you please add the structure into your post?
    – Sally CJ
    Jun 14, 2021 at 3:50
  • Hi Sally, you are right, I made a typo when I posted the question. My current permalink setting is (1) Custom Structure, (2) /blog/%category%/%postname%/
    – Atimmy
    Jun 14, 2021 at 4:05
  • Thanks for editing the post, but that example.com/blog/zh-hant/, I believe, should have been example.com/zh-hant/blog/.. :) Anyway, see my answer.
    – Sally CJ
    Jun 14, 2021 at 7:12

1 Answer 1

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Try the following steps:

  1. Add the rewrite rules for the <language>/blog/%category%/%post_id% structure.

    I used the post_rewrite_rules hook to add the rewrite rules, but for generating the rewrite rules, I used WP_Rewrite::generate_rewrite_rules() the same way WordPress core used it to generate the rewrite rules for the default permalink structure (that you set via the Permalink Settings page).

    add_filter( 'post_rewrite_rules', 'my_post_rewrite_rules' );
    function my_post_rewrite_rules( $post_rewrite ) {
        global $wp_rewrite;
    
        // Generate the rewrite rules for example.com/<language>/blog/<category slug or path>/<post ID>/
        $post_rewrite2 = $wp_rewrite->generate_rewrite_rules(
            '^zh-han[st]/blog/%category%/%post_id%',
            EP_PERMALINK
        );
    
        // Combine the rules, with the new ones at the top.
        return array_merge( $post_rewrite2, $post_rewrite );
    }
    
  2. The above step ensures that the URLs do not result in a 404 error, and now, we need to filter the permalink URL generated via get_permalink() so that the URL uses the correct structure.

    Normally, one would use the post_link hook to replace the rewrite tag (%post_id% in your case), but %post_id% is a core rewrite/structure tag in WordPress, so we can simply use the pre_post_link hook to set the structure to /blog/%category%/%post_id%/ if the post language (slug) is zh-hans or zh-hant. I.e. We just need to set the structure and the tag will be replaced by WordPress.

    Note: pll_get_post_language() is a Polylang function; see here for further details.

    add_filter( 'pre_post_link', 'my_pre_post_link', 10, 3 );
    function my_pre_post_link( $permalink, $post, $leavename ) {
        if ( ! $leavename && is_object( $post ) &&
            preg_match( '#^zh-han[st]$#', pll_get_post_language( $post->ID ) )
        ) {
            $permalink = '/blog/%category%/%post_id%/';
        }
    
        return $permalink;
    }
    
  3. Be sure to flush the rewrite rules after you've added the above functions to your theme/plugin — just visit the Permalink Settings page without having to click on the Save Changes button.

Additionally, the RegEx pattern ^zh-han[st] will match both zh-hans and zh-hant. You can test it here.

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  • Hi Sally, thank you for the answer. It works like a charm. Only thing I notice is that I have yoast SEO plugin installed, and when I create a new post in Chinese, upon clicking on the save button, it trigger yoast plugin to create URL redirection. Seems like when I save the post, it created chinese character URL permalink first and immediate the custom function takes effect... and since there was a URL changed, it triggered yoast plugin to created an URL redirection.
    – Atimmy
    Jun 14, 2021 at 9:24
  • Try the updated code in step 2, but if the issue still happens, then I'm afraid there's nothing else I could do..
    – Sally CJ
    Jun 14, 2021 at 10:02
  • Tried the update code, the site still create chinese URL first before the custom code. Overall, it still works for me, I just have to delete the redirection from yoast plugin, thank you for your help Sally. PS. I still need help with the other question... kindly help me out when you have time. Thank you again!
    – Atimmy
    Jun 14, 2021 at 13:05
  • Actually, what do you mean by "create URL redirection"? Can you try disabling all other plugins? Did you use Gutenberg or the old/classic editor? If you deactivate Yoast, does the issue persist? Can you show (like via a short video) the steps you took when "saving" the post?
    – Sally CJ
    Jun 14, 2021 at 14:07
  • If you mean the original permalink with the slug in the URL (e.g. example.com/zh-hant/blog/uncategorized-zh-hant/你好,世界!), then yes, I didn't include the code which disables that original URL.
    – Sally CJ
    Jun 14, 2021 at 14:09

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