For any website owner with global ambitions, being able to easily create multiple language versions of your site is essential. Remember, only 360 million people speak English natively, compared to over 400 million Spanish speakers and almost a billion Mandarin Chinese speakers. There are almost 7.5 billion people in the world, so, only 20% of your potential readers and customers are in our cosy little English-speaking bubble.
The WordPress Multilingual Plugin, commonly known as WPML, is the most well-known multi-language plugin for WordPress. Amir Helzer, the owner of WPML, has announced that he is about to re-structure his pricing, to enhance the sustainability of his product. This has been welcomed by the majority of his customers but, even so, you may wish to get in on the old pricing while you can.
Under the old pricing, the cheapest level of WPML, Multilingual Blog, costs $29, you can use it in unlimited sites and the annual renewal is $15.
The old mid-level plan, Multilingual CMS, which offers more features, costs $79, you can use it in unlimited sites and the annual renewal is $39.
The old Lifetime license, Multilingual CMS Lifetime, which has the same features as the mid-level plan, costs $195, you use it in unlimited sites and no renewals are needed.
Under the newly announced pricing, the Lifetime license disappears, and holders of annual plans will no longer be able to upgrade to a lifetime plan:
The new cheapest plan will be $29, the same as before, but the annual renewal will increase 40% from $15 to $21, and the number of sites will drop from unlimited to 1.
The new mid-level plan will be $79, the same as before, but the annual renewal will increase 52% from $39 to $59, and the number of sites will drop from unlimited to 3.
An entirely new “Agency” plan, which is essentially the same as the previous mid-level $79 (+ $39 annual renewal plan), will cost $159 and the annual renewal will be $119. This will now be the only plan to allow unlimited sites.
For some people, particularly those who may wish to use the plugin on more than 3 websites, the still available $195 Lifetime plan, giving you unlimited sites, represents the best value. That value becomes even more apparent when you consider that you will not have to pay the annual renewal fee, which will be $119 on the Agency plan (which is replacing the old Lifetime plan), and that renewal price will probably increase in the future as the company continues to make their pricing even more sustainable.
Amir has said that he WILL honor the Lifetime licenses of existing WPML customers and those who grab one during this short grace period, following his announcement of the new prices. We do not know how long the old plans will remain available, so, if multi-language versions of your websites is something you might need, now or in the future, I would urge you to grab one of the old plans, all for unlimited sites, including the $195 Lifetime license, which will guarantee you free renewals for as long as WPML continues to be developed.
Compared to the equivalent plan which will replace it, Agency for $159, the old Lifetime license will make back the $195 you spend on within just 16 months. you will save at least $119 per year on renewals, probably more as they continue to restructure their pricing in future years.
For the cheaper plans, you will have to pay an annual renewal, but you will get to lock-in the ability to use WPML on unlimited sites. This is important to anyone who tends to run a lot of test and staging sites. Having to deal with a 1 or 3 site limits, and continually juggle your allowed sites between different URLs, would slow down your workflow quite a bit. An unlimited license gives you a different level of usability, even if you have just a few sites.
Again, if you think multi-language sites are something you might ever need, seriously consider getting in on the old plans, all with unlimited sites. We don’t know exactly when this loophole with close but, for now, you can still grab the old plans here: