Wordpress Multilanguage

qTranslate Successors – Which one is the best?

qTranslate, the multi-language plugin for WordPress-blogs,  will not developed any further. Fortunately four successors (forks) are available.

In alphabetical order:

  • mqTranslate
  • qTranslate-Plus
  • qTranslate-X
  • zTranslate

Which fork should an old qTranslate user choose? This position paper should give you some hints for your decision.

As many multi-language blogs, Hani’s Omnium Gatherum, made use of the original qTranslate plugin from Qian Qin. But since Qian decided to stop developing qTranslate I had to look for an replacement when I want to use current WordPress versions.

I took a look to all four successors and compared them below.

mqTranslate 2.9

The main advantage of mqTranslate is that it is 100% compatible with the old qTranslate and WP 4.1. That means, it uses the same names of the  PHP function calls and you do not have to alter anything if you used qTranslate before. This makes it compatible with qTranslate-related themes and more important qTranslate-related plugins. But it breaks the WordPress policy which requires to have all functions names to be different across the whole WordPress universe.

It solves some issues, e.g. after a search in a non-standard language mqTranslate will not jump back to the default language. This was an issue in the original qTranslate code. But it still have a problem with some  internal links. It will jump back to the standard language. You can workaround it by editing the URL (add e.g. …/de/…) when you create the link.

The semi-automatic migration feature makes mqTranslate special in comparison to the competitors.  This feature takes over all settings from qTranslate.

mqTranslate is still under maintenance (last modification this month)

qTranslate-X 2.7.7

qTranslate-X is WP 4.1 compatible. But the developer (has to) follow(s) the WordPress policy and changed the PHP function names (qtranxf_… instead of qtrans_…), see above. The author could not convinced the WP folks to keep the old names unfortunately. This  can break old qTranslate-themes and -related plugins. That makes it incompatible to qTranslate. But see addendum for current changes.

To bring themes or plugins to work with qTranslate-X you have to modify code in theme’s and plugin’s source code which can be time consuming. And you have to do it after every theme or plugin update. But the author is working on possible solutions.

qTranslate-X solves the search and internal link issue. qTranslate-X do not jump back to the default language in these cases.

The selling point of qTranslate-X is the Language-Switcher menu entry. That allows you to add the language switcher in one of your menus easily, just by drag and drop in the WP backend. Very nice feature.

qTranslate-X is also  under maintenance (last modification this month). The author is very committed and supportive.

qTranslate Plus 2.72

qTranslate Plus is not WP 4.1 compatible but it works from 3.9 to  4.0.1. It is incompatible to qTranslate because the developer changed PHP function names to meet WP policies (ppqtrans_… instead of qtrans_…).

To migrate qTranslate Plus I wrote two posts: Zemantas Related Posts Migration to qTranslate-Plus and qTranslate-Plus migration.

qTranslate Plus last modification was in Jul. 2014.

zTranslate 2.6.2

zTranslate is not WP 4.1 compatible and incompatible to qTranslate, similar to qTranslate-Plus.

zTranslate’s last modification was made in Aug. 2014. In the support center I read that zTranslate should be merged with qTranslate-X. Good idea in my opinion. But there is no official statement.


mqTranslate 2.9 qTranslate-X 2.7.7 qTranslate-Plus 2.7.2 zTranslate 2.6.2
Pro WP 4.1 compatible


Semi-automatic migration

search issue solved

under development

WP 4.1 compatible

search and link issue solved

Language-Switcher menu

under development

Con Link issue unsolved qTranslate incompatible (see addendum) WP 4.1 incompatible

qTranslate incompatible

further development doubtful

WP 4.1 incompatible

qTranslate incompatible

further development doubtful

At the moment mqTranslate and qTranslate-X are the most promising successors in my opinion.

How long mqTranslate’s developer can resist WordPress’ policy concerning unique function names is unclear. If he has to follow, mqTranslate will lose one of its important advantages – the qTranslate-compatibility.

As long as you do not use qTranslate-related plugins or -functions in your theme, the (missing) qTranslate-compatibtility does not effect you at all. Then qTranslate-X would be my favorite.

At the moment I use mqTranslate because of its qTranslate-compatibility.


Since mid of 2015 I use qTranslate-X. The new version workaround the qTranslate incompatibility very nicely and runs very stable. There were no problems observed even after updating/upgrading WordPress many times since then.


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