Even though it has been an experience lasted only a few months, developing add-ons for SiteTree has been very pleasant. As we know, sooner or later everything draws to an end, but that isn't always bad. I write this because the last add-on left too, Multilingual Leaf, has been incorporated into SiteTree.
The motivating reason has been the wish to simplify. Simplify the way I was selling SiteTree, as well as streamline the user experience for those who need SiteTree for their WPML-powered website. Since SiteTree has gone premium only recently, I thought to make these changes early in the launch period, so as to minimise any negative effects.
SiteTree is no longer sold as part of a subscription called 'Access Pass', but like most of the premium plugins on the net, purchasing SiteTree now does mean to purchase the plugin, and a Licence Key. The latter is needed mostly to provide automatic updates. The services offered with the purchase of the plugin have a lifespan of 1 year, however this term doesn't imply you cannot use SiteTree afterwards, quite the opposite.
SiteTree is now a self-sufficient plugin. Multilingual Leaf has been integrated in such a way that the overall performance have not been affected, rather, SiteTree is as lightweight as it was before. What once was Multilingual Leaf is now a separate module of the plugin that is loaded only if WPML is active on your WordPress installation.
But What Actually Means Native Compatibility with WPML?
It does mean mainly three things:
- A multilingual Site Map: SiteTree will be able to make your Site Map localisable from start to finish. With the help of the WPML String Translation plugin you will be able to translate even the titles of the hyper-lists composing your Site Tree.
- Language information into the Google Sitemaps: the main advantage of including language information straight into the Google Sitemaps is an incontrovertible performance improvement in the work carried out by Googlebot, that translates into a faster indexing of your website's localised content. As per specifications, language information are added to the Google Sitemaps through child
<xhtml:link>entries supplied with
hreflangattributes. And to ease the check for mistakes, alternate URLs information are presented in a user-friendly fashion thanks to the dynamic XSL template built into SiteTree.
- Selective automatic pinging: when the Automatic Pinging feature of SiteTree is active, and you publish a new web page, SiteTree starts a short brainstorming session to settle on whether or not it is appropriate to ping search engines — the language of the published page and the default language of your website will be the focus of the talk to itself. Thus, pings set off automatically only if need be, by so letting your WordPress website acquire a more trustworthy voice.
A Closing Thought
SiteTree has never been more feature-rich, and the easy-of-use featuring the plugin is more and more tangible. What would be really welcomed now is an helping hand to keep the project going. So, if you have the chance of spreading the word about SiteTree, please do it.