Wonderful people smarter than me,

  • I created a multilingual site on Joomla 3.2.3 running PHP 5.5.12 and mySQL 5.6.17 using a Shape 5 template with vertex. Virtuemart 3.0.0 is also installed on the site. The two languages are English and simplified Chinese.
  • I installed the required languages. (including Virtuemarts translation packs)
  • I set up the content languages . The default site language is English.
  • I created article categories "en" and "Zh" as well as appropriate subcategories for the articles.
  • I left the default home page to the default menu, which I renamed Main Menu All. In total there are 5 menus for each language. In total 15 menus, 5 for marked ALL, 5 duplicates for ENglish, and 5 for the Chinese
  • I created Main Menu En, Zh, and the menu module for each.
  • I assigned a language-specific default home page for each language.
  • I set all modules, menus, articles and categories to be shown only in their respective language.
  • I have installed and published the language switcher along with language filter.

After finishing this it will only display the two language flags. Nothing else, nor are the flags clickable.

I've reviewed the multilingual demo site a few times and searched this forum as well scoured the internet for tutorials and have double checked my process and it seems to be have been followed correctly but I cant get anything to display. I've been unable to find someone else experiencing the same problem, lucky me.

Firebug doesn't give me much other than to let me know a few modules loaded but fail to display anything. I get an error message on the console saying that the background image its searching for is not found. It's looking in ´rui/images/backgroundimage.jpg´ but should be looking in ´rui/benben/images/backgroundimages´. So maybe its a url problem?

But wait! Theres more!

Ive played with the urls to see if I manually type them perhaps something its just the main age that wont display, nope. Nothing but the two language flags and I cant get to another sub page.

I've tried switching template to a template bundled with Joomla and a few modules display but most is missing and the language options are non existent.

Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time and kindness.

UPDATE: Looking at my other multilingual site I realized that perhaps creating menus for each language, other than the Main Menu, is perhaps not necessary as thats how my other multilingual site is set up. It works just fine. So went ahead and deleted the language specif menus other than the Main menus, simply assigning one menu item for each language on the non-main menus.

Example being: - Main menu all 1. dresses 2. bananas 3 boots - Main menu Chinese 1. dresses 2. bananas 3 boots - Main menu English 1. dresses 2. bananas 3 boots - Bottom Menu 1. FAQs (En) 2. FAQS (ZH) 3. Chunky Monkey (EN) 4. Chunkey Monkey (Zh)

and so on. Sadly, this did not work.

Set up the english only backup of the site and starting all over again. Went ahead and updated to joomla 3.4. Fingers crossed it works this time.

  • Step 1....update to Joomla 3.4!
    – Lodder
    Mar 12, 2015 at 11:30
  • Did you try if the languages work by manually appending &lang=en or &lang=zh to the URL?
    – elk
    Apr 14, 2015 at 13:22
  • Here is the relative JSE question: How to setup a new multi-language site
    – FFrewin
    Aug 10, 2015 at 11:32
  • When you say "it will only display the two language flags", do you mean the rest of the page is blank? If so, did you enable development error reporting? If so, what strikes are given, if any? Dec 24, 2016 at 14:08
  • Also, 3.6.5 is the only secure version, now. Dec 24, 2016 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


The simplest way to create a multilingual site, with a consistent structure is installing based on the standard Joomla! installer. It just provides the right content organization and you can just continue building on top.

  • You only have to select Install Sample Data=None in Step 3, and finally choose Extra steps: Install languages

On the other hand, these are frequent tips for a multilingual site: How to setup a new multi-language website?

  • That would require starting over from scratch. Not too keen on doing that. Thanks for the input though.
    – Eric
    Mar 16, 2015 at 6:02

Recently I saw one of the blogs of Jom Classifieds to build multilingual site. They have given step by step process how to create multilingual site with in minutes in a very effortless way...Hope that helps you to refer..

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.