I'm working on an old EE1 site at the moment.

It's multi-lingual using this approach from Carl http://cwcrawley.co.uk/2010/01/multi-lingual-websites-in-expressionengine/ with English, Chinese, Japanese & Korean versions.

I have a conditional in a template that looks like

{if description_{user_language} != ""}{description_{user_language}}{if:else}{description_en}{/if}

where {description_en} etc is an LG TinyMCE field. It works fine.

However, the client wants a better WYSIWYG and so, naturally, we'd like to use WYGWAM. So after installing WYGWAM and configuring the custom fields, our conditional renders the page blank. As soon as we remove the conditional it's fine (missing the content of course but has pinpointed the cause).

I can't think of a way around this or why it's happening.

Any suggestions?

  • Even if I hardcode the user_language I still get the same issue. This isn't a problem in EE 2 which I tested to work as I'd expect. Sep 4, 2013 at 19:13
  • 1
    can't you skip the if:else ? e.g. descr_{user_lang}{if descr_{user_lang}==""}{descr_en}{/if} and have you tried quotes? e.g. {if "{descr_{user_lang}}"==""}
    – GDmac
    Sep 4, 2013 at 19:24
  • What error is showing in PHP logs?
    – Anna_MediaGirl
    Sep 5, 2013 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


I know this seems completely elementary, but I have dealt with a lot of EE1 sites that give fits and find that sometimes, it's as simple as adding quote around the value you are comparing in your logic. So something like this might work in your case:

{if "{description_{user_language}}" != ""}
  • 2
    Thanks fella. You're right although the != was didn't work so ended up switching it to read {if '{description_{user_language}}' == ""}{description_en}{if:else}{description_{user_language}}{/if} - bizarre Sep 6, 2013 at 9:02
  • Glad you got it sorted.
    – W3bGuy
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:44

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