My experience of i18n with WordPress’s plugins and themes

How do you feel ?

Translation is my main interest in WordPress, my “niche” as expert in “what you should do to be successful with your website” likes to call it.

I’m taking about my experience not how to do it, the codex is here for that, and much better developers than me have written about this topic.

I know WordPress developers are mainly english speaking, but users are NOT. Imagine and experience yourself downloading and installing a brand new plugin  and imagine yourself as a non english speaker.

Close your eyes and check out the image bellow

How do you feel ?

So how do you feel ? Lost ? You could, you should.

Based on the stats from WordPress Sites in the World and it’s only let’s make a fast and basic observation, it’s how 33% of 65 millions of users of your work can feel.

Yes you aren’t dreaming 20 millions of WordPress users.

Do you see my point now ?

In 2013, installing, or even buying something and discovering that the i18n function is not even implemented, the languages folder is something unknown is not possible anymore but it’s unfortunately a reality.

Calling your plugin the best of the world without any translation is for me definitely a lie. Same for a theme where some parts of the admin are left untranslated.

Of course some are fully i18n ready, great, big step for the users. Do you thing users gonna install Poedit on their computers and start translating… no way, that’s not what they want, they just want to jump into action.

What can you do :

  • Put your code in GitHub, many translators will be happy to create the translation files for you.
  • Use Transifex, the GitHub for translations, sorry GlotPress you’re out for me.
  • Get in touch with me 😉 i’ll be happy to help you with your translations.

My conclusion :

Developers make your plugins and themes ready for translation.
What’s it gonna take you, 5 min to read the codex and two or three more things to learn. Help ALL the WordPress community being able to use your work at 100% of what it deserve. Get in touch with translators, they aren’t machine, they also give of their time, and believe me it can really takes time for making a good translation.

It’s definitely a win-win for you and your users. Nothing to loose, everything to win.

I will like to thanks a few people who made translation an important part of their development process : Kim and all the Wysija Team, Pippin, Tung , Galin Simeonov, Joe Dolson, John Turner and all the WordPress Polyglot crew and members…

If you came to this point it seems you’re interested by the subject, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, i’ll be more than happy to talk with you and find out the way to improve your project.

And you what do you think, is it worth it ?

A few links if you missed them :

I18n for WordPress Developers in the Codex
by Otto
How to Internationalize WordPress by Remi Corson