The WordPress community is worldwide. It reaches every corner of the globe. It makes sense when you consider the software’s market share.
The community’s size and scope are heartening on one hand. It demonstrates the power and popularity of WordPress. But it also presents a unique challenge to product makers.
How do you communicate with such a diverse audience? The language barrier can be steep for those not fluent in English. Plus, there’s an entire world of other languages to think about. What about them?
Here’s a look at the international flavor of WordPress. Along the way, we’ll share tips for connecting with users all over the map.
English Dominates, but WordPress Users Are Everywhere
English is the predominant language for WordPress content. For instance, it’s the most common language (71%) used on WordPress.com. Spanish comes in second place with 4.7%.
Granted, WordPress.com is only one part of the community. They host a fraction of the overall WordPress installations. However, over 120 languages are represented on their servers.
WordPress.org also produces compelling stats. It says English dialects are the primary language on over 48% of installs.
English may receive top billing. But WordPress is used in many non-English speaking locales.
WordCamp events are a prime example. Events have taken place in 65 countries on six continents.
Some product makers reside in these regions. They may face difficulties in reaching English-speaking users.
The Challenge of Producing English Language Content
Product makers need English versions of their content. That is easier said than done for some companies. Not every firm has employees who are fluent speakers and writers. Thus, they may struggle to produce the desired results.
You can try tools like Google Translate. It works to a degree. But it may miss context or lack natural flow.
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT are a step in the right direction. They tend to produce more coherent output. But accuracy is always a concern. And there is still a risk of missing key details.
Users must be able to understand your content. Poor results can negatively impact sales. They can also increase the burden on support staff.
Automation can only do so much. Relying solely on these tools is a gamble.
Ensuring Your Content Is Understood by All
Publishing content in English makes sense. But it’s also worth thinking about other languages. Which ones will benefit your customers?
Ideally, you’ll have access to demographic data. You can then look at where your customers live and what languages they speak.
For example, what if a sizeable portion of your audience speaks Spanish? Translating your content could be worthwhile.
It’s not always this simple, however. You may not have the budget to go multilingual. Again – automated solutions may not be accurate.
So, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to facilitate better communication – regardless of language.
Consult with a Fluent Speaker
In a perfect world, you’d hire a professional writer. You’d want someone who is fluent in the language and understands your product (hey, that’s what I do!). Consider this an investment in your success.
But there are other avenues to take. You could reach out to customers and community members. People are often willing to help with translations. They may do so at minimal cost or in exchange for a product license.
The bottom line is to have another set of eyes to review your content. They might catch something important.
Do One Language Well
Perhaps you don’t have the budget to publish in multiple languages. That’s OK. It’s better to do one language well than to stretch your resources thin.
The reality is that your content should be in English first. That is if you want to reach a global audience. The statistics above are proof. Consider this your primary focus.
Succeeding here will help you reach a broad audience. That may provide you with resources to add more languages in the future.
It’s OK to start small if English is not your primary language. You can concentrate on staples like product descriptions and documentation. These elements are keys to making a strong first impression.
Visual aids can also help. Videos and animations are universal. They don’t necessarily need narration or other fancy features. You can still effectively get your point across.
Focus on the basics. You’ll have a foundation you can build upon.
Help Your WordPress Product Reach a Global Audience
People from all over the world use WordPress. That creates an opportunity for plugin, theme, and SaaS providers. There’s great potential for finding new users.
It also presents a communications challenge. Language barriers can hinder your ability to sell on the international stage.
You don’t have to settle for automated translation tools, though. The human touch can make all the difference.
Enlist people who are fluent in the desired language. They can help you create clear and compelling content.
Your brand is too important to leave to chance. Invest in it and make the most of a global audience.