This year’s State of the Word at WordCamp San Francisco emphasized WordPress going global through improvements to internationalization. This year also marks the first time non-English downloads of WordPress have surpassed its English counterpart.
Catering to Customer’s Needs
With WordPress raising the bar, it won’t be long until users and customers expect themes and plugins to be translatable and available in multiple languages. Rebecca Gill, of Web Savvy Marketing, announced its catalog of themes are now translatable and coded for localization and multilingual use.
In her post, Gill explains the thought process behind the move.
If 50% of our product sales are internationally based, then I need to spend time making sure these buyers are being taken care of and clearly I wasn’t. I was expecting this to be handled by Genesis, the WordPress core, or translation plugins.
I didn’t realize how badly I was ignoring the needs of our international customer base. And for that, I am truly sorry.
The work was completed through a collaborated effort between Carrie Dils, Nir Rosenbaum, and Gary Jones. Each theme has been updated to include I18n and RTL (Right to Left) support. Files included in each theme are:
- POT File – A file with i18n ready strings.
- en_US.po File – A file with translated strings and English strings.
- en_US.mo File – A file converted to a format optimized to be read by machines.
- RTL Style Sheet – Overwrites horizontal positioning attributes of your CSS stylesheet in a separate stylesheet file named rtl.css.
Ever theme is an opportunity to learn techniques, code, and best-practices. I believe the quickest way to make an impact and to raise awareness is for commercial theme companies to support and advertise I18n and RTL as cool features.
The fact these improvements are part of a smart business move doesn’t detract from their importance. The more theme developers and companies who place I18n and RTL near the top of the priority list, the better.