Our Contribution to the WordPress Spanish Community

Published in Community.

Nelio Software is a small start-up based in Barcelona, focused on offering WordPress services and products. One of the things that better define who we are is our passion and enthusiast. We love what we do, and we love doing our work on top of WordPress. You could say we’re WordPress enthusiasts. Otherwise, we wouldn’t offer WordPress-based services solely, would we?

We believe that one can make a living with WordPress! And you know what? We are! Our conversion rate optimization service, which has been designed for WordPress from scratch, has become our main source of income. WordPress is helping us so much that we feel like we have to give something back to it. In fact, contributing to WordPress as much as we can is one of our goals as a company, and that’s something we already talked about when we discussed Nelio’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Today I want to focus on our local community—the Spanish WordPress Community—and our contributions there. We’re located in Barcelona, one of the most beautiful cities all over the globe and, as it turns out, a perfect place for entrepreneurship. During the past months, we’ve been attending several WordPress-related events here in Spain. We met some new friends, helped people (as far as we could), and contributed to WordPress and its adoption in Spain. To be honest, the WordPress Community in Spain is blossoming. The roots were watered thoroughly some years ago by a small group of WordPress lovers and contributors. And today we’re happy to see the arrival of a (hopefully long) spring season.

In the following, I’ll try to summarize some of the most relevant actions we performed as a small company to participate and contribute to our local WordPress community. If you’re in a position similar to ours, you should consider doing the same. I’ll tell you why at the end of the article 😉

Local Events

The WordPress ecosystem in Spain is more active day after day. New local communities have been born recently in cities like Bilbao or regions like Cantabria. That’s a clear indicator of the growing interest WordPress is producing in the web professionals around Spain. From monthly meetups, where a bunch of people share their thoughts on a specific topic related to WordPress, to official WordCamps that involve hundreds of attendees, there’s a wide range of events in which you can contribute in many ways.

Me and David (right) at Contributor Day in WordCamp Barcelona.
Me and David (the two guys at right) during Contributor Day in WordCamp Barcelona (we were really concentrated 🙂 ).

Here at Nelio we’ve always said yes to participate as speakers to every WordPress-related event where we’ve been invited to. In fact, we’ve sponsored some events (not many, remember that we’re still a little start-up) since our foundation. We think that’s a positive way to increase our karma, show who we are and what we do, stay out of the office for a while (just a couple of days during big events), and learn from others.

This is the list of events where we have (somehow) participated during this year 2015:

  • WordCamp Barcelona 2015 (23rd to 25th April) – Having a WordCamp here at Barcelona, just a few minutes away from our headquarters, was the perfect excuse to attend the event. We contributed as speakers (talking about WordPress migrations and split testing in WordPress) and as sponsors. In addition to it, we attended the WordPress Contributor Day, where we helped with the Spanish and Catalan translations of WordPress-related apps.
  • WordPress Day Euskadi 2015 (16th May, Basque Country) – I was invited by the organizers to talk about WordPress migrations. The event was great and attracted a hundred people from the north of Spain.
  • WordCamp Europe 2015 (26th to 28th June, Seville) – It was a great opportunity for us to have a WordCamp Europe held at Seville, Spain. Almost the whole team here at Nelio attended the event. Even David was accepted as speaker (he was the only Spaniard with a full talk), and he talked about functional and acceptance testing in WordPress with Codeception.
  • WordPress Barcelona Meetup – We’ve attended regularly (with some exceptions) to this event that is located in Barcelona and has a monthly periodicity. The goal of this meetup is to discuss a WordPress-related topic, where some speakers make a explanation and the audience can shoot questions. David has recently contributed as speaker sharing his experience attending WordCamp Europe.
  • WordCamp Cantabria 2015 (7th to 8th November, Santander) – I’ll have the opportunity to attend this official WordPress event and also be a speaker. My talk will be about the WordPress REST API. Stay tuned for more details!

With two local WordCamps, a WordCamp Europe, and several local meetups, Spain consolidates itself as a WordPress-lover country. As you can see, we’ve spent time and resources to contribute to the previous events. But to be honest, that’s something anyone could afford.

Plugin Development

As a company specialized in WordPress, we offer (at the time of writing this article) four WordPress plugins. Of these, only Nelio A/B Testing can be considered a premium plugin (although it has an unlimited free trial period). You can download all the plugins from the WordPress Directory and test them in your site. Some have more success than others, but we’re happy of their impact making Nelio more and more known in the community. Here is the list:

  • Nelio A/B Testing – A/B Testing, conversion rate optimization, and beautiful heatmaps specifically designed for WordPress.
  • Nelio External Featured Images – Use external images from anywhere as the featured image of your pages and posts.
  • Nelio Related Posts – Get a list of related posts by querying your Swiftype account, or using WordPress‘ regular search functions.
  • Nelio Featured Posts – Select the featured posts you want to show at any time and include them in your theme using a widget.

Apart from the development time it took us to create the plugins, we’re really committed to offer the best customer support we can to anyone using our products. We’ve spent more or less a 5% of our working time to answer questions and help users with problems in their installations. And yes, we did that for free. But according to our own experience, transforming angry users into happy customers is really worthy.

Spanish and Catalan Translations

For those of you that probably don’t know it, Spain is a multilingual country. Apart from Spanish, we have Catalan (in Catalonia), Euskera (in Basque Country), and Galician (in Galicia) as official languages. As I already mentioned, we’re from Barcelona. And that’s why we’ve contributed in both the Spanish and Catalan translations of WordPress. We work on the official translations from time to time, mostly when we have a few minutes to dedicate in between tasks. That was probably the best experience for us as translators, because we had the opportunity to collaborate with more experienced people and learn from them.

Furthermore, we’ve applied what we learned to our own products by offering translations to Spanish, so that anyone in our own country can understand and work with our plugins. That helps us increase the amount of customers in Spain (unfortunately -and surprisingly- there are very few Spanish customers compared to those we have in the USA or North Europe).

If you want to start contributing to the translation of WordPress of your own language, you only need to access the Polyglots section inside the Make WordPress site. Just log in to the translation platform with your WordPress.org account, and suggest translations. You could even contact the team in your country that is responsible of managing and validating translations. It’s really easy to contribute, and you’re making WordPress more accessible to those that don’t get along with English.

Spread the Word

Since the very beginning, we’ve benefited from other website’s articles and tutorials on WordPress. Yes, we were rookies on WordPress development, but we learned a lot and probably today have the enough expertise to write ourselves our own tutorials. And that’s why we started WPrincipiante.es, a website were we write about several topics in WordPress, from development to news. And we do that in Spanish to help people in Spain and Latin America that do not have understanding problems with English.

Screenshot of WPrincipiante
Screenshot of WPrincipiante, our WordPress divulgation website in Spanish.

We try to write two new articles per week, exploring several areas for beginners, although some tutorials are more complex than others. Apart from that, we’ve started a series of interviews with prominent WordPress Professionals (we call them “WProfessionals”). We interview one person per month (we already had seven interviews), and I can say that it’s the most successful section in WPrincipiante.

Conclusions

The way you contribute to WordPress defines you as a company. Achieving a high degree of confidence by the rest of WordPress companions is crucial and increases the visibility of your business brand. But you don’t have to force this. This process has to be more or less organic. Day after day. Step by step. And you need to have it in mind. Matt Mullenweg, WordPress co-founder, said a year ago:

I think a good rule of thumb that will scale with the community as it continues to grow is that organizations that want to grow the WordPress pie (and not just their piece of it) should dedicate 5% of their people to working on something to do with core — be it development, documentation, security, support forums, theme reviews, training, testing, translation or whatever it might be that helps move WordPress mission forward.

And we agree with him. In fact, if we count the hours of translating and providing support, we can confirm that we at Nelio clearly exceed that 5% of resources dedicated to somehow contributing to WordPress. The benefit we get from contributing to WordPress is also growing. More people knows our brand and our products because we spoke at this event, we wrote that article, we helped someone, or we developed some plugin. That’s a different marketing approach, focused on reputation, not on the money you have in your pocket to spend on ads.

Maybe we’re still a steps behind being able to contribute to more serious projects like WordPress Core (I mean source code contributions), but I’m sure we’re at least on the right path to do it in the future. Contributing to WordPress is one of our bets to grow our business. As Mullenweg said, we want to grow the WordPress pie at the same time we eat a piece. The time will say whether we are right or not.

Featured image by Katina Rogers

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