As more ways are growing to connect with people online, the world keeps getting smaller and smaller. Distance is no longer a hindrance in reaching out to your audience and marketing your business.
However, there’s still a barrier of language that some people have to overcome. You cannot communicate your brand to people if they don’t understand what you’re saying.
Nonetheless, with the available technology at our hands, all it takes is for someone to close the gap to ensure that language is no longer an obstacle that prevents people from connecting with each other.
That’s what the guys at Weglot did.
In this post, I got to interview Weglot CEO Augustin Prot about their product and how people can use it to their advantage. Also, you will learn the importance of customer feedback, which is crucial in helping your brand grow and improve over time.
Interview with Augustin Prot of Weglot about the Importance of Customer Feedback
1. Tell us a little about yourself – who you are, what you do, your background, what you enjoy doing outside of work.
I’m Augustin, the CEO and co-founder of Weglot, a translation solution for WordPress, which is also available for other web technologies.
Prior to Weglot, I worked in finance by doing mergers and acquisitions. This is quite far away from the tech world 🙂 . Outside of work, I love spending time with family and friends, playing sports.
2. What was your journey that got you to where you are now? Was there a learning curve from working at a bank to becoming a WordPress plugin founder?
Meeting Rémy, the CTO and the other co-founder of Weglot, got me here. The original idea came out of his frustration while developing the website of the first startup he co-founded. Back then, whenever he experienced a technical challenge, he found an easy-to-use, no-brainer solution:
- Payment — Stripe
- Email — SendGrid
- Research — Algolia
- Hosting — AWS
But when he wanted to translate the website, he did not find such a solution. So after shutting down his first startup, he decided to create a solution to solve this pain. At first, it was a JS snippet to be manually added in HTML by users but we quickly got two main pieces of feedback:
- JS is not well crawled by search engines, so it’s not SEO-friendly.
- How do I add the JS snippet to my WordPress website? Do you have a WordPress plugin?
That’s how we discovered WordPress (end of 2015) and found out that by developing a dedicated WordPress plugin we could offer:
- a super easy way to add Weglot for users to get a translated website up and running in five minutes without coding.
- an SEO-optimised solution for translated versions to make sure that Google sees and ranks the translated pages.
There was a huge learning curve and my best teachers were our users. With Rémy, we handled customer support 90% of our days for almost a year (support was and is in the DNA of Weglot), so I had to quickly ramp up to answer technical questions.
3. How did you get to know about WordPress? And what interests you about this platform the most compared to other CMSs?
As explained before, we discovered WordPress via our first user feedback and requests. They literally told us, “Hey, you seem to have a great solution! How do I put it in my WordPress site? Do you have a plugin to do that?”
I think the true singularity of WordPress is that it’s open source AND massively used by technical AND non-technical people.
And we made it possible because of – or should I say thanks to – the community. It’s a huge, engaged, worldwide community with global and local reach, with a true welcoming and kind spirit. I did not see that anywhere else so far.
4. How did Weglot come to be? What sparked the idea for you guys to offer WordPress multilingual services?
It’s the magic combination of my partner and Weglot co-founders (Rémy) idea to solve the pain he experienced with feedback from users. Weglot came from a pain, a gap not filled by any service at this time: an easy-to-use turnkey solution to make any website multilingual.
5. Talk to us about how Weglot can automatically translate the website’s text into any language the user wants. How much is put into building this feature? And can users rely on the translations to be accurate and correct?
Weglot solves two pains:
- Technical – In minutes, you can install the Weglot plugin and the website is available in the languages you selected. Weglot detects all the content, creates URLs for each translated version, and makes sure search engines such as Google indexes and ranks the translated pages.
- Content – Our tool provides the best resources to manage translations. A first layer of machine translations by default, the quality is impressive today, sure if you have a specific corporate voice (with humour for example), it needs to be refined, checked, and adjusted. That’s why you can edit and adjust translations in real-time directly from the Weglot account or even invite people to do it for you.
6. As a cloud-based WordPress plugin, what benefits does Weglot have compared to local plugins?
It has several key benefits compared to local plugins:
- No interference with the WordPress back-end, meaning no slowdowns or new entries in the database.
- Possibility to give access to translations without giving access to the whole WordPress admin.
- No compatibility issues.
- Product updates (not the plugin itself) are done regularly, users do not see it
7. Do you think content creators should take advantage of multilingual translation even if they target an English-speaking audience or people who are native English speakers?
Adding translations on a website is a growth lever to increase traffic and conversion and improve the visitors experience. So if the purpose of a website is to only serve and reach English-speaking audiences, I would not see why they should translate their website.
Now, if they’re looking to increase their audience outside of their original “market,” they should definitely start translating their content.
8. With over thousands of WordPress plugins available for download (free or paid), what do you think is that thing that makes a plugin stand out from the rest?
I think reviews, number of installs, date of latest update and a general pro look & feel are key to stand out.
9. Aside from using your plugin, any tips for site owners on how to optimize their WordPress websites?
Sure 🙂 , update it and use great performance optimization tools such as WP Rocket for the cache.
10. How did you manage to get Weglot to reach this level of success? What do you think are the core values that founders need to survive in this industry?
I think listening to customers to improve our product is the key which resulted in making the user experience much better. The goal is to let users see the value of your product very quickly without paying anything. If the value is there for them, paying for it is natural and they also might refer the product around them.
11. What are your productivity hacks in order to do what you do and keep moving forward?
I’m not the best for these types of tips but here are a couple:
- avoid doing too many meetings.
- choose a dedicated time slot to go through your emails.
- turn off Slack notifications at least an hour a day.
- make to do list and get it done
12. Any words of motivation for our readers?
Build and ship fast to get usage and users!
13. Who else do you think we should reach out to for an interview?
Jonathan from WP Rocket 🙂
What’s clear from my interview with Augustin about Weglot is the value that customer feedback does to make your product better.
Customers don’t exist just to help you make money. Those who leave feedback and criticism about your brand shows that they’re invested in what you’re doing. Else, why would they even bother giving out their opinion about your tool?
Therefore, if you want your business to succeed, then you need to mobilize your early adopters and listen to what they think. In the end, both you and them can work together to create a better business that benefits both.
And if you don’t have early adopters yet, then it’s time you give Weglot a chance. By translating your website into different languages, you can help more people understand your brand and generate more customers in that case!
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