Building a Business on WordPress: Weglot Case Study

Late nights, early calls and non-stop developments. Just a few of the highlights for Rémy and Augustin, co-founders of SaaS tech startup Weglot.  

Back in 2015, they had one simple idea: help businesses translate their website without the need of developers. 

With many WordPress translation plugins already on the market – the goal of Weglot was different. To create a WordPress translation plugin that would be incredibly simple to set up, powerful, encompassed SEO best practices, and one that was fully compatible with all themes and plugins.

Not an easy feat. But one that Rémy and Augustin were determined to realize.  

Where it all began

By December 2015, a few months after the initial idea was formed in a small Parisian flat, the first version of the plugin was ready. At the time, WordPress was just a name they had heard of but knew nothing about. 

The first round of feedback consisted of friends and various startups they knew. It was positive and many asked if they were available on WordPress. 

And that’s how they entered the WordPress space.  

When WordPress users first started to test it, Rémy and Augustin were flooded with positive feedback. Users had found a solution to many of the problems they were currently having with translation plugins. 

By the end of 2015, they had reached the grand total of one download a day of the Weglot translation plugin. 

Not to be deterred, the next step was to become fully immersed in the WordPress community and gain more user feedback. 

They reached out to some key WordPress figures from the French community, who agreed to test the plugin, and, liking what they saw, they wrote positively about it. 

This was a game-changer. They were in. The WordPress community had started to discover Weglot and that one download a day, quickly became 50 a week. 

This led them to sponsor WordCamp Paris, which was without a doubt what really launched Weglot. Over two days, they were able to meet and exchange ideas with many people within the community and get the Weglot name out there. 

Post-WordCamp Paris, Weglot started to get more and more users. 

By October 2016, a little under a year later, they had passed €7,000 monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Putting the user first 

From the very beginning, Rémy and Augustin had one key drive – their customers. Even if this meant chatting live with users late into the night, helping to solve problems. 

With an increase in users downloading the Weglot translation plugin, they started to gather enough feedback to start shaping the app for future developments and really understand what their users were looking for. 

They wanted Weglot to be built on user feedback. Every time a feature was asked by more than 10 different users a week – it meant it was time to add it.   

Their belief was simple. Customer support was the main focus in developing their product – it gave them the strongest link to their users. They received an unlimited source of feedback and could focus on using this to meet user expectations on a new level. 

But, with just the two of them, it was time to grow. 

Team growth 

As the downloads increased, so did the number of support tickets and need for more development. The quest to find more team members began.

In mid-2017, the team at Weglot expanded. A new developer and a customer support specialist. In little more than a year, Weglot was a team of four. 

More people meant more time for development. And, in less than three months, they had a new version of Weglot built from scratch with a more robust architecture, ready to take Weglot to the next step. It meant the cleaner architecture could accommodate updates every two weeks – helping build satisfaction for their users. 

And, it worked. Weglot became the highest-rated translation plugin on WordPress. 

Fast forward three years to 2019 and the team at Weglot has gone from co-founders Rémy and Augustin to 18 employees, with a central Paris office fit for growth. 

Product growth 

In 2018, with the plugin working well across all themes on WordPress, it was time to expand into new technologies. First Shopify then other platforms like BigCommerce, Squarespace, etc and no CMS websites.

The development on WordPress didn’t stop though. Additional features included button placement and AJAX compatibility, and a more flexible private/ public mode. 

And now, what’s next in 2019? Weglot just surpassed €165,000 MRR, and a few months ago released a universal version of its service, meaning it can be used on any website technology or platform, bringing headless internationalization to any website.

That goal of making any website multilingual…Weglot just ticked it off the list.  

Elizabeth Pokorny is Content Manager at Weglot, a multilingual plugin that offers a tech-savvy solution to manage and display a website in any language.

The post Building a Business on WordPress: Weglot Case Study appeared first on Torque.

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