Announcing Hexagone

2015 will be a transformative year for language support in WordPress. The majority of new WordPress installs are now in languages other than English. New APIs are in the works for wordpress.org which should make translation easier, and new features in WordPress core will add better support for those languages. But what I’m really excited for is the eco-system in those other languages to grow.

Matt Mullenweg alluded to this at WordCamp Europe, “Personally, I am far and away most excited about the internationalization improvements, because the fact that WordPress has that many users at all in these other languages where there’s not very much documentation, no plugins, very few themes, it’s kind of amazing.”

Which brings me to a new project I’ve been working on with a partner based in France…

Hexagone

Over the past couple months Fx Benard started helping me with translation workflows and French translations for a number of themes I’ve built.

However, even if a theme or plugin is translated into a different language (like French), there’s still a major hurdle for someone seeking support and documentation. So, I pitched the idea of starting a theme shop based in entirely in French to Fx.

All the products, documentation, support and marketing would cater entirely to French speakers. We both thought this would be something that could benefit the international WordPress community.

What is Hexagone?

We’re hoping Hexagone will become the best source for WordPress themes and tutorials in French. There aren’t too many companies in this space yet, and we’re hoping a great company that’s devoted the ideals of open-source can do well. There’s 75 million native speakers of French and about 338 million total.

We’re planning to launch with two paid themes and two free themes. Over time, we’ll be releasing more. If it takes off, we’d love to hire some writers and developers to work with us full-time.

The name “Hexagone” is purposefully non-specific. We’re focused on themes now, but wanted to leave it open to move into plugins or services as a later point. Due to its shape, France is sometimes referred to as “l’Hexagone”- but really, it’s just a good name, has excellent branding potential, and the domain was available.

How We Built It

Fx and I spent a couple months putting the site together (in addition to all our other projects and freelance work). I wrote up details how the site came together and what technology is powering it. You can find that in English on here, or in French on Hexagone.

Help Us Grow

If you’re interested in French language tutorials and products, sign up for our newsletter (sign up in the sidebar)! Also, let us know what products you’re especially looking for.

If you’ve written great WordPress tutorials or guides in English, we’d love to have your permission to translate them into French (with credits to the original).

Check it Out

We’re both very excited about this project. You can view the new site at Hexagone.io and our announcement post (in French). Let us know what you think!

About Devin

I'm a WordPress developer based in Austin, Texas. I run a little theme shop called DevPress and work for a startup called Cratejoy. Find me on twitter @devinsays.

4 Responses

  1. Like I mentioned on Twitter, I think this is a really smart move and I love the name! I’m working on a WordPress project myself and I would love to see some of the themes / plugins / tutorials I will be creating translated in French. I’ll get in touch when I launch.

  2. I’m also pretty excited about the internationalization improvements to WordPress and I’m excited to see how this technology takes off in other countries and improves the overall Internet experience for millions (billions?) of users!

    I have lived in South Korea for the past 8 years and the Internet here (for at least the last 8 years) has been cursed with Flash-heavy websites and ActiveX. In fact, it wasn’t until last year when Microsoft announced that they were dropping support for WinXP that people actually thought it might be time to update that old IE6 browser (yes, many of the Korean banking/shopping/portal/etc sites relied on using IE6 for years).

    I’ve had a strong desire to help change the way sites were built in Korea ever since I arrived, and now with the growth of WordPress internationally, I can see a great opportunity to improve the web here, as well as in other Asian countries.

    So, as I develop my plugins and themes, I’m also working on translating them all into Korean like you’re doing into French. But it’s no easy task – I’m only an Intermediate level speaker yet. Still, if I live in Korea longer and become fluent in the language, I’d love to release everything I do dual-lingually.

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