Do enough people know IPA that I can use it instead of phonetic spelling? Or should I use both? I tend to use phonetic spelling just because it seems easy to read, but IPA would definitely be better if people would understand it.
IPA is a great tool for linguists. Most people don't know it, however, especially not readily, and a lot of people don't even have the fonts installed on their computers, so all they will see is a bunch of little boxes. I'd avoid it just on the principle of reaching more people with standard phonetic pronunciation.