Today is July 4th which means WPBeginner is officially 8 years old — feels unreal to type this!
Like every year, I want to take a few minutes and do a quick recap of all the major things happening in business as well as my personal life.
I started using WordPress when I was 16 years old and started WPBeginner at age 19 with a single mission: make WordPress easy for beginners.
Since then WPBeginner has become the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners.
For those of you who’re new, you can read the full WPBeginner story on our about page.
New Dad life — Solomon is 8 months old and is quite fun. I used to think that I was good at delegating, but I think being a parent has forced me to push it to a new level.
Completely out of the blue, I got invited to have dinner with the United States Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. The dinner was held at the Treasury building, and it was humbling to be in the company of several national leaders and top entrepreneurs like Shahid Khan, the owner of Jacksonville Jaguars.
I also received the Technology Award from the Pakistani News Channel (GeoTV) where I sat down and got to chat with the new Ambassador of Pakistan for United States.
Thanks to you all, WPBeginner has continued to grow in double-digit percentage (year over year). There have been several notable updates from last year, that I’d like to highlight.
1. New WPBeginner Redesign
In November 2016, we launched our new website design. It came with a lot of improvements, most importantly: our mega guides which I promised in the last year’s update.
We now have comprehensive guides on how to speed up WordPress, improve WordPress security, boost WordPress SEO, how to create an online store, how to make a website, and more.
We are working on creating more mega guides in the coming months.
2. Better WPBeginner Infrastructure
Since the redesign, I have gotten several emails asking about the secrets behind WPBeginner’s fast speed.
The answer is: infrastructure.
As WPBeginner grows, we need to continuously invest in our server infrastructure. This past year, I worked with the team at HostGator to build a completely custom infrastructure for WPBeginner that’s spread across multiple data-centers to ensure high availability.
I have been a HostGator customer since 2007, and WPBeginner has been hosted with them since day 1 (see my full HostGator review). I want to thank David, Patrick, Matt, Yannis, Chris, Taylor, Mike, Alfred, and the entire team that helped with the upgrade.
We are using Sucuri as our firewall, and MaxCDN as our CDN provider both of which play a tremendous role in our overall website speed.
Last but not least, we’re using DNSMadeEasy as our DNS provider because they’re one of the fastest in the industry.
3. WPBeginner on YouTube
Our YouTube channel has continued to prosper as we add new videos every week. We now have over 62,000 subscribers and 8.2 million video views (this is double what we had last year).
If you haven’t subscribed yet, then please go ahead and subscribe to WPBeginner on YouTube (it’s free). My goal is to pass 100,000 subscribers by the time I write this post next year.
4. Weekly Showcases
Over the last several years, we have continuously gotten requests for theme showcases. That’s why this year, we made it a goal to do weekly showcases on Fridays.
So far it has worked out great, and we look forward to doing more showcases.
Just about every week, I get an email from a reader saying: “I didn’t know WPBeginner was behind that product”. Now we even have a products page in the main menu.
Our suite of WordPress plugins are now running on over 3 million websites. Below are some of the most notable updates:
We launched WPForms, a drag & drop form builder last year with a goal to make the most beginner friendly WordPress form plugin. I think we’re doing a pretty darn good job.
It has passed over 1.1 million downloads and is actively running on over 300,000 websites. Best part is that we have an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 with over 652 five-star reviews.
You can download it for free from the WPForms website or from the WordPress.org plugins directory.
Please give it a try, so you can see why so many people love it!
Last year, we acquired the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress from Yoast and rebranded it to MonsterInsights. I’m really proud of the updates that we have made specially the Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking, Affiliate link tracking, and more.
If you’re a serious business owner, then check out the MonsterInsights Pro version because it will help you unlock really valuable data in your Google Analytics, so you can take your business to the next level.
OptinMonster is our flagship product, and we recently announced version 4.0.
The new update included a new dashboard, sub-accounts + permission control, better design workflow, and so much more.
OptinMonster helps you grow your email list by converting abandoning website visitors into subscribers. If you’re not using it, then you’re missing out on subscribers.
Envira Gallery passed over 100,000 active installs this year. It’s the most powerful WordPress gallery plugin that’s actually fast and easy to use.
We have over two-dozen addons ranging from featured content gallery to WooCommerce to Lightroom. I’m really excited about the next version of Envira that our team is working on.
Our School in Cambodia
I started a tradition 3 years ago when we built our first school in Guatemala. After building 3 schools in Guatemala through Pencils of Promise, Amanda and I wanted to contribute in a different region.
My friend Neil Patel introduced me to Bill and Nancy from the Cambodian Village Fund. Thanks to their awesome work, we were able to build a primary school in Cambodia. While I wasn’t able to attend the opening ceremony because Solomon is so young, I definitely look forward to going there in the future.
Thank You Everyone
I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us in this journey. I really do appreciate all of your retweets, personal emails, content suggestions, and the in-person hugs / interactions at the events.
You all are AMAZING and without you, there is no WPBeginner.
I look forward to another solid year ahead of us.
Founder of WPBeginner
P.S. We’re hiring a full-time (remote work) WordPress Plugin Developer and a Technical Support specialist. If you or someone you know would be interested in being part of our fast-growing team, then please apply here.