WPBeginner is 7 – Reflections and Updates

Wow, it’s the seventh fourth. Still feels crazy to think that WPBeginner is 7 years old, and I have been using WordPress for the last 10 years of my life.

Like every year, I want to do a quick recap of all the major things that are happening in my life and in my business.

WPBeginner Turns 7

WPBeginner Story

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 one of the largest free WordPress resource site in the world.

For those of you who’re new, you can read the full WPBeginner story on our about page.

Personal Updates

2016 is a HUUGEE year for me personally because a lot of things are changing.

My wife (Amanda) just finished her PhD in Clinical Psychology last week, and we are now moved into our new house in West Palm Beach.

We are expecting our first baby (November 2016).

Here’s my most recent profile picture, and if you’re interested, you can check out my personal blog.

Syed Balkhi

WPBeginner Updates

Thanks to you all, WPBeginner has grown consistently (year over year). We have been working hard to keep adding new tutorials while making sure our older tutorials stay up to date.

There have been a few notable changes that I think you’d like to know:

1. WP.org to WordPress

At this time last year, if you had typed the domain wp.org, then you would have been redirected to WPBeginner. Earliest last month, we donated the two letter domain name to the WordPress foundation.

See the full blog post to read more details.

2. WPBeginner YouTube

Last year when I was writing this post, the WPBeginner YouTube channel had a little under 19k subscribers and had 1.6 million video views with a total of 394 video tutorials.

We changed our strategy a little bit. Instead of producing a new video every week day, we’re now releasing a video once a week. This has helped us produce better videos (as proven by engagement).

Right now we have 492 total video tutorials that have been viewed a total of 4.4 million times. We are also at 37,000 subscribers strong.

If you haven’t subscribed, then it would be really awesome if you do.

3. Firewall and Speed

We started using the Sucuri firewall, and it’s been an amazing experience. Within the first 3 months, they helped us block over 450,000 attacks. Not to mention, it also helped speed up our website and reduce server load.

If you’re serious about your website, then I highly recommend it. Read the full Sucuri Review.

WPForms and MonsterInsights

We added two new products to our suite this year.

WPForms, the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. We launched it in March and have already passed 50,000 downloads. It’s growing fast because I personally believe it’s the best solution in the market.

In this year’s WPBeginner survey, a lot of you wanted us to build an analytics solution for WordPress that’s easy to use. Keeping that in mind, we acquired the popular Google Analytics by Yoast plugin and renamed it to MonsterInsights.

This plugin has over 11 million downloads, but I don’t want you to download it YET. Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed of the plugin’s current state. That’s why we are revamping the entire plugin to make it more user friendly, so it can actually help you grow your business.

Although part of me want you to download it, so when we do release our revamp update beginning of September, you can truly appreciate the improvements.

OptinMonster (Powerhouse)

OptinMonster is our biggest product. It helps you grow your email list by converting abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.

This year, we made OptinMonster even more powerful than it was.

You can now do Yes / No campaigns, Dynamic Text Replacement, Content Locking, Onsite retargeting and advanced conditional logic.

Just watch the video below and see how powerful it is:

Subscribe to WPBeginner

Envira Gallery Growth

Last October, we redesigned Envira Gallery website and instantly doubled our sales (case study).

After that, we created a completely new gallery workflow to make it easier for users to use all the new features that we added.

The combination of these two things have catalyzed Envira’s growth. We now have over 420,000 downloads.

I’m extremely proud of the Envira team, and super excited for the future.

Soliloquy – A New Beginning

Soliloquy WordPress Slider is our oldest product, and it’s been the most stable.

But compared to all of our other products, Soliloquy looked a bit dated. That’s why last month, we revamped Soliloquy (both website and the plugin).

I’m going to gather some more data before I post another case study on how the redesign affects our sales.

But do check out the updates, the new site design looks super slick. We also launched a Featured Content addon, WooCommerce Addon, Schedule addon, and more.

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.

Syed Balkhi
Founder of WPBeginner

P.S. We’re hiring a full-time (remote work) WordPress Plugin Developer. If you or someone you know would be interested in being part of our team, then please apply here.