My 2019

It’s a little later than I normally get this written by, but here it is – my review of the last year from a personal and business perspective. This is actually the 8th year of writing these reviews!

Work

Delicious Brains

I continued to work with the Delicious Brains team throughout the year. I’ve been working on maintaining and developing the sites which sell the plugins, focusing on putting further testing in place. Working across the sites means I’m involved in some capacity with all of our products which I like, and in the coming months I’ll be transitioning to a Product Manager role. I’m excited for the new challenge.

It was great to see SpinupWP get launched out of beta and gain some real traction throughout the year, picking up a quite substantial following of happy users. I managed to write 11 posts for the blog. And we all met up in Berlin for WordCamp Europe in June which was excellent.

WP User Manager

I’ve been meaning to build some more commercial WordPress plugins for a while, and had been weighing up the pros and cons of building one from scratch versus purchasing an existing plugin, when I came across a plugin for sale in August.

The sale was wrapped up in September and I became the proud owner of WP User Manager – a free WordPress plugin with premium addons, to create an online community right inside a WordPress website.

It’s been a real mixture of work since taking it over. The plugin relies heavily on Vue.js so I’ve been learning that whilst fixing bugs and developing new features. I’ve kept up with the support load, and tried to increase revenue through smaller marketing tweaks rather than increased development time on features. There’s lots planned for 2020, but I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved so far:

  • Migrated the site to spinupwp.com 😉
  • Turned on recurring subscriptions
  • Released 3 new premium addons
  • Experimented with pricing and introduced an ‘All Addon’ bundle
  • Increased revenue by 23%

Other Plugins

Intagrate has continued to live on amidst further Instagram API changes. I’ve managed to give the site a new lick of paint, release 6 versions, change the price for lowest tier for the first time since I released it in 2012, and even though it saw a 10% decrease in revenue from last year, I’m excited for the coming year. Especially since I found out the new Facebook Graph API has parity with the legacy Instagram API the plugin currently uses. Making the plugin compatible with the new API will be on the top of my list for 2020.

It was another great year working on the Ninja Forms File Uploads plugin, improving the codebase, keeping up with support and bug fixes, and adding support for uploading to files to Google Drive. I’ve really enjoyed working with the Saturday Drive team.

I ended the year hacking away on a few plugins to make my life easier on the wpusermanager.com Easy Digital Download website, and I plan to make them available for sale this year.

Print Play Learn

The teaching resources membership site that my wife runs had a big transformation in October, when we deployed a new site design, with new copy, and new a membership structure. The redesign was one of my goals for the year, so it’s great to get that completed.

Pressing Matters Podcast

I’m pleased to say that the Pressing Matters WordPress development and business podcast went from strength to strength in 2019! 🎉

Jack and I also met up in real life for the first time (after being internet friends since 2013), and recorded an episode to celebrate our first anniversary. I’m proud that we’ve consistently put out good content, and I’ve enjoyed talking to Jack and having really useful conversations.

Personal

Michelle and I had one major goal for 2019 – to move house. We went into 2019 with our house on the market and by March we had an offer and started to look for our next home.

Selling and buying a house (especially as self employed people) is not easy and was very stressful at times. However, finalising it all, getting the keys, and moving into our new home in June – just in time to enjoy the summer was absolutely amazing. I’m so glad we did it.

2019 saw Rex turn 5 and Pearl turn 2. Rex learnt to ride a bike and started school. Pearl started walking and talking 😍. It’s been a busy year for our family so it’s nice to reflect on what we’ve done.

It’s no surprise that I’ve played even less golf this year, managing only 4 rounds. 😞 As a result, my scoring hasn’t improved much but I still love it!

I continued to run the WordPress Bournemouth meetup throughout the year with Jamie, and we’ve recently found a good format that has proved useful to our increasing number of attendees.

Wrapping Up

After re-reading my goals I set for 2019, I realised I’ve been using the goals as a wish list, listing things I want to do, rather than realistically will do. So I’ve not set any this year. I want to keep it simple: have a happy and prosperous year.

Here’s to 2020 🎉

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