WPBeginner Turns 12 Years Old – Reflections and Updates
Today Latest Blog turns 12 years old — which means we pretty much have a teenager on our hand
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.
Latest Blog Story
I started using WordPress when I was 16 years old and started Latest Blog at age 19 with a single mission: make WordPress easy for beginners.
Since then Latest Blog has become the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners.
My son, Solomon, is now 4.5 years old. He’s growing up so fast. His storytelling and conversation skills always blow my mind.
Amanda and I got our vaccine doses, and we finally took our first international trip to Punta Mita, Mexico for Fathers Day. After 1.5 years of no commercial air-travel, this definitely felt weird, but overall the trip turned out great.
As things are returning back to normal, I’m really looking forward to travel, seeing our team members, and hopefully attending a few networking events.
Earlier this year, we also moved into our new house. We’re still in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, but we’re a lot closer to everything in the city.
If you didn’t get a chance to read my 2020 recap, I highly recommend checking it out on my personal blog where I share lessons learned from last year.
Latest Blog Updates
Thanks to our awesome community, Latest Blog has continued to grow year over year. Aside from tons of amazing WordPress tutorials on our blog, there have been several notable updates from last year, that I’d like to highlight.
1. Latest Blog YouTube Channel passed 246,000 subscribers
Our Latest Blog YouTube channel passed 246,000+ subscribers, and I believe we will likely get pretty close to 300k goal by end of this year.
We have hundreds of free WordPress video tutorials, and we have also been creating a lot of YouTube exclusive content.
If you haven’t subscribed yet, then please go ahead and subscribe to Latest Blog on YouTube (it’s free). My goal is to pass 300,000 subscribers by the time I write this post next year.
2. Latest Blog Engage Facebook Group (Over 77,000 Members)
Our Latest Blog Engage Facebook group has grown to over 77,000 members, and we’re the largest WordPress user group on Facebook.
For those of you who’re not members yet, the goal of this group is to share and learn WordPress tips while getting to know other website owners like yourself.
Aside from peer-to-peer support and knowledge sharing, we also do monthly giveaways, have exclusive video content, and our Latest Blog experts are also there answering questions (for free).
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and join the Latest Blog Facebook Group.
3. Contributing to WordPress and Open Source
We have always been huge supporters of open source. This past year, we really ramped up our commitment to both WordPress and free open source projects.
As part of our Five for the Future commitment, we hired Peter Wilson, one of the well-respected WordPress core contributors, so he can spend 100% of his time on making WordPress better. Recently, he co-led the WordPress 5.7.2 release.
Aside from the contributions that are visible on WordPress.org, we’re now offering over 1200 hours of free WordPress support each month through our various support channels including our contact form, Facebook group, etc.
Want to join our team and make an impact on the larger open source ecosystem? We’re hiring.
4. New Acquisitions & Investments (PushEngage, Uncanny Automator, and more)
As you may know that in 2018, I created the Latest Blog Growth Fund to invest in WordPress focused companies.
I also invested in Uncanny Owl and Uncanny Automator plugin. I’m really excited about what we’re building at Automator. Our goal is to help website owners connect WordPress with other business tools without paying the high costs of Zapier. Read the full background story.
Earlier this year, we also acquired Plugin Rank. It’s a very useful tool for WordPress Plugin authors to keep track of their plugin ranking and grow their business.
I’m really proud of how far we’ve come with the Growth Fund in just three years. It’s really amazing to see the impact our companies are making in the WordPress ecosystem and the larger open web.
For example, one of our portfolio companies MemberPress announced earlier this year that they passed over $1 billion dollars in creator earnings on their platform. We project that MemberPress site owners and course creators will earn over $600 million in 2021 alone!
Our other portfolio companies continue to crush it as well.
Want me to invest in your business? Learn more about the Latest Blog growth fund.
Product / Company Updates
One of the questions that I often get asked via our contact form is what is Latest Blog’s income, and how does Latest Blog make money by giving away all WordPress tutorials for free.
Well, we make money indirectly through our suite of premium WordPress plugins that are now running on over 17 million websites. Aside from that, we also have investments in a suite of other WordPress companies through our growth fund that I mentioned above.
Our team at Awesome Motive continued to set new records this year, and all of our products saw tremendous growth.
Here’s a list of our plugins that you should check out:
- OptinMonster – #1 conversion optimization software that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers. There’s also a free version here.
- WPForms – the most beginner friendly WordPress form builder used by over 4 million websites. There’s also a free version – WPForms Lite.
- MonsterInsights – the most popular WordPress Analytics plugin that helps you grow your business with confidence. I use this on all of my websites. Free version available: MonsterInsights Lite.
- AIOSEO – the original WordPress SEO plugin to help you get more traffic. Used by over 2 million websites. There’s also a free version of AIOSEO.
- WP Mail SMTP – the #1 plugin that helps improve your WordPress email deliverability. The free version: WP Mail SMTP Lite is sufficient for most website owners.
- SeedProd – the best drag & drop landing page builder for WordPress. Try the free version of SeedProd.
- RafflePress – powerful WordPress giveaway and contest plugin to grow your website traffic.
- Smash Balloon – most popular social media feeds plugin for WordPress. Free version available for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube feeds.
- PushEngage – leading web push notification software for small businesses – helps send over 9 billion push notifications each month.
We’re a fully remote team of over 170+ people across 31 countries. Want to join our team and work alongside me in helping small businesses grow and compete with the big guys? We’re hiring.
Giving Back / Philanthropy
As you know that Latest Blog is a 100% free resource, and I don’t really ask for much in return. Your kindness and generosity in supporting our premium WordPress plugins make this business sustainable for us.
A big priority for Amanda and I is to help others, and we do a ton through our Balkhi Foundation. We also recently built another school in Cambodia through the Cambodian Village Fund.
Since Balkhi Foundation is our family foundation, we don’t ask for donations there. However if you’ve ever found Latest Blog to be helpful and want to give back, then I would appreciate you supporting some of my favorite charities below:
- Animal Welfare Institute
- Cancer Research Institute
- Environment: The Conservation Fund or National Park Foundation
- Hunger: Action Against Hunger or No Kid Hungry
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 interactions at the events.
I also want to say special thank you to everyone who’s using our plugins because that enables us to keep bringing more free tutorials on Latest Blog.
You all are AMAZING and without you, there is no Latest Blog.
I look forward to another solid year ahead of us.
Founder of Latest Blog