NEWS

WPBeginner Turns 11 Years Old – Reflections and Updates (+ Giveaway)

Today is July 4th which means WPBeginner is officially 11 years old. We’ve come a long way :)

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.

Bonus: I’m also doing a Website Toolkit giveaway which includes a Macbook Air, Free domain + Hosting, and my favorite premium WordPress plugins.

WPBeginner 11th Birthday

Since this is a long article, you can easily skip to the section you’re most interested in:

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 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 and use the Start Here page to get the most out of WPBeginner.

Personal Updates

My son, Solomon, is now 3.5 years old. He’s growing up fast, and he now even suggests keywords that I should mention in my email newsletters to WPBeginner audience.

Since the last WPBeginner anniversary post, we travelled to Turkey, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Pakistan, Mexico, and several places in US.

Balkhi Family Photo Collage

Of course all of our travels came to a stop in February due to COVID-19. We’ve been staying home and spending a lot of family time.

I’ve also been working a lot during this lockdown – focusing on creating more content as well as revamping various product features.

If you didn’t get a chance to read my 2019 recap, I highly recommend checking it out on my personal blog where I share lessons learned from last year.

WPBeginner Updates

Thanks to our awesome community, WPBeginner has continued to grow in double-digit (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. We launched Three New Free Business Tools

Since last year, we have launched 3 new free business tools to help you do more with WordPress.

The first is a smart business name generator to help you find brandable company name ideas with available domains, so you can start your online business idea.

The second is a WordPress theme detector that helps you find out what WordPress theme your competitor’s website is using. Simply put, if you have ever wondered what WordPress theme a website is using, this tool can help you find that.

Last but not least, we launched a free WordPress Call Button plugin to help you easily add a click to call button on your website.

2. WPBeginner Engage Facebook Group is now Over 48,000 Members

WPBeginner Engage - Facebook Group

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we launched the WPBeginner Engage Facebook group to offer WordPress help for non-techy users.

This was something that a lot of you had been asking for, and I’m extremely pleased with the progress thus far. We now have over 48,000+ members in our Facebook group, and I believe it’s now 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 motivated website owners like yourself.

Aside from peer-to-peer support and knowledge sharing, we also do monthly giveaways, have exclusive video content from myself, and our WPBeginner experts are also there answering questions (for free).

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and join the WPBeginner Facebook Group. I look forward to connecting with you :)

3. WPBeginner YouTube Channel Now Has 191,000+ subscribers

Our WPBeginner YouTube channel passed 191,000+ subscribers, and I believe we will pass 200k 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.

For example, you can watch our playlists to learn how to Make Money Online, learn WordPress SEO, and more.

WPBeginner Playlists on YouTube

We are also doing monthly State of WPBeginner videos where we share what’s happening in the WordPress ecosystem, summary of Awesome Motive products, and more.

Also I’m personally making more appearances on the channel in the interview style videos.

If you’ve not subscribed to our YouTube channel yet, it’d mean the world to me if you can subscribe and hit the bell button, so we can pass the 200,000 goal.

4. We switched our WordPress hosting to SiteGround (Google Cloud)

Last year, I was extremely excited about our private cloud hosting platform that we built, but it led to many complexities.

That’s why earlier this year, we switched WPBeginner hosting to SiteGround Enterprise (which is powered by Google Cloud).

I wrote about 6 reasons why we switched to SiteGround.

If you’re looking to switch hosts, I highly recommend SiteGround – their customer service and new tech platform is really robust.

5. New Acquisitions & Investments (All in One SEO, Smash Balloon, & more)

As you know, two years ago I created the WPBeginner growth fund to invest in WordPress focused companies.

This past year, I’m proud to welcome the following companies to our family of products:

All in One SEO Pack is the original WordPress SEO plugin used by over 2 million websites. In January, we acquired AIOSEO to bring it under the Awesome Motive umbrella, and I’m working with the team to build tons of amazing SEO features to help you rank higher.

If you’re looking for a SEO plugin, try AIOSEO – there’s a free version available here as well.

Smash Balloon offers the most popular social media feeds plugin for WordPress. Over 1.3 million websites use Smash Balloon plugins to display their social media content.

If you’re looking to create and display custom Instagram photo feeds, Facebook feeds, Twitter feeds, and YouTube feeds, then there’s no better plugin that Smash Balloon. There’s a free version for all four plugins that you can try.

I also invested in Rymera Web, the parent company behind Wholesale Suite and Advanced Coupons for WooCommerce. These are extremely useful plugins for WooCommerce store owners.

Product Updates

One of the questions that I often get asked via our contact form is what is WPBeginner’s income, and how does WPBeginner 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 15 million websites.

WPForms

WPForms is our drag & drop WordPress form builder plugin that’s now being used by over 3 million websites.

Since last July, WPForms has launched numerous exciting features including integrations for Authorize.net (payment forms), ActiveCampaign (CRM), WPML (translations), smart access controls (security), and improved Entry management.

Aside from that, they also added many powerful form fields like multiple file uploads, number slider, text limits, improved reCAPTCHA, etc.

You can download the free version of WPForms or get WPForms Pro to unlock even more powerful features.

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the most popular WordPress analytics plugin. Over 2 million website owners use MonsterInsights to see the stats that matter right inside the WordPress dashboard.

Since last July, MonsterInsights has added smart analytics features such as Email Summaries, PDF export for reports, smart date range, multi-site