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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 network wizard, improved Pretty Links integration, and more.

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

WP Mail SMTP

WP Mail SMTP is the most popular SMTP plugin for WordPress. Now over 1 million website owners use this plugin to fix the WordPress not sending email issue.

It’s a must have plugin on all our websites. Simply put, this plugin fixes WordPress email deliverability issues by letting you send emails using Amazon SES, MailGun, G Suite, and other more reliable email platforms.

We launched the premium version last year to add smart features like Email Logs, Email Control, Pro integrations, and a White Glove Setup for business owners.

You can download the free version of WP Mail SMTP or get WP Mail SMTP Pro to unlock more powerful features.

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the best WordPress plugin to convert website visitors into subscribers and customers.

Simply put, it helps you get more email subscribers.

This year we added several exciting features into OptinMonster including: new personalization workflow, A/B testing for campaign types, mobile exit-intent, new integrations for email providers, and more.

OptinMonster truly is the #1 most powerful conversion optimization toolkit in the world. It will help you instantly boost leads and grow revenue by converting and monetizing your existing website traffic.

This is my not-so secret website tool that I use on all our websites because it just works!

RafflePress

RafflePress is the best WordPress giveaway and contest plugin. It’s a new product that we launched last year to unlock viral growth on our sites.

We’ve been using it on WPBeginner and our products to grow our email list, increase engagement, and generate more sales.

RafflePress helps you turn your visitors into brand ambassadors. As a result, you get more website traffic, email
subscribers, and social media engagement FASTER without buying any paid ads!

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

WPBeginner Birthday Giveaway

To celebrate the 11th birthday of WPBeginner, we are offering an Ultimate Website Toolkit to one lucky reader.

The prize includes a Macbook Air, free domain + 1 year GoGeek hosting from SiteGround, 1 hour Zoom call with Syed (me), and pro licenses to all our premium WordPress plugins: WPForms, OptinMonster, MonsterInsights, WP Mail SMTP, SeedProd, RafflePress, TrustPulse, All in One SEO, Smash Balloon, MemberPress, Affiliate Royale, Thirsty Affiliates, Pretty Links, Formidable Forms, Wholesale Suite, and Advanced Coupons for WooCommerce.

Winner will be chosen randomly using a random generator script.

EDIT: The winner has been chosen, congratulations Sarthak Agarwal

All you have to do is enter the giveaway using the widget below:

* No purchase is required to enter this giveaway.

Giving Back (Opportunity)

As you know that WPBeginner 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.

Since it’s our family foundation, we don’t ask for donations there. However if you’ve ever found WPBeginner to be helpful and want to give back, then I would appreciate you supporting some of my favorite charities below:

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 for several roles as our company grows. If you or someone you know would be interested in being part of our fast-growing team, then please apply here.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

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Reader Interactions

413 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you for doing giveaway. I’ll also recommend to others. Waiting for the giveaway result. Excited

  2. First off all congratulations on your birthday.
    All my wordpress knowledge credit goes to wpbeginner.
    I still remember those errors when I first started my wp site. But all thanks to wpbeginner for helping me in resolving those errors.

  3. Thanks for your generous spirit in helping people like me start up with WordPress. It is very refreshing to see that in these difficult times it is those businesses who have this attitude of sharing and generosity which are beginning to prosper, as they should do.

  4. I followed the link in your recent email here Syed (OK, I was lured by the idea of a neat prize!). I follow WPBeginner on Facebook and have found everyone there to be very friendly, helpful and respectful whatever a user’s level of experience is – one of the nicest groups on FB in this regard. What I didn’t know about are the things that you personally do for the community in addition to the help you give thousands of WP beginners (and more skilled users who are STUCK!).

    Well done, and good fortune with WPBeginner.

  5. Thank you for your time, effort, and everything that you gave to WordPress development so far, Syed. Your dedication is truly extraordinary. I followed you 8 years ago and you have progressed very far. Congratulations again. Btw, can I win? I really need some of your gifts. thanks.

    • Thank you for the kind words Reza and following along for so many years.

      Giveaway is random, but I highly encourage you to enter and complete as many entries as possible to increase your chances of winning :)

      Admin

  6. Happy birthday to WPbegginners. More blessed years to come. Done all the giveaway activity, thanks…

  7. I have followed WPBeginner for many years – and it NEVER disappoints!
    It offers more detailed information than I could ever absorb. Happy Birthday!

  8. I hope I win …….. really struggling with hosting even after working so hard on the website on free hosting

  9. Happy birthday! I never learnt more about WordPress from any other site. Keep up the awesome work!

  10. What ever issues I have in my blog I can get the solutions quickly by the help of your posts. Here I can get the answer for all type questions related to my blog

    • Thank you Siranjeevi — if you ever don’t find a question – please use our contact form to suggest an article idea :)

      That’s how we come up with our content calendar.

      Admin

  11. thanks for your prize, i’m all apreciate your work and may god bless you in all work you done to ensure even people like me, with less income (i mean , low income to purchase domain as well as hosting service ) got chance to acqure your prize when it happen

  12. Just like to extend a hearty 3Thank you” to you, Syed, for all of the time, effort and high-quality input that you devote to your work for our benefit.
    Hoping that 2020-21 will prove to be even more successful for you (and that you top the 200,000 mark on Youtube!)
    Very best wishes,
    John Scott
    (‘Blue Sun’)

  13. Wow! Amazing achievements, giving back focus and acquisitions! Thanks for all the guides you and your team have shared thru this website.

  14. Happy Birthday you WPBeginner. Today is also my 15th Birthday . May your dreams come true.

  15. Happy Birthday WPBeginner.
    Congrats to the best WordPress site ever.
    Thank you for all the amazing articles you have written
    Its really helped a lot.

  16. Thank you Syed. From the day I discovered WPBeginner you have been my go-to for nearly all those 11 years. I’m of the pre-digital generation – coming up to 70, didn’t grow up with internet – and you make it so clear & so easy. I’ve crafted & run a dozen sites now thanks to your great articles, advice and generous help. Wishing you & your family al the very best in the years to come.

  17. Congrats wpbegginner team for your success by the way the shareable link wasn’t getting copied had to manually copy it

  18. I always appreciate your blog posts. Often I learn something, other times I confirm what I (mostly) already knew.

    Here’s to the next 11 years!

  19. Congratulations on hitting the 11-year mark! I enjoy your content, the lessons I’ve learned, and can’t wait to see what else Wpbeginner will do. Cheers to many, many more years!

  20. Hi,

    Thanks ever so much for the competition / giveaway.

    Could really use a gift license to some of your Pro plugins.

    Dale.

  21. I haven’t started my WP blog yet. But thank you for this article. I am leaving it open so that I can go back to it, and go through each topic. I hope to learn a lot from your post and find a new means to earn while staying at home. By simply going through the photos of your family and the content of this article, I can really feel your sincerity to help.

    I wish you health and sending my gratitude towards you and your family.

  22. I’m loving learning how to use WordPress, it’s a great challenge and exciting. Thanks so much for this and all the help you put out there for the people who use it. Fantastic support.
    Happy 11th Birthday!

  23. Hello sir! I am just a beginner in this field…. I mean I used to eat different different foods and bake so many things then one day when my mom told me your exams are coming don’t waste your time in this and go study. I went to study but I was constantly thinking about food and baking and new tips for baking etc. And then I felt that it has become my passion. It gives me peace and I am happy doing this. I even started an Instagram page just a couple of days ago. And everyone says do what makes you happy! So I decided that I have to do more in this field. I love it and I want to get more knowledge about it and go far. Then after seeing so many videos when u goggled about it . Wp came as a suggestion then I read so many things about it and decided to give it a try. And the way you are explaining everything through your email. I am very thankful to you sir . Because there’s no one who can tell me more about this and give Suggestions. I am glad I reached out to you. I am relieved that I have came to a right place.

  24. Congratulations on the big anniversary!
    Thank you for this amazing platform for all of us beginners. Rich content and excellent advice.

  25. You’re Best! I always find your articles helpful when I’m in trouble! Thank you so much for all those articles and Happy Birthday! Wish I could be member of Wpbeginner family :)

  26. Happy 11th birthday, WPBeginner! I’m so glad I found this website – it truly is a valuable tool for a WP newbie like me. Cheers to more successful years ahead!

  27. When I do a Google search for WordPress stuff and I see wpbeginner.com, I’m confident of reading something helpful. Thank you for this resource, which I’ve been consulting for years!

    • Thank you Mark – truly humbled to have your trust. We will continue our best to create even more awesome tutorials – if you have any tutorial ideas, definitely send us an email :)

      Admin

  28. This is a very interesting opportunity for me to get a sweet MacBook laptop. WPbeginner is the best online school to learn how to do anything in blogging.

  29. CONGRATULATIONS!

    Over the seven years I have been blogging, I have turned to WPBeginner many times for answers to simple and complicated questions.

    I also appreciate that WPB offers easy-to-follow directions for configuring many plugins (something that should be on the WordPress repository page for every plugin).

    Thanks and keep on keepin’ on!

    NEAL

    PS: I recently replaced various modules in Jetpack and now have MonsterInsights on all my blogs. Works and looks great.

    • Thank you Neal, truly appreciate your continued support of WPBeginner.

      Also great move on replacing Jetpack Analytics with MonsterInsights. It’s far better and give you more insights :)

      Admin

  30. Congratulations and thank you for all the valuable information you and your team have provided over the years!

  31. Happy birthday to wpbeginner! I have learned a lot about WordPress from wpbeginner. Best wishes.

  32. Through the years we have learned so very much from WPBeginner! Your short, easy to follow video tutorials are THE BEST!! And I’m grateful you also include a print version so I can study and refer back to exactly what the step by step process is if I can’t catch it right away from the video.

    Thank you for all that you freely give to make the internet a better place! Happy Birthday!

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