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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. Hello and happy birthday WP beginner.

    Absolutely love your site and all the valuable information and training.

    Thank you for all you do.

  2. so much inspiring 11 healthy years, best of luck dear team and continue the best as you do, it helps us all alot

  3. Happy 11th birthday.
    I’ve been following WP Beginner since 2016. One thing for sure, it takes efforts to maintain a blog for that long. I’ve learned so much from this site. I use several plugins from WP Beginner and I love them. I can’t appreciate you enough…
    Thanks.

  4. This is a very generous offer that is a very valuable service to anyone starting or running a WP site. The sharing of experience and pointers from someone already successful and who has done it allows you to minimize wasted learning time!

  5. Wishing WPBeginner an Awesome 11th B’day. I’ve been following your articles for most of my WP requirements & have always trusted your articles above most other articles. When I see WPBeginner on my google search result, no matter if it’s on the last listing, I still prefer your article.

    Wishing you many more great years to come. All the very best… Wish & Hope one day I’ll say Hi in Person!

  6. Happy Birthday, WP Beginner.
    You do a T- riffic job being you!
    Each time I ask a question I get informed, thoughtful answers.
    I appreciate that so much@

  7. Love your site, Syed. WordPress still stumps me on certain things, but many of your videos have helped me. Thanks for all the stuff you put out.

  8. Thank you very much for all your help and support you have given me to start building my website. I never believed that I can start on my own, but when I asked a friend to make a store online for me where I can sale some cameras and other electronics, he demanded money from me. I have helped him a lot in the past also. As I stumbled on this website, I started and even sent my website link to him, he was very surprised. I am still putting in my best. Thank you very much. I don’t know if I can drop the website name here so you can check if there could be advice. I greatly appreciate you. Thank you very much.

    Anderson Moore

  9. I was thrust into WordPress when the nonprofit I volunteer asked me to maintain their website. I am so glad I found WPBeginner! Your site has helped me grow in WordPress knowledge in leaps and bounds!

    Thank you and Happy Birthday!

  10. I want to find a tutor for Media Library description. What are the rules that apply.

  11. Congratulations

    I found almost all wordpress related issue solution here, so thank you so much for making it such a huge helping site.

  12. Thanks for giving hope to an 82 yr old non-techie, who finds it hard to understand ‘Nerdese’, but still feels he has something left to give, and needs to open a website to encourage buyers of children’s adventure stories.

  13. Thanks a million for your course. I’m from South Africa, and we’ve had severe lockdowns here due to Covid-19. During this time, thanks to your course, I’ve built an eCommerce site for my mother and for my sister so that they can continue to do business without leaving home. Thanks for giving me the confidence to do this. Your course was well presented and easy to understand. I’ve still got lots to learn, but I’m excited to be on the journey. Thanks again.
    Sincerely
    Nic

  14. Congratulations on your accomplishment .

    This was a very informative and helpful post. I joined earlier this year and I am very pleased that I did. I have learned so much and am still learning.
    Thank you and your staff. Keep up the great work.

    Regards

    Salih

    r

  15. Wow! such an amazing story.
    thank you so much for your hard work and generosity to strangers. Yours is a teaching experience indeed.
    Many more successful years for WPB.
    :)

  16. The timing of this post couldn’t have been any better as I am committing to using my site again.

  17. This is a great forum and I appreciate that you help beginners as beginners not assuming we are all techgeeks.

  18. Thanks a lot Syed for the great work of art of yours! Wp Beginner helps me a lot in building our company’s website like a pro for a beginner like me. (literally!)

  19. Congratulations! Here’s to many more.

    Love thd contest. Wish I could enter them all but this email isn’t used on many of the platforms.

    It’s a great package your giving away. Good luck to all entrants. I’m sure we’d all benefit.

    Happy 4th of July!!

  20. I really needed something to make me smile today, your kindness and the lovely pictures of you with your family has done just that. Best wishes :)

  21. I’m glad you’re providing help! As a total newbie, I tried to “suss” WP out by myself & eventually just gave up!
    You used too many technical terms a rank beginner, like myself, has no idea of their meaning! Hope I’ll be able to use WP now! L.

  22. Syed, you’re a true inspiration to us all!

    Thanks for everything you’ve done for the WP community over the years, and to the world as a whole.

    Keep up this amazing work

    Yehuda

  23. We used WordPress to set up our newspaper webpage and it is the easiest and most functional site possible.

  24. Excited for giveaway hope such guy wins the giveaway who wants his dream pc, plugins and rest

  25. Congratulations on your 11th year. I enjoy reading your blogs. It’s nice that you include some personal updates. You have a beautiful family. Keep up the good work Syed. We appreciate you!

  26. Congratulations,

    I would like to congratulate you on 11th birthday.you are doing a great job.
    Please start youtube videos in multiple languages. That will build more understanding.

  27. Happy 11th birthday. I just love your positive, can do attitude. Rafflepress looks great, I’ll be giving it a try.

  28. Hello,

    First of all, I would like to congratulate you on 11th birthday.you are doing an amazing job by providing great solutions in the form of articles.
    I have a question.
    I got my hosting and domain from GoDaddy
    Is it possible that when the term is over with GoDaddy I can shift my hosting and domain to any other hosting and domain providers?
    Thanks in advance.
    Sajid Iqbal

    • Hey Sajid,

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Yes, you can always switch domain and hosting from one provider to another. That’s the beauty of self-hosted WordPress :)

      Admin

  29. Thanks for all your Blogs it helps a lot for us.
    I want to set up my website to focus on setting up a questions and answers forum on my proposed web site on my specialized Niche. I need advise on following.
    I am worried in case in this forum if I someone ask a questions which I may not know the answer, how to handle.
    How to monetize my web site and what are the best plug in I shall use for setting up this questions and answers forum.
    Regards,
    Sudhakar

  30. Thanks for all you do. I have much more peace knowing I have somewhere I can turn if I need help.

    • Thank you Deborah – yes that’s our goal.

      Whenever you have a WordPress question, simply type the question and add wpbeginner at the end in search, and you’ll find the best answer.

      If you don’t, then definitely reach out to us via contact form or ask in the group (we always do our best to answer all questions).

      Admin

  31. Sincerely very happy for you. I love the whole idea of WordPress and appreciate people like yourself who help people like me be a part of the whole wordpress experience.

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