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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. Happy Birthday to WPBeginner on its 11th Birthday.
    Very amazing journey and a path to be followed by people like me.
    My Hugs and all the best wishes.

    Thanks

  2. Happy birthday! Thanks alot for guidance and we appreciate your efforts in wordpress development.

  3. thanks a lot for this awesome website,
    helped me a lot, and i am still get new information from you.
    thanks a again :)

  4. Many Many happy returns of the day to WPBeginner. You have help me a lot to start my blog, and Alhumdolillah, now i have started earning from it too :)

  5. Hi,

    I have been using wpbeginner since 2013. Its been a long time to follow wpbeginner to learn wordpress. There are tons of tutorial Websites nowadays. But Wpbeginner is giving top notch helpful tutorial when there were no other sites like this. I have started the blog, and setup all my wordpress sites using ur guides.

    The big thing i feel is that wpbeginner tutorial are never be like for any fake affiliate promotion. Your guides and instructions are always real without any doubt. Unfortunately, mostly sites out there give fake review only to make money.

    But I have never seen any fake review here to make money. Your guides and tips are always real and with no benefit for u. That’s why I always trust only on syed balkhi.

    Wpbeginner is not only a site. Its an emotion connected with us in our blogging journey. This story can be too long. But I would like to end it here. Happy Birthday to Wpbeginner and many congrats to Syed.

    Best Regards

  6. Happy birthday guys! You guys helped me tremendously as I created my very own website for the first time a little under two months ago, thank you for dropping so much of free value over the years, you guys are amazing!

  7. Thank you fir all your help along those years, I’m looking forward for upcoming greatness

  8. Congratulation….
    which plugin are you using for skipping the article or jump to a particular area of the post?

  9. Happy Birthday, Although I do not speak English, I have benefited a lot from you, Thanks

  10. happy birthday to you. don’t know when i will be able to earn my first dollar online but struggling hard with wordpress and graphic designing.

  11. This is absolutely the best WordPress tutorial blog! Helped me a lot while kickstarting my blog! (locally though). All I need now is a good quality hosting… :( no money because spent most of it in charity for Covid-19 and also I am a poor college student who teaches students for free! Yes! For free! (“Maybe” the inspiration came from Syed!). I really hope I win this prize so that I can make a website for them which will help them so much! I feel really happy when I can give back something useful to society! Wish me luck!

  12. Happy Birthday! Thank you for all the ways you make the WordPress universe so easy for beginners to explore, grow, and their in!

  13. Happy Birthday Wpbeginner. Keep working hard and provide is the right guidence and technology.

  14. WPBeginner is a constant source for this weekend WP warrior who started his experience with Syed. There was a gap and I just rediscovered you. The contest is nice, but I really just want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    From Vermont…

  15. Happy Birthday!!!
    This people save me always by their perfect content on any topic related to wordpress. Thank you so much.

  16. Happy birthday WPbeginner. I remember when I start learn using WordPress on website dan found WPbeginner when searching for how to use WordPress. WPbeginner realy helped me a lot, many usefull articles dan tips that I learn until now. Wish you all the best. Thanks

  17. Congratulations syed for this achievement. I must say one thing i was new to WordPress and this platform has been a master resource for me to become a professional WordPress developer. Each and every small thing right from scratch I have learned from here.

    Truly speaking Its not just the content you provide but the way the concepts are explained is very much clear and easy to understand.

    I wish you all the best for the future.

    • Thank you for the well wishes Vivek and do let us know if you ever come across a topic that we haven’t covered. Majority of our content ideas are user driven.

      Admin

  18. Hi Sued,
    I am a newby to your wonderful world. I am about to build an online store and am looking forward to learning from you. Your starter pack would go a long way to my success,
    Cheers, David.

  19. Hi Mr. Syed,
    First, congrats on WPBeginner’s 11th birthday anniversary.

    Second, words cannot describe how much I have come to appreciate you and your team. May this would mean something: WPBeginner is the only WordPress resource i am a subscriber to, and this is the first time I’m commenting on any blog. And I’m on the web almost everyday.

    Third, I have saved tens upon tens of your posts in my bookmark and my email. I always look forward to emails everyday.

    By the way you have a lovely wife and boy.

    Once more, happy birthday and congratulations.

  20. Awesome platform you have provided for us to reach the world. I just got to know about the foundations. That is a good job you are doing. I just learnt too about the other platforms. I have already joined the Facebook Beginner group for Non-Techs. I will love to join the other platforms too. I am already having answers to my questions on the Facebook group.
    Thank you for all the good work.

  21. I especially appreciated your work and helps as a newbie website creator. Still so much to learn. Thank you!

  22. Your site is the first place I go to to get answers about my blogging/WordPress experience. I even have it bookmarked for quick access. I never thought to look for you on Facebook. I’ve joined you’re group and will be leaving the other blog-related group. Thank you for all your help, and Happy Birthday!

    • Thank you Sheila for your continued support. Yes, we launched the FB group last year after lots of requests from users. Glad to have you be part of the community :)

      Admin

  23. Okay, so this is a brilliant blog post because it’s 100% win/win. You are offering us value with your birthday celebration (and even if I don’t win, you’ve just given me a list of all your premium plugins, which of course is a huge value to me, knowing that what you create is quality, useful stuff). And at the same time, since we’re all going to click on your links to the various premium plugins, etc., you’re going to get a huge traffic and income boost on your big birthday bash! Yeah, I’m taking notes!

  24. Happy Birthday! Thank you for all the support and help you’ve provided over the years … you are so appreciated!

  25. I’ve been using WordPress for over 12 years at least, and I still find WPBeginner incredibly helpful.

  26. You and your team have helped keep me at it.
    Building a website has certainly been a test of my sanity but, with the help of your team and resources, I have actually learnt how to put something together…
    Thank you and all the very best for the future
    Cheers
    Karin

  27. Congratulations! Thank you for so much information. Happy Birthday and wishing you all the best in the future WP Beginner.

  28. Thank you for this amazing ressource you have put in place ! You can’t really know how much amazing it is helpful even for professional! Happy Birthday and more long life to WpBeginner and higher success to you Syed!

  29. As a beginning WP blogger, WP Beginner site and services have far more value than I have yet been able to use! I found this resource when a WP setup problem needed solving and WPBeginner had a solution I could understand and follow – successfully. The relief and encouragement I got from this encounter were enough to result in an immediate subscription to everything I could see from WPBeginner.

    Although the blog is still in development (sigh), which limits my ability to actually USE WPBeginner resources, just about every post, newsletter, and video tutorial that Balkhi/WPBeginner creates/distributes has whetted my appetite for learning more. And more.

    WPBeginner’s clarity, tone, and content, including especially this celebratory giveaway and the way it is presented that make it amazingly easy to follow (and do) are all consistently extraordinary. A recent (2 days ago) dreaded upgrade of my not-yet-launched website to PHP 7.3 resulted in several MAJOR changes to the way the site looks (font size reductions, removed images, etc) that now require many, many fixes, thereby pushing the launch date back even further. Oy vey! I am hopeful that the resources WPBeginner provides will make the fixing process smoother, quicker, and less painful than currently imaginable. Begun today (while visiting WPB’s YouTube channel – of which I was already a subscriber – for this giveaway submission), my WPBeginner search for those answers is on.

    Quite simply, there is immense thankfulness and gratitude over here for EVERYTHING WPBeginner does. So glad you exist!

    • Thank you for sharing your WPBeginner journey and keep up the work towards launching your site. Let us know where we can help as we’d be happy to do so :)

      Admin

  30. Happy birthday to the best learning platform in the world.
    May God continue to establish you all and more wisdom and knowledge to continue to impact others.

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