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WPBeginner Turns 12 Years Old – Reflections and Updates

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Today WPBeginner 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.

WPBeginner 12th Birthday

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 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.

Balkhi Family 2021

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.

WPBeginner Updates

Thanks to our awesome community, WPBeginner 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. WPBeginner YouTube Channel passed 246,000 subscribers

Our WPBeginner 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 WPBeginner on YouTube (it’s free). My goal is to pass 300,000 subscribers by the time I write this post next year.

2. WPBeginner Engage Facebook Group (Over 77,000 Members)

Our WPBeginner 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 WPBeginner experts are also there answering questions (for free).

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and join the WPBeginner 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, 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.

We’ve also continued to maintain dozens of other free tools like Weebly to WordPress migration tool, Medium to WordPress migration tool, our popular free Insert Headers and Footers plugin, and more.

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 WPBeginner Growth Fund to invest in WordPress focused companies.

We finished the 2020 strong with the acquisition of PushEngage, the leading web push notification software. See the background story.

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 WPBeginner growth fund.

Product / Company 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 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 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. We also recently built another school in Cambodia through the Cambodian Village Fund.

Cambodian Village Fund School

Since Balkhi Foundation is 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 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 WPBeginner.

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

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. Here's our editorial process.

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner and Awesome Motive Inc. He started using WordPress in 2006 and has over 16 years of experience building WordPress websites, WordPress plugins, and custom WordPress themes. His WordPress plugins and software apps are used by over 25 million websites today. Syed was recognized as the top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by the United Nations, and his work is featured in top publications like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, Business Insider, The Guardian, Wired Magazine, and more.

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Reader Interactions

22 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. Adrian says

    Happy Birthday Congratulations Here’s to many more, Fantastic Journey and Brilliant Site, Thank You

  3. Khan Sunny says

    Congratulations wpbeginner!!!
    Many good wishes and best wishes for the coming days. Hope you give us a better

  4. Dipak says

    Really good and helpful guides for the new bloggers to develop. You are doing outstanding job and we are always grateful to you.

  5. James says

    Hi Syed Balkhi,

    First, let us congrats on your company WPBeginner turns 12 years old right now
    we have enjoyed your articles that so much helped our technical worpress team.

    we currently SEO Agency, that provides SEO services for Indonesia ( and overseas clients who have an office in Jakarta – Indonesia )

    Appreciated you and your team hard work

    Thank you

  6. michael shannon says

    Congratulations on making it to 12 years but i can say your never going to go under because your Brilliance with WordPress is unfounded there is no one that can Beat you at creating and building wordpress software and the Tutorials that go with them you have helped me so much that i can honestly say your the #1 Person i would come to for anything on wordpress! so thanks for all your hard work and dedication to this Field and i hope you never quit helping us because we will all go under without your expertise everyday my friend!
    Michael Shannon.

  7. Michelle says

    Happy 12th birthday! I’m a regular reader of the blog. It’s the one place I have turned to over and over again to get quick and reliable information – especially when things have gone wrong and I need to know a fast fix for a website. I also use several of your plugins. The blog has certainly helped me in my journey as a WordPress web designer. So thank you for your awesome content and hard work. It’s greatly appreciated. It happens to be my 15th birthday today as well, and I wouldn’t have go this far without the open sharing of information.

  8. Henk de Heer says

    Dear Syed,
    What a fantastic job you are doing with WP beginners. I just downloaded the Toolkit but saw that it is inm pdf and unfortunately I can’t translate that directly into Dutch. I am a man of 77 years old and unfortunately I never learned before and I gratefully use the translation function in windows.
    Maybe you know a solution for this?\

    But thanks anyway for all the work you do and that even 77 year olds can get started with it!

    Cordial greetings,
    Henk de Heer

  9. Tammi L. Coles says

    Happy birthday! Thank you for providing this valuable and reliable resource. Any random Google search for a question that leads me back here is always the right path. Wishing you much success (and wishing us all COVID-free travel).

  10. M. Faisal. says

    Thanks for your article of wpbeginner turns 12 years old mean of 12th birthday read it. you have to growth of word hard with web development.

    how is possible to this time for earning more income in wordpress developer.

  11. Cliff says

    A year ago I knew nothing about my wordpress site except I pay someone to do everything. Times were tough and so I needed to learn how it works. Thanks to you I am about to rebuild my entire page into something far better than I could ever have imagined. Thank you so much.

  12. Joseph says

    I always look forward to this recap. Its always good to know what a great company is doing and aspire to be like them. Good job Syed

  13. Blanca Mejia says

    Congratulations for being an almost teenager! :) I have learned alot from WP Beginner since I started using WordPress probably around the time you started this blog. It has always been so thorough and valuable. To your continued success!

  14. Shirley says

    I left a comment on the Facebook Group page and I’ll reiterate it here: WPBeginner is the best resource I’ve found. While so many people push mindset and motivation, they forget that many of us can’t move forward on dreams–we need the nitty-gritty details of how to make it happen. Thanks for doing a great job! I’ll add that WPBegginer helps me fix things I didn’t even know were wrong.

  15. Kim.Heng says

    Thank you thank You thank you for your Amazing work in Cambodia with the building school for those poor kids thanks again really appreciate everything you & your family generous ♥️

    May God’s blessings you & your family
    Kind Regards

  16. Larry Mello says

    I love wpbeginner! I have always found it’s the most useful site to anyone starting to use WordPress. I am a seasoned developer. When taking over maintenance for a website, I was leery at first about this “Wordpress” thing it was written in. When I saw how much support there was out there, my concerns disappeared. Keep up the great work!

  17. Sheryl Coe says

    Thank you, WPBeginner, for being everyone’s first stop on the way to WordPress.

    And as for Awesome Motive… to this day, WPForms is the first plugin we introduce new site owners to, with the “5-minute challenge” they are up and running, interacting with visitors. Empowered. Even though it is their first plugin, it grows with them. Over the years, they love it more. Themes come and go but WPForms is a constant.

    From your post above, it’s clear that these awesome results flow from awesome motives. Congratulations WP Beginner! Looking forward to your next 12!

  18. Russ Roberts says

    Congratulations on 12 years of excellent service to the WordPress Community. Your suggestions have helped me make better websites.

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