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WPBeginner Turns 8 Years Old – Reflections and Updates

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Today is July 4th which means WPBeginner is officially 8 years old — feels unreal to type this!

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 turns 8

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.

Personal Updates

New Dad life — Solomon is 8 months old and is quite fun. I used to think that I was good at delegating, but I think being a parent has forced me to push it to a new level.

Solomon Balkhi

Completely out of the blue, I got invited to have dinner with the United States Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. The dinner was held at the Treasury building, and it was humbling to be in the company of several national leaders and top entrepreneurs like Shahid Khan, the owner of Jacksonville Jaguars.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Dinner

I also received the Technology Award from the Pakistani News Channel (GeoTV) where I sat down and got to chat with the new Ambassador of Pakistan for United States.

GeoTV Award

WPBeginner Updates

Thanks to you all, WPBeginner has continued to grow in double-digit percentage (year over year). There have been several notable updates from last year, that I’d like to highlight.

1. New WPBeginner Redesign

In November 2016, we launched our new website design. It came with a lot of improvements, most importantly: our mega guides which I promised in the last year’s update.

We now have comprehensive guides on how to speed up WordPress, improve WordPress security, boost WordPress SEO, how to create an online store, how to make a website, and more.

We are working on creating more mega guides in the coming months.

2. Better WPBeginner Infrastructure

Since the redesign, I have gotten several emails asking about the secrets behind WPBeginner’s fast speed.

WPBeginner Speed

The answer is: infrastructure.

As WPBeginner grows, we need to continuously invest in our server infrastructure. This past year, I worked with the team at HostGator to build a completely custom infrastructure for WPBeginner that’s spread across multiple data-centers to ensure high availability.

I have been a HostGator customer since 2007, and WPBeginner has been hosted with them since day 1 (see my full HostGator review). I want to thank David, Patrick, Matt, Yannis, Chris, Taylor, Mike, Alfred, and the entire team that helped with the upgrade.

We are using Sucuri as our firewall, and MaxCDN as our CDN provider both of which play a tremendous role in our overall website speed.

Last but not least, we’re using DNSMadeEasy as our DNS provider because they’re one of the fastest in the industry.

3. WPBeginner on YouTube

Our YouTube channel has continued to prosper as we add new videos every week. We now have over 62,000 subscribers and 8.2 million video views (this is double what we had last year).

If you haven’t subscribed yet, then please go ahead and subscribe to WPBeginner on YouTube (it’s free). My goal is to pass 100,000 subscribers by the time I write this post next year.

4. Weekly Showcases

Over the last several years, we have continuously gotten requests for theme showcases. That’s why this year, we made it a goal to do weekly showcases on Fridays.

So far it has worked out great, and we look forward to doing more showcases.

Product Updates

Just about every week, I get an email from a reader saying: “I didn’t know WPBeginner was behind that product”. Now we even have a products page in the main menu.

Our suite of WordPress plugins are now running on over 3 million websites. Below are some of the most notable updates:


We launched WPForms, a drag & drop form builder last year with a goal to make the most beginner friendly WordPress form plugin. I think we’re doing a pretty darn good job.

It has passed over 1.1 million downloads and is actively running on over 300,000 websites. Best part is that we have an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 with over 652 five-star reviews.

You can download it for free from the WPForms website or from the plugins directory.

Please give it a try, so you can see why so many people love it!


Last year, we acquired the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress from Yoast and rebranded it to MonsterInsights. I’m really proud of the updates that we have made specially the Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking, Affiliate link tracking, and more.

If you’re a serious business owner, then check out the MonsterInsights Pro version because it will help you unlock really valuable data in your Google Analytics, so you can take your business to the next level.


OptinMonster is our flagship product, and we recently announced version 4.0.

The new update included a new dashboard, sub-accounts + permission control, better design workflow, and so much more.

OptinMonster helps you grow your email list by converting abandoning website visitors into subscribers. If you’re not using it, then you’re missing out on subscribers.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery passed over 100,000 active installs this year. It’s the most powerful WordPress gallery plugin that’s actually fast and easy to use.

We have over two-dozen addons ranging from featured content gallery to WooCommerce to Lightroom. I’m really excited about the next version of Envira that our team is working on.

Our School in Cambodia

I started a tradition 3 years ago when we built our first school in Guatemala. After building 3 schools in Guatemala through Pencils of Promise, Amanda and I wanted to contribute in a different region.

My friend Neil Patel introduced me to Bill and Nancy from the Cambodian Village Fund. Thanks to their awesome work, we were able to build a primary school in Cambodia. While I wasn’t able to attend the opening ceremony because Solomon is so young, I definitely look forward to going there in the future.

Cambodian Village Fund

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 a full-time (remote work) WordPress Plugin Developer and a Technical Support specialist. 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. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

49 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. Tom Allen says

    Congratulations, Syed.
    I’m impressed with WRBeginner and look forward to learning from you.
    It appears you have a great business.
    Very impressed with you establishing the Syed Balkhi Learning Center.
    Best regards,

  3. Buzz Wachsteter says

    Congrats on your anniversary. Your product has been a lifesaver for me. I was thrust into the job of webmaster for our organization with zero experience with WordPress or any web presence vehicle. I found your videos and immediately joined. YOU have brought me from nothing to what others are telling me is a great website for our members. I owe it to your videos, your recommendations of plugins, and your hints and tips. I will continue to learn through you and I thank you so much for being there to bring me along.

  4. Mike Campbell says

    Congrats Syed and WP Beginner Staff, you guys have helped me tremendously over the years with my business and my love of WP has grown because of your resource.

  5. Bradley D. Thornton says


    Thank you so much for your unwavering level of community support and please know that your efforts are appreciated by seasoned admins as well as those of every skill level in the support and deployment of the WordPress engine and its related applications.

    Kindest regards,

  6. Daphnee says

    Wow, 8 years! I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months, and I’m proud of how far you’ve come! Congrats and keep it up :)

  7. Charmaine says

    THANK YOU SO Much, GUYS! I emailed you personally and ask for help. The next day, I received a response from you and giving me instructions on fixing my wp-admin issues. I am so thankful for the concern and the great help you have given us. Thank you so much from me and from the others you have been helping. Happy birthday, guys!

  8. Juliet says

    Congratulations on your eight years of service to us newbies starting out on WordPress. What invaluable help!!! Also congratulations for your award, and project of building two schools – something I wished I could have done as a teacher before retiring.

    What lovely photos of your son, Solomon. He looks very bright.

    I very much appreciate the huge effort you have put into WordPress for Beginners as it is helping me to help others.

  9. Margarida Fernandes says

    Congratulations is in order. For the project and for the new born.
    Cheers and success for the future!

  10. Earl says

    I’m not new to WordPress but I am a noob to WPBeginner. Many times I’ve stated “I wish I knew about you and WPBeginner before I created so many various oppses that had to be fixed. :) But…that being said… Your excellent information and companies desire to help others has driven you to the top in so many ways. Thank you…

  11. John Blackman says

    Congratulations on a life well lived. I am so happy that you have channeled your success into building schools for others. That must be incredibly fulfilling to make such an impact.

    I’ve been using your site suggestions and plugins for just a few months, but they have already launched me on my journey to achieve and contribute. I knew wordpress was a great platform, but this site has enabled me to discover how truly extensible it is. I may even develop our platform as a wordpress plugin after seeing your success.

    Most gratefully,

    John Blackman

  12. Mark Layton says

    Congrats on your 8 th Anniversary. Using your WP forms and just purchased Envira Gallery. Your You Tube channel has answered a lot of questions also.

    Thank You.

    Best to you, Syed and your Team!

  13. Josie olivera says

    Thank you very much Syed, and congrats on everything you do!

    You have inspired me to become more that I have ever inspired to be.



  14. Sajwal Pageni says

    Congrats Syed and WPBeginner Team, 8 years passed and looking more years to learn best WP tips from you!

  15. Lorraine Cheney says

    What an amazing year, I knew this was a great resource and have been using it as long as it’s been going but I didn’t know about how much good you contribute to outside of the WordPress world. Huge respect to you.

  16. Hasintha says

    Congratulations sir, WPbeginner has been quite an insightful resource center for a beginner like me. Keep up the good work

  17. Garikai Dzoma says

    This is an inspiring journey indeed. Congratulations on your anniversary and I wish you many more

  18. Vincent Tobiaz says

    You continue to do great wonders, not just for WordPress but also giving back. What’s not to love.

  19. Garrett O'Brien says

    Congrats Syed! We have been turning to your website for assistance and ideas for quite a while — and we have never been disappointed!

  20. Elise Michels says

    Wow – what an incredible year you’ve had! Thanks for all the tuts and continuing to grow your company with quality plugins. You help me succeed!

  21. Laura M. Sands says

    Congratulations and continued success to you! Also, thank you for all that you do to help all of us learn WordPress. We really do appreciate you and your team!

  22. Alexander says

    Congratulations, Syed and the staff!
    I wonder if income from this blog is so substantial that it allows to build schools?…
    In other worlds does the blog make your living?

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