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WPBeginner Turns 9 Years Old – Reflections and Updates

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

It’s the ninth fourth. On 4th of July, nine years ago, I started WPBeginner. Can’t believe we’ve come such 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.

WPBeginner Turns 9

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 20 months old. Time is flying, and he’s growing up so fast. Amanda (my wife) and Solomon have been joining me on a lot of my business trips, and we have taken several fun trips as well.

Since the last WPBeginner anniversary post, we’ve been to Turkey, Dubai, Pakistan, Mexico (Cabo, Punta Mita, Cancun), and Bahamas (twice). Solomon also attended WordCamp US in Nashville which brings his WordCamp attendance count to a total of 3.

Balkhi Family 2018

Earlier this year, I received an outstanding Young Alumnus award from University of Florida (alma mater). I also got to attend the college football game from the President Suite and got to meet tons of amazing people.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award at University of Florida - Syed Balkhi

I have started working out of a physical office 3 days out of the week. This has been great because it allows me to focus and get more done. Also when I’m home, I can spend more time with Solomon. Last year, I expanded my real estate portfolio and added a Wells Fargo building. I have created my office on one of the floors, and it’s nice to have the bank as my tenant.

Wells Fargo Building - Syed Balkhi

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. We passed 100,000 YouTube subscribers

One of my goals last year was to pass 100,000 subscribers on YouTube before I write this anniversary post. We did it.

We’re now at over 102,000 subscribers and our videos have over 10 million views.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, then please go ahead and subscribe to WPBeginner on YouTube (it’s free).

Now I’m just waiting to get my 3rd YouTube play button :)

I have a Gold Play button and Silver play button from my other website, List25 which has over 2.3 million YouTube subscribers.

2. SSL and Push Notifications

You might have noticed that WPBeginner is now using SSL. Starting July, Google Chrome is marking all websites that are not using SSL as insecure. Even though we don’t collect any payments on WPBeginner, we went ahead with the change because we value our readers security.

If you’re looking to switch to SSL, then see our step by step guide on how to get a free SSL certificate.

As part of adding SSL, we also added Push Notifications to WPBeginner. You might have already noticed the notification to subscribe. It’s a great way to stay updated with new posts and guides from WPBeginner.

3. Audit and Rewrites

One of our goals this year is to do a major content audit of our older posts. WPBeginner has over 2000+ free WordPress tutorials. We have expanded our team, so we can bring our older posts up to date in a timely manner.

We are also preparing for a major content overhaul once Gutenberg launches. This is going to be a huge challenge for us later this year.

4. Improved WPBeginner Server Infrastructure

Just about every other week, I get an email from a user asking about the secrets behind WPBeginner’s blazing fast speed. The answer is infrastructure and caching.

WPBeginner Speed 2018

As WPBeginner grows, we need to continuously invest in our server infrastructure. Our WordPress hosting partner, HostGator, has worked to build us a completely custom infrastructure spread across multiple data-centers to ensure high availability. This past year, they improved our hardware as well as improved the caching layer that we’re using on the site.

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 their entire team that helped us with the upgrade.

Note: WPBeginner is using HostGator’s multiple dedicated servers (not shared hosting).

On top of HostGator, we also use Sucuri for our web application firewall and MaxCDN as our CDN provider both play a major role in our overall website speed.

Please refer to our ultimate guide on how to speed up WordPress for more details.

Product Updates

It still surprises me when I hear people say: “I didn’t know WPBeginner was behind that product”. We even have a products page in the main website menu.

Our suite of WordPress plugins are now running on over 6 million websites (doubled from last year). Below are some notable updates:


MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It helps you see all the stats that matter right inside your WordPress dashboard.

MonsterInsights has become one of my most favorite WordPress plugin this past year because of the brand new reporting interface and the updates our team has pushed.

The main reason why I love MonsterInsights is because it helps me grow our business with confidence. I sincerely believe that it’s easy to double your traffic and sales when you know exactly how people find and use your website. MonsterInsights helps me make data-driven decisions to grow our business.

It offers custom reports for Publishers and Ecommerce sites with actionable insights that I can use to grow our revenue.

MonsterInsights Publisher Report

If you aren’t using MonsterInsights, then you’re seriously missing out. You can download the free version of MonsterInsights from, but you really need the MonsterInsights Pro version to see the true benefits because Pro version comes with more robust tracking and reports.

P.S. MonsterInsights is active on over 2 million websites.


WPForms, our drag & drop WordPress form builder is now over 2 years old. We have stayed true to our mission: build the most beginner friendly WordPress form plugin, and it has resonated tremendously well with the larger WordPress community.

WPForms has passed over 10 million downloads and is actively running on over 1 million websites. The best part is that we have an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 with over 2100 five-star reviews.

This past year we introduced a brand new surveys and polls addon, which I believe offers the most interactive reporting in the industry.

Aside from that, we added the NPS field, new Drip email marketing integration, multi-column form layout, 100+ pre-made form templates, custom form template generator, and more.

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


OptinMonster is the most popular conversion optimization software for WordPress. It helps you generate more subscribers and revenue from the traffic you already have by recovering abandoning visitors.

Our team recently released version 5.0 that comes with a brand new drag & drop campaign builder, more powerful targeting and segmentation options, and so much more.

The best part about OptinMonster is that it integrates with all popular email marketing services, so you can easily use it to grow your email list and get more subscribers.


This past year, we acquired WP Mail SMTP, the most popular SMTP plugin for WordPress. It helps users fix the WordPress not sending email issue.

This is a huge problem for the larger WordPress community including our users, so we decided to acquire this plugin and completely revamp it to make it beginner friendly.

It integrates with Gmail, Mailgun, SendGrid, and basically any other SMTP solutions. Whether you’re running a blog, membership site, or an online store, you need this plugin if you want to make sure that your WordPress emails are getting delivered.

This is a 100% free plugin, and it’s now active on over 900,000 websites :)

Envira Gallery and Soliloquy

If you read our last year’s anniversary post, then you know that we also had Envira Gallery, a premium WordPress gallery plugin, and Soliloquy, a premium WordPress slider plugin.

This past year, we decided to sell those two WordPress plugins, so we can better focus on our fast growing suite of growth tools.

I wrote about it on my personal blog: 5 lessons from selling a multi-million dollar WordPress plugin business.

One of the “problems” of a fast growing business is that you have to carefully choose what to focus on, and this decision has already helped us see great success in 2018.

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, and we will be planning something big for the next year because it’ll be our 10th anniversary.

Syed Balkhi
Founder of WPBeginner

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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

76 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. Sarah Schimschal says

    A big thanks to everyone for sharing what they know. At the start of this year I had never heard of WordPress and now I have an awesome membership site. WPBeginner helped me understand the basics and provided excellent plugin reviews.

  3. Tim Romard says

    Happy anniversary to one and all. I take great pride in reading the information that I receive from WPBeginger, I have learned a lot from you. Keep up the good work, Tim.

  4. Sarah Stead says

    Congrats! I just started learning WordPress last year to rebuild my portfolio, and this site has been such a great resource. Every time I run into a problem, I find a helpful tutorial on your site for that issue. Thanks for always providing such useful content.

  5. Austin Krause says

    Happy Anniversary! I always refer to WP Beginner when people ask WordPress questions!

  6. Mark Ellsworth says

    Thanks for all you do! You have been very helpful and trustworthy over the years, and that means a lot!

  7. Sunday says

    Its good to be identified with elites in this business. I hinged all my worries on your motivating tutorials and am getting along fine. I think I don’t even need any other textbook on web development.
    I wish you joyous moments!

  8. Philip V Ariel says

    ​Hi Syed and Team
    Here come a BIG CONGRATS from Philipscom on this wonderful celebration time! 9tth Year! Wonderful! Great Going!
    Thanks for sharing the family pics especially the little one Solomon! :-)
    Lovely pics. :-) Also for sharing about the new office.
    Congrats again on the achievement on YouTube Keep going, good to know about the 3rd play button, wish you the best.
    Thanks again for all the products updates. :-)
    Keep up the good work,
    Keep going keep sharing about your upcoming projects.
    With kind regards and best wishes for the 9th year celebrations.
    @PVAriel from Philipscom, Hyderabad, India.

  9. Tabish Hyyat says

    Hello! Happy anniversary! (A Day Later! Sorry!) Proud to find out some one does visit Pakistan! Would like if you would write a detail post about your trip to Pakistan. Thanks!

  10. Raffy Pedrajita says

    What an awesome inspiration from across the globe. Great content as always too! Congrats and thank you for your contents Syed!

    Raffy of Tech Patrol.

  11. Andy Parkes says

    A great resource with a great team behind it. Thoroughly enjoy the clear speaking newsletters and editorials and the family behind it. The personal touch is still so vital a part of business.

  12. Dejan says

    Happy 9th Anniversary and thank you for your help over the years. You have been a great knowledge resource.

    I wish you and your family all the best :)

  13. Valentin Dedu says

    Thank you for all your work.
    I was bless every time i need some help with my websites.
    God bless you.

  14. Marvin Whistler says

    Congratulations on 9 years. WP Beginner has made it possible for me to create my website without any coding knowledge. Your service has been invaluable.

  15. Damith says


    You recently move to HTTPS according to this article. That’s good!!!

    How do you get back the social sharing count after moving to HTTPS?


    • Editorial Staff says

      Hey Damith,

      Most good social media plugins will have a built-in solution to retain count. WPBeginner is using a custom social media plugin built for this site.


  16. Thomas Chapo says

    Thanks for reaching out on a holiday…

    I can see that I need to take more advantage of what you have to offer.

  17. Graham MacKenzie says

    I am unable to log to be on your mailing list.
    Is there a problem in accepting a

    Graham MacKenzie

  18. Bob Lucas says

    A big thank you for WP Beginner, and all of the great information that you provide! My WordPress website would not exist without your help. Happy anniversary and keep up the good work.
    Take care,
    Bob Lucas

  19. sol says

    I Like to thank you
    I learned WP with WPbeginners
    You are reliable and consistent
    Keep up the good work
    Allt the best to you and your family

  20. Herman says

    Congrats!…well deserved. Do you have a guide on how to clean a WP site (genesis) after being hacked?

  21. Kerwin says


    I’m so proud of all these accomplishments.
    Well done to you, the family and the Team.


  22. Gin says

    Congrats on your 9th Blog Anniversary! the info you deliver is great for some of us ‘newbies’ and am sure, refresher for the more experienced. Keep up the great work!

  23. Surendra jadli says

    Balasour (Brahampuri)
    Congratulations sir for completing nine years and creating a great platform for new bloggers. I had learnerd blogging from you only. I can’t express how helpful your article are for us. I had made my website all by learning from wpbeginner. Wish you a lot of success ahead in life.

  24. Ann MacKay says

    Congratulations on your 9 years with WP Beginner. I learned about your site attending the 2009 Atlanta WordCamp and hearing you speak. I have received your newsletter ever since.

    I am now 74 and I have been using WordPress since 2008 for a personal blog and for nonprofit organizations. Your site is my go-to for information. Thanks for sharing.

    I also had to learn Mobirise for naccra where I am the webmaster and now President. That is a learning curve. I still like WordPress.

  25. Veronica says

    Congratulations on your 9 years! WPBeginner has been a great resource for me since I started working with wp websites. The articles are so clear and geared to solve real and practical issues.
    Your site has helped me to turn from a shy, only do it for not very picky friends kind of webdesigner to build complex, educational, functional and dynamic websites and feel very confident about it.
    Your articles alert me of new policies, regulations that I wouldn’t be able to keep up on my own.
    Thank you so much!

  26. Fernando Tellado says


    My WordPress blog turned 10 some months ago and I know how difficult is to maintain the muscle for blogging every day, and specially the inspiration and illusion

    Keep on WordPressing!!

  27. John Monyjok Maluth says

    Wow, thanks Syed and the team for the brief historical updates, and congrats on the 9th anniversary!

    For me, you helped me learn how to create a professional online store for my e-books. I stumbled with your website in December, 2017, just last year. My website went live on 18th December, 2017.

    For this, thanks for the free multi-million professional and accurate information. I will learn from you how to help others succeed, teaching the same things you have taught me.

    Once again, congrats!
    John Shalom
    Nairobi, Kenya

  28. Brian jensen says

    Thanks for this great update and a great program. Also family is everything! I appreciate your patience and tolerance for all my dumb questions and wish you great success- we love the program. Brian

  29. RCWelsby says

    WP beginners has been wonderful over the years, I’ve learned so much. Anything about WP I’ve needed I have always managed to find the answers from your blog or your YouTube channel. I’m not a professional and write crime thrillers for fun so the whole process has been amazing with your help. I didn’t start learning WP until my 70th year so you are never too old to gain extra knowledge from people like you. So, congratulations and well done.

  30. Paul Barnsley says

    Wpbeginner has been invaluable to me and my business. I was against word press for many years manually coding my sites. From day one of discovering you about a year ago, i am setting up and running 4 sites on wordpress. I have previously paid lots of money on books and guides that are difficult to understand and follow. And you provide all the information for free.
    Well done keep the good work up your doing a great job.
    Thank you
    Paul Barnsley Grimsby UK

  31. subhash says

    Congratulations on your anniversary

    Thankyou for teaching us to make better wordpress sites.Hope you will provide more tips to make our blogs beter and better and safer than any other websites

    thanks once more subhash

  32. Fonna says

    As a grandmother and former teacher I want to stay up to date with my technology… without you I’d be calling my kids constantly. They thank you as much as I thank you!

  33. Tony B says

    Hey guys.. REALLY interesting to read about your success, even if it makes me feel like a loser :)

    But I just popped in to say that the OptinMonster updates … Is missing the .com at the end.

    Stay blessed and to your continued success…

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hey Tony,

      Thanks for the feedback and notifying us about the mistake. We have fixed it. At WPBeginner, we fight for our users success. We strongly believe that we will win if we help our users win.


  34. Curtis Anderson says

    Just wanted to leave a quick note to say thank you for your great site, videos and podcast. You are my first place to go to get information on how to do anything in WordPress. Your content is clear, valuable and easy to understand. Love you WPForms plugin also.

  35. Monique says

    Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and plethora of resources with all of us.

  36. David Bennett says

    I’m pleased for you. And I like your products. And I like the fact that you are bringing useful products into your stable, and I will explain why.

    Do you recall that a couple of plugins that were in the WP repository were bought and sold and that the buyer inserted malicious code into the plugins? Now whenever I think about using a plugin, I look to see its history, who makes it, any warning bells, etc.

    Well when your company is behind a plugin, that’s a big reassurance that the plugin is in safe hands.

    I sound like a little groupie! :-) Seriously, well done and keep doing it.

  37. Cathy says

    Hello! Congratulations on 9 years of helping others with Word Press. I stumbled upon your site by accident, but it has been a great help to me! Your explanations are clear and easy to understand for someone like me who has limited computer capabilities. Your online resources have helped me navigate issues with my blog, and I am extremely grateful!

  38. Jerry Smales says

    Good luck with your future endeavors. Your blog and products have made life better for the rest of the world. We can hardly wait to see what’s next. Thank you.

  39. Sharon Hujik says

    Happy Birthday WPBeginner! Thank you for being such an awesome resource to so many people. Keep up the great work!

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