The year 2021 was an interesting one. There were some ups and some downs, but in general, I am happy with how it went and ended.
Again, I was able to hit the goal of 6-figures in profit as in 2020. Once again, I am so grateful to be working as a web developer. Such career was not hit as much as other careers due to the pandemic.
If you’re interested in my previous year review, you can read it here. For each year reviews, I like to categorize them as it helps me write it down more clearly (and because I am not trying to remember everything chronologically).
- Jobs & Freelancing – basically, how I earned my money in 2021,
- Plugin Business – how were my plugins doing in 2021
- Site Growth and Teaching
- Investments – what did I spend my money in 2021 to grow as a developer and business
- Personal life
- 2022 Projects
Jobs & Freelancing
Almost the whole year was spent working for my primary 3 clients:
- Grow Development – if you need custom WooCommerce development; contact us here,
- stayntouch – hospitality solution,
- Vivant – Wine shop & education platform
Unfortunately, Vivant had to cut their budget down a bit by the end of this year, so I was laid off since I was one of the contractors (who usually go first when such things happen :D). So for the last month of 2021, I had some more time for myself, family, and side projects.
With Grow Development, we did some cool new things with WooCommerce & WooCommerce Subscriptions. I also worked on a few updates on Shop Plugins products.
Some of the interesting things that I can remember right of my mind, is that we enabled customers to change their Subscription products and also update their shipping methods and cost when such change happens. You would assume, something like that, should be in the core of WooCommerce, but if you update the order’s shipping address or products, the order will only update the shipping cost based on the already existing method (this is because the customer had chosen it previously).
I also worked on a new react-powered customer dashboard for a WooCommerce client and that’s something really cool. We extended WooCommerce as much as we could and also worked on custom endpoints to use with React.
For stayntouch, I had a few months of work on the site itself where we decided to do a redesign. We used Elementor for it and it worked quite well for us. I had to work on some custom Elementor widgets and also tried to do most of it from the core elements.
Due to Vivant, I have become an experienced Laravel developer. I worked mostly on the e-commerce part and integrated it with Salesforce. Too bad they had to cut their budget because I was really excited about some new features we have talked about. If you’re into wine, check them out.
I used Codeable a bit more in 2021 than in 2020. I completed 4 tasks and earned ~$2k. All of those tasks were created by repeat clients. Now that I don’t work with Vivant anymore, I’ll try to get hired on 1-2 tasks per month in 2021.
Plugins have not done too well, but that’s entirely on me. As I handled 3 clients, I was not focused on my plugins as much as I wanted and needed to.
The complete revenue from my business is a little bit over $10k.
Simple Giveaways is still my main plugin that generates most of the revenue. The active installs are around 1,128 so it’s still around the same number as it was in 2020. It’s a bit of a sore feeling seeing the active installs still being at +1,000 on the WordPress repository from 2019.
The revenue is a bit less than in 2020 at ~$7,300 which is about 13% less.
RafflePress is still at 10k installs and I learn a lot from their marketing but with my budget being low, I can’t hire too much help. I did hire Maddy from Blogsmith for new articles which helps me build up the SEO.
Change Prices with Time for WooCommerce
This is my second best plugin in revenue for 2021. You can try it out from the plugin repository.
It’s a simple plugin that uses WordPress CRON functionality to update the price of a product based on the defined date and time. It generated almost $1k in revenue which is a big increase. It seems people are using it more and more and seeing the benefits from it.
It’s still on 300+ active installs as in 2020.
Live Scores for SportsPress
This one is at similar $1k revenue as the previous one. This is an extension for SportsPress so people can see the match results changing without the need to refresh the page.
I was not able to do much on it and although I wanted to create a “live” page which is just to show such scores on user’s website, I was not able to tackle it.
That’s still my plan, but I am also considering an exit on it and sell it as I can’t find enough time for it. We’ll see how it goes.
- Change Prices with Sales for WooCommerce – not updated it for a long time. It’s there as a companion to the one with changing prices with time,
- Simple Cart – simple cart plugin for EDD and WooCommerce has grown to 20+ active installs and I have some big plans to update it,
- Pets – a project of mine to help people manage sites for pets, where 90% of revenue goes to pet shelters,
- Simple Sponsorships – plugin to help you get new sponsors and display them around the site dinamically
Site Growth & Teaching
I still consider writing 2 articles per month will help my site and audience to get new tutorials frequently. I failed again, as in 2020, to write 24 articles. I’ve written the same number as in 2020, 13 articles.
2020 was a bit weird with everything happening around the pandemic and 2021 was much better for me when it comes down to focusing. But, due to the client work, I was not able to write as much as I wanted (have a few posts in draft as well).
Let’s now see how the site traffic was in 2021 compared to 2020.
This was an expected result because I had not used the social media a lot such as Reddit, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I also forgot to use https://wpcontent.io/ to promote my articles.
It did not drop as much as it did between 2019 and 2020 which is a good thing. In 2021, I’ll have to focus more on WooCommerce & Gutenberg tutorials.
Organic search is till the best acquisition channel for the site and that shows how SEO is important here.
As for social media, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress (as in WordPress.org) are the biggest referrals.
Top 10 Articles in 2021
Here is the list of top 10 articles based by pageviews:
- How to manage Order Item Meta in WooCommerce
- How to Create a WordPress Custom Menu with Walker Nav Menu Class
- How to create a Custom WooCommerce Product Type
- How to create a Custom WooCommerce Email
- How to Move Payments on WooCommerce Checkout
- Custom WordPress Rewrite Rule to Combine Taxonomy and Post Type
- How to use the WooCommerce Postcode Validator in Code
- How to use PHP Namespaces in WordPress Plugins
- How to create a Gutenberg Block for Displaying a Post
I am still offering custom parts of tutorials or zipped code samples as part of memberships. The price has not changed and it’s still $3/month or $30/year.
This year, the revenue from memberships is $1,050 so that has not changed from 2020. This is all great news. And with the increase of articles, I would like to move that up a bit as well.
I was not able to do any webinars this year as well due to my MacBook Pro fans being too loud. But I hope, 2022 will change that.
There is still some research to be done on an idea of mine, but I am thinking of creating a community by leveraging circle.so features so memberships of my site can also get together as well.
I would then use such a community to help them grow their revenue as well as WordPress developers.
My only course that generates some revenue is still “Become a WordPress Developer” and it got me $117 in profit.
I had a plan to create shorter courses on WooCommerce through a different domain called WooAcademy, but Woo being a registered trademark I couldn’t have such a platform. I have yet to find a good name for it and thus, everything was put on pause.
I asked the WooCommerce copyright team if I can use it but they did not allow it.
I have not written any new ebook in 2021. My best ebook is still “WooCommerce for Developers“.
The revenue from ebooks is ~$350, much less than in 2020.
I wanted to update the WooCommerce for Developers with new things that I have learned while working with WooCommerce Subscriptions, but I failed with that as well.
Here are the plugins that I have revenued:
I have also bought a course “Endless Clients” to help me build a system to get leads.
The biggest investment was buying the new MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip in October. And it has arrived 3 days before 2022 🙂
My personal life has not changed much since 2020. We were mostly at home and doing some hiking and walks in the nature around our area.
Actually, 2020 was a bit better because we went to Slovenia on glamping and meet my other sister on the island of Pag in the summer. In 2021, we did nothing of it due to the pandemic. We did not want to risk anything due to numbers being higher than 2020 (when we traveled in 2020, there were max 10 cases in Croatia and in Slovenia).
So, a few times, I felt really sad about everything because we could meet a lot with friends. This is the second time I also did not celebrate my birthday 😀
Skiing is also something I miss a lot! But we did not want to risk anything by going to ski.
A good thing is that we started working on the terrain and developing our house. Finally! And hopefully, in 2022, the house will be finished. We invested most of the profit my business did in 2020.
We ordered a Peugeot 2008 in December of 2020. It arrived in July of 2021 so we had some fun driving it around. It’s a great car.
Let’s now take a look at what I would like to do in 2022:
- Simple Giveaways 3.0
- Simple Cart update
- Create a community of the memberships
- Get more clients and find reliable standby freelancers for hire
- Create WooCommerce short courses
I also want to start using webfromdesign.com service to get new clients such as agencies to convert their designs into sites.
In December, I started WP Acquisitions, a site for news around acquisitions that touch the WordPress community. It will also have a list of businesses that are seeking new owners.
There is another project in the works already with a friend of mine. But I don’t want to tell too much about. It will have something to do with Notion 🙂
2021 was a good year in terms of health although some of my family members got the virus a week from 2022. They are feeling fine so hopefully, nothing worse will happen.
Even if we are working from home, I feel that we, sometimes, have less time than we had before. Probably because we postpone some tasks because we are at home and can do them later.
Hopefully, 2022 will be much better than 2021 and 2020. And the pandemic will become less severe so we can all hang out again in 2023.Become a Sponsor