I’ve been contemplating for weeks how I’d describe 2015 for WP Site Care. We’ve done some great work and had a lot of fun doing it, but I can’t help but think there’s something more to what we’ve accomplished in the last 12 months.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what I believe we did well, and what I know we could have done better.
- It was our most successful financial year. ?
- It was a year that we grew the most as a company (in a number of different ways). ?
- It was a year where we focused on quality, not quantity. ?
- We remembered to laugh along the way ?
- And it was a year where we really started to find our voice and swagger. ?
There were things we could have done better as a company, and that I could have done better as a leader. I don’t bring these things up with a tone of chastisement or correction, but just so it’s clear that we know we’re not perfect and we’re working on improving every day.
- I could have (and should have) hired earlier.
- We could have established more refined processes, earlier.
- I can name a few times where we dropped the ball.
- We didn’t buy an office dog. Major failure on my part.
Growing Our Team
One of the things that I’m most happy about is how our team grew. We added a number of new people, and not only did we grow in numbers, but we absolutely grew in talent. The type of people we’ve been able to attract as a company has been amazing, and I feel incredibly fortunate to work with creative, intelligent, and hilariously funny people every day of my life.
Here are the people we added this year:
- Ben Coughran
- Mihai Alexandru @misulicus
- Andrea Whitmer @nutsandbolts
- Krista McPhee @kristaleemcphee
- Megan Gray @HouseofGrays
- Ozzy Rodriguez (just a few weeks ago!) @OzzyR
We more than doubled in size in 2015, and while that’s definitely not what anyone would consider hyper growth, that’s not a mindset our company even has.
We like adding people who add to our team in different ways, and that couldn’t be more true of the mix of hires we’ve had over the last year. With diverse backgrounds, life stories, experiences, and talents, I’m incredibly happy with how well-rounded our team is. The growth of our team is what I’d consider our most important accomplishment of 2015.
We spent part of October together in Park City, Utah, and you can check out some of the highlights in this video.
A Renewed Commitment to Quality
Quality support has always been important to me, but in 2015 I knew we had the opportunity to transition into a completely proactive support model. I envisioned something where we were identifying issues, and making recommendations to our customers before they even had an opportunity to report an issue. We made massive strides into becoming truly proactive in our support and maintenance efforts. We still have work to do, but here are some quick numbers that I believe reflect this transition.
- We had 2 people rate our support as unsatisfactory. Over the course of 12 months, two people gave us a “Not Good” rating in support. TWO PEOPLE. Considering the volume of tickets we address on a daily basis, that’s truly remarkable to me.
- Our ticket volume is staying steady – Over the past 6 months, our customer base has grown roughly 25%, but our volume of tickets has stayed pretty much the same as it was six months ago. We’ve been working hard on a lot of behind-the-scenes processes and truly trying to streamline communication, and so far it looks like it’s paying off.
- Monthly Reporting – Each month we reach out to all of our customers with a set of recommendations that are unique to them. We want to make sure that they aren’t just getting blanket recommendations like “optimize your database and combine your stylesheets.” We put together a custom plan to address all of the major issues we believe should be addressed. This has been incredibly well received by our customers, and we know it’s helped cut down on a number of support requests too.
- We’ve focused on building our support team – I honestly can’t tell you how Matt and I managed all of the incoming support requests for as long as we did. This goes back to me waiting too long to hire. Welcoming Andrea, Krista, and Mihai to the support team made me extremely happy, and actually allows me to sleep occasionally too!
Remembering to Laugh
Support can be emotionally and mentally draining, so it’s incredibly important to laugh along the way. I have a really hard time admitting this, but I may be the least funny person on the Site Care team. Our Instagram account sheds a little bit of light into the hijinx that takes place around here daily.
Like Heather always giving us the Nick Burns treatment
Or Benny sending an actual physical Rick Roll to a coworker
This is type of stuff you come to expect in a care package from one coworker to another when you work here A photo posted by WP Site Care (@wpsitecare) on
This is a very small part of the fun we have around here, but you get the idea. We work hard and we play hard, otherwise we’d lose the small bit of sanity we have left.
Top Articles from 2015
We didn’t publish close to as much content as we needed to in 2015. We have so many things to say, but where do people find the time to say them? That’s a big goal for us heading into the New Year!
That said, we did have a few articles that really seemed to resonate with people, so I’ll list them here if you’re interested in reading more articles about WordPress and the things we’re doing here at WP Site Care
- The Best WordPress Plugins Ever Created Since the Dawn of Time – This list was a massive hit, and continues to be one of our top pieces of content day in and day out. I think it’s because it truly is a “best of the best” list, and not a list that’s there to promote a product to make a quick buck.
- Introducing Walkie Talkie – At the end of August we introduced our Walkie Talkie product, that does some cool things with the Help Scout and WordPress APIs. Most importantly, it streamlines conversations with our clients and makes sure things never get lost in the shuffle. We also shifted our pricing plans at the same time, which felt like a big risk, but ended up being a fantastic decision.
- WP Site Care Origin Story – If you want to know how we got started here, and what we’ve accomplished since, you’ll probably enjoy that read.
- WP Featherlight: An Ultra Lightweight Lightbox Plugin for WordPress – This is the post that introduced our popular WP Featherlight plugin. It continues to be our most popular plugin. If you want a beautiful lightbox for your WordPress images and galleries, be sure to check that out.
- How Much Does a Website Really Cost in 2015 – We went deep with our cost analysis for taking a DIY approach to making your own website. That got shared around quite a bit, and continues to be a popular piece of content on social media.
- Negative SEO: Destroying Small Business One Spammy Backlink at a Time – Gripping headline, and it actually lives up to the hype. We got spammed hard at the end of 2014, and we wanted to share with people what that looks like, and what can be done about it.
Those were all of the articles that the general public really seemed to love, so I figured putting them in a quick list would let you skim the highlights without reading through our entire blog. Although, if you feel inclined to read through our entire blog, I won’t stop you.
I’ve always believed, and still firmly believe that providing an outstanding service is the best marketing tool in anyone’s arsenal, but I do know that if we talk more about the great work we’re doing, we’ll be given more opportunities to do the same kind of work.
We’re finally at a place where I feel like things have stabilized just enough for us to start focusing on getting out into the world a bit more, and talking to other people about the cool and fun things we’re doing here. We have big plans for 2016, and it’s my personal goal to make sure the world knows about them, ideally before our 2016 year in review post.
Happy New Year and here’s to a prosperous 2016 for all!