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Reflecting On 2020 – WP FeedBack’s Year In Review

Editor’s Note: Since the original production and publication date for the post you’re about to read – we’ve since rebranded from WP FeedBack to Atarim (learn more).

There’s no question it’s been a challenging year for a lot of people.

In many ways, for us too. Amid the constant fear and uncertainty of a pandemic, 2020 has been weird in too many ways to count but we did our best to do what we could and consider ourselves very fortunate.

Let’s all raise a glass to 2021 – stay safe out there everyone & take care of those closest to you now more than ever.

Happy new year, people. Here’s to 2021. ❤️

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TL;DR – We managed to ship a total of 10 updates, including a ton of new features, welcomed a few new faces to our team, invested in improving our customer support (more on this later) & gave back to businesses in our industry in the way we knew best on Thanksgiving…

2020 In Numbers – What The Data Has To Say

We won’t bore you with all the data we have but here are the numbers we found worth getting excited about:

  • Released 30 new features
  • Squashed 80 pesky bugs
  • Grew to 15,002 installs
  • Published 41 blog posts to help WordPress service businesses grow & make the most of WP FeedBack ✍️
  • Drove 314,025 visitors to our website
  • 10,022 support requests solved
  • Helped agencies & clients complete 108,711 tasks

The one that really stands out is how many tasks we’ve helped clients & agencies not only create but also resolve. It’s really validating to put into perspective how much time this means we’re saving people, alongside making it possible to easily deliver websites projects & “dealing with clients”.

This is estimated at a whopping 5 years that we saved for our users this year.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The elephant in the room. It wouldn’t be a real 2020 review if we would have avoided what has made this a year one like no other.

Business aside, it would be remiss to assume that not everyone was hit really hard. The situation has been difficult – constant lockdowns, the inability to meet other people, difficulties getting essential services, the list goes on.

There seemed to be a common misconception that software businesses are recession-proof when it comes to a pandemic like COVID-19. This is evidently untrue.

Although every business falls on a scale of how recession-resistant they are, with businesses in the hospitality industry being at the top of that list – every company afterwards is still affected (or will be depending on how long COVID goes on).

Simply put, for WP FeedBack – our customers work with businesses that are affected. Those businesses, therefore, held onto their money.

This meant that agencies and freelancers that build websites got less work, at least in the beginning when people were freaking out.

And this all inevitably meant fewer people needed WP FeedBack PRO to get incredible work done.

Luckily, as the situation progressed, our industry has bounced back as more and more businesses pivoted to the digital space. and even closed the year with some substantial growth for freelancers and agencies that managed to act fast and ride the wave.

We too pivoted our approach slightly and spent a lot more time to focus on giving a lot more value to our existing users and enhancing the product while most new users have joined based on word-of-mouth rather than cold sales.

Our entire team was set to attend (and sponsor) WordCamp Asia and spend a whole week together there. Clearly, this was cancelled for obvious reasons which was disappointing as we were not only unable to get full refunds but – as a remote company – it was also our chance to meet the people we work with on a daily basis, and build company culture.

The Company Retreat That Never Happened

Of course, we didn’t just accept it and move on. We were the very first team in the industry to step in, announce, and successfully deliver a full-blown virtual summit.

Introducing The WP FeedBack Virtual Summit

With events across the globe being cancelled – one after the other – we decided to step in to fill the gap between regular online meetings, and in-person events.

The end result – according to feedback from attendees and sponsors – was an online event experience that came closer to simulating in-person events than anything they had ever seen.

The silver lining of us moving the entire event experience online was that it now meant people all over the world would be able to attend – including many that wouldn’t have attended in-person events.

Above all, this was truly amazing for us as a team to bring to life. And partner with incredible companies in the industry as sponsors – including GoDaddy, YITH, GridPane, WPMU DEV, RunCloud, SiteGround, Convesio, Web Ventures, Page Builder Cloud, Dollie, Codeable, WP Clover, Weglot, BuddyBoss, and BoldGrid.

Here were some highlights:

  • 108,000 visitors when we kicked off the summit – ended up crashing the website (as we expected around 2,000).
  • We became the biggest online WordPress summit ever – with:
    • 5,724 attendees
    • Reaching 126 countries
    • 295,250 page views
    • 30 talks run by industry-leading experts.
  • Made it possible for developers, marketers, and designers to network, connect & learn in a difficult time to put smiles on their faces despite COVID-19. We also sold an all-access pass for those who wanted to view the talks at a later stage (as well as a whole range of freebies).

Strengthening The WP FeedBack Vision

Throughout 2020 and as the product was evolving rapidly, it started becoming more apparent that there was some confusion surrounding the perception of WP FeedBack. At least compared to how we see the product.

As time went on, we became much more than a WordPress plugin with the PRO Dashboard and the features added in addition to this.

While the initial goal was to create a feedback plugin, our users’ needs were broader than that and so the vision expanded.

So I booked more than 150 zoom calls with our users to see how they were utilising the new features and found that most were still using (and perceiving) the product as it was on version 1.0, when we first launched and they were all amazed to see the rapid development and effort our team has put into creating a system to deliver the project from start to finish.

We’ve come a long way.

So in order to position ourselves as a cloud-based application, as opposed to a WordPress plugin – which is what we were when we started – we completely altered the messaging and design of our homepage.

This was an exciting change that led to a significant increase in conversion rate and more importantly, enhanced the results we were getting the users that implemented properly throughout their agency – drop an insane 80% of the project completion time (from weeks to days).

And heading into 2021, although we can’t share much more yet – we plan to continue aligning our vision with what our users need & the market wants.

With version 2.0 coming later this month and massive rebrand of the entire product that will help existing and future users see the astonishing results we can bring to their businesses and lives.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday – How We Decided To Give Back in 2020

Towards the very end of 2020, in celebration of Thanksgiving & Black Friday – we wanted to do something special.

Normally, we would have gone done the traditional route of offering a percentage discount to people who sign up for a WP FeedBack during this time. But we didn’t need to look very far to realize that a simple discount wasn’t the way to go about it this year.

After extensive research, we decided to simply give away our 1 domain plan for free, for the entire week. With one caveat, you had to activate it within 30 days in order to keep it.

Suffice to say, this seemed to work. That week alone, WP FeedBack grew by 4,000+ users. All of which are enjoying the benefits of WP FeedBack, which we’re now focusing on helping grow to the point where they’ll need the full power of WP FeedBack PRO (likely once COVID finally blows over).

A Personal Note From Our CEO

This is a great opportunity to share with you how grateful I feel that thousands of you are joining me on this journey over the past 15 months since the launch.

If you would have told me 2 years ago, while running my small agency, that my team and I would be making such an incredible impact on the industry that gave me so much personally, I would say you’re crazy.

I had to make some tough calls, bet on myself and believe in my team and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to serve you and to continue to build innovative features that help us all grow together.

Pushing ahead, let’s kill it (again) in 2021 ❤️

We are always focused on making our platform better, we want it to become the definitive way that agencies and freelancers work and collaborate with your clients…

This year we are turning it up to 11. We have planned every major release this year already, including the actual features that will be in each one and let me tell you; we’ve got some AWESOME stuff coming.

By the end of 2021, WP FeedBack PRO will not be what it is now, it will be much more. While we continue to serve your agency and grow our platform, thank you for being here, it’s been an incredible journey so far and we can’t wait for 2021!

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