The 2014 Yoast year in review
In 2014 Yoast once again grew exponentially. I thought it’d be fun to highlight some of the things that happened and show what we’ve been working on that might have been somewhat hidden.
Our WordPress SEO plugin is now used by approximately 4 million users worldwide, with our Google Analytics plugin following with a still respectable 1.25 million users. This means especially our SEO plugin has doubled its usage in a year, something we’re incredibly proud of and thankful for.
In February of this year, we released version 1 of our WordPress SEO Premium plugin, one of our “flagship” products. In the beginning of December, we added a Premium offering to our Google Analytics plugin, offering the tracking of and dashboards for Custom Dimensions and a few other things. Both of these releases have been very successful and received very good feedback.
While we’ve released premium versions of our plugins, our free plugins have been consistently updated and getting new functionality as well. Our Google Analytics plugin got support for Google’s new Universal tracking and a brand new dashboards feature.
Our WordPress SEO plugin has had several major updates, thanks in part to Juliette, who deserves nothing but praise for all the work she put into all of the releases but most noteworthy our 1.5 release, which made the plugin much more stable and 20 – 30% faster. We also added new features like the bulk editor and several social features. We also added a search in site links feature, removed author highlighting when Google stopped doing that and much, much more.
During the year, we on-boarded a complete team of engineers, now headed by Omar, our development manager. Under his lead, we did a lot of work to make our code more future proof and maintainable, using a lot of unit tests, Code Climate, continuous integration tests through Travis etc. We’ve also got a Grunt setup in all our major plugins now that should be easy for many other plugin developers to copy. This trend will certainly continue in the new year.
The growth of our customer and user base also meant we had to handle more questions. To that end we’ve grown our support team to now be 6 people, 2 in our office in Wijchen and 4 around the world (to be precise: Rumejan in the Phillipines, Nile and Angelia in the US and Ramon in Spain) so we can offer support in all timezones.
Along with all the changes to code, Taco and myself put a lot of time and effort in getting more and better translations for our plugins. Our translate site is now being used by more and more people and we’re shipping more and more different translations for our plugins, a trend we will definitely want to continue over the next year. So if you’ve got some time during the holidays to translate one of our plugins, do sign up!
While our plugins are probably the reason most people know us, an ever growing group of customers is using our site review service. This service, in which our team reviews your site and gives you lots of actionable feedback, has seen several overhauls this year, including new names, new offerings and more, leading to our current Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond site reviews that make me proud.
My goal has always been to make our knowledge available to as many people as we can. This inevitably leads to problems with scale. Our site reviews make it possible for our customers to get a lot of solid feedback on their site for less than 10% of what the agencies I once worked for myself would charge for similar reports. We’ve done 400+ reviews in 2014 and I expect we’ll do 600+ in 2015. We have an interesting Holiday sale going on with them right now if you want to get your site reviewed early in 2015.
We released our first two eBooks this year, books we honestly hadn’t even planned on at the beginning of the year, to tremendous success. We’ve sold over 6,000 copies now and had some very good feedback. Our next eBook, written by Marieke and myself entirely, focuses entirely on Content SEO. It’s in the final production stages now and will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2015. If you want to be among the first to hear when it’s released, subscribe to our newsletter!
Outside of the posts I’ve already linked to in the sections above, we’ve had some other posts that received a lot of positive feedback that I’d like to highlight:
- Thijs showing our opinion on sliders;
- Marieke and Joost with a series of posts on keyword research;
- Marieke also wrote two posts on writing well structured blog posts in an attractive style;
- Joost writing about Google Panda and your site’s JS & CSS;
- Michiel writing about Homepage SEO and 404 errors pages.
Last but not least, our team has grown, a lot. As said we added 4 people in support internationally and we now have 15 people in our office in Wijchen and are currently looking for 3 more, so if you want to start the new year with new job, live close by and fit the profile, do apply!
Conclusion: 2014 was great!
I can honestly say 2014 exceeded all my expectations. We’re far from done here at Yoast so we’ll be doing lots of cool things in 2015, but first, we’re going to take a short break and relax.
I wish you all very happy holidays and hope to “see” you in 2015!
This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!