2020 Year in Review

I’m excited to reflect and look back on 2020 in my second ever “year in review” post. Take a look at my 2019 year in review for a summary of how my businesses started as well as our ”digital nomad” traveling.

I’m finally sitting down to write this review.  I think I recently got hit with a bit of burnout while I kept pushed out business work to meet the end of year rush. I think I need to work on taking more breaks and try to separate work/life in 2021. I actually managed to completely switch off for the past week to enjoy some time away from screens with my partner and foster dog Baily. 

Business

I have 3 small WordPress & WooCommerce plugin businesses that I’m working on full time. This year’s sales were close to the minimum wage in Australia. I’m enjoying working from home and the numbers are growing, so I’m happy. After all, it’s only been 2.5 years since my first sale. Hopefully, next year will be more profitable!

Statistics

Sales: 496 
Earnings: ~39% increase
Refund Rate: ~7.4%
New Plugins: 6
Plugin updates: 69
Puri.io visitors: 18,866  (60% increase)
WhiteWP vistors: 5,753 (137% increase)
Conitional Blocks vistors: 1,717 (584% increase)
Advertising: $0

Puri.io – WooCommerce plugins.

 I released a total of 49 updates for Puri.io plugins.

The future of Puri.io and the WooCommerce space itself has been on my mind a lot during the year. I’m always trying to think forward to find the direction that I should be working towards. I feel that I need to think about the future less and think more about what I can do at the moment to make impactful short term decisions. 

I have released 6 new plugins for WooCommerce.

Reserved Stock Pro

Stock Quantity Multiplier

Min & Max Quantities

Cart Limits for WooCommerce

Product Image Carousel

User Notes

We now have a total of 11 available plugins.

Reserved Stock Pro development started on 26th February  2020 and was publicly available on 27th October 2020.  I ended up rebuilding RSP 5+ times due to technical limitations mostly concerning large stores needing the best possible performance to handle reservations with customer traffic spikes. 

I’m really proud of the current version of Reserved Stock Pro. I believe it’s my most solid plugin to date. It also took the most time, brain power, and testing. I set up a small Discord server to easily communicate with people who needed the plugin. This worked well to share the latest updates and get feedback. Thank you to everyone who helped me with the beta test!

WhiteWP.com – Making WordPress easier for agencies.

12 updates were released, mostly maintenance with a few additional features. 

ConditionalBlocks.com – Conditionally show any Gutenberg block.

Conditional Blocks had received 5 updates, mainly maintenance. 

My goal for 2021 is to give Conditional Blocks a “condition builder” that makes it easier to edit conditions across entire sites and be ready for Full Site Editing. I believe there’s a chance to make Conditional Blocks a powerhouse for the future of WordPress sites.

Puri.AI – WooCommerce Automation (New SaaS Project)

Puri.ai is still under development. You can have a sneak peek on the website and sign up for the beta. I’m looking forward to releasing the beta sometime in 2021.

It’s a fun project to work on, I believe it will bring huge value to store owners. 

Puri.ai is built using  React + Next.JS which has its own learning curve compared to building plugins in PHP.

My Thoughts

Development, development, development.

I’ve spent a lot of time on development this year and basically none on marketing. I believe I mentioned in the last review that I needed to focus on marketing in 2020… That didn’t happen. Oh well.  On the bright side – I’ve got a bigger and better offering to market in 2021!

I started learning PHP and plugin development leading up to my first sale in May 2018. Now, 2.5 years later, I’m happy with the progress. I could have prioritised better and maybe grown more, but it’s all a learning experience. If budget allows, I’ll consider hiring some well needed help with a little more growth. I’d like to be able to focus on a few things rather than being spread out across everything.

I’m excited for Puri.ai and Conditional Blocks, those two will get the most “new” development. Then I’ll put more focus on improving and marketing the new plugins. Right now it’s only organic traffic that’s finding them.

I’ve set up my video camera and microphone, so I’ll be recording a bunch of WooCommerce related contention on the Puri.io Youtube Channel!

Personal

I was writing the 2019 review while sitting in Kuala Lumpur airport. We were heading to Indonesia, Lombok, and the Gili Islands. We had a good time there. Larisa is making a video with some of our 2020 highlights.

Indonesia was our last stop before heading back to Western Australia. We left right before COVID-19 became a big deal. I remember hearing that there were only 16 confirmed cases at the time and they urged people to wear masks. We had a few masks left over from the air pollution in Hanoi Vietnam, so we wore them at the airport. People stared at us like we were freaks.

As COVID-19 started spreading more traveling was off the table. We started looking for a place to settle. We have moved into a lovely house that we have slowly been setting up and getting comfortable in. We’d talked about fostering animals and now we finally could! So far this year we’ve had 4 dogs and 2 cats stay with us until they were adopted. Some people don’t think it’s fair to have favorites, but I do. It’s Bailey.

Baily and I in the pool!

We’ve spent most of the year learning about housing and setting everything up, fostering the animals and working. It may not sound as exciting as travelling around Asia, but it’s been a really nice switch to have a stable home.

We’ve also recently got a couple of homebrew mead kits to experiment with. Brewing mead (honey wine)  is quite simple – it just takes time to ferment and age. I’m hoping it tastes delicious in a couple of months, we have pineapple mead aging and a berry mead brewing.

Thoughts for 2021? We’ll still be settled here and hopefully go on a bunch of smaller road trips to see more of Western Australia.