I rather enjoy year-end write ups. It gives me a chance to reflect on what went well, what could have been better, and what the future might hold. As a whole, 2013 was an excellent year for me and my family. As anyone who read my 2012 year in review post, I am very open about my earnings and sales stats, so consider this a disclaimer if you are uncomfortable with open numbers.
In 2013 I released 35 WordPress plugins. Most of those were released on WordPress.org and / or Github as free downloads. 11 of the 35 were extensions for Easy Digital Downloads, both free and commercial.
In late 2012, I joined the WordPress.org plugins review team, meaning I help review the plugins that get submitted to the WordPress.org plugin repository. As you are probably aware, the plugin repository has a lot of plugins. In 2013, I helped review 9,331 plugin submissions. Of these, 2,257 were rejected and 7,104 were approved. Over the course of 2013, we disabled 951 plugins due to security flaws, guideline violations, and author requests. Of the total number of plugins submitted, I only reviewed a small percentage. The real credit goes to Ipstenu for her amazing ability to crank through the review queue faster than anyone else alive.
WordCamps and Conferences Attended
Over the last 365 days I had the awesome opportunity of speaking at and attending 5 WordCamps and one other WordPress related conference, Pressnomics. I spoke at Grand Rapids, Columbus, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix (Pressnomics) and attended San Francisco. I feel truly blessed to be able to travel around the country to attend and speak at all of these WordCamps. It has given me the opportunity to meet some truly wonderful people and make some friends for life.
I Incorporated My Business
In March of 2013 I officially incorporated and became Pippin's Pages, LLC. This business is the overhead that includes Pippin's Plugins and Easy Digital Downloads. Finally taking the steps to make my business "official" in the eyes of the state of Kansas was extremely important to me for several reasons. First, it gave more credence to the business. Second, it allowed me to create a better separation of business assets from personal assets. Instead of all revenue my business brings in being "mine", it now belongs to the company and I simply pay myself a salary. By paying myself a salary, I can also now much better determine the kinds of funds I have available to reinvest back into the business. And lastly, creating an LLC protects my family. If I get sued for any reason or the business is liable for some kind of damages, it is the business's assets that are in danger, not the personal assets of my family.
December of last year was when I made the final jump away from contract development and 100% into product sales. Last year, I was very pleased with the revenue my plugin sales brought in, and this year I am even more pleased. I'm happy to say that I managed to more than double my business's revenue, almost entirely from plugin sales. I still do some occasional contract work, but the vast majority of my time is spent on the plugins' business.
In 2013, the plugins on this site brought in $72,743.47 in revenue. The plugins on Code Canyon (note that many plugins were removed in early 2013) brought in $24,423, and the plugins on Mojo Code brought in $110.40.
The other side of my commercial plugins business is Easy Digital Downloads, which now takes up the vast majority of my time and is responsible for a large percentage of the revenue of Pippin's Pages, LLC. In 2013, Easy Digital Downloads brought in $191,441.92 from extension and theme sales, which is a huge increase from just $23,396.78 in 2012. Of that $191,441.92, more than one quarter was paid directly back to other developers in extension and theme sale commissions. In total, I paid out $63,747.01 in commissions to other developers. Also out of that sales revenue, more than $29,272.13 was paid out to developers and team members for support costs, sponsored development, etc.
Last year my total revenue from commercial plugins was about $93,000, which was Easy Digital Downloads and all of my other plugins combined. This year, both combined brought in $264,185.39.
In 2013, the membership section on this site generated $15,969.45 in revenue, which is nearly double what the site brought in for 2012, $8770.10
The total revenue for Pippin's Pages, LLC, was a little over $360,000 in 2013.
During 2013, I published 83 posts on this site. These posts included tutorials, news pieces, editorials, plugin releases, and more. In terms of comments, the most popular post was Why Loading Your Own jQuery is Irresponsible. Of those 83 posts, 13 were released as member-only tutorials, so about one per month. I would have liked to have released more member-only content, so as to ensure that member's feel their membership was worth the cost (starting at $6 per month), and I will try harder in 2014 to improve that number.
Started a Podcast
In August of this year, I was invited by Brad Touesnard to join him in creating a WordPress Development podcast called Apply Filters. We have now recorded 9 episodes (with another one coming tomorrow) and have had 3 awesome guests on the show. It has been a true pleasure working with Brad on this project and I cannot wait to see where it goes in 2014.
Bought a House
In March 2013, my wife and I chose to move back to Hutchinson, KS, our hometown (or close to it) where we were both raised. We had previously been living in Lawrence, KS, where we both attended the University of Kansas. With our move to Hutchinson, we decided to buy a house (we had been renting for the past several years). After looking for a few months, we were able to buy a beautiful house in a fantastic, safe neighborhood. We can leave our doors unlocked and the garage open without ever worrying about potential break-ins.
- Our street
And The Most Important of All
No matter how much money is made or spent, what kind of house is bought, how much is paid out in commissions, how many plugins are written, and how many WordCamps I attend, none of it will ever be more important than this:
- My daughter, Eliza
Great year-over-year revenue increase. Way to go Pippin!
Thank you for sharing Pippin, just want to let you know how inspirational such shares are to myself and surely many others in the community. Wish you all the best for 2014!
Hope to get the chance to meet you this year 🙂
That is huge year! I’m just a jealous guy.
Excellent year, my friend. Congratulations on all of your success, especially your family.
Great job! Really makes me want to start to develop some premium themes. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but have been trying to figure out how to balance client work with creating new products. I think I’ve just been worried about being able to support it well, as I’ve seen the support boards and there are a ton of questions on them. That just makes me nervous. Keep up the great work!
Support is something you should be nervous about; it can be truly challenging to keep up with. As long as you are aware of that, however, and are proactive in preparing for it, you will be fine 🙂
Congratulations on a great year. You are an inspiration to many WordPress developers around the world. This end of the year round up will motivate many others to follow your footsteps. I truly admire the time and effort you put into free plugins and providing support for them. Hoping to see you do more great things in 2014, Good luck.
Awesome! Thank you for being open and honest as this reading helps me a lot in regards to confirming I’m ..we’re on the right path 🙂 Happt New Years dude!
What a great 2013, nice revenue, wish you all the best for 2014
Congratulations on a great year all around Pippin and thanks for the being so open, makes for very interesting (and inspirational) reading 🙂
Congrats, Pippin – all around – but especially for having a daughter.
Speaking from experience, I don’t think there’s anything better :).
Congrats on all the success in the last year, Pippin. 🙂 Looks like a beautiful neighbourhood for the family to grow in.
Nice job! Thanks for all your great tutorials. I have truly grown from the great WP mentors out there (@Tom McFarlin included!).
Wow, nice post, Pippin! I really liked it. You are sincere, transparent and humble. Thanks for sharing all this information. And congratulations for having a daughter. 🙂
Keep up the great work! I wish you a great 2014!
Congrats, you deserve it!
What a true inspiration this is! I love that you’ve built your business while expanding business for other developers,too.
Awesome work dude!
Thanks for sharing Pippin, that is so great, and EDD was the right solution for sales.
Great write-up, Pippen! I appreciate the numbers, as it gives me more inspiration to keep plugging away and growing my own business. You’ve been a great help and excellent resource to me and thousands of other developers out there. Not only for your vast range of plugins, but also for your one-to-one help which is very much appreciated. I hope you can double your income again this year! … and you’re right, the kids and family are the most important thing!
Pippin, I can’t express enough how happy I am for you that your success has grown and thanks for sharing your experiences so openly with us all.
I also want to thank you for all your help this past year with our own business and most importantly becoming a friend:)
I wish you continued success, and the sky is truly the limit!
Thanks for being so open with your numbers. It’s very inspiring to see what can be achieved. 🙂
And well done! 🙂
Bravo et bonne année 2014!
Congrats with the daughter.
Thanks for an awesome post, and some great numbers 🙂
Great job Pippin. I enjoy using your plug-ins!
Congratulations on an awesome year Pippin. Thanks for sharing – you’re an inspiration! 🙂
Love the transparency, as usual!
Congratulations on a great year both professionally and personally!
Congratulation Pippin! Love the way you share your business progress and achievement. Keep it up!
Congradulations, job well done! You are certainly one of the top WordPress Developers and it is well deserved. Enjoy the little one as they grow up fast. They do make it all worth it in the end.
Cute Baby! I said that last photo !
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