2014 in Review, Going Forward with 2015

Did you have a good holiday? I sure hope you did, it’s important to step away and take time away the busy life. Trust me, I know it’s hard  but sometimes you just need to unwind and get a fresh perspective on things.

We’re back at ThemeBoy headquarters, well-rested and ready to tackle 2015.

It’s never too late to reflect on the past year and I thought it would be fun to review 2014 and share what we’re planning for 2015.

Looking back at 2014

  • We created a new WordPress eco-system, specifically for the sports niche. When we first started in 2011, we released the first sports management WordPress theme. It was a new concept and, as any new business venture, you learn as you go and pivot when you need to. In our case, the Football Club for WordPress theme was our proof of concept, but we wanted to separate design from functionality so we’d be able to offer our users more sports features without being restricted to one design. In late 2013, we released the beta version of the SportsPress plugin which allowed WordPress users to create a free sports league management website. It was a slow and steady start, but in 2014 we really started to see our downloads increase and our user base grow – both free and paid. We also started offering SportsPress extensions, themes, and a Pro version of the plugin.
  • New branding, 2014 was the year we created a new logo, redesigned our website (twice) and started a blog to keep you updated with what’s been happening around here.
  • Officially launched SportsPress 1.0, which was a really big deal for us! 7 months in and we’ve reached over 33,000 downloads and are seeing an increase in daily downloads. Exciting stuff :)
  • We had failures too. Our biggest failure of the year was trying to scale much too quickly. We wanted to offer a hosted solution using our products, but we quickly learned how costly it can be to have a dedicated server. We retreated with our tail between our legs. Lesson of 2014, stay lean and scale smart.
  • Released Football Club for SportsPress. As I mentioned above, back in 2011 we released Football Club for WordPress. This theme has been the most widely downloaded sports theme out there and we decided to take the same design and make it SportsPress plugin compatible so we could introduce new features only available in the plugin.
  • SportsPress became WPML compatible. WPML is a premium WordPress plugin that makes it easy to build and run multilingual sites.
  • The most active WordPress project on Transifex with over 50 languages, and counting. If you didn’t already know, we’re big on language translations. Sports is played and loved all around the world, which means our user base is extremely international. We make it a point to make the plugin available in as many languages as possible so our users can enjoy it in their native languages. Do we have SportsPress in your language?
  • We attended WordCamp Sydney and gave our first talk. WordCamp Sydney also happened to land on our 3rd birthday! WordCamps are always a lot of fun and a great place to learn about WordPress, plus you get to meet heaps of awesome people from the community. WordCamps are held all around the world, year round. It is the conference that focuses on all things WordPress. Our lead developer, Brian, gave a talk about WordPress theme and plugin localisation. I told you we are big on language translations ;)
  • Started offering free professional video on demand content. In late 2014, we partnered with PERFORM’s ePlayer the leading video on demand service for professional sports content. This means that you can now embed professional video on demand content for free via our SportsPress TV plugin. SportsPress TV has premium news and highlights from over 350 dedicated channels to choose from.

What to expect in 2015

  • Free SportsPress theme. we will be releasing our first SportsPress compatible theme that will be available on wordpress.org, soon.
  • New premium themes. We have a series of premium SportsPress themes that we will be releasing throughout the year.
  • We’ll start publishing videos. We’re going to be spending more time focusing on making SportsPress easier to use and understand. A big part of this will be us creating video tutorials for you to help you understand how to use the plugin. If you haven’t already, be sure tosubscribe to our YouTube channel.
  • More sports presets. SportsPress is the #1 sports plugin on the WordPress repository and we’re seeing more users that are starting to use the plugin for different sports and purposes. If you’re interested in adding a preset for your sport, get in touch with us.

Let’s get personal

I’m grateful to each and every one of our users who has supported us through this journey. Your positive energy and feedback has motivated us to continue to improve our products and bring you better solutions. Thank YOU for allowing us to continue what we love doing!

This year, I’m going to make it a point to take a more personal approach and dedicate more time to communicating with you. I’ll be answering your emails, but you can also reach me on twitter @AylaView. Hope to see you there!

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