Looking Back at 2016, What to Expect in 2017

Hi! I’m Ayla, one of the co-founders of ThemeBoy. I hope you had a relaxing holiday, and took some time to unwind and rejuvenate, because 2017 is going to be wicked awesome.

I thought I’d take a moment to share our thoughts, milestones, lessons we’ve learned in 2016, and what to expect from SportsPress this year.

But first, I want to say thank you.

Brian and I are so grateful to each and every one of our SportsPress users and SportsPress Pro customers who have supported us through this WordPress journey. Honestly, if it weren’t for the positive feedback and energy we get from you guys, SportsPress wouldn’t be where it is today.

Behind your screen is a small team of people working hard to create SportsPress, and on the opposite end of our screen, there are thousands of teams using that software.

Even though we may not have met face-to-face, I don’t ever want to take you, sitting on the other side, for granted, so thank YOU for allowing us to take SportsPress to the next level!

2016 was an excellent year, we introduced a number new things to both SportsPress and SportsPress Pro. Here are some memorable milestones from 2016:

Looking back at 2016

  • Introduced My Accounts to give you easy access to all your themes, plugins, license keys, receipts, and SportsPress freebies!
  • We released a number of free sport-specific extensions for Football (Soccer), Cricket, Golf, Baseball, and Basketball.
  • We introduced 2 new official SportsPress themes: Marquee and Courtside
  • Our blog went into full-force with the help of our wonderful writers, Nick and Brenda! We started focusing on helping sports clubs with not just their website, but also with their online branding, marketing, and promotion.
  • We launched our first, and second, 3rd party extensions: BuddyPress for SportsPress and Event Tickets for SportsPress.
  • Released two major version updates (v2.0 & v2.1) to both SportsPress and SportsPress Pro.
  • Our themes got a big update: added double sidebar and custom content width to Rookie.
  • SportsPress hit 10,000+ active installs earlier in the year, but we won’t know exactly how many until we hit 20,000+ :)
  • Our free Rookie theme hit 7,000+ active installs, and made it to GoDaddy’s Top 100 Popular WordPress Themes List!

Changes Introduced to SportsPress

  • Integration with WP Rest API opened up new possibilities for developers using SportsPress.
  • Released a drag-and-drop layout designer, which was one of the most requested features from 2016.
  • The ability to split player statistics by offense and defense.
  • The ability to assign match days to each event.
  • We introduced the ability to add box score minutes to player performance data.
  • A new tabbed layout section to give you room for more customizability of your player profile pages.
  • A player dropdown selector to help your visitors to easily navigate from one player’s profile to the next.

Changes Introduced to SportsPress Pro

  • We introduced a new Scoreboard module that visually displays multiple events in a horizontal layout across your website – a feature frequently seen on professional sports websites like ESPN, NHL, NBA, MLS, EPL, etc.
  • A new update to the Match Stats module that introduced stats animations for more excitement!

Lessons Learned

We had been using a 3rd party service to help us deliver our digital products and automatic updates to customers, until that service went total awol without notice.

As you can image, it was a very stressful experience and our team (and many others) scrambled to find another solution.

Luckily, with the help of Easy Digital Downloads, we were able to build a new system to deliver our products and get it up and running within a short period of time.

In a nutshell, it turned out that studio had sold their service to another party and signed a NDA when the handover happened. Therefore, they couldn’t announce the switch over publicly. Whatever the case may have been, it certain upset a whole lot of people and damaged their reputation.

The painful lesson we learned from this was that if you need something to be stable and secure, with the peace of mind that it won’t vanish off the face of the planet at a moment’s notice, is to host it yourself :)

What to Expect in 2017

We’re taking into consideration all of our user feedback, ideaboard votes, and survey data to bring you more SportsPress features in the new year!

We’ll also be bringing you guys more content to help clubs with the marketing, promotion, and to build epic sports websites using SportsPress.

So tell me, how can we help you this year?

Tell us in the annual SportsPress survey!

We read every single one of the survey responses to determine where we should be focusing our energy to help develop the tools you need. Your input is so important.

This is your one chance to really tell us what you want, so don’t put it off! We would love to hear from you.

Thank you again for being a SportsPress user and supporting our operations here at ThemeBoy. On behalf of the team, we wish you the best this year.

You are awesome!


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