Minor miracle for me to get one of these done three years in a row – but let’s get it rolling! This got delayed because I’m recovering from minor surgery, but here we go…
I made 85 commits to WordPress core in 2023 – almost three times as many as in 2022. This included committing some significant accessibility fixes and adding a new function that generates the markup for admin notices. This was the first year I’ve been receiving significant sponsorship, so all of this work owes significant thanks to GoDaddy for their generous support.
2024 is likely to be another intense year in WordPress development, so I expect to have a lot to do there, again. The WordPress Accessibility team is going to be engaging on a project to set a vision for accessibility in WordPress, to give ourselves more direction.
WordPress Accessibility Day 2023
Amber Hinds and I followed up the 2022 re-boot of WP Accessibility Day, with the 2023 event occurring in late September. This year included becoming a non-profit organization, which added Bet Hannon as a board member and lead organizer. We also engaged on a major rebranding effort, which was a fun thing to work on. We’re committed to keeping this event running, but we very much need people to join us and help organize the event. If you’re interested in helping with organizing or volunteering in 2023, let us know at our general site contact form!
I did very little speaking again in 2023, which continues to be something I’m perfectly happy with. I only participated in a couple things: a panel on development for accessibility for Accessibility.com, and an episode of Accessibility Craft on WordPress contribution. However, I did also record an updated version of my LinkedIn Learning course on WordPress Accessibility, so I definitely put my time in on slide deck preparation and everything else that goes into talk prep.
I shipped 24 releases of My Calendar in 2023, and am deep into preparations to ship the next major release. Interestingly, that’s the same number of releases I had in 2022. Guess I’m being consistent. When I wrote this post for 2022, I said that the previous major release would be the last one to only support the current model of templating, and I’ve stuck with that. The current alpha version of My Calendar 3.5 includes support for the updating templating model, and is pretty much right on target with the changes I intended to make in this release.
My Tickets has only had 9 releases in 2023; but I’m also in the depth of the next major release for My Tickets. It’s not quite ready for alpha, but it’s moving right along.
WP to Twitter XPoster
XPoster, formerly known as WP to Twitter, has definitely been the most changeable goal post in the last year. Due to the accelerating complaints and support burden caused by Elon Musk’s inane changes to Twitter, I had to make a final call whether to completely shut it down or update it.
Ultimately, I decided to update it; but I’m also taking the steps of branching support into other services. I rebranded as XPoster and XPoster Pro, suspended all existing accounts and subscriptions, and moved sales to an independent website.
I chose the brand “XPoster” not because of Elon Musk’s brand choice, but because it represents the idea of cross-posting. So, over time, the plugin will shift to support additional networks – so when Twitter finally fails, the plugin still has value.
As a result, XPoster is *also* in the midst of a major release, prepping to ship support for Mastodon instances. I suggest waiting for the next alpha, however; I fixed a couple of significant issues since the first alpha.
In total, XPoster/WP to Twitter had 8 releases in 2023.
Last year, I ended this section by offering the sale of WP to Twitter and related properties. That’s still open; in the long run, I don’t really want to own this product forever. It’s way outside my area of interest, and has been for a long time.
I’ve made 8 releases of WP Accessibility, including one major release. This release added stats collection to give people some insight into what WP Accessibility does on their site – is it fixing a lot of problems, or doing very little? I hope to develop those features into a suggestion engine to help guide people to disable or enable features, to minimize the impact of the plugin where it isn’t necessary. WP Accessibility could be a lot smarter about what it does.
The stats collected are very anonymous, collecting no identifying data at all. None of that data is sent to me, although in the future I may add an option to send data so that I can do some larger scale analysis.
Not much to say here; I’ve continued to update them as expected, issuing major releases of two premium plugins and dozens of minor releases. Obviously, cancelling all subscriptions of WP Tweets Pro had a negative impact on my recurring revenue – but I still feel it was the right thing to do.
My combined plugin revenue for the year was $19,698. So, still not getting rich. That’s down significantly from last year, which was $23,900, but almost all of that decrease can be attributed to closing sales of WP Tweets Pro and cancelling those subscriptions – which is ground I expected to have to make up. Sales have, however, generally been sluggish the last few months.
Goals for 2023 – How did I do?
- Not done: Increase recurring revenue for premium plugins.
- Done! Give site owners active feedback about what WP Accessibility is doing on their site.
- Not done: Increase the frequency of major releases for My Calendar from once a year to twice a year.
- Not done: Prepare a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) for WordPress Core
- Not done: Do a better job of hiring people to do things that I’m not very good at.
- Sort of: Take a vacation. I did take a week off from working; but I spent that time at an early music festival where I was in rehearsals and classes 10 hours a day. So, sort of a vacation.
Goals for 2024
Mostly, it’s going to be the same goals. Always a bad sign, I suppose; but the reality is that I didn’t achieve a lot of my previous year’s goals. However, there are some differences.
- Hire an assistant. I need some help – not a huge amount, but around 30-40 hours a month would really help me reach some goals. (Interested? Contact me.)
- Do not take on any new clients. Yes, setting a goal of things not to do seems strange. But, in truth, I have all the work I can handle with my current set of clients. Things could change, so if I fail on this for that reason, that’s fine. But in order to keep my life manageable, I need to focus on what I’m already doing.