What’s the point of writing a WebDevStudios 2022 year-in-review blog post? For us, it’s about reflection and the lessons that come with that.
Additionally, we believe that by sharing these insights, you learn more about us. Whether you’re researching WebDevStudios (WDS) because you’re considering hiring our website agency to build your next big project or you’re interested in joining our team, the more you know about us, the better.
We all know 2022 was an eventful year for everyone. For WDS, it was a year that included many changes and required strong adjustments. WDS made modifications, rearranged, and fine-tuned as needed and where needed. And, we did so gracefully. That’s something we’re especially proud of.
Please join us as we review our 2022. We hope it gives you a deeper understanding of our website design and development company, how we grow, and how we sustain our ability to make your dreams a reality.
Remember, your success is our mission. Here’s how we accomplished that this year.
Since 2008, WebDevStudios has built robust solutions for our clients. We have experimented with different organizational setups, workflows, and methodologies for project delivery depending on available technology, staff, and types of projects.
However, as our client base and team expanded, we identified the need for changes and advancements. We go over this more in our WebDevStudios 2022 year-in-review, while also touching on upcoming transformations.
2022 brought many changes to how our teams are structured, which required necessary changes to our communications. Up until the summer of 2022, WebDevStudios had been structured in a hierarchical format with our CEO/COO at the top, followed by directors for each department, then managers, and so on.
This format served us well for many years as we were growing and placed reliable processes and policies in place to ensure serviced our clients in the best ways. Growth brought the need for improved communication and transparency. We found that the hierarchical structure, even in a small company like ours, created a layer of bureaucracy that stifled innovation and siloed communications.
After a lot of thought and research into the type of structure that would serve our teams and clients, we found the best solution was a team-based structure that focused on problem-solving, cooperation, and gave employees more control of their day-to-day. This helped us increase productivity, performance, and transparency. It also fitted well with our team scrum format and agile goals.
We eliminated the director-level roles and opted for team managers in the areas of account, delivery, and engineering management-level roles that collaborate with project teams. Additionally, we adopted a pod structure for project teams where each pod has its own sales, strategy, design, development, project management, and QA talent.
This allows each pod to operate independently and is responsible for certain aspects of the product. They own all tasks involved, from sales to launch, and also provide a good deal of redundancy around tasks and projects.
The results were near immediate! Communication at all levels became much more transparent, visible, and collaborative, more so than ever before. Teams and their members are working toward common goals and it is allowing us to move towards a much more agile delivery.
Scrum Masters, All
In the year 2023, our company has committed to investing in the professional development of our delivery managers and project managers. By the end of Q3, all of them will have obtained their Scrum Master Certification (CSM).
The purpose of this investment is to enhance their knowledge and understanding of scrum and agile methodologies. This, in turn, will improve their ability to lead scrum teams. The ultimate goal is to improve overall team performance as our scrum masters become more effective leaders, resulting in better performance and outcomes.
Strategy and Design Growth
In late 2022, we added positions to our strategy and design teams to account for the increase in client work we’ve had the good fortune to take on moving into 2023. In the pod structure, mentioned above, each pod has a UX strategist and UX designer who work together with our delivery manager during the strategy phase of a project in gathering requirements, defining goals, and producing solutions for client projects.
Maintainn Acquired by SiteCare
In 2014 WebDevStudios acquired Maintainn, a WordPress Support and Maintenance company. Bringing Maintainn under the WDS banner of brands and services was a perfect match to enhance the ongoing support of our clients.
As the projects at WebDevStudios became more complex, so did the support requirements for those projects. As such, the Maintainn level of support and service no longer fits what many of our clients required.
Earlier this year we decided to sell our support and maintenance company Maintainn. We needed to find a buyer that would fully support our Maintainn clients and give them the level of service and support they expect.
Enter SiteCare, who was the perfect fit for Maintainn. SiteCare offers WordPress maintenance and support services very in line with the Maintainn offerings. We knew Maintainn would be a great fit at SiteCare and the rest is history!
Pluginize Makes a Comeback
WordPress plugins and products have always been a passion project for WDS. Our most popular plugin, Custom Post Type UI (CPTUI), has over 1 million active users and over 13 million lifetime downloads!
We also continue to expand the features on our WP Search with Algolia plugin and have grown that user base to over 5,000 active installs and 80,000 downloads. While you might be familiar with CPTUI and WP Search with Algolia, many people are not familiar with our product brand Pluginize.
One of our goals for 2023 is to revamp and recharge our commitment to products through Pluginize. We are actively working on a new premium plugin with hopes of releasing it in Q1 2023.
In 2022, we retired our older plugins, updated our current plugins, relaunched the Pluginize blog, and rebuilt Pluginize to be a block-based theme with more modern technologies. All of this work sets the stage to supercharge Pluginize in 2023 and beyond.
WebDevStudios 2022 Year-in-Review by the Numbers
Data is impressive, isn’t it? Here is how our achievements measured out in 2022.
1,350+ Hours Contributed to Five for the Future
We talk about it a lot, but there are still many who don’t know about Five for the Future. An open-source technology designed to democratize publishing, WordPress fuels more than one-third of the web. As such, WordPress needs all of us to contribute.
Five for the Future is an initiative that allows the WordPress community to contribute to the platform’s growth. WebDevStudios actively participates in this effort by dedicating the last Friday of every month to giving back to WordPress in a myriad of ways. Overall, our team proudly contributed more than 1,350 hours to the initiative in 2022.
— Matt Ryan (@MattRyanCo) October 28, 2022
38 Active Clients
From education to media, eCommerce to consumer packaged goods, our 2022 was jam-packed with some amazingly interesting projects for big brands. Our roster of clients includes some impressive brands and names, such as Campbell’s, George School, Monster, Wall Street Journal, and Care.
One of our newest clients kept us especially busy with the launch of five separate websites under the brand and an ongoing retainer. That client is the NBA.
27 New Hires
We were no strangers to the Great Resignation this year. Some people left WDS that had been here a very long time; others only a few years or less.
At the beginning of the year, it was challenging to replace people quickly, making sure we hired the right people for the team. Thankfully, our culture, authority in the WordPress community, and genuinely supportive teammates were the key selling points for us to get such good talent.
“I’m pretty proud of the people we added to the team this year,” says Julie Sarnik, Employee Experience Coordinator. “Our diversity is up, which was a big goal for us. We have an impressive amount of female engineers and our team has expanded globally. It’s amazing to be able to work with people all over the world and learn from them!”
13 Lunch & Learns
It was a baker’s dozen of lessons and internal webinars for our team this year. Topics ranged from personal interests to technology and development, such as “DIY LEDs,” “Remix vs NextJS,” and a panel discussion on accessibility for all.
“WDS Lunch & Learns are a great way for people to share their expertise in a work-related area or just something fun,” says Justin Foell, Engineering Manager. Justin coordinates, schedules, and promotes every single Lunch & Learn event. “It helps the team level up and connect with each other at the same time.”
23 WordPress Talks, Podcasts, Webinars, Interviews, and Media Mentions
Face it. WebDevStudios is everywhere. When WordCamps and WordPress meetups call for speakers, our team submits their ideas.
When WordPress and tech media publications need experts on hand, we volunteer. WDS team members love to lend a hand and share their expertise. Then, we like to brag about it via our Company News blog posts.
26,197 Tacos Given
This WebDevStudios 2022 review wouldn’t be complete without talking about tacos. We use a variety of methods to keep our remote work company culture engaging. One of our favorites is HeyTaco rewards.
HeyTaco is our internal reward system that allows coworkers to thank and recognize fellow teammates. It’s our way of saying, “Hey, I appreciate you. Here’s a taco.” Collected tacos are redeemed for gift cards and PTO.
Take a look at our top taco givers and recipients.
Looking forward to 2023, our commitment hasn’t changed: Your Success is Our Mission! As always, we are committed to learning new technologies, building amazing building experiences for our clients, and continuing to give back via our various open-source contributions. Our team is laser-focused on helping our clients meet and exceed their online goals in 2023 and beyond.