Most people will remember 2020 as the year of panic, and the pandemic. But we, at WPManageNinja, will remember 2020 as a year of progress as well.
Yes, it was a year like nothing else. We were confined to our homes, detached from everyone. But we weren’t separated. Last year, we realized a team can be scattered, yet effective, if all of the team members are focused on a common goal.
I will not bore you with the details of the gruesome days of the lockdown. You have heard similar stories a hundred times already. You have even lived through it yourself! Rather, let me tell you the story of how we faced a global disaster, and didn’t just survive the year, but finished it with growth beyond our wildest imagination!
Growth in numbers
The idea of success is vague unless you put it in numbers. We are dedicated to contribute to the WordPress community and we love what we do. And it may seem like you cannot measure how much you love your work with a few lifeless digits.
But when you put together these lifeless digits, only then you get to visualize if your contribution to the community was meaningful or not. How much your efforts have helped people do better in their lives, how many real-life problems you have solved. So, we’ve put up a list of these beautiful numbers that will help you visualize how effective WPManageNinja was in contributing to the WordPress community. It sure will put a smile to our faces.
Year over year growth
2020 kicked off for us with hopes. We have been preparing for this year for the previous three years. And by the beginning of 2020, we got the solid basement to leap forward to the next phase. Yes, we were hit by the pandemic, and it slowed us for a month or two, but it couldn’t stop us from growing. In fact, our resolution helped us achieve a whopping 250% growth over the previous year.
Going beyond the target
We were confident about our products, and we knew that the team is capable of going well beyond the previous year’s performance. We set a growth target at the beginning of the year. But never in our wildest imagination, we expected the actual growth to go beyond 50% over the estimated sales target we set for ourselves!
The secret sauce for this success? Listening to our users, and delivering what we promised with 100% dedication.
When you make products that actually make people’s lives better, you won’t have to push them to use your product. That’s what we experienced this year. In 2020, WPManageNinja products were downloaded 400K+ times, taking the total tally to 1 million! Never before in our history, we have seen this many product downloads in a year.
Empowering more websites than ever
The number of product downloads doesn’t always give you the exact idea of how many users are actually trusting a product to run their business. That’s why we looked into the number of active installations. According to the WordPress plugin repository, WPManageNinja products are currently empowering more than 130K+ websites every day!
The websites using our products range from personal blogs to government websites. To put into perspective how big that number is, WPManageNinja products are directly or indirectly making a few million people’s lives easier every day, throughout the year!
Helping businesses all over the world
The beauty of an online business is you are hardly bound by geolocation. And that’s what we see when looking into the dashboard. We have customers from all over the world, even from places where a stable internet connection is a luxury! And through our after-sales support experience, we get an idea of how beautifully these businesses are making the best uses of our plugins.
Joining the fight against COVID-19
Not just businesses, last year WPManageNinja worked hand in hand with the nonprofit and charity organizations as well. We have provided our product and technical support free of cost to around a hundred nonprofit organizations who were fighting against the pandemic, and the other humanitarian distress it caused.
The list of organizations ranged from local food banks to government hospitals, and a huge number of university websites that were researching the physiological, social, economic, and other impacts of this breakout and how to fight the aftermath. We are grateful to these brave souls who went beyond their duties and acted larger than their lives. And we feel honored that we could help in their noble service.
Growth in the product lineup
Growth won’t be sustainable if you lack innovation. And with the existing product lineup, along with a major plugin we were working on since mid-2019, the year was quite busy for our developers.
FluentCRM was launched
The market of CRM tools is quite competitive, and to say the least- confusing. But we sensed a big gap in the market. There are some big players already dominating the CRM market, but are they delivering the tools apt for a small or medium business needs? And if they do, aren’t they costing too much?
If there is one thing we have learned from this pandemic, it will be to run operations efficiently with minimal effort and cost. And we knew a lot of businesses are maneuvering to that same approach.
The idea of a CRM tool is huge. That’s why every existing major SAAS CRM is bloated with hundreds of features. But you don’t need all of these features to run a small or medium-sized business. Then why should you pay monthly for all of these extra features you may never require?
This is where FluentCRM fits in. It’s a lightweight, compact CRM tool that you can fit into your WordPress dashboard. But don’t get fooled when we say it’s tiny. FluentCRM is powered with all the features you may require for your email marketing. And this encompasses your eCommerce or LMS automation along with smart user categorization, 360° user overview, and advanced real-time analytics.
A summarised feature list will help you get an idea of how handy FluentCRM actually is.
- Email campaign management
- Ecommerce automation (WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads)
- LMS management (Lifter LMS, LearnDash, and more)
- 360° user overview
- Contact segmentation
- Email sequencing
- Automated email funnels
- Granular reporting
- Block-based email composer
- Search and filtering improvements
- RTL Support
- Benchmarks for automation (list applied, tag applied, list removed, tag removed, clicked link)
- Funnel stage analytics
- Conditional blocks
- Ability to manually make a scheduled action
- Custom field mapping
- Ability to save and duplicate email campaigns and automation
- Minor improvements in every feature
- Uncanny Automator
- Elementor Forms
- Restrict Content Pro
But that’s not all. FluentCRM will keep getting more updates in 2021. We are determined to keep our promise of making it the most reliable, full-fledged CRM solution for WordPress, and there is a dedicated team of developers working on it.
Fluent Forms got more powerful
In the world of WordPress plugins, Fluent Forms is a game-changer. With all the inclusions of brilliant features, the tool can now be considered a powerful marketing instrument beyond a form builder.
The free version has got 50k+ active installations in total, and it’s growing every day. Because we keep working on continuous development, the tool is also getting better. However, here you can see a list of features we have rolled out in Fluent Forms in 2020.
- Show payment summary as dynamic cart
- Dynamic input values in the form steps
- Email attachment for uploaded images
- Advanced Post Creation
- Integrations: Trello, Sendinblue, Platform.ly, BuddyBoss
- New Chained Select field
- User Registration via form
- Advanced Form Styler
- Graphics enabled radio/select fields
- Advanced Polls/Survey Fields and Reporting
- Advanced Calculation for checkable fields
- Inline Conditional Tags on CRM integration Feeds
- Net Promoter Score field
- Delete old (say after X days) entries
- Delete media uploads on entry delete
- Live calculation value update on the slider element
- Added security salt on Landing pages
- Built-in Double Opt-in Confirmation
- Reply to any integration feeds manually
- Number formats on the fly for numeric fields
- Import Global Styles from another form
- Dynamic Input Values as Label HTML (Live Update)
To make your WordPress form experience more fluent, along with these feature updates, we also released a couple of addons for Fluent Forms. These addons are available on the WordPress plugin repository.
In the WPManageNinja product lineup, Ninja Tables is the most used and acclaimed plugin so far. As the plugin is active on more than 60,000 websites, we were focused on rolling out more features while keeping the tool lean and fat-free.
To ensure that, we added more functionalities to this user-acclaimed WordPress table plugin. A few of these remarkable features would be:
- Charts for data visualization: Users can create online charts & graphs using the auto-integration with Ninja Charts (Free)! Charts can be designed and customized as much as needed.
- Importing hyperlinks and images from Google Sheets: After the recent update, it’s now possible to import hyperlinked data and images into Ninja Tables directly from Google Spreadsheet.
- Button customization for WooCommerce: Apart from the default “Add To Cart” button customization, users can change the cart and checkout button text too.
With user-friendly features, frequent updates, and bug fixes, Ninja Tables is still the simplest WordPress table plugin and continues to rule! Search for “Best table plugin”, and you will see Ninja Tables among top-5 in almost every list.
Ensuring a top-notch after-sales service
Releasing products and updates aren’t everything for a business. Providing the best after-sales services is always at the top of our priority list. And to ensure that it remains so, we tripled the number of support engineers throughout the year.
Not just did our support engineers continually provide the highest quality services a software company can offer, they also recruited more personnel in the team and trained them intensively to make sure the quality of after-sales services don’t get compromised even the tiniest bit.
Along with that, the support team also worked on rolling out documentation of our new product and features, as well as updating the previous ones.
You’d be wrong to think that’s the range of our after-sales services. I, along with my teammates, have participated in roughly 5,500-6,000 unique conversations in different forums and WordPress discussions. The exact number may be higher as there is no way we can keep an exact count of that. The forums ranged from Facebook groups to Reddit discussions, to the comments section of YouTube videos.
But this we can assure you, we have provided solutions to each of the issues submitted in our product community groups. And the combined number of discussions initiated in our user communities is higher than 3,500.
Yes, we take user satisfaction THAT seriously!
Adding real value through content marketing
For most businesses, content marketing is just a part of SEO. That’s not the case for us. Yes, SEO is important, but adding value to the users is even more important to us.
Our products are good. But the scope of these plugins are so vast, users may often get lost, or even be unaware of the full potential of the products they have purchased. That’s why, we, at WPManageNinja, are solely dedicated to ensuring the best guidelines to the users through the power of rich, quality content.
Our goal is to make sure the user can just google the issue they have stumbled upon and find a solution by themselves. So that they don’t have to submit a support ticket for the easy-fixes they can sort out for themselves.
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But why keep you busy with long articles? You can just subscribe to the WPManageNinja YouTube channel and get valuable insights on your way to work. We keep our videos short, to-the-point, informative, and objective-oriented. So that you get the answer you were looking for without getting lost.
WPManageNinja team is now bigger than ever
All of these major feats couldn’t have been achieved if not for our team members. This pandemic separated us apart, but it didn’t break our spirit.
We have been a tightly knit team since the beginning. Not bound by the departments they are assigned to, our members work hand in hand whenever one of them is in need of assistance. That’s why working from home was a huge blow for us. We had to recover from that fast and make sure we are back to the regular pace soon.
There is one thing I must mention here. During the first few days of the lockdown, we were afraid of facing a global financial recession. We didn’t know how the pandemic situation will unfold, and what impact it would play on the economy. We made sure we’ll be able to deliver paychecks to all of our team members even if our revenue source ran dry for 15 months straight (worst case scenario). But if we implemented our regular increment cycle, that gliding period could have come down to 10-12 months.
We discussed this concern with all of our team members in the first general meeting we held after the lockdown. And to my joy, all of the team members agreed to postpone their increment to make sure we are all safe from the probable financial crisis. And we could ensure a safety cushion of 18 months because of that. We didn’t even have to think of downsizing or a salary cut this whole time. But in a couple of months, when we were assured that we won’t be hit that hard by the pandemic, we rolled out the increments everyone has been working for so hard. I can’t thank my fellow Ninjas enough for being together in the time of a global crisis and looking out for each other.
Not just supporting each other as fellow human beings, different teams held numerous learning and open discussion sessions varying on different topics. Before the lockdown, the development and marketing team would arrange open discussion sessions for all. Sometimes it would go so well and lively, 1-hour sessions would regularly turn into 2-2.5hour long discussions and go on even after the working hours.
Loved by the users
The success of a business can be measured by its growth. But you cannot just measure everything by numbers. Some things are way more encouraging than 200-300% growth in sales, or a 50% increment in the salary. These digits excite you merely once or twice every year.
But to keep you going throughout the year, you need a constant reminder of how much your efforts mean to your users. How much your products are helping people succeed in their goals.
As a user-centric company, our users’ feedback and feature requests play a massive role in our product development. No matter how big we grow, listening to users’ requirements will always be a top priority in our development cycle. That’s why we never ran short of the love we have received from our users, well-wishers, and growth partners.
We’d love to thank all of you for trusting us to help you build your businesses. Without your love, support, inputs, and feedback, we wouldn’t have come so far.
Goals set for 2021
Completing a successful year isn’t everything, if you cannot capitalize on your potential and do not keep the promises you made to your users. And we are determined to keep going forward, instead of indulging ourselves in the previous year’s success. Our schedules are already busy with development roadmaps for our flagship products. Have a glimpse of them here.
This is the product we are most excited about recently, and we are putting our best resources in advancing this plugin.
One of the most sought out features for FluentCRM last year was the SMTP plugin we promised our users. And we are planning to start 2021 by releasing this plugin for free for all our users.
Apart from the SMTP plugin, we will be working throughout the year to add more and more features to this amazing email marketing automation tool. Detailing the A/B testing features, better analytics, more granular reporting than ever, and above all- newer 3rd-party integrations are expected to be rolled out every month.
Fluent Forms is probably the most user-acclaimed WPManageNinja plugin after FluentCRM. And we have big plans for the most lightweight advanced form plugin for WordPress.
The most exciting feature we are currently working on are recurring payment/subscription modules. This feature is planned to be rolled out by the first quarter of 2021. Apart from that, we will be adding more 3rd-party integrations to Fluent Forms pro every month.
But that’s not all! Our users have been asking for a scheduling tool integration with Fluent Forms for a long time. We are excited about it too! This will be one of the most exciting features we are planning to release this year. The feature is still in the research phase. Who knows, we may even launch a built-in schedule management addon/module for Fluent Forms too, if that proves to be the best option performance-wise.
Ninja Tables is our most popular product of all time! And deservingly so. After all it is the most feature-rich advanced table builder for WordPress you can avail in the market.
As you already know, Ninja Charts addon was one of the most exciting sidekick Ninja Tables got last year. This year, we will be working more on that addon along with the core plugin. As performance is always our primary concern, we will be working on making Ninja Tables more lightweight and faster this year.
Will we be launching new products? Yes, and No!
Launching new products is fun, and exciting! But that doesn’t mean we are going to launch new products every year.
For this year, our primary aim is to work more on our existing WordPress plugins and provide our users with the best possible features we can offer. After all, stacking up new products won’t be a wise thing to do if we cannot make them better or provide the development and maintenance support a product requires.
That’s why, instead of working on brand new products, we will be focusing more on our flagship products- FluentCRM, Fluent Forms, and Ninja Tables.
BUT, that doesn’t mean we won’t be adding new products in the WPManageNinja family. Recently we have our eyes on two very exciting WordPress plugins. For obvious reasons, we cannot disclose any details on these products right now. But this we can assure you, both of them come packed with mind blowing feature sets. But what’s more exciting is the developers behind these products.
We are looking forward to exploiting the full potential of these geniuses. As per our plan, we will be acquiring these products and hire the development teams behind them. We are really excited about these upcoming mergers, and the products will be only announced when we have peeked into the plugins and have made sure that we will be able to promise the WPManageNinja quality our users keep faith in.
In a nutshell…
2020 was a peculiar year. But we are happy that we didn’t just survive the year, but were fortunate to experience stellar growth! The FluentCRM launch was a massive success. Ninja Tables and Fluent Forms grew exponentially too, both in terms of features and users.
That’s what makes us feel obliged to work more on these products. And as I said, we are prepared to take that challenge.
But, none of these would have been possible without your support, and the integrity our team members exhibited in a perilous year. And I can’t be thankful enough for that.
The aim is simple- to make 2021 a better year than the previous one, and set new growth records backed by solid products.