Breeze, our WordPress caching plugin, saw significant growth in 2020 with some very impressive download numbers and stellar reviews at WordPress.org.
Daily installations increased to 1,000, with the cumulative all-time downloads crossing the milestone of 700,000 downloads. It’s evident that users are interested in downloading and installing the plugin to see what the hype is about!
As a result, the number of active plugin installations increased from 70,000 to 100,000+ in 2020, a 42.86% growth increase for the Cloudways caching solution.
The reviews on the WordPress.org forum have largely been positive with a high percentage of 5-star reviews. The plugin rating increased to 4.1, up from 4.0.
The number of issues about plugin use cases and conflicts reported by our Platform Operations Team also reduced significantly in 2020. That was one of our objectives for the year as peace of mind is one of the key values that we aim to pursue at all times, and we took the feedback to heart by improving the product based on your suggestions.
The Theme of 2020 – User Experience
In 2020, our focus was on improving user experience and enhancing the compatibility of the plugin, ensuring it worked seamlessly with other plugins used by our users, particularly on Cloudways infrastructure. As such, we resolved several compatibility scenarios with WooCommerce, Sensei, LearnDash, Lift LMS, and Easy Digital Downloads. We also worked on making the Breeze plugin more compatible with other hosting providers!
This is an ongoing effort and we will continue to focus on enhancing plugin compatibility to increase the adoption of Breeze by the WordPress community. We are already working on ensuring compatibility now with PHP 8 and WordPress 5.6+!
On the functional side, we improved the codebase by removing unused deprecated code and libraries, with a direct impact on plugin performance and security. Breeze’s browser cache rules were also improved to provide a better experience to end users.
One of the biggest issues we tackled down was compatibility with WP-CLI. Cloudways is sponsoring WP-CLI for 2021, ultimately aim to make all our products and Platform compatible with it.
We Fumbled (A Bit)
Of course, no growth is possible without the risk of the occasional stumble. During a recent release, our quality assurance process unfortunately missed an issue that broke the Breeze experience for some users. While we took action quickly and fixed the problem in less than an hour, this mishap resulted in broken web sites for our users.
We regretted the inconvenience, and resolved to make the most of this as a learning experience. Accordingly, we changed our release process to ensure that we always deliver a product that meets the standards users expect from Breeze.
Product Updates – 2021 & Beyond!
We are preparing an exciting roadmap for Breeze:
We’ll be introducing image lazy loading, image compression, better compatibility with more and more WordPress plugins, database precaching, and a precaching functionality for your web sites.
Community Around Breeze
Our biggest win in 2020, however, was the community. To further center the community going forward, we are now moving our development processes to GitHub. In this way, we hope to have a transparent development cycle, one where we can effectively utilize user feedback to improve the Breeze plugin.
What’s more, developers will be able to take action on development and submitting PRs’.
As a result, you will see quicker feature releases in 2021!
is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform and a seasoned PHP developer. He loves to develop all sorts of websites on WordPress and is in love with WooCommerce in particular. You can email him at [email protected]