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WordPress In 2014: Influencers Share Their Highlights Of The Year

Updated on  1st January

15 Min Read
Reading Time: 15 minutes

Dear 2014,

You have been a fabulous year for all of us. We, the WordPress enthusiasts and lovers, owe much of our success to you. You have made us realize the true potential of  WordPress and the connections that it can nurture between the influencers, developers, moderators, and common users.

The New Year has begun. Another glorious year has gone down the memory lane. And, what an extraordinary year it was! WordPress has grown to become the most reliable, the most powerful content management system. Kudos to all those, who contributed their time and energy in making WordPress a resounding success.

Best WP Moments 2014

WordPress In 2014: A Quick Round-up

During the past year, WordPress went through three major releases. WordPress 3.9 was released in April. WordPress 4.0 was released in November, and just before Christmas, we saw 4.1. All 3 releases have transformed WordPress into a content management powerhouse.

WordPress 3.9 “Smith”

WordPress 3.9 “Smith” was a major release by Andrew Nacin (and he thanked everyone too!). It came up with many changes and we covered everything at every level. We wrote beta reviews, final review and we also did an infographic for this release.

WordPress 4.0 “Benny”

Helen Hou-Sandí lead the release of WordPress Benny. Visible changes to UI/UX and plugin view were some important features of this version. Language selection at the backend own the game. We wrote the beta releases that was followed by the full review and an infographic for the final release.

WordPress 4.1 “Dinah”

2014 ends with the release of WordPress “Dinah”. John Blackbourn lead this version. Default Twenty Fifteen Theme is the major part of this release. You must have seen the full review that was published a few days ago.

icon pictures

 

We developed many relationships in 2014. At the start of 2015, we are grateful to all of those who helped us in growing and shining. We have collected the best memories of 2014 from some of our friends in WordPress community. I hope you’ll enjoy this read.

1. Jean and Alyona (Co-Founders, WP Mayor)

I guess it was WordCamp Europe 2014 in Sofia. We were very happy to attend WordCamp Europe 2014. It was very successful for us! SiteGround went out of its way to prepare such a cool event. Everything was great and we are looking forward to visiting WordCamp Europe 2015 wherever it will be held.

2. Jeff Chandler (Author, WP Tavern)

My best WordPress memory of 2014 was getting to meet Nikhil Vimal of Techvoltz for the first time. He’s one of the youngest contributors to WordPress I know.

3. AJ Zane (Web Engineer, SPARQLcity)

The biggest point of the past year for me was AWP breaking 10k members. It really shows the momentum that the WordPress community is growing with. Technology wise, the JSON REST API is going to blow up the web.

4. Rhys Wynne (Developer, WP Email Capture)

Last year’s highlights for me was WordCamp Europe. It was a massive event in Sofia. I got to spend time with some interesting people and leaders in the WordPress community and it was a fascinating weekend of learning and fun (even if the walking tour I organised ended up a bit of a washout). Also, a personal highlight for me was speaking at my home town WordCamp – WordCamp Manchester, which welcomed people from all over the UK and Europe.

5. Ansel Taft (WordPress Web Developer)

For me, there were two biggest highlights of 2014.  One was Advanced WordPress cresting over 10,000 members and the contest we slapped together in 2 days and the second one, was the time when I was asked to join a panel at WordCamp San Diego.

6. Kyle Maurer (Lead Developer, Real Big Marketing)

In 2014, I personally had some amazing experiences. I made my first appearance and spoke for the very first time at a WordCamp. I also had the opportunity to help organize a WordCamp for the first time. I had a great time attending WordCamp San Francisco. During the past year, I also managed to record more than 35 episodes of my podcast series.

Some of the other highlights worth mentioning here, include:

  • Automattic acquired BruteProtect plugin
  • Chris Lema became a full time member of the WP community
  • John James Jacoby dedicated himself full time to BuddyPress, bbPress and GlotPress
  • Brian Richards dedicated himself full time to WP Sessions

7. Mark Zahra (Author, WP Mayor)

Having only joined Jean & Alyona on the WP Mayor team 4 months ago, and having never written for a WordPress blog before, my most successful post to date was definitely the Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals’ post in which I managed to put together over 70 deals for our readers and it eventually reached top spot in the Google SERPs; certainly a first for me and quite a proud moment.

Another cool experience I had was attending WordCamp San Francisco as a virtual participant. It was my first ever WordCamp and even though I only followed it via the live stream, it was a great experience to listen to all those great minds in one weekend. It’s certainly whet my appetite for more conferences next year.

8. Aline Hebenstreit (Community Manager, MH Themes)

For me, attending a WordCamp – WCEU Sofia 2014 – for the first time, which was an awesome experience, meeting many great people, hearing interesting lectures and taking a lot of motivation back home. Thanks for this nice question!

9. Vladimir Prelovac (Founder, ManageWP)

The best memory for me in 2014 was to attend WordCamp San Francisco in person, and the unusual positive energy felt through the halls of the event venue. Waking up to Matt and laying a ton of critique on him which he handled gracefully. Good stuff.

10. Manasseh Copinger (WordPress Enthusiast)

Yeah! It has been a fantastic year. I must say,  2014 will be remembered for how WP Hosting had evolved to very simple 1-click solution, cheaper but very effective. Other than this, I would say WordPress providing access to theme lifetime package at very affordable prices was really a good step forward, which made using WordPress for Apps really easy.

11. Christina Perryman (Founder, Mind-Blowing Things)

My favorite WordPress memories of 2014 were getting asked to help plan WordCamp San Diego 2015, expanding by web development studio, Revelation Concept, into my new digital creative agency, Mind-Blowing Things and the release of WordPress 4.0!

12. Chris Wiegman (Developer, iThemes)

For me, attending WordCamps Miami and Maine have been my favorite memories of this year as the biggest and smallest camps. That said, anytime one gets together with WordPress folks is a good time but these two camps really stuck out for me.

13. Bryce Adams (WordPress Developer, WooThemes)

There are a lot of personal achievements that I can count as the best memories for 2014, like joining WooThemes, contributing to WooCommerce core, releasing quite a few WordPress plugins and being a WordPress 4.1 contributor.

For WordPress in general, it’s great to see different communities spring up and grow in regions like Asia (Thailand) and South Africa, along with numerous groups popping up on Facebook with many excited participants – all loving WordPress!

14. Nick Adams (Founder, Revault Media)

One of the best memories from 2014 would have to be the release of WordPress 3.9 in April. It was a huge step forward for WordPress and kicked off a year of some awesome advancements.

Then there was the “Fire Drill” at WordCamp San Francisco. Another favourite was the focus on Accessibility (A11y) leading up to and including WordCamp Toronto, which was really exciting to be a part of.

15. Sarah Pressler (Advisor, Happy Joe)

The best thing that happened for me, in WordPress, in 2014, was being asked to join the advisory team for HappyJoe.org. James Dalman has already proven himself to be an amazing mentor and friend to me and it’s so nice to find passionate and enthusiastic individuals within the WordPress community, who are driven by a deep desire to do work that matters. I know 2015 is going to be a really fun and exciting adventure filled with positive experiences. It’s nice to know you have friends in your corner!

16. Bob Dunn (WordPress Trainer, BobWP)

Although there are several good WordPress memories from 2014, my best was being able to attend and participate in the first WooCommerce Conference. It brought together over 300 people worldwide, and it gave me the opportunity to meet so many cool people who are involved with WooCommerce as developers, designers and shop owners.

It also gave me the chance to meet the entire Woo Team in person. Over the last few years, I have had a lot of online interaction with them, but the chance for a handshake or a hug, and some great conversation was priceless.

bob in woo conference

Photo courtesy: Patrick Rauland

And lastly, the event in itself was so well organized and the content covered such a wide variety of topics, centered around WooCommerce. I’m looking forward to more memories of WordPress and WooCommerce in 2015!

17. Konstantin Yelin (Founder, WP Clipboard)

For me, it would have to be the Ghost project – the moment it became a standalone application, rather than a WordPress plugin. That gave everyone in the WP community a lot of food for thought, and we are still witnessing the knock-on effect – with new dashboard templates, edit screen and other UI/UX improvements.

And definitely WordCamp Europe in Sofia. I still remember exchanging client stories and anecdotes with my new acquaintances during one of the lunch breaks. The best story goes as follows: a client, when presented with a black-and-white mock-up of the site, said: “I love it, let’s publish this online, but would it be at all possible to have just a bit more colour and perhaps less Latin?”.

When it was announced that WordPress was powering the New Yorker and a few other major news sites. I finally had ammunition against clients who were worried that WordPress was “too dynamic” and they would rather use MS Access for their site instead.

18. Mari Kane (Author, Blogsite Studio)

My best memory of WordPress in 2014, was when I no longer had to find and change the double paragraph signs in Word before pasting it in the Edit box. WordPress 4.0 finally eliminates this drudgery by automatically spacing paragraphs with one space between as soon as I hit Save Draft. Oh what a relief that was!

19. Jill Binder (WordPress Web Developer)

The best part of 2014 was the Community Summit days following WordCamp San Francisco in October 2014. We are working on some really wonderful diversity projects for the global WordPress Community!

20. Olaf Lederer (WordPress Web Developer)

WordPress Meetup in Nijmegen – NL was the best memory that I will cherish for my lifetime. I attended this Meetup twice in 2014 and beside the great presentation, it’s also some good time for networking. This Meetup is growing very fast: 50 attendees for the 2nd session and 100 for the 3rd! I’m sure the sponsorship from YOAST is very helpful for this success!

ManageWP.org

This WordPress news-community has become a daily spot where I like to read / share and discuss interesting articles about WordPress. It feels like to be more in touch with other WordPress experts.

InfiniteWP

Almost a year ago, I was looking for a self-hosted WordPress management solution. InfiniteWP is the product I have been usiing for 6 month now and it’s a real time saver. I didn’t bought any extension, because I do my daily backups by using some Linux tools and CRON jobs. With InfiniteWP I’m able to get insights about active plugins very quickly and this information helps me to update them faster (from WordPress dashboard of course).

21. Kevin Muldoon (WordPress Enthusiast)

I must say that 2014 has been a year of refinement. Little things such as media embedding in the visual editor have improved WordPress.

22. Matt Medeiros (Co-Founder, Slocum Studio)

I will remember 2014 as a year when jetpack wasn’t taking over your site and putting freelancers out of business 🙂

23. David Bisset (WordPress/BuddyPress Developer)

For me, WordCamp San Francisco was a fabulous event. This WordCamp always brings the best memories of the year for me. This year was no different. The State of the Word particularly stood out in my mind with the mentions of internationalization (the fact that more non-English users will be downloading WordPress very soon and also the efforts of translatable themes) the forming of WordCamp USA (and the end of having WCSF at Mission Bay Conference Center). The community summit was also a unique and memorable experience.

WordCamp Miami – Organizing and pulling off one of the largest WordCamps in 2014 (close to 800 attendees) was one of my personal highlights. Not only was it a boost to the local community, but I think we also had one of the best BuddyCamps ever (and solidified Miami as the “home” of BuddyCamps to many). The involvement of the youth in our event was one of my proudest successes – from our first kids’ camp (with close to 20 youths) to having youths giving presentations on our main day. Our speakers and volunteers were the best ever and made the event truly a hallmark in our history.

JSON REST API – Not sure what if this existed before 2014, but this was the year that I fell in love with this plugin. Also the attention this has gotten (and the discussion of this plugin even outside the WordPress community bubble) has gotten me more excited about the future of WordPress.

BuddyPress – As a BuddyPress developer, no list would be complete without mentioning all the wonderful releases of this plugin that have occurred in 2014. The contributors really have outdone themselves, and with the funding of John James Jacoby’s indiegogo campaign it should be interesting to see how BuddyPress evolves in 2015.

WordPress.org Redesign – This came out around early April I believe, and I think it’s a wonderful thing and one of the highlights of the year.

24. Yaron Guez (Director of Technology, Trestian)

Matt Mullenweg joined the Advanced WordPress Facebook Group in 2014. That was a big moment. He took the time to do a lengthy Q&A session with the group. It was a great validation of our work building the group as well as a further example of how WordPress’ greatest strength is its community.

25. Heather Steele (Founder, Blue Steele Solutions)

One of my most cherished WordPress memories of 2014 was accepting Matt Mullenweg in Advanced WordPress back in August and the mini AMA that ensued once we welcomed him to the group.

facebook cloudways

The other big WP memory for me was being able to hand off about 90% of our WordPress theme work to my in-house front-end developer. That marked an important shift in my business.

WordCamp DFW– that was the first WordCamp in our part of Texas in about 6 years and the very first one, where Dallas and Fort Worth came together, so that was also really exciting. And like I mentioned to you before, WordCamp is like a big family reunion — WordCamp in your own backyard is even better.

26. Peter Nilson (Founder, WP Daily Themes)

Besides the three major WordPress releases named after Jazz musicians, 3.9 Jimmy Smith, 4.0 Benny Goodman and 4.1 Dinah Washington, are my best WordPress memories of 2014. All the excellent free WordPress themes that I discovered, tested and written about during the past year are there at the top as well. A big thanks to all the theme designers for all the work and hours they put down to release themes for the WordPress community. Impressive!

27. Matt Cromwell (Lead Developer, WordImpress)

The previous year has seen some astonishing developments in WordPress. There is not one but multiple memories that stand out for me. I was glad to attend WCSF for the first time and finding out it’s probably the LAST WCSF ever. The two releases in WP4.0 and 4.1 were both very welcome. And last but not the least, becoming a full time member of a distinguished team at WordImpress to work on WordPress code!

28. Tom Harrigan (Developer, Alley Interactive)

The year 2014 stands out for me for three reasons. First up, there was WordPress 4.1 released. I also managed to speak at WordCamp Saratoga for the first time. I also worked on Vogue relaunch.

29. Adam Mills (Website Designer, Bottomless Design)

2014 was a great year for WordPress! Among some of the highlights would be 3 major updates to WordPress as well as continued development of the Customizer including increased functionality and greater adoption amongst theme & plugin authors.

For myself personally, I was thrilled to attend the 5th anniversary of WordCamp Miami, and 2014 saw the release of 2 new themes of mine–Nectar & Birch.

30. Michelle Schulp (Owner, Marktime Media)

I had a lot of great memories with new and old WordPress friends including running a WordCamp, but my favorite memories are the ones where people said something I said, or did was able to inspire them in their life or career. I am so happy to be able to pay it forward from the people that inspired me.

31. Devin Walker (Founder, WordImpress)

In the year 2014, we have seen some important Visual Editor improvements – Embedding videos and tweets is a breeze and now working with Galleries is much more visual.

Another milestone was when AWP reached 10,000 members (almost at 12,000 now!) – It’s been great to see the group grow. The challenge has been making sure the conversation stays advanced in nature and combatting the spammers. I feel, we have done a good job as admins to ensure this group stays a rising star in the WordPress community.

New WP Admin Theme and Plugin browsers – This makes finding themes and plugins fun and easy.

WordPress Core starts testing Slack – I never liked IRC or Skype. Slack seems a lot better solution. I hope testing goes well and it’s the chosen communication platform.

32. David Laietta (Founder, Orange Blossom Media)

There are so many memories to count on and cherish. Firstly, the WordPress team chat moving from IRC to Slack, making it easier to use and more accessible to more people around the world: WordPress + Slack.

Secondly, I must say, the controlled chaos that is WordCamp San Francisco and the community summit that followed. There was such an amazing talent and spirit in a small area!

David conference

On a personal level, I was listed as a core contributor, something that I hope to continue on future versions.

And the last one is by far my favorite, and proudest achievement of 2014 with WordPress is the incredible team that I got to work with to make WordCamp Orlando a smashing success. I foolishly forgot to get a picture of all of the organizers together, so excuse the self-promotion image with just myself.

33. Aigars Silkalns (Founder, Colorlib)

For me, 2014 was a great year. I jumped into free WordPress theme development and my themes have been downloaded over 600,000 times. My main WordPress related project Colorlib is now 20 times more popular than it was in January based on number of visitors. I also managed to make some contacts in WordPress community.

34. Heidi Cool (Web Designer/Strategist)

My best WP memory for 2014 was the 5th annual Cleveland GiveCamp –  geeks in the home of rock and roll coding for charity. This year we had ~200 volunteers building websites and related projects for 21 local non-profit organizations over the course of a weekend.

Many of the sites are built on WordPress and my role each year is to be the roving WordPress adviser. Basically I answer questions, help with template coding, choosing plugins, etc. then at the end, I give a training session to the folks from the non-profits who will be managing their sites.

heidi cool

In addition to aiding the non-profits, it is a good way to connect with fellow nerds and I always end up learning something new. It’s also a fun bunch of people and we have the luxury of working in a unique location, both on a boat and at the neighboring airport. We also have great sponsor support and a hospitality committee that makes sure we are very well fed.

35. Sam Berson (Founder, wpContent)

My best memory of 2014 was speaking for the first time at WordCamp Manchester on ‘Managing a Multi-Author Blog‘ and wearing my new WooThemes t-shirt. I was excited to meet co-founder WordPress, Mike Little.

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36. Ahsan Parwez (Community Manager, Cloudways)

There are two most important WordPress memories for me that improved the overall performance and efficiency of my WordPress websites.

First being that, I got to know about WP-CLI tool to manage WP sites from command line. It is an amazing tool that has sped up my management tasks of WP sites and I recommend all my WP friends to use this command-line tool.

Secondly, I have finally encourage myself to dive into server stuff and study more about next generation WordPress hosting stacks. The current setup that I am using is Nginx, Varnish, Apache, Memcached – making a great combination.

37. Nile Flores (Founder, Blondish.net)

I think my best memories in WordPress for 2014 have been the WordCamps I’ve been at. All of them were packed with people wanting to hear about things like making money with WordPress or SEO or Podcasting. It was exciting to see so many people wanting to do something with WordPress. These are the people who have helped WordPress grow and seeing them in person is always a great experience.

Other than that, I think my other memorable WordPress event of 2014 is my Facebook group All About WordPress reaching over 6,000 members.

38. Frank Apicella (Founder, GrowthPress)

2014 has been a great year for me. I managed to create a website. It took a LONG time but it was so rewarding. It was modeled after TechCrunch, Gigaom, VentureBeat, etc.

During the past year, I also started my blog, GrowthPress, which originally was to be a service-based model but now I’m moving towards a affiliate / course model, just giving as much value for free as possible getting paid on the backend. Also I was able to drive 12,000 visitors in the first two weeks without paying a dime, which was awesome!

In the meantime, I also discovered App Presser, but haven’t gotten to play with it yet. Very excited to though! Hmm.. and just recently I LOVE the new distraction free writing mode that WordPress added in 4.1.

My Best WordPress Memories Of 2014

2014 was great to me. From the start, my tips from one of my tutorials got a mention in a post from UPCity. I connected with the community and interviewed more than 30 WordPress influencers. I became the moderator of two WordPress communities: All About WordPress on Facebook and WPChatter | WordPress on Google+.

WordCamps always attracted me. With a suggestion of Suzette Franck, I virtually attended WordCamp Miami and the experience was overwhelming. After that, I motivated my friend Sam Berson to attend his first WordCamp in Manchester. We both were excited for it. I also did infographics for the schedule of WordCamps twice this year.

Looking forward to multiply the figure of interviews in 2015. And, I wish to attend any WordCamp physically.

What Do We Need In 2015?

While 2014 was great, but it is essential to beat the best in coming time.

As always, security has remained the most haunted and vulnerable area that requires to be taken seriously. WordPress websites have been the target of hackers for half a decade now and the attacks are becoming sophisticated by each passing day. There is an urgent need for the developers and community members to come up with adequate measures and solutions to nip the security monster in the bud.

And, that’s about it, everything else in WordPress is perfect. What do you think? Share your feedback in the comments below.

Lastly, I would invite you to check Cloudways WordPress Cloud Platform, where the VMAN optimization recipe makes your website 100% faster.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year and don’t forget to enjoy our treats.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Waseem Abbas

Waseem Abbas was WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves to help people with their WordPress worries. He is a self-proclaimed "food explorer".

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