Epic Plugins: year in review 2013

December 17, 2013| Mike Stott

As I sit here, Christmas is creeping ever closer and I am yet to buy Christmas presents for the family…  I have decided to reflect and spend some time going over what Epic things have happened over the course of 2013 and how Epic Plugins didn’t even exist this time last year… So I would like to present to you my own personal review of 2013 and how Epic Plugins has grown and how it has helped me to develop over the year… I’ll also share a bit of insight into some of my other achievements both from a Web Development perspective, and also a personal perspective.

The fact this site has grown to what it is in just a year is an amazing achievement which I hope, some way along the line, has benefitted you as a WordPress user and an Epic customer (or an Epic future customer).

You may have been a fan of Epic Plugins since we started, or you may have just stumbled across us as you were trying to find a WordPress plugin that fixed that little annoyance you’ve always had with WordPress…. It’s crazy to think that Epic Plugins was only launched on 1 January 2013 and this was to serve the purpose of acting as a central demo site for my increasing number of CodeCanyon plugins as putting up a new domain and setting up a theme just to host a plugin demo was getting a bit time consuming so it was much easier to just pop up a centralised site which could be the future HUB of plugin development for me..

The Epic Plugins concept actually was created in 2012 (but not launched as its own site) through a joint venture and side project with Woody Hayday where I (Mike) had the idea for the concept of a WordPress plugin which allowed you to click and image and make comments about the image next to the image (in a Lightbox) and through this Social Gallery was born…  in July 2012… wow what an epic plugin, we said. social-gallery-500sq.png

Social Gallery was managed by Woody as the initial developer with input from me on the support side as I set off on my own WordPress plugin journey..  Social Gallery is EPIC however there were lots of epic ideas flying around in my head.. Social Gallery had got off to a great start and soon hit 200 sales, then 300.. and wow now it sits at around 2,200! So yeah, I know this sneaks into 2012 (but I never got the chance to do a 2012 review on this site), but late in 2012 I released my very first WordPress plugin – Pics Mash. This was born through the fact I had already written the code for a book cover rating while watching the Social Network (you may remember my short post on the motivation behind Pics Mash)..

Wow, my first WordPress plugin created… and submitted and approved for sale on CodeCanyon.

This is pretty Epic for me and Pics Mash started to slowly sell some copies, it was in a head on race with Social Gallery to hit 10,000 sales… but Social Gallery was flying and things have been epic ever since. It didn’t take long at all throughout 2013 to take my total number of WordPress Plugins on my CodeCanyon Portfolio to 9 items and almost 1,500 sales…  wow.. thanks to everyone who has picked up a copy of any of my plugins.

Half way through 2013 Epic Plugins fully acquired Social Gallery Plugin and became the sole owner of the plugin for the second half of 2013.

This meant I had to pick up and take my existing knowledge of WordPress Plugins and study the code behind Social Gallery, look through each of the 2,800+ posts on the Social Gallery Support Forum to be able to understand, continue support and drive forward future development of the plugin and it’s family (the add ons, and the video viewer). That was also coupled with the closure of the bbPress customer forum on Epic Plugins and the move to a brand new forum supported by vBulletin which has been effective since June 2013 and has racked up around 1,000 posts.

Both the Epic Plugins forum and the Social Gallery forum are solely managed and supported by me alone… this is a pretty Epic task just by itself!

So, 2013 has been pretty Epic, it’s brought 14 plugins exclusive for sale on CodeCanyon, 9 of my own under mikemayem3030 and 5 available under the “epic plugins” brand. The reason for 2 accounts is Envato do not allow me to merge the two accounts into a single portfolio so I have to manage two separate accounts over on CodeCanyon as well as two forums and this central site…

Wow, 5 plugins on the Epic Plugins brand at the end of 2013, developed up from 2 at the end of 2012. Including an awesome feature packed upgrade of Social Gallery to v3.8.1

Yep, Epic Plugins has really grown, which now brings me onto the plugins available “direct” from this website at THE STORE. Yep, in 2013 I have also developed and released 7 more plugins AND a single theme (WPeddit). Wow…  that now means my total of plugins created, supported and developed in 2013 has risen from 0… to 22 plugins, not counting the two Social Gallery Add ons and the Google Chrome extension!!

2013 has resulted in an Epic portfolio up to 25 items!! in a single year… WOW

Read the full list of WordPress Plugins here Wow, so that’s the pretty epic Epic Plugins review of what we have achieved on this site in the short year… which in summary has involved

  • Development of 25 WordPress plugins
  • Support and maintenance of 25 WordPress plugins
  • A multi language global customer base
  • Development of this site and the blog
  • Management of two support forums
  • Email updates and general epic-ness!!

Epic Personal Insight…

No self review of the year would be complete without sharing a little insight into other things I have been doing throughout 2013…. The biggest and possibly most surprising if you’re one of my customers is that Epic Plugins has been born from a side project, a need for a small personal website to have image comments next to images. The growth over the year has been epic and it has happened while I have still been doing a standard 9-5 role outside of all this Epic-ness.

Yep… that really IS epic and hopefully will help you appreciate how much has been provided on top of an already busy and demanding 9-5…  I have turned my “hobby” into a nice little growing portfolio of plugins which the WordPress community seem to enjoy and I hope I can continue to produce and build awesome things! Apart from the usual 9 to 5 role taking up the bulk of my time (and Epic Plugins my hobby time) I have continued to keep doing what I have always done and other hobbies and events over the year, I go to a load of movie showings and have an unlimited annual pass to the Cinema… the perfect way to unwind…

Some of the films I’ve seen over the year are (if some are from 2012 forgive me):-

  1. Thor 2
  2. Kick Ass 2
  3. Philomena
  4. Iron Man 3
  5. Gravity
  6. Plus about a million more that I won’t bore you with

I’ve been on a wide range of vacations this year (so sorry guys if the support has been away – I do everything myself and don’t have a “team” of people at beck and call)… some places of note have been Las Vegas (quite a way to travel from the UK), Amsterdam, Italy and Spain! All Epic places and I plan to visit them all again (with Amsterdam next on the list for NYE 2013).

Vegas is totally cool and if only it was less than an 11 hour flight away… I’ve completed the tough mudder challenge (which was brutal but great fun – that’s not me in the photo by the way)

Not to mention the usual fun of a few drinks with friends at whatever opportunity I can lay my hands on.. I also took another trip abroad (down South to London is near enough abroad for us Northerners) to meet up with Woody for some beers and a curry – having never have physically met before… I decided against the idea of showing up clutching a bouquet of flowers and a heart shaped box of chocolates).

It was cool to have a catch up and I’m sure 2014 will bring another one somewhere random! Finally, I have helped with various custom modifications of plugins and the odd bit of “old school” website design using pure HTML, CSS and PHP.

Plans for 2014

No year in review would be complete without a little glimpse into the future at what’s planned for 2014. Things on the list are:-

  • Continue to support and develop the current Epic Plugins Portfolio of 25 items
  • Release my very first Software as a Service Package as a user “website application” built on WordPress
  • Grow the Epic Plugins Portfolio over 2014 – with help from current users requests and new ideas of my own.
  • Drive forward my 2011/2012 ebooks  (yes, I am the author of a number of ebooks) and also have recently put up NMS gaming as a central hub for the gaming books).
  • Assist and help drive forward the development of a localised training and development centre for computer technologies (UK based) centralised around the use of Microsoft Excel
  • Attempt to get more sleep and read some more books!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little (or rather long!) insight and year in review and I wonder what the next year will bring

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