10up’s eighth year saw significant team and financial growth, all while we renewed our dedication to the values of openness and ownership. Our ethos of collective ownership drove us to find creative solutions, looking beyond the short-term to consider how our ideas scale, fit into product roadmaps, or impact the overall technology stack. And through it all, we increased revenue and grew our team—each by 30%—and welcomed more than 40 new clients across industries as diverse as media, publishing, high-tech, finance, food & beverage, and architecture.
Team and Financial Growth
Since our seventh anniversary, we grew our team by 37 people, with new additions across more than a dozen countries. In the United States, we welcomed hires across a dozen states, including our first-ever team members from Delaware, New Mexico, and Indiana. Our international footprint grew across England, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Finland, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Portugal, Brazil, and Nicaragua.
With this expanded team we were able to realize ~30% revenue growth over the prior year. The European market was an especially bright spot as we crossed several planned milestones, adding a dedicated delivery team, increasing our revenue there into seven figures, welcoming several news clients, and launching tent-pole properties such as www.nobelprize.org (the official website of the Nobel Prize) and Inside Intercom (Intercom’s widely-respected blog).
We also introduced new roles, expanding our Audience and Revenue team with a dedicated SEO specialist, welcoming an Open Source Practice Manager, and adding our first Associate Director of Site Reliability.
Our managed services team also enjoyed sustained growth, increasing monthly recurring revenue by almost 50% over the year and realizing seven figures in annual revenue from recurring productized or managed services. Contributors to that growth over the last year included:
- ElasticPress.io Essential, a new plan for small businesses at $79/month with a free, instantly provisioned trial.
- Our ElasticPress.io hosting partnership with Savvii, enabling their hosted WordPress customers to easily enable and integrate ElasticPress.
- The introduction of SiteWatch. This new product offers routine, proactive maintenance, updates, and 24/7 emergency monitoring, as well as basic development support for websites.
Open Source Investments and Contributions
We participated in the successful release of WordPress 5.0, which debuted an entirely new editor experience (code named Gutenberg), making it one of the most impactful updates to WordPress in years. Our efforts included usability testing for Gutenberg to help the WordPress Core Design Team refine the experience and contributing more than a dozen accessibility patches. SketchPress, our open source library for the ubiquitous design tool Sketch, was updated to include Gutenberg components and became the endorsed interface design tool for the Core and Gutenberg design teams. Simple Podcasting offered a podcasting integration for WordPress that was built with the new editor paradigm, and received acclaim from Automattic’s Global Head of Design:
Use the 10up Simple Podcasting plugin with your WordPress site. It’s super well done. —John Maeda
This has also been a particularly eventful year for our Open Source team. We’ve long dedicated time to contributing to open source, shipping plugins and speaking at events. This year we doubled down on our investment in open source and community contribution, by reorganizing and providing greater structure, resources, and focus. Because of this, we had one of our most productive years yet. Among our many milestones, we:
- Released Distributor—a free WordPress plugin that makes it easy to syndicate and reuse content across your websites.
- Introduced a public beta of WP Acceptance—a team-centric tool we’ve built for writing reliable, scalable acceptance tests.
- Combined WP Local Docker with WP Snapshots—to enable efficient local development by sharing complete project snapshots in the cloud.
- Updated the accessibility standards in our 10up Engineering Best Practices based on an internal mandate that all projects to achieve a baseline accessibility compliance goal of WCAG 2.0 Level A.
- Contributed MathML support to Google AMP, and wrote about it on Google’s official open source blog.
- Sponsored and presented at several flagship events in the WordPress community, including WPCampus, WordCamp US, and WordCamp EU.
Other Notable Highlights
In addition to our client work and open source contributions, there were a few other highlights that stood out in our eighth year:
- Designing a landing page for the Google Doodle on Veterans Day, showcasing a client, StoryCorps.
- Producing professional company brand and team videos.
- Partnering with The News Project to help build a news-focused SaaS platform atop technologies including WordPress, and garnering mentions in publications like Axios for our efforts.
Culture and Team Building
No review of our eighth year would be complete without a mention of our largest All-Hands Summit yet, held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It opened with two days of conference-style sessions, team activities, and a client panel including Microsoft, a TripAdvisor company, Sunbeam Television, and WCG Clinical. The following two days were focused on camaraderie, with teams enjoying rafting, Grand Teton National Park excursions and ATV tours, celebrating individual achievement through our 4th annual Uppies, and rocking out to the unofficial and open-to-all 10up band, the Summit Rumors.
Are you committed to crafting digital experiences that transcend singular platforms or trends? Do you love being a part of the open-source community? Come help us make the web a better place.