Last February, 10up celebrated a milestone: ten years. In the year since, we continued to significantly grow our team, build out our services, and invest in our company culture and open source initiatives – all while earning 7 recognitions in The 25th Annual Webby Awards and multiple Microsoft Supplier Program Prestige Awards nominations.
Revenue and Team Growth
10up’s first decade of consistent revenue and team growth continued into our eleventh year. We grew revenue by over 15% and welcomed more than 60 new clients from verticals including, but not limited to, publishing, government, healthcare, and financial services. Our largest relationships continued to expand, with 8 clients each investing seven figures into our partnerships in 2021. We’re especially proud of the diversification of that growth, with our top client accounting for only 10% of company revenue, ensuring a healthy, low risk financial portfolio.
To achieve this financial growth, build the infrastructure for continued growth, and honor our commitment to exceptional craftsmanship and service, our full time head count grew by over 50, to almost 270 10uppers. We now proudly count 34 states and 38 countries amongst our (home) offices.
Our EMEA division continued its expansion in 2021. Double digit percentage revenue growth and 9 new clients marked a broadening of 10up’s footprint throughout the region. We cemented our partnership with Google through the formalization of a dedicated account team, and further developed the EMEA design practice with the establishment of the region’s first dedicated design focused team.
To care for and invest in our growing staff in the United Kingdom, 10up established a more formalized employment entity, and now offers a full suite of localized benefits in the country.
Our Managed Services division, which oversees 10up’s productized services and SaaS offerings and provides cloud infrastructure expertise, grew its year-over-year revenue by 45%. This was driven by 40% growth for SiteWatch, 10up’s low cost proactive website maintenance and support product and continued adoption of ElasticPress.io, 10up’s hosted search service for WordPress and WooCommerce. Behind the scenes, the Managed Services team was focused on their next generation of products and updates, including the beta launch of Instant Results.
Expansion and Growth in Core Professional Service Offerings
2021 saw major investments and expansions across our service lines, from adding deeper sub-specializations in established disciplines like engineering and design, to building out and hardening the foundations of smaller and newer teams. A few highlights included:
- Publishing our first Performance Best Practices: defining our expectations for modern enterprise content platforms, influenced by Google’s Core Web Vitals initiative.
- Our visual design practice expanded beyond user interface design and brand design to include interactive animation and motion design, as well as print and digital marketing material design.
- Our user experience practice codified content design (CD) as a subspeciality, focusing on strategy and production.
- Restructured and grew our Audience Strategy team, now a distinct discipline with dedicated leadership focused on data driven site measurement and testing, analytics strategy, SEO and SEM.
- Similarly restructured our monetization expertise as a distinct specialization with dedicated leadership; Publisher Revenue Strategy embraces traditional strategies, like advertising and paywalls, alongside innovative approaches like subscriptions, newsletters, and even merch and affiliate opportunities.
Open Source Contributions
We doubled down on our commitment to giving back to the open source ecosystem our profession is built on, with more than 8,000 hours invested by our team. Our dedicated Open Source Practice alone counted 3,510 commits, 69 releases, and 35 projects — a 25% increase year-over-year. Twenty 10uppers contributed to WordPress 5.7, 5.8, and 5.9, and we presented at GitHub’s Open Source Friday and Global Maintainer Summit, Click|Deploy, Clarity Conf, CodeLand, and WordCamp US. Fittingly, we released 21 new major versions of our publicly available open source solutions in 2021, including Publisher Media Kit and Convert to Blocks among 8 new solutions released for the first time.
Culture and Team Building
Each of these achievements is a product of the commitment and passion of our team – even eleven years in, we remain proactive in building and innovating a workplace that empowers that team to be healthy, happy, and high-performing. Throughout 2021, we invested in that mission:
- We welcomed our first executive focused exclusively on the humans that make up our team, Vice President of People and Culture Ajaka Roth;
- We launched Refresh Fridays – which turn the third Friday of every month into a meeting-free, lower stress, interruption-free workday – to create a space for uninterrupted focus, further schedule flexibility, and enable more restful and frequent use of time off.
- We introduced formal 4 day work week schedule configurations, including options to compress or reduce schedules into a Monday-Thursday configuration.
- We advanced 10up’s diversity and inclusion efforts, establishing our first council and charter, which began advising and working with the executive team. This included new Employee Resource Groups: safe-space forums for underrepresented groups;
- As previously mentioned, we made a major investment in establishing a full UK employment vehicle, providing a major expansion of benefits, services, and protections to our growing team in that region.
Onto Year 12
We’re excited to continue growing our team – and evolving our vision – to continue delivering design, engineering, and strategy tailored to the intricacies of the modern web. If you want to help shape our ongoing success story, come work with us. Or, if you’re seeking a partner to help define and execute your vision, get in touch.