At the end of the year, I like to pause and think a bit about where Honest Code has been and where we’re going. I know I’m a little late for a New Year’s Day message, but hopefully it’s close enough to work.
2011, in every measurable way, was a banner year for Honest Code. True, it was only our second year in business, but compared to all the years I’ve been freelancing, 2011 was indeed exceptional. In revenue terms, it was my second best year ever. My best year, 2008, saw over 60 percent of my revenue come from one place: the U.S. Department of the Navy. This year, my largest client accounted for just 23 percent of my income. More customers and more work made 2011 certainly busier, if not more successful.
Even though I had a larger diversity of clients, nearly two-thirds of the work I did last year was related to WordPress development — design, themes, plugins, widgets, and conversion routines from other content management systems. Years before, I would go through a little song and dance to convince customers that WordPress is a good option for them; Today, customers come to me with WordPress already in mind.
2011 brought us some great projects. Late in the year, The Skateboard Mag, launched its brand-new, WordPress-based website greeting 10,000 visitors per day. Honest Code built a custom WordPress theme and imported their existing content from their less-performant, home-grown CMS. We also launched a brand new identity and website for Great Ecology, with the help of our friends at Traina Design.
Where we are
This year, probably the biggest event for me personally is that my fiancée Michelle and I are getting married in March.
What does this mean for Honest Code customers? The past three months have been very intense with work. I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to focus more on the wedding (and take on less new business) for the first three months of the year. After the wedding (and maybe a trip in April) I’ll start ramping back up for the rest of the year.
Where we’re going
I’m very much looking forward to the coming year. I’m starting a new technical illustration project for an Orange County-based sensor products manufacturer that will be a welcome change to my web development routine.
That isn’t to say I’m entirely shifting gears, of course. In 2012, I’ll be working with Creativity Included to build and market a commercial image carousel plugin for WordPress.
I’m also cautiously optimistic about some speaking opportunities coming up this year. I’m working on talks about WordPress theme development — and development in general — for designers that may be more comfortable with print than web design.
Starting in the second quarter, Honest Code will also be proud to accept credit card payments online using Stripe. I’m solidifying our security and banking infrastructure now, and will be thrilled to provide this convenience for our large and small customers alike.
Of course, I want 2012 to be my customers’ best year, too. Anything Honest Code can do to make your business healthier, stronger, and more agile makes us feel good too.
Thanks so much for taking an interest in Honest Code in 2011, and also for your continued custom in 2012.