With a new year comes a fresh start and a brand new set of objectives, but before we rush ahead and begin planning, building and creating, we wanted to take a step back to reflect on this past year.
Don’t forget to read all the way to the end of this post for a special offer to help kick start your upcoming web development projects.
Aspen Grove Studios: 2016 In Review
2016 was an absolutely incredible year for Aspen Grove Studios. With the number of highs far out-shadowing the lows, 2016 was all about growth, expansion and evolution.
With focus, drive, dedication and determination, we were able to exceed our initial goals and further enjoyed a number of additional wins that came our way.
Our First Formal Meeting Gets Gatecrashed!
In July of 2016, we held our inaugural corporate board meeting.
One evening, after discussions were had and decisions made, we – David, Cory and the wives Lisa and Mandy – parted ways for the night. While walking out of Cory’s front door, an unfamiliar acoustic caught everyone off guard. No, this wasn’t the sound of furious keyboard typing, nor was this the rattle of a MacBook Pro’s internal fan working overdrive during an all-nighter. This clatter was different, and it belonged to a very unfriendly looking rattlesnake.
After screams, shouts and sheer panic, Cory saved the day and managed to restore order to the inaugural corporate board meeting. We believe that the snake was merely inquiring about open positions. Unfortunately, we already had a team mascot: Doug E. Fresh.
Success with Statistics
Like many other businesses, we keep a close eye on our Analytics to keep tracking and refining the presentation of our website.
During the course of the year, our website received amazing scores of traffic. Due to our products, the Divi Demo Zone, our content and more, our website received nearly 100,000 unique visitors and almost half a million page views!! This is particularly great for us as we started the business and website at the very beginning of 2016 with no traffic passing through our website at all.
More Highlights from 2016
We’ve facilitated 7,235 downloads of our free resources.
We focused on our email marketing and grew our mailing list to add an additional 6,000 + monthly subscribers.
We increased our staff to a total of 9 employees (6 full-time and 3 contractors).
We published 57 blog posts.
We conceptualized, developed and launched a total of 30 products.
Finally, we, across the board of all Aspen Grove Studios staff, have discovered 57 new gray hairs… and have consumed a total of 7,665 cups of coffee!
As well as these highlights, we’ve also enjoyed plentiful success from the Divi Demo Zone, Divi Chat, and too, benefited greatly from attending a number of WordCamps around the country.
The Divi Demo Zone By Aspen Grove Studios
In March of 2016, we launched the Divi Demo Zone, an online space that gave Divi users access to the back-end composition of a number of Divi layouts. An invaluable learning tool for new to intermediate Divi users, the Divi Demo helped more and more people grow familiar with the Divi Builder interface and its plethora of settings.
Once Elegant Themes introduced the portability feature within the Divi 2.4 update, we began releasing the example sites featured in the Divi Demo Zones as free downloads. After only 10 short months of operation, the Divi Demo Zone has grown to become a key resource for many Divi users, and at present, sees over 4,000 frequent members accessing the site.
Another wonderful accomplishment of 2016 was the release of the Divi Chat podcast. Initiated by Aspen Grove Studios’ David Blackmon, Divi Chat was created specifically to assist and inspire Divi users within the greater community. Inspired by Jason Tucker’s WPwatercooler podcast, Divi Chat mimicked the same ’round table’ discussion format to facilitate a number of co-hosts. Here, independent Divi developers and guest hosts are able to share their individual stories, experiences, tips and snippets of advice with the greater Divi community.
Watch episode 12 of Divi Chat where the Divi developers discuss how Divi can help you with your WordPress web design business.
Aspen Grove Studios at WordCampS
Throughout the year of 2016, we – the co-founders of Aspen Grove Studios – prioritized networking and building our base of connections. With this, we traveled far and wide to attend a number of WordCamps across the country.
During each of the WordCamps, we’d met a number of inspiring and influential people. We have both sparked and solidified bonds with developers, designers and general WordPress enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, both in a business as well as in a personal capacity.
Of the relationships we’ve made, we hold a special place for the Elegant Themes team and members of the greater Divi community, especially the handful of independent Divi developers that we communicate and collaborate with regularly.
WordCamp Orange County
WCOC will always be remembered with deep fondness. It was during this WordCamp that a group of independent Divi developers traveled from far and wide to meet for the first time in person and spend time together. Not only were lifelong friendships and business partnerships solidified between the independent developers, but too, Divi Nation enjoyed spending time with Nick Roach and the team at Elegant Themes – and also enjoyed a sneak preview of Divi 3.0 weeks before its release!
Later in the year, in October, the co-founders of Aspen Grove Studios, David and Cory, ventured to Arizona to attend WordCamp Phoenix. Here, Aspen Grove Studios’ own, Cory Jenkins, made his speaker debut and discussed the processes behind managing a distributed workforce.
Watch the video below for full coverage of Cory’s talk below!
Finally, in December of 2016, David traveled to Philadelphia and joined the scores of international attendees at WordCamp US. As well as nurturing the relationships he began at the start of his WordCamp journey earlier in the year, David went on to meet even more incredible connections, both for his business and personal life.
Our Plans For This Year
We’ve already kicked off the new year with a total of 9,686 orders already placed for our products. For the year ahead, we aim to keep adding value to both your business and ours by:
- Releasing even more amazing WordPress, Divi and Extra child themes, layout packs, Divi Demo Zone designs and more,
- Launching a number of plugins including two large-scale enterprise plugins developed specifically for the exercise and property industries,
- Releasing a brand new site redesign of the Aspen Grove Studios website,
- Launching an online course called “The Ultimate WP Course” with Tim Strifler of Divi Life,
- Attending and speaking at more WordCamps throughout the country, and
- Embarking on a number of exciting projects with some of the biggest WordPress companies in the world, with our first collaboration with Josh Pollock of Caldera Forms kicking off in March!
Coming 2017: WP The Podcast!
Also launching in the first few months of 2017 is our brand new podcast: WP The Podcast!
Here, Aspen Grove Studios co-founder David Blackmon and Tim Strifler of Divi Life will cover relevant news, business tips, development tricks and product reviews while tackling a number of interesting topics all relating to WordPress.
We’ll check in at the end of this year, where we’ll reflect yet again on the objectives we’d set out here.
We hope that your business thrives over the year of 2017, and if you need a plugin or child theme to help your web development projects along, use this code GREATSTART2017 when checking out your cart for a 10% discount (valid until the 31st of January 2017).
What are your business goals for 2017? Are you planning on attending a WordCamp if you haven’t already done so? We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. Please feel free to share your comments or queries below. We love receiving your feedback.
Thanks for reading!