Author’s Note: It may seem as though this “new year” post is being published a bit late (February 3rd). While that may be true, I think I have a good excuse. For that past 3 weeks I’ve been called to duty by my National Guard unit to help secure the Capitol Building for the inauguration. This was totally unexpected and pulled me almost completely away from my businesses for most of the month on January. So, needless to say, I’ve had to delay a lot of the new year activities I had planned, including this post. Now, on to the show…
Wow, 2020, what a rollercoaster.
Of course COVID played a major part in upending the world, but 2020 was also a big year for me personally. I got engaged, got married, and bought a new house!
And of course it’s been a great year for us here at KeyPress.
In this post I’ll be summarizing what we accomplished as a company in 2020 and what we plan to do in 2021.
2020 Goals Recap
Last year I wrote a blog post about what we hoped to accomplish in 2020. Let’s take a look at each goal we made for 2020 and see how we did.
Goal #1: We’ll continue to run and improve the Turnkey Websites Blueprint course and community to help more web professionals build a successful WaaS.
We were doing good during the first half of the year, and even added new lessons in the course including a WP Ultimo tutorial and updated guidelines around domain mapping and SSL.
But it became clear that the world of WaaS had changed so drastically that it would require a complete revamp of the course from the ground up. This new version of the course would be anchored around the upcoming 2.0 release of WP Ultimo. Our updated course would be called Turnkey Websites Blueprint 2.0.
The second half of 2020 came and went and we weren’t able to even start on the new version of the course. So at the end of the year I decided to open up the Turnkey Websites Blueprint 1.0 course indefinitely for folks who couldn’t wait for the new version.
I feel like I should have done that sooner, because the current course is still very useful and the framework presented is still solid.
So while you’ll be missing out on the live coaching calls and the comradery that comes from going through a live course intake, you’ll still get all the info you need to plan, build, and grow your own turnkey website platform.
Goal #2: We’ll continue to add features to our two plugins, UI Manager and DNS Manager
We’ve definitely accomplished this one, as you can see from our changelogs.
In 2020 we released two major releases for UI Manager. Some notable features added include:
- Added a Dashboard module that allows you to add/remove/rearrange/create dashboard widgets to completely replace the dashboard screen with your own design.
- Added branding and stye customizations that allow you to easily change the look of the WordPress admin to whatever look you want.
- Added live preview to the Branding module so you can see your changes in real time.
- Added the ability to export/import views between sites for any module.
- Plus many small updates, bug fixes, and improvements.
We had three major releases for our DNS Manager plugin as well, all revolving around integrating new DNS providers. Some notable updates include:
- Added support for ClouDNS.
- Added support for CloudFlare.
- Added support for DNS Made Easy.
- Added full integration with Cloudflare’s proxy and DNS fetching features.
- Added the ability to edit WP Ultimo’s domain mapping metabox texts.
- Made it easier to bulk manage DNS records across sites in multisite.
- And we’re very close to releasing the ability for subsite users to manage their own DNS records (there are a lot of permissions issues we need to get right before releasing this).
Goal #3: We’ll introduce a new course to help you in other aspects of growing a profitable digital business.
We barely got this one out, but we did manage to launch the first run of our productizing worksop called ProductizeNOW! Bootcamp.
We had a great group of 30 folks go through the workshop and get their productized services started and now we have plans to turn it into a full fledged course, coming early 2021.
Goal #4: We’ll introduce a new plugin to help you further enhance the WordPress experience for your customers.
This is one goal that we didn’t meet, mainly because we had our hands full supporting and improving our current plugins.
A philosophy we have here at KeyPress is that we’ll always focus on our current customers first and make sure that what we give them continues to work and gets improved. Only when we’re confident that is the case will we turn our attention to something else.
So to that end, we decided to put all our focus on our existing plugins in 2020. But we do hope to be able to begin on a new plugin in 2021.
Goal #5: We’ll launch a super-helpful podcast centered around the idea of scaling the impact that your business has on the world.
Here’s another goal we didn’t reach. I had every intention of starting this podcast, but with the way the world was turned on it’s head and those big life changes I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I just couldn’t focus on this project.
It’s still very much on my radar though, and something I hope to do this year.
So…three out of five aint bad huh?
What Else Did We Work On?
There’s also a big project that took a lot of our focus last year.
It’s a WaaS project for a client and we believe it will be a game changer for that client’s industry.
This project consists of a lot of customized code and development, which is great because we’re learning a lot about how far you can push the envelope with WordPress multisite and WaaS.
We’ve spent over 300 hours on this thing in 2020 and we’re really excited to share the results of it once our client is able to launch it, which we hope will be early this year.
Stay tuned for a run down on that when we’re able.
What’s in store for KeyPress in 2021?
Like I did last year, this year I’d like to let you know what we have planned, in a broad sense, so that you can share in our excitement for the future of this little two-person company of ours.
This year we’re really going to start to consolidate all of our various projects under the KeyPress umbrella: plugins, courses, consulting, and content/community.
Here’s a rough whiteboard sketch of our proposed new structure:
We want KeyPress to be a hub for tools and resources for the world of WaaS and other recurring revenue business models built on WordPress.
To that effect, I’m breaking down our goals for 2021 into four buckets which represent the primary focus areas of KeyPress Meda.
KeyPress Plugins Goals
Before I get into this, I need to get something off my chest.
We’ve noticed that any time we announce our future plans for our plugins, another company with more resources than us magically comes out with a similar plugin or features shortly after we announce our plans.
Could it be coincidence? Maybe.
But it’s happened more than once, so we think it may be something that’s being done deliberately to get a leg up on us. We do feel this has negatively affected our business a bit. As a result we’ve decided not to disclose as much about future plans for our plugins.
There is one big goal we’ll be working on in 2021 that I don’t mind sharing. We feel we’ve built a really good base for both plugins, and we have a lot of ideas (many from you all) to add tons of new features. But we’re very sensitive to how bloated the average plugin can get, and we know not all of these new features will be used by everyone.
So our plan is to build a modular add-on system for our plugins that will allow you to extend the functionality of the plugins to what you need without causing unnecessary bloat. We’ll be offering both free and premium add-ons, much like many plugins we know and love like Gravity Forms and Easy Digital Downloads.
This will require a bit of work upfront, but we think it’ll be worth it in the long run, both for you and us.
We also have many other improvement plans for these plugins, most of which you can find on our roadmap page.
KeyPress Academy Goals
This year we plan to introduce KeyPress Academy, which will be the overall brand for our training courses and membership programs.
Soon it will also include ProductizeNOW! which we plan to turn into a full fledged course this year.
As mentioned earlier, we also plan to relaunch the Turnkey Websites Blueprint.
And then we do have a 3rd course up our sleeve that may or may not be ready to launch this year. Courses are a lot of work, so I’m trying to keep realistic expectations, here.
Needless to say, a big focus of ours is training. I’m looking forward to expanding that side of our business this year!
KeyPress Consulting Goals
While we’ve been doing occasional consulting on the side, we’d like to formally include it as a service offering, so people know that they can come to us if they’re looking for a custom WaaS platform.
Once we finish our big secret consulting project, we’ll have a good project to highlight in our portfolio. We’d love to continue to take on big, meaty WaaS projects for industries that can really use this type of custom easy-to-use DIY platform.
The ultimate purpose here is to make money, of course, but also to use these opportunities to experiment and share what we learn. In fact, that’s the thread we hope to weave throughout all of KeyPress. We try new things, experiment, and report the results. If it works out, we’ll create a course to teach you exactly how to do it yourself. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll talk about what we think went wrong and how you can avoid it too.
KeyPress Content and Community Goals
Last, but by far not least, is our content plan.
I’m a big believer in content marketing, and I know the best way to build an audience of loyal followers who know, like, and trust you is to create regular content. Helpful content. Sincere content.
So this year we will renew our focus on this. By the end of the year we hope to develop a system that will allow us to release regular…
- Blog Posts
It’s a tall order for someone like me who is the founder/cofounder of 2 other businesses outside of KeyPress, but I believe if I can create a good system and process around content creation I can make it happen.
Here’s to success and growth in 2021!