11 years with WordPress

This weekend marked my 11th year blogging on WordPress. It doesn’t feel like more than a decade of tapping the keys about my stuff, but here we are.

There have been a lot of changes to WordPress.com in the past eleven years, and that’s a great thing. It’s constantly evolving to be better, faster, smarter, and more useful. Not every incremental change has done all of those things (and indeed, sometimes there are some steps backwards in order to move forward). Working in Happiness for much of that time has given me a front-row seat to the changes that draw the most confusion and/or ire from customers, as well as how hard and rapidly our developers work to overcome those setbacks.

In those eleven years, I’ve published 2,202 posts (this will be 2,203), earning 61,903 views, and a hair over 32,000 visitors. Kindly readers have left nearly 1,000 comments (though some of those are my own replies; maybe as many as half?) Using my handy dandy built-in Jetpack stats, I can review my annual stats, which I will now bore you all with:

2010: 53 posts; 2011: 9 posts (a tragedy; the year the twins were born); 2012: 71 (the year I joined Automattic); 2013: 13 posts; 2014: 141 posts (getting better); 2015: 424 posts (now we’re talking); 2016: 338 posts (the year Grant was born); 2017: 437 posts; 2018: 379 posts; 2019: 212 posts (uh-oh, significant decline); 2020: 73 posts (oh shit); 2021: 33 posts so far.

I used to post every single day, sometimes more often. I found that a really fun and useful exercise for a few years, but when I felt I was not adding any kind of value I readjusted that pace. In 2020 everything fell apart, and I couldn’t muster up the energy or a modicum of creativity. As May snowfall turns to June heat, I’m finding more creativity again, and my latest stream of posts seems to agree with that. Blogging feels natural, and the barrier is low as far as the tool (WordPress) goes. I’ve used it so long, the friction is gone. But my own internal friction is far harder to overcome.

In these eleven years, I’ve spread just over 252,000 words across 2,203 posts; or just over 114 words a post. Many of my daily posts are just a title and a photo. In fact, 2011 (the year of 9 posts) is also my year of the highest average word count per post: 655. Frequency doesn’t necessarily beget depth. Perhaps it is telling that 2020 (73 posts) has a higher average word count than the previous 6 years per post, at 230. Like ink drops scattered across a page; few, but significant. My year of the lowest average word count is 2015 (424 posts), with an average word count of 53. Just fifty-three words on average that entire year. I suppose WordPress doesn’t count each image as a thousand words 😛

I’m very excited by the prospect of a further 11 years pecking away at the keyboard using WordPress. We recently brought Day One into the Automattic family, and I’m very intrigued by the idea of not just… spewing at the world. I know I can’t predict the next 11 years of growth and change within Automattic and with WordPress.com, but I’m confident that this space on the web that I’ve carved out will continue to grow and change with me. Thank you to my loyal readers, my inconstant readers, and my one time visitors. You are all very, very, ridiculously good looking.

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