Thank You (ed. 2020)

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2020 – the year that in so many ways went different than anyone was expecting. Now 2020 has come to an end – a lot of people around the world might say finally. And I wish a lot of people would have done things differently – that would have saved many people’s lifes.

For me, personally, 2020 was a tough year in some way, too. But I’ve also learned a lot. Before 2020 I’ve always wondered if I could work from home and always have the motivation to get going and move forward. Now I know: Yes, I can – and it’s even better for me. But remember – that’s for me. If it’s not ok for you, then that’s perfectly fine. Everyone is and feels different. And that’s a good thing.

Not sure who needs to read this, but as you sit there scrolling after a dumpster fire of a year, looking at everyone’s list of accomplishments, and their best performing posts from 2020, don’t forget that social media is a HIGHLIGHT REEL! This year was fucking hard.

@beckiandchris, 2020-12-31 on twitter

And technically blogs – like this one – are social media, too. And now I have swear words on my site. Thanks, Becki ?

Let’s Take A Look At My Goals For 2020

But first: Thank you for being around, reading, sharing and making Elevenfour possible.

I guess there’s no way to skip that next part, huh?

More Articles on Elevenfour

Yes, I’ve done that. I’ve written some articles for Elevenfour’s main site, there’s now a documentation for Elevenfour’s styles and plugins and I’ve started a side project for Elevenfour (more on that later). ✅

More Videos

Sorry, not a single one. I didn’t even work on one this year. ?

Upgrade to WoltLab Suite 5.2

Again a success. In fact, I’ve just recently upgraded everything to WoltLab Suite 5.3. ✅

Finish the Yosmite Theme

Erm, nope, sorry. ?
The thing is that I’ve decided to go with Full Site Editing and that feature isn’t where I want (and maybe even need) it to be. But I’m looking into it – that’s one of those things I’ve learned in 2020 and most likely will be learning in 2021.

Rethink the forum structure

Yes, that’s been done just recently, too. I’m still evaluating if it was the right thing to do. ✅
For those of you who want to know more: Previously I’ve had one forum for style support and one for plugin support. Now they are merged and everything older than WoltLab Suite 3.1 has been moved to an archive – which wasn’t there before and is in “read only” mode.

Release 1 new style and 1 new plugin for WoltLab Suite

And again that happened, too. Although the plugin didn’t take that much effort from me but still it’s a plugin and a few people found it helpfull. Regarding styles: I’ve managed to release two of them. ✅

2020 In Review

I’ve decided that I’ll change this a little this year and give you glimpse at a chart that shows the downloads compared for every version of WoltLab Suite which might be of interest for some of you. Please note, I don’t show the exact numbers on purpose.

Chart showing the up and down of downloads changing every version.
For explanation: This chart incoporates downloads on D-Sign24.de (my first project), WoltLab.com and Elevenfour.

As you can see downloads reached peak with WoltLab Suite 1.1 (back then it was called WoltLab Community Framework), went down with WoltLab Suite 2.0, up a little with WoltLab Suite 2.1 and 3.1 but never again reaching the numbers of WoltLab Suite 1.1 and reaching it’s lowest point with WoltLab Suite 5.2.

So, on the positive side one could say, it’s a trend and it will most likely go up again with WoltLab Suite 5.3. And: WoltLab Suite 1.1 stayed longer around than any version since then. But then again: Does ist make sense to offer products for every version or would be more efficient to skip a version as most customers of WoltLab seem to do? ?

I’m not saying that I would do this it’s just fascinating to look at this and think about it. I’d also would like to know if other developers experienced this in a similar way – even with paid products.

The most downloaded style once again is Flavius – if you compare all WoltLab Suite versions. If you only take a look at WoltLab Suite 5.2 then Dark Core is the most downloaded style – almost twice the numbers of Flavius, which comes second.

The most download plugin is Dark Mode for WoltLab Suite ACP – making almost 40% of the downloads for WoltLab Suite 5.2.

A New Side Project

I guess it’s time to make it a little more official: During the first lockdown (one of these new words from 2020) I thought I might try something new and started a new project, which is part of the Elevenfour Network: WoltHub. Some of you out there in the internet must have already seen it – at least that’s what the sites internal visit statistics suggest.

The purpose of this project is to collect new releases of plugins and styles throughout the “WoltLab Universe” and also important news.

It took some time for me to figure out the best way to do it and the project is still in it’s early stages but it’s running and I’m still motivated to keep it u to date.

At first I tried to write news about every new release, than moved to roundup news and than giving up on that, too – since it was too much work to keep up after lockdown ended. But since I still wanted to keep the project around I thought it would be good to only link to the news the developers post. And since I didn’t find a plugin that would suit my needs I decided to develop one for myself – yet another thing I’ve learned to do this year. (Still far from being any good at this but it does what I want it to do.)

The Goals For 2021

  • New articles for Elevenfour
  • optional: A few new articles for the Elevenfour Labs
  • redesign a few things on Elevenfour (not too much)
  • optional: write two plugins to gain a little more independence
  • Create a design for WoltHub
  • optional: Bring a little bit more own writing to WoltHub
  • release 2 new styles for WoltLab Suite
  • optional: release 1 new plugin for WoltLab Suite
  • learn more about Full Site Editing and (optional) use the result on Elevenfour (that obviously depends on WordPress and is out of my control)
  • Take back control, it’s yours not theirs (that does only make sense for me) ?
  • Review the new forum structure on Elevenfour from 2020 – was it the right thing to do?

What’s more to say? I guess it is a tradition now to write this series. If you’d like to share your thoughts on this post you can either write on Twitter (@eleven4rl) or open a thread over on Elevenfour’s Feedback forum (account required – it’s free and you can cancel any time).

As always, if you made this far and if you have been: Thank you for reading. Wishing you a fantabulous 2021 and please stay safe. ? Have a fanastic new year ?