As the end of the year is nearing (time sure went fast), it is time to look back and ahead to the coming year.
Third year of freelancing
This year was my third full year of freelancing. I'm happy with the projects that I have been able to work on this last year.
There was a nice mixture of WordPress and Laravel projects, though this year, there was a surge in Laravel projects. As I love working with Laravel a lot, that is something I'm happy about and hope to see continuing next year.
With most travel restrictions lifted in 2022, I was able to travel a bit this year. In January, I went to Barcelona and in March to Malta. In both cases, I went for a week and I devided my time there between working and sightseeing. I really like the 'workcation' type of traveling. I hope I can continue to do some more of this the coming year.
Like in previous years, I've continued to work on several open-source projects.
TailPress is my most popular repository on GitHub. It is a boilerplate WordPress theme that has been around for a couple of years now. This year, updates mostly included minor tweaks and ensuring it is up-to-date with the latest Tailwind CSS releases.
Early this year, I enabled GitHub Sponsors to allow people to sponsor my open-source work. As I'm writing this, I have four recurring sponsors and have had a couple of one-time donations as well (Thank you all!). I love that people are finding the work valuable, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to open source in 2023.
Aside from freelancing, I also worked on my own projects. One of which was redesigning my website.
I'm very happy with how this all turned out. Huge thanks to Lewiens (former designer turned photographer/filmmaker) for helping me with the logo, website design and even some nice-looking photographs (despite me being in them).
You may read more about it in this article.
Releasing my first paid software product
Shortly after launching my new website, I started working on my very first paid product called "Gravity Forms Send to API".
This is an add-on for the WordPress-plugin Gravity Forms; a form builder plugin. My add-on allows you to send your form entries to an external API. I wrote an article about it on my blog.
The plugin was launched in mid-October. Despite it being a niche product, I've made a decent amount of sales.
To be able to sell licenses for the add-on, I decided to use a service called Lemon Squeezy. I picked Lemon Squeezy because it is the merchant of record and handles taxes. Especially with sales from other countries, this is a huge plus for me.
I use the Lemon Squeezy API and some custom endpoints on my website to create and validate licenses. Maybe I'll write a blog about that in the future.
Now that my first product is live, the infrastructure is there to do more potentially. We'll see what the coming year brings 🙂
Excited to launch my first paid WordPress plugin. An add-on for Gravity Forms called "Send to API". Check out this link for more info + a short video demo. https://t.co/Y2mYFcE0RT— Jeffrey van Rossum (@jeffreyrossum) October 19, 2022
Addrow is an invoicing application I launched in 2019. This year, I redesigned the site, application and a new logo was made.
On other Laravel projects, I've been using Laravel Livewire more and more. I like it so much that I decided to rewrite most of the VueJS parts of Addrow, including the invoice editor, to Livewire.
In the previous year in review, I noted that it was difficult to define and reach the target market. I've had some advice on that, but it still requires more attention if I'd like it to grow.
Blog & screencasts
This year wasn't a huge blogging year, as I only wrote four posts (excluding this one):
- Introducing Gravity Forms Send to API
- A new website design
- Dutch address autocomplete with Alpine.js
- 2021 year in review
I recorded two video's:
- Using the TailPress installer for your next WordPress/Tailwind CSS theme
- Send Gravity Forms form submissions to external API
I look back on a successful year, and I hope to continue this going forward in the coming year.
I will continue making open-source contributions, but I would also love to release more paid products.
It would be nice if in the process of the above, I'm inspired and find some time to write blog posts and record videos.
One of the things I'd like to do next year is to attend a Laracon. Despite having worked with Laravel for quite some years, I've yet to attend one. I think that would be a nice experience.
Other year in reviews
If you have written a year in review/recap and would like it to be listed here, let me know.
I wish you happy holidays and all the best for 2023! 🥂