first of all…..
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!!!
There is always good news and bad news. So let´s start with the bad news. Unfortunately, given my time possibilities, there will not be any new block, plugin, update or even a blog post any more this year (2016). And now let´s continue with all the other news which are good 🙂
It´s been I a great year. For me personally, it was I would say an average year, nothing unusual happened in my life and no major changes either. However… in terms of Meteotemplate it´s been an absolutely amazing year and in fact it means a lot did happen in my life. I really enjoy working on this, but it is now basically all my free time. I would never have imagined it will grow this big.
There is currently well over 380 users and I add on average 2-3 new users every day! A year ago the template was still in version 3 and it is funny because based on the number of users I had back then I can say now that probably only about one fourth of you remembers how the template looked back then – yes… no blocks, no control panel, no GUI at all…. I did have a vision of what I would like to do – some of it were simply things I did not know how to do – I always emphasize, I am not a programmer, never had any formal IT education, just a 100% self-taught enthusiast who enjoys it and works on it in his spare time, mostly during night 😀 Other things were developed based on your suggestion. I have ALWAYS replied to every single one of you to every email or message you sent me and I consider all your feedback and if possible try to implement it.
This brings me to the next thing, which is “what is next” – and as you have probably guessed already, my answer is “well… to be quite honest I don´t know :)”. It will all depend on how things go, what people come up with, what I come up with and what are the circumstances in my life that will influence how much time I have for this.
I am quite happy I have created something that so many people (hopefully) find useful. You now have a choice of over 125 blocks and 125 plugins, you can set up the template entirely from the browser using GUI (main settings, block/plugin settings, homepage layout and now even the menu). Every page is unique, it is interesting to look at what you guys have come up with – the various designs, homepage layouts, block combinations… Meteotemplate now also supports 25 languages already, which is great and was only possible thanks to you!
These days about 50% of the time I spent working on MT goes to support. I must say I am quite proud of the fact that based on one script I made, on average I have received 28 emails a day regarding meteotemplate in 2016 and the average response time is now less than 90 minutes! I always prioritize support and I know very well how important it is to make sure people get support and it is something I prioritize over development. I know myself how frustrating it is when something does not work and you ask for help but don´t get any response. And what matters most to me when helping people – i.e. what determines how much support you will get from me – is your attitude towards all this – which in 99% of cases is great!
I myself benefit from making all this quite a lot too. I have “met” so many people from so many different parts of the world (which greatly compensates for the fact I otherwise cannot really travel too much because of finances and time), you guys all come from different cultures, I even learned basics of some new languages (also thanks to the fact every word you see in the template is added manually to the language database). Meteotemplate users now come from almost 50 different countries! I have been in touch and “talked” to at least half of you and some of you even said they learned a lot from this, which is just something I did not even anticipate. I have built something that I can use as a portfolio should I ever need it and last but not least, it gave me that feeling of satisfaction and self-realization, something I unfortunately hugely miss in both my full- and part-time job. That is what motivates me and I will do everything I can in the future to make sure this goes on and develops further, despite all the potential difficulties such as limited hardware, software and time. I will just do whatever is possible.
So once again thanks to all of you for your great suggestions, translations, compliments (which all really help and motivate me to continue this) and last but not least – I would also like to greatly thank all of you who have also helped me with covering the ongoing and still increasing costs associated with Meteotemplate. I will make sure the template remains for free, including all the extras and support – on the other hand I do have to make sure I cover these costs and those are unfortunately ongoing. In case I raise even more I could even think about reducing the number of hours which I currently work in my part-time job, which I do not enjoy at all and only do to be able to pay the rent, bills and food. But that is obviously not crucial and I will find time to work on Meteotemplate even in the current situation.
Either way, once again – I wish you all the best in 2017, and hope that maybe Meteotemplate will also make it slightly better based on the fact you all probably enjoy having your own website, otherwise you would not install it 🙂 I myself am quite curious what will happen and what will be the summary of 2017 I will make in 365 days!