It’s been a busy year at Van Patten Media. I thought I’d take a few moments to review what we’ve worked on, the cool projects we were involved with, and where we’re headed in the new year.
We started the year with a long-fated face-to-face! Peter Upfold—the resident tech genius at VPM—and myself finally met in person at London’s Gatwick Airport. Peter and I have worked together for many years, but this was our first time in the same place (let alone the same continent).
Work began shortly thereafter, and we released a string of open source projects. The Very Simple PayPal Bridge was first among them, and since we’ve released many more on our Github page.
The world of theatre beckoned, and soon we were all-in on 35mm: A Musical Exhibition. We were thrilled to help produce and contribute to this wonderful work of theatre, created by Ryan Scott Oliver and Matthew Murphy (who we interviewed about his creative process).
As winter turned to spring, our open source projects blossomed. We released two plugins designed to help WordPress Multisite developers keep users secure, and began early forays into WordPress admin customisation with the (now supplanted) VPM Custom Admin.
Summer brought all sorts of activity, whether it was learning about all the tricks in nginx, continuing development on our flagship plugin Total Slider, or introducing our Managed Hosting platform. We also open-sourced wpframe, the set of scripts and utilities that join forces to make our managed hosting platform possible.
Autumn brought many new and exciting projects, including our first non-technical “side project,” How I Booked It. How I Booked It (HIBI, for short) has continued to chug along since we first announced it, and now has interviews from all sorts of awesome people in the theatre world.
November brought the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and it even affected us in a small (and comparably insignificant) way. Peter discussed some of the challenges presented by natural phenomena when attempting to provide reliable web hosting, including the steps we took.
Meanwhile, I spoke in Toronto about WordPress customisation, expanding on our earlier work with VPM Custom Admin. That talk spawned a new Github project and a forthcoming ebook that will give you all the tools you need to customise WordPress to your heart’s content. I also started a series of video guides showing cool customisations that can help kickstart your imagination.
So that’s 2012. What’s next for 2013?
The next year
It’s hard to predict exactly what will happen in the year ahead, but there are a few specific themes we’ll be tackling:
Organisation: We are constantly researching ways to be better organised and on task. Whether it’s a new CRM system, implementing a support ticket utility, or standard coding techniques and practices, we plan on finding new ways to make sure we’re spending our time wisely and have information we need easily accessible.
Engagement: Whether it’s with more video tutorials, blog posts, ebooks, or a stronger social media presence, I’m excited about the opportunity to engage with fellow WordPress developers, potential and current clients, and our friends around the web.
Outside projects: Putting together How I Booked It was a lot of fun, and a great way to share our passions outside of client work. We’re hoping to continue that trend with other projects.
We have a few specific projects in mind as well. We’ll be working on improvements (and a major branding overhaul) to the Van Patten Media website and managed hosting. There are always open source projects with improvements to be made. And of course, we have plenty of tasks that we started in 2012 waiting to be finished in 2013.
We hope you have a great New Year celebration, and look forward to working together in 2013. There’s a lot on the horizon, and we hope you’ll be with us for the ride there.