Sennza – 2 Years In

Happy Birthday Sennza

I’m happy to announce that Sennza has now been in business for 2 years and it’s time for me to take a few minutes to reflect on what has happened since our first birthday. We’ve come a long way in the last year so I’ll do a “quick” list of some of our achievements:

  • We’ve got our own office!
  • We helped organise WordCamp Gold Coast!
  • We found time to redesign our website
  • We’ve worked with 3 publicly listed companies
  • More site traffic!
  • Massive WordPress Meetup growth 🙂
  • Another team member
  • Sennza represents at SXSW!

We’ve got our own office!

12 months ago we were embracing the “distributed office” format for our business. Lachlan and myself would both work from home and use Skype to call each other. We’ve been though 2 offices in the last year. Our first office was a shared office space called The Thought Fort. The Thought Fort is a shared office space where you can rent desks per day, week or month. The Thought Fort is a fabulous environment and it’s filled with so many amazing people who work in all kinds of industries. While we were there we got to work alongside illustrators, web developers, iPad app developers and game programmers. If you’re working from home too much and need somewhere to work then you should definitely check out The Thought Fort!

We helped organise WordCamp Gold Coast!

WordCamp Gold Coast was an amazing event for the Australian WordPress community. We had around 150 attendees for the event which was fantastic. Organising the WordCamp took over 6 months and I was lucky enough to be part of an amazing team that included Lachlan MacPherson, Brent Shepherd, Dion Hulse and Russell McCurdie. We hustled as best we could to get some fantastic sponsors and speakers. We had John O’Nolan design an amazing t-shirt for us and he also spoke at the event. We were also lucky enough to have two other international WordPress celebs speaking at our event: Dan Milward from WP-Ecommerce and John Ford from VaultPress. Our Australian speakers were absolutely amazing as well and we were blown away by the quality of their talks and the time they donated for our WordCamp!

We found time to redesign our website

Due to our hectic work schedule the last thing on our list of “things to do” over the course of the year was redesigning our own website. As they say, “the plumber always has a leaky tap” and our leaky tap was our own web site! Each day we were working on stunningly beautiful WordPress powered websites for clients but we didn’t get the chance to give our own site a makeover. We managed to find a few hours to code up a responsive WordPress design for our own site. So you’ll get a slightly different look and feel for our site depending on what device you’re view it on. So if you’re viewing this on your mobile you’ll see a different layout and the same goes for iPad and desktop browsers. We still have a a few style bugs to work through when we get a chance but the site is looking rather sexy! 🙂 Oh yeah and of course we’re using HTML5 and CSS3. (Geeky buzzwords :))

We’ve worked with 3 publicly listed companies

We’re happy to have worked with 3 publicly listed companies who are using WordPress as their content management system (CMS) of choice. Seeing WordPress now powers 15.9% of the top one million sites on the internet we’re lucky enough to have these kinds of companies seeking us for their WordPress site design and development because they are already aware of how easy WordPress is to use and we’re one of the few “WordPress only” web development agencies in Australia.

More site traffic!

We’ve seen a good spike in traffic to our site over the last year thanks to a combination of our SEO efforts and our increase in branding. We are going to work on publishing more content on our blog this year and we’ll also be submitting some patches to the WordPress core this year so we’ll be getting even more traffic because of that so stay tuned!

Massive WordPress Meetup growth

Last year Lachlan and I said that we wanted to see both the WordPress Brisbane, WordPress Sydney and WordPress Tasmania meetups grow….and wow did they grow! Members to the Brisbane meetup have more than doubled, members to Tasmania are growing rapidly and Sydney members have almost tripled! This is thanks to the marvelous people who have taken the reins from other states to help keep the meetups powering on when we can’t make it interstate. Thanks to Peter BuiTony Cosentino, Dee Teal and Japh Thomson for keeping the Sydney and Tasmania Meetups organised!

Another team member

After searching high and low and interviewing a lot of potential staff over the last 8 months we finally found  a suitable WordPress developer to join our team. Mathew Hood is our first official WordPress developer. I’ve been working alongside him to groom him into an awesome WordPress developer so he’s learning how to do things “the WordPress way” and we’re excited to watch Mat grow as a developer. We’re very fussy when it comes to hiring the right person so you can rest assured that we’ve got another developer on board who will be a WordPress gun in no time!

Sennza represents at SXSW!

Last but definitely not least…two of the Sennza staff are at South By Southwest this year! SXSW is a massive conference that pretty much takes over all of Austin, Texas. There are three streams: Music, Film and Interactive. We’re here for the Interactive stream because a stack of WordPress people come here every year. We always miss out on meeting a lot of these people as they are mostly American and never come to Australia 🙁 So we decided that we’d come to them this year. We were lucky enough to bump into (read: stalk on Twitter) some diehard WordPress people this afternoon while they were in line waiting for their SXSW badges. We said a quick “G’day” to Mark JaquithDaryl Koopersmith, Evan SolomonChelsea Otakan and Sara Cannon. They were all lovely people…even though they were a little freaked out by some crazy Aussie WordPress people hunting them down in the line!

What’s next?

Over the next year we’ll be launching our own WordPress theme company, attending WordCamp New Zealand and WordCamp San Francisco, pumping out more high quality WordPress sites and hopefully growing our team further as well. It’s an exciting time to be a business who is “powered by WordPress” and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds over the course of the next year!