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2023 Year in Review

January 12, 2024 Year Review

It’s been a bit of struggle to get round to writing this post, the festive period was both relaxing and busy and I didn’t manage to carve out any time to write it. But this is my 12th year in review post since I started writing them way back in 2013, and I couldn’t break the streak – so here I am getting it written.

I’ve spent less time on the internet this past year, and worked less consistently on my businesses in the second half of the year. Ever since the summer I’ve been trying to do less work, sleep and exercise more. Turns out you can’t work a day job, grind away on multiple businesses, spend time with your family, AND look after yourself.

And that’s ok – something had to give.

WP Engine

This feels weird. It’s the first year in review post in quite some time that I haven’t had to write about work at Delicious Brains. That’s because 2023 marked my first full year with WP Engine since they acquired the Delicious Brains plugins. WP Engine has proved to be an excellent home for the plugins, the other members of the team, and indeed myself.

The ACF team have had a great year, with some significant releases and growth (read the ACF year in review post). It’s still incredible to me that I get to work as the product manager for ACF with such a great team. I was lucky enough to meet up with some of them at WordCamp Europe in Athens:


WP User Manager

As I mentioned earlier, 2023 saw less of a focus on my businesses. However, WP User Manager didn’t suffer. After spending a couple of years after acquiring it building up the plugin and its addons, and outsourcing more and more of the day to day (it now has a support agent, a developer, content writer and SEO contractor), it’s in a good place for me to do a combination of product management and shipping releases when they’re ready.


Alex and I were both pretty busy with other projects in 2023 but FlipWP continued to tick along and we still saw an influx of buyers, WordPress businesses listed and sold. The overall WordPress acquisitions landscape definitely felt like it slowed down, and we saw that reflected in Flip. However, it’s still *the* acquisition marketplace for WordPress businesses and we look forward to what 2024 brings.

Other Projects

Intagrate continued in maintenance mode, with a major hiccup in September where the Meta API compliance check threw a spanner in the works that resulted in numerous months of back and forth, a quick turnaround Patchstack security audit, and lots of frustration. All resolved now, but remind me never to build on top of a third-party API again (lol, who am I kidding).

I started the year with high hopes of launching a new plugin with some initial efforts petering out by the summer. The project fell behind other priorities, like WP User Manager. I tell myself I’ll pick it up again in 2024.


I have a feeling that as the years go by, this section of my reviews might become the largest part, as I continue to focus more on family and looking after myself.

Rex turned 9 and Pearl turned 6! We had a holiday in Portugal with friends for the second year running, enjoyed camping at a family-friendly music festival, hired a beach hut, went to the beach (a lot!), and bought a paddle board.

I managed to keep up my 180 week streak on the Peloton, and continued to go to the gym fairly regularly. Although from September I took things more seriously. I started to concentrate on eating well (reasonable calories and a good amount of daily protein) and getting better sleep. I increased my weekly exercise to cycling on the Peloton 4 days a week and lifting weights 4/5 days a week.

I also played more tennis throughout the year, mainly so I can keep up with Rex who is a great player. I hope to play even more in 2024.

I found more time for golf in 2023, playing 12 rounds – the most since 2016! I’ve made some improvements, with an average score of 110 (down from 118 in 2022) and an average of 31 putts per round (down from 40 in 2022). My best round was a score of 96, and I’m determined to consistently shoot closer to 90 than 100 in 2024.

Looking Ahead

As always, I hope my family and I have a happy and healthy year.

Iain Building and growing WordPress products. I'm the product manager of ACF at WP Engine. I also develop plugins like WP User Manager and Intagrate. I write about the WordPress ecosystem over at WP Trends.