The 2020 year in review
Published 21 December 2020 20:48 (5-minute read)
2020, the year I started sharing more and more tips/tricks, used techniques, and other information. Most posts are more technical, but this one will be a personal post. Also, it's the first time I look back at last year. It was a strange year, so let's start!
This year is a bit different than the others, not only for me but also for the rest of the world.
It's coming to an end, my study at Windesheim Zwolle. So what have I done in the past year?
Internship at OrangeTalent
The year started with an internship at OrangeTalent, a digital agency specializing in online results. I worked on a product together with Denice van den Steen, a student from Hogeschool Utrecht. We made a project from the ground up with some new tools for us. My main focus was on the back-end, which interacted with multiple external services to provide the needed information to the front-end (made by Denice). During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to work from home, this was a bit stressful, but we managed to deliver new features to the product.
During the internship, I learned a lot from Maarten, Wiljan, and other employees (thanks again!). Most of the knowledge came from real-life applications with a huge amount of traffic/dependencies. These techniques helped me think a bit differently, which could help a lot during the development of new products/applications.
Working on That's Why
We had an idea to develop a solution to improve the user experience on websites. So, we submitted this as a custom assignment for our semester Future Technology. Together with Allan, Lars, and Thijs, I've worked on a solution to collect real user experience in a way that would be scaleable for millions of visitors.
After some weeks, we had the first MVP running on some test sites and collect valuable data. There was a challenge to set up a solution that doesn't collect personally identifiable information (PII). After some research, we improved our system even more. In November 2020, we launched the beta of That's Why real user monitoring. And in December 2020, we officially launched the production version with Paddle as the payment provider.
It's already 5 years since I started my company back in 2015. This year, there was such a growth in work that had to be done.
Together with my clients, we set the goals for 2020 to be made. This was a "normal" goal and not really high. But when the pandemic started, we saw an increase in orders. This led to an increase of 253% in orders (!!!). When you compare this to 2019, we more than doubled (119% growth) the number of orders.
User experience on websites is getting more important every year. When I saw that Google had an API for their Chrome User Experience Report, I created a small tool that gives you inside into the CrUX as collected.
For some of my customers, this pandemic was a bit abrupt and hard. So we decided (together with Bas & Michael) to help them a bit with the online knowledge we have. For a few restaurants, we created a tool called FFAfhalen (SaaS). With this tool, restaurant owners can set up their own pickup and delivery site where customers can order food (and other products). This helped them a lot, and in total there were around 24.000 orders made, I must say this is impressive.
FFAfhalen was an extension from the original product FFReserveren (a SaaS for restaurant table reservations).
Moving to a new home
After living for almost 20 years in the same house, we moved to a new place. It was a bit difficult at the beginning to get to know the new house, but after a few weeks, it gets normal, and I really like it. Also, I updated the office with some recognizable paintings on the wall.
Statistics of my site
This year I started sharing things that helped me during my learning. My website is already a few years old, but this year, I started using it more. Here is a screenshot of the visitors from 2020.
Most of the visitors came from organic search results, around 17.7K.
In 2020 I made 30 posts. Here is a list of the post I created in 2020:
- The 2020 year in review published at 21 December 2020 20:48
- What to do: "Page actions are temporarily disabled" in Google Search Console published at 09 December 2020 10:23
- Core Web Vitals will become part of Ranking Factor (in May 2021) published at 11 November 2020 08:16
- Inertia.js: Track Google Analytics published at 04 November 2020 15:51
- Tips to prepare your webshop for Holiday Season 2020 (technically) published at 28 October 2020 17:03
- 21 tools for Real User Monitoring (2022 version) published at 24 October 2020 14:24
- How to use Google Drive storage as filesystem in Laravel published at 20 September 2020 09:06
- Moving 27K unique images from Spatie medialibrary local to s3 storage using Laravel Queue published at 17 September 2020 15:00
- Laravel Jetstream with Inertia.js not recognizing changes published at 11 September 2020 14:23
- One line boilerplate for Laravel SaaS project published at 09 September 2020 06:32
- How to upgrade to Laravel 8 published at 08 September 2020 08:18
- Create terminal art using figlet published at 08 September 2020 07:54
- HTML autocomplete "one-time-code" published at 07 September 2020 16:18
- What is Real User Monitoring (RUM)? published at 03 September 2020 11:27
- Mollie gebruiken voor Moneybird facturen online te betalen [Dutch] published at 17 August 2020 08:14
- Facebook Messenger embed: chat as a guest published at 05 August 2020 09:10
- Google Featured snippet links directly to content, how does this work? (Scroll to Text Fragment) published at 27 July 2020 08:38
- Split a file into smaller chunks published at 23 July 2020 13:08
- Custom error page for Laravel Signed Route published at 11 July 2020 12:24
- Moneybird herkent geen UBL facturen [Dutch] published at 03 July 2020 12:02
- Setup Google Indexing API in Wordpress with Rank Math published at 28 June 2020 12:39
- How to set up a Laravel application that can handle a lot of visitors [+ useful tools] published at 03 June 2020 21:47
- Optimize SSL on Laravel Forge [Extra security headers for nginx] published at 13 May 2020 17:17
- "Inline static caching" or "memoization" published at 11 May 2020 18:00
- HTML form input "enterkeyhint" published at 15 April 2020 17:48
- Laravel Schema Dump: how to speed up your migrations? published at 08 April 2020 16:25
- Whoops, I made a typo in my commit message published at 02 April 2020 18:20
- Google Indexing API for Laravel published at 20 March 2020 22:01
- Enable xdebug only for PHPUnit command line published at 18 March 2020 21:00
- How I managed to get a complete 100 score on Lighthouse published at 07 January 2020 12:00
Plans in 2021
In de coming years, I want to share even more valuable information that helped me a lot. It's my last year at the study, and I hope to graduate in June 2021. Many things could be done after that, but I hope that 2021 will be a better year for me.
I have some plans for 2021, but at this moment, it's not 100% clear. I'll let you know in the coming weeks...