2016 for Wordfence: A Break-Through Year

2016 is drawing to a close and has been a very busy year for us at Wordfence. In today’s post I’d like to share some of the major events for Wordfence in 2016 and some interesting data.

Our Awesome Customer Support Team

In 2016 our support team resolved 15,976 Premium support tickets, site cleanings and general inquiries.

Tickets resolved by month for Wordfence

Our average response time for Premium support requests was 3 hours and 25 minutes to get a first response to the customer. The average for the past 3 months was 2 hours 26 minutes and then the past month has been 1 hour and 59 minutes. It’s great to see our good response time get even better as the team works to improve our processes.

We also provide free community support in the WordPress.org forums. It’s difficult to extract date constrained statistics from those forums. But here are some stats from our more prolific team members showing how many topics they have each replied to so far on the WordPress forums:

  • Matt R: 2466 total replies
  • Tim C: 2,150 replies (Sorry Tim, Matt still holds the record!!)
  • Åsa R: 1,349 replies
  • Alaa S: 789 replies

That’s a total of 6,754 support responses so far for our free customers in addition to the premium support that our team provides in our ticketing system. We’re proud of our contribution to open source software with Wordfence and the contribution we make to the community. It’s an important part of our mission to secure WordPress.

The Wordfence Engineering Team

The Wordfence engineering team has been very busy this year. The chart below shows the projects we have been working on and the number of bugs and features we resolved for each project throughout 2016.

The large brown section is the core Wordfence plugin. As you can see we did a huge sprint for the Wordfence 6.1.1 release in April. Our engineering team was almost exclusively dedicated to 6.1.1 because it was such a large and ambitious project. I’m incredibly proud of how the team took big risks to improve our customer website security and delivered in a big way!

Once we completed 6.1.1, we kicked off several new projects that are running concurrently. Work on the core Wordfence plugin has continued and the engineering team has expanded their focus into other projects. Some of those initiatives are confidential which is why this chart does not include a legend. We will have a few big announcements to make in early to mid 2017.

Wordfence Engineering Chart

Wordfence Innovation in 2016

To date Wordfence has been downloaded over 22 Million times. We saw our product downloaded between 180,000 and 400,000 times each week in 2016.

Wordfence downloads

In 2016 we launched 28 new Wordfence releases, each with significant improvements to help keep our customers secure and make their lives easier.

The most significant release in the history of Wordfence was on 12th April, when we released wordfence 6.1.1 which included our new Web Application Firewall.  This was a game changer for our company and our customers. Wordfence had finally matured into a full featured firewall and malware scanner complete with real-time updates. Since the 6.1.1 release we have been continuously releasing scan and firewall updates in real-time to our customers via the Wordfence Threat Defense Feed.

Wordfence 6.1.1

On September 8th we released Wordfence 6.1.16 which integrated our malware scanner with the Wordfence firewall. This release introduced real-time scanning for requests that may contain malware.

On September 27th we released Wordfence 6.2.0 which was another big step forward. We had been quietly working with hosting providers to understand how we can improve compatibility across their systems and reduce operational load. Wordfence 6.2.0 increased the scan performance of Wordfence by 18 times on average. The more files a user has, the bigger the performance increase.

On October 11th we released Wordfence 6.2.1 which again improved the firewall by adding the ability to intelligently parse anything that looks like PHP code and determine if it is malicious or not. This further improved our ability to detect incoming malware via the firewall and block it.

Wordfence 6.2.4 was released on November 9th which further improved scan performance for sites that are very large with many files.

In addition to constantly improving Wordfence, we have been steadily growing the number of malware signatures in the Wordfence Threat Defense Feed. Today we have 1169 unique malware signatures in production and many of those detect multiple malware variants. Our free users have 1003 signatures available and our Premium customers have 166 recently added signatures available that were released to their sites in real-time during the past 30 days. We also have 570 scan signatures in beta which our team is testing and will be releasing during the coming weeks to continue to improve our malware detection capability.

The Wordfence Team in 2016

The wordfence team is now 23 people in locations that include Washington, Nebraska, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Maine, Ohio, Tennessee in the USA and in Sweden and Greece internationally.

Our whole team at Wordfence works remotely. We use Slack for about 80% of our communication and VOIP chat and conference tools for the rest. We started using Slack in early 2015. The chart below shows how our communication has increased over the past 1.5 years as the team has grown and the number and intensity of our projects has increased.

Slack statistics Wordfence


It’s interesting to note the spike in April 2016. That was when we released Wordfence 6.1.1 which included the Wordfence Firewall. It was a time of intense product testing and communication among the team. We are currently involved in another all-consuming project which we will announce in 2017 and as you can see, communication is beginning to spike again in December. I expect January 2017 to be quite spectacular as the team ramps up.

And you…

The Wordfence Blog has also been very busy in 2016. In the past year, this blog has been visited by over 900,000 unique people. This year we received 2,190 comments from 1,414 people.

I’d like to thank you all very much for visiting us and participating in the conversation here throughout the year. The Wordfence team and I read all of your comments, we appreciate the positive feedback and we pay attention when you share an opinion or you share data with us.

Thank you for your support and encouragement in 2016!

Mark Maunder – Wordfence Founder/CEO.

Thanks to Dan Moen for help editing this post. 

The post 2016 for Wordfence: A Break-Through Year appeared first on Wordfence.

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