The Pi-hole 2018 Retrospective

The Pi-hole 2018 Retrospective

2018 went by fast for the Pi-hole team. We though it would be fun to share some interesting facts from this year.

  • We had four official releases of Pi-hole, moving from v.3.2.1 to v4.1.2
  • We had 99.9668% uptime for internal and external services
  • We had over 22k posts on our user forums
    • the majority of these posts were help requests from end users, most of which were resolved
    • Discourse is our official support forum and we do our best to help users out. Fortunately, we have a knowledgeable and helpful community that helps.
  • We had over 1 million unique visitors to our blog and we published 32 blog posts
  • We have 155 channels and over 330,000 individual posts on our internal chat app, Mattermost
    • Mattermost is our internal communications platform where all the developers and some power users hang out
    • Our team is 100% remote, so having a real-time chat platform is essential to keeping things running
    • Not an hour goes by where we do not use this application
    • It ingests all of our email, Github events, posts to Reddit/Twitter/Discourse and more
    • Each channel we have is for a different subject matter
  • We blocked a bunch of spam
    • basically anyone who runs a server is subject to spam, but we had to up our game a bit after spammers were increasing their attacks on us
  • We earned $550 in referral credits for Digital Ocean, resulting in reduced infrastructure cost
  • We earned $190 in referral credits for StickerMule, which were used to purchase stickers and distribute them to fans of our project
  • We launched our Patreon page in June 2018 starting at $384/month and closing the year with over $1,300/month
  • We started our fundraiser in May of 2018, and in seven month’s time, donors gave us over $31,000
  • We sold all 300 Limited Edition Pi-hole FTLDNS coins
  • Major expenses in 2018:
    • Infrastructure (servers, domains, subscriptions services, hosting fees, etc): ~$5,735
    • Legal (contractor agreements, legal paperwork for running a business, etc): ~$5,115
    • Taxes: ~$3,475
    • Hardware for developers: ~$3,150
    • Contract labor: ~$1,670
    • Stickers: ~$935
    • Education and training: ~$300
    • Office supplies: $190

As you can see, a project our size is quite an undertaking, especially considering there are eight of us that regularly work on it in just our free time. We appreciate your understanding of our limited resources as we work to scale the project to meet demand. We did hear you when you stated that you wanted Pi-hole to remain free and we’re committed to doing that. It does, however, pose challenges as we continue to grow.

And in addition to actually writing code to develop Pi-hole more, there are a lot of other things that happen to keep the project running. We’re going to be writing blog posts about our developers as well as the servers and services that we use. We hope it will bring some more personality to the project and give people an insight into how much work actually goes into running an open source project.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support us! Here’s looking forward to another great year.

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