Last Call

This has been an emotional, bittersweet morning for me, reading through old posts, as I close the book on my time at this beloved publication. Today is my last day before moving on to embrace a new challenge in the world of tech.  

In 2013, the year I started writing at the Tavern, just 17.4% of the web was running on WordPress, but the momentum I felt at that last WordCamp San Francisco was intoxicating and undeniable. It marked the ascendency of the global WordPress community and the move to embrace new tools like Slack and GitHub for contributing to core.

At that time, one frustrating thing I frequently heard was “It’s just WordPress, don’t take it so seriously.” Yet there we were, standing on the edge of an amazing acceleration of WordPress’ adoption and expansion of the ecosystem that brought meaningful work to millions and gave people a voice on the web. It was never “just WordPress” to me. As the software enters its third decade, powering 43% of the world’s websites, WordPress continues to be an irrepressible force of good on the web. I’d like to think the Tavern had a small part in that.

I want to thank past colleagues Jeff Chandler, Justin Tadlock, and Nathan Wrigley, as well as Matt Mullenweg for supporting the publication for so many years. We have done a lot of daily reporting but the Tavern keeper is a watchdog at heart. Our commitment to serving the public interest was instrumental in holding companies, authorities, and the open source project accountable, and I am proud of the work we did together.

When I started, I had no idea how I would fully embrace the challenge of writing, editing, and publishing WordPress news every day. It changed me. Writing news is an intensely public job that comes with a nearly constant onslaught of criticism. I found that showing up even on my worst days forged a level of discipline that was previously inaccessible to me. Today, 3,021 articles later, publishing is in my blood.

To our wonderful community of readers: Thank you for trusting us to tell your stories. Thank you to every one of you who chose to speak to the press – both on the record and anonymously when something needed to come to light. You made it possible for the Tavern to become the most authoritative and reliable source of WordPress news on the web.

We navigated many challenging times together and celebrated previously unbelievable milestones. I’ve been privileged to have a front row seat to your innovation and determination, and I’ll continue cheering for your success. Thank you, beautiful WordPress community.

In honor of 10 years at the Tavern, I’ll leave you with 10 of my favorite articles for a short trip down memory lane.

Finding Freedom and Opportunity With WordPress: How Wolf Bishop Overcame Prison and Addiction to Launch a Career

How The Welch News Uses WordPress To Keep Local News Alive in West Virginia

AMP Has Irreparably Damaged Publishers’ Trust in Google-led Initiatives

WordPress Turns 20

Tectonic Shifts in Retail Industry are Creating Unprecedented Opportunities for Independent Stores

Finding WordPress in the Post-Print News Era

WordPress 5.0 RC Expected on U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday, Despite Last-Minute Pushback from Contributors

WordPress Smiley Wars: Will Core Adopt New Emoticons?

RIP BuddyPress Default Theme: Finally Laid to Rest in 1.9

WordPress Beyond Boundaries: A Recap of WordCamp Europe 2014


97 responses to “Last Call”

  1. Thank you Sarah. It’s bittersweet to receive your final email, but I’m genuinely grateful for all the valuable information you’ve shared. Best of luck in your new endeavors! Your contributions won’t be forgotten.

  2. Sarah , you are a very talented writer , article you have written has led me to understand It & wordpress in no small way. I hope you enjoy happiness , and new opportunities as you embark on your next Chapter.. Thank you , Greg from Ireland

  3. Sarah! Wow, what a run! And what a jolt this evening. I have enjoyed reading your posts and was always amazed at how you – how anyone – managed to corral the industry news, digest it and then write it up so the rest of us would see it DAILY.

    Best of luck in your new endeavors. Wherever you land, you will shine.

  4. Wow, the end of an era! Sarah, thank you so much for your dedication to reporting WordPress news. You’ve published so, so many incredible articles over the years, keeping the community both informed and accountable. Yours has been such an important job and you’re leaving behind an extraordinary legacy.

    Wishing you all the best for your next endeavour!

  5. Sarah –

    I still miss WordCamp SF :-( Didn’t we have an actual firedrill at the last one and the fire dept came?

    Thanks for everything you’ve contributed here; so much information to absorb. I cannot fathom how you did this every day. Yikes! Your reporting WILL be missed.

    Good luck in the new frontier, and have a happy Turkey Day.

    Jeff Safire
    SF East Bay

  6. Sarah, you are amazing. Your insightful writing and journalism has been a gift to the WordPress world, and shaped how the project has evolved for the better. It’s a key and major contribution to the community. Thank you, deeply, and I can’t wait to see what you do next. Ten years… wow!

  7. Sarah, thanks for your 10 years of bringing us the news and keeping us all in the loop, in a fair and unbiased journalism. You and the Tavern have been a big part of my life, and this community.

    Best of luck and whatever piece of tech you end up in, they are lucky to have you.

    So cheers my friend, and this was truly a place where everyone knew “your” name.

  8. It’s no exaggeration to say that you are one of the voices of WordPress. Our community will be a little quieter and feel a little less whole without your writing. You’ve made a deep and lasting impact in our little part of the world and just looking at the names of the people who have commented on this – your last – post and the positive words they have shared, should tell you all you need to know. Your informative, clear, concise, and empathetic style of writing will be missed, best wishes for the future!

  9. Thank you so much for all the years you’ve kept the community up to date with the latest news about everything WordPress related. And for providing opportunity for us regular devs to share our passion for WordPress as well.

    You will be missed. I wish you all the best in the next chapter of your career and life :)

  10. Sarah,

    You are a generational talent. I have always been amazed at the level of quality you have produced on a continuous basis, and have an intense amount of respect for you.

    I also always thought — though I know the WordPress community appreciates your 10 years — that you were destined for so much greater things than a niche tech publication with a small reader base relative-speaking, and that much larger audiences should be benefiting from your skills and talent.

    The person you have most reminded me us I have watched your tenure at WPTavern has been Kara Swisher.

    Most don’t know this about Kara Swisher but in the early 90’s she covered Internet development and that included lots of articles about Microsoft technology stack, and at the time I was both a reader of hers and a fan. So reading your coverage of WordPress 2+ decades later has felt like so much deja vu.

    Kara has since gone on to become — as Inc Magazine described her two (2) years ago — “the most powerful tech journalist working today”:

    I fully expect that in a few more decades you are likely to be in that same position. Best wishes for your journey!

  11. Sarah, know you will be missed! Thank you so much for all your great posts, articles, and insights. I wish you the very best on your next adventure. And I hope you continue to check in on the WP Community and surprise us every now and then. Make us proud…

  12. Thank you so much Sarah for your consistent delivery of real news shared and talked about by so many of over the last 10 years. No one person has contributed as much as you on keeping the WordPress community up to date news and events and you will be sorely missed. I wish you well in your next chapter and know it will be fantastic with your skills, knowledge and grace.

  13. Sarah, thank you for your dedication at the Tavern, it has truly made a mark. Your next adventure awaits, and I have no doubt it will be as remarkable as your time here. Wishing you all the best on this exciting journey ahead!

  14. Thank you, Sarah, for dedicating more than a decade to a piece of software and keeping the finger on the pulse. This long-term commitment while growing and managing your lovely family. Stewarding through ups and downs and being at the front-line, sturdy as an oak tree.

    You are one of my sheroes within the WordPress realm, and I still need to process that you are not writing for the WP tavern anymore.

    Oh btw: I vividly remember the WordCamp SF in 2014 – my first WordCamp on US soil. (Including the fire alarm and evacuation ^^) Thanks for taking me back on that memory lane with your hand-picked post.

    For your next chapter of life, I wish you all the best. Thanks again for being a strong voice in a loud crowd (of testosterone).

  15. I created my first website this year. No experience or educational background and the plan was to spend 6 months using html and Java to create my website. But thanks to the ubiquitous nature of WordPress, I was able to do it in a month, so I would like to thank you for your contribution to making WordPress what it is today and helping small businesses get on the map.

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