Thanks For Everything

A lot has happened in the 2 and a half years since WPTavern began. In fact, a lot has happened since I started my first paid writing gig for back in December of 2007. Back then, I was infected with the WordPress fascination bug. I wanted to write, read, and learn what I could concerning the publishing system. My enthusiasm showed up in my posts and I was not afraid to write about what was on my mind versus towing any line. Unlike most of the people within the WordPress ecosystem who are developer centric, I had the ability to write well about WordPress as an end user with little to no development experience. Over the course of time, I think my ideas, criticisms and suggestions have helped in one way or another either the WordPress platform or a theme or plugin author. However, since my biggest contributions to the project have really only been words, maybe I haven’t done anything to improve the CMS as it relies on code. Regardless of my contributions or lack thereof, my goal was to always try and tell the stories of those making things happen which is a gift I don’t have. I’m a user, not a creator.

Thanks to this thing called WordPress and my enthusiasm for not only the platform, but for the people and community that surrounds it, I was able to travel to various parts of the country to attend WordCamps, local events dedicated to bring WordPress users together. I was able to meet and talk face to face with many of the people that have online celebrity status attached to them and found out most of them are down to earth people. I was able to transform myself from a nobody blogger in Northern Ohio to someone who actually could write a thing or two about WordPress. One of my biggest accomplishments though was being able to turn WPTavern into a respected community within the grander ecosystem that is WordPress. Those who registered to the forum and have spent hours on it responding to or creating threads of their own are the ones to thank for that.

One of my other goals for this site that sort have happened, at least for one year was to generate an income that would allow me to do this full-time. I was on a roll before my fiances father passed away, creating a mudslide of responsibilities and problems that fell into our laps. One year, I was able to generate $10,000 of additional income but to get there, I had to spend 7-9 hours in front of the computer interacting with the community, writing content such as extensive reviews with affiliate links, produce the WordPress weekly podcast on a regular basis on the week-end, essentially be everywhere the news was happening. Once life got in the way of me being able to sit in front of the PC all day, everything started to crumble apart.

The bottom line is, writing about WordPress, being a user and not a creator is not something that is going to put food on the table and is definitely not going to pay for things such as a new roof, driveway, windows, etc. It could certainly be used for supplemental income but I just don’t have the energy or will power to keep trudging through the waste deep mud. I need to be thinking about what I can do to get a career in something that will help pay for this stuff that exists in the real world, not the WordPress world. A job or education to get a job that will help sustain my way of life. Recently, I’ve been thinking about taking a general tradesman certificate course at a local college to see what that’s all about.

So what that all means is that my time with WPTavern and everything that I’ve done in the WordPress world is coming to an end. However, it’s not the end of WPTavern or the things attached to it. You’ll find out what’s happening when the time is right but the future is still bright for this domain and everything attached to it.

If you’re interested in keep tabs on me, you can follow me at


67 responses to “Thanks For Everything”

  1. Jeff, I enjoyed WPT and your podcasts.

    I said this 3 times to you in the past and this will be #4: Ever thought of getting a partner? Someone else write reviews as well. Someone else to help you out with the podcast.

    I went through a burn out, my own site died out for a year. I now have a partner who will help me out with things. You can’t do everything yourself.

    I hope you stay in the WordPress community and WPTavern at least as part-time.

  2. Jeff,

    For all you’ve done, this haiku is for you:
    When i reached the top

    i turned and saw—more mountains…

    more than open source.
    peace and gratitude,
    doug arnold,
    mansfield, ma

  3. I hate hearing, “So long, and thanks for all the fish!” from one of my favorite WordPress community sites. I’m looking forward to see how things progress from here, Jeff, and I hope to see you involved in the community as you find the time, energy, and motivation.

  4. Jeff, your enthusiasm for WordPress inspired a lot of people, me included. I really enjoyed the podcasts, especially the interviews and the after-show that often times ran for many hours. I truly appreciate what you have done for the WordPress community over the years and wish you the very best.

  5. Sad to see you go.

    One request: Please don’t throw the forum out. There’s a lot of content in there which is useful to people. I’m sure someone out there would be keen to take it over, redirect it elsewhere etc.

  6. Hi Jeff,
    So sorry to hear you have reached burnout stage in essence.

    I completely understand as you are in a tough space to make a living as a one man show.

    I wish you all the best in finding something more substantial as an income generator so that one day you can return to this area when you have less financial pressure riding on it.

    I have really appreciated your efforts to make this website such a rich resource and hope that it will continue into the future as your legacy to the WordPress community.

    Ryan is right the forumns need to continue as there is so much useful information there.

    Kind regards,

  7. Do what you enjoy, but…bill paying is best attacked by not acquiring the bills in the first place ;-) If you’re like most of us though, you won’t learn that until you’re 50, despite having a 53 year old tell you today :-)
    So, for paying the bills and never having to worry about unemployment, enter the medical field. You can live anywhere there is a hospital and pretty much work the hours you want. The more you acquire certificate wise the better off you’ll be money wise and task wise. Op-nurse, anesthetist, radiologist tech…lots of options, great careers. You’ll be taking care of people like me. You’re a smart one who can commit to a good thing so that gives me comfort as a future patient :-) Go for it! And all the best to you my good man!

  8. Personally, I will really miss the WordPress Weekly podcasts. I would have paid a subscription (and still would) to keep listening to them alone!

    The ones about theme development a couple of years ago really stoked my interest in WordPress development, and motivated me to code exclusively in WordPress full time!

    Good luck Jeff!

  9. Like Gwyer and others I too will miss the WordPress Weekly podcasts. They were different from everything else. Hope too see you team up with the other WP podcasting folks because what you did filled a spot.

    We’ll welcome you back when you return which you most likely will in some form =).

  10. Sorry to hear that Jeff. I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts both here and on WTC. Definitely a shame to see you go :(

    I guess you’re right though. You have to look after yourself and your family, and that means a good, steady income. No way around it. :(

    Best of luck with the new career!

  11. I can certainly empathize with your need to prioritize because often the things we’re good at and like doing don’t put money in our pocket, and at the end of the day the bills need to get paid. No doubt. What we need vs. what we want. A pity to lose someone with a unique perspective and voice, but thank YOU.

  12. I’ve been there. My own blogs have cobwebs because I am too busy creating other people’s masterpieces. I’m so busy helping everyone else that I neglect my own stuff. So, I really know exactly where you’re coming from.

    That said, You’ve still done so much for the WP community through this site. We’ll miss it, for sure.

    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  13. Jeff, before giving up completely on WP Tavern in terms of income, why don’t you just post a poll or something to see the number of people who would be willing to spend a couple of bucks a month to subscribe to WordPress Weekly.

    If enough people subscribed this would be a great revenue stream for you, and you would have time to make it even greater than it has been in the past! You could also compile all the archives, after show material etc. and make them accessible to subscribers.

    What have you got to lose..?

  14. While I totally understand your decision, the community is a smaller place without you. It’s the people like you — those that don’t code — that drive the adoption of WordPress every day. The fact that regular people can use the CMS without having to pull their hair out is why it has become so ubiquitous. You spoke for the users; it’s an important voice.

    It sucks that this wasn’t sustainable as a career — and that life got in the way (as it tends to do) — but I hope you are proud of all that you have achieved. It’s something to be proud of for sure.

    I remember when you first interviewed me, I think it was in late 2007 or early 2008 — and I was just starting out in what has become my career. That seems like a lifetime ago.

    I wish you nothing but the best in the future — find your passion and stick with it. Following your house-fixing adventures through Twitter, it seems like that might be a great career for you. You have a knack for it and it is certainly a skill most of us don’t have and are definitely willing to pay those that do have it (I just moved to New York City — well, Brooklyn — and my apartment doesn’t have central air, so we had to buy some window units to prepare for summer. It cost me $75 per unit (so $225) on top of the $140 unit price for a guy to spend maybe 30 minutes total installing the damn things…that might have been excessive but we didn’t trust ourselves to do it).

    Good luck Jeff and thanks for everything you’ve given the community!

  15. Makes me sad to read this, but I fully understand where you are coming from. Life has a way of throwing speed bumps at us that require a detour from our plans. Some detours are temporary, others permanent, and others lead us to what we really should have been doing with our lives all along. I know, as I’m in “temporary detour” mode right now.

    You’ve done so much for the WordPress community – the podcast, your blog posts and the Tavern have all brought WordPress to the attention of a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t have become involved. You have much to be proud of.

    I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of the podcast, whether as an audience member or as part of a guest panel on occasion. That allowed me to meet and become friends with some really awesome people, yourself included, that I otherwise might have never met or talked with.

    I do hope that you’ll come visit our NEO WordPress meetup group from time to time, when you’re able, to keep yourself somewhat involved with the WordPress project.

    Your voice will truly be missed. And to add to what the others have said – THANK YOU for everything.

  16. Sad to hear this. WPTavern has been one of the best sources of WordPress stuff for me and many other users. Anyways, wish you all the best in your career or whatever endeavor you choose to undertake. Like what Shane said, family is always first.

  17. Hi Jeff

    I just wanted to wish you all the best with your future endeavours. All good things must come to an end or at least be on pause for a while, especially when other commitments become more important, but like the others have already said, your contribution to the WordPress community both online and offline will not be forgotten.

    As a fellow ‘user’ who loves WordPress but never committed the time and effort to discovering it and the community the way you have done, I have always thought that your dedication was a true inspiration and a gold standard of how WP enthusiasts should be.

    I know it sounds really cheesy (or corny in the US?) but hand-on-heart, whenever I reflected on my piddly attempts at being a true WP enthusiast, I always measured what I had done compared to what you had achieved and therefore always knew I could and should do more.

    Hopefully your hiatus away from the community will not be for very long but only when you are ready; the college route sounds great and I can tell you that some plumbers in the UK, for instance, are reputed to earn similar salaries to solicitors and other so called ‘professionals’ and that people have given up other career paths to retrain as one.

    Whatever happens: good luck and we’ll be cheering for you :)

  18. Your candid post was refreshing. I wish you and your family all the best. Something new might come along that makes you see things in a different light. Never lose your passion for WordPress! I only found your blog recently. Thank you for that.

    Be well and reach out if you need direction or ideas…

    Jan Rossi

  19. Jeff,

    Your blog is one of the first that I visit when wanting to know something about WordPress. You always seem more on top of WordPress than any other blogger, and you seem to keep content up to date and regular, something I wish I could do with my blog.

    I wish I had even just 1% of the skill you have when it comes to writing about WordPress, you will be missed, but I am sure that you will find yourself sticking around at WPTavern, whether you continue to be owner or not.

    All the best

  20. Your podcast was one of the first avenues into exploring the world of WordPress for me. It was something I looked forward to and miss no longer hearing. I appreciated your perspective and enthusiasm as a fellow WordPress “user.” You did make a positive contribution to the community and hopefully will be able to continue to do so in the future. However, there are only so many hours in the day and there is always a need to put food on the table, a roof over your head and to spend time with family. Keep plugging away and hopefully your passion can be your work that pays the bills. Wishing you the best.

  21. Jeff, I’m so sad to hear this news. Your podcast was a joy to listen to, and a lifeline to the larger WordPress community. For someone like me, who doesn’t work alongside WordPress developers, your show was a tremendous way to connect with other WP enthusiasts. You quickly emerged as the Oprah of this world, and like her, you’ll be sorely missed.

  22. Cheers Jeff… you did a great job with this. You had a long run with a tremendous effort and equally tremendous contribution to the WP community. My experience at times like this is that when one door closes a thousand doors open. Good Luck and Best Regards – Mal

  23. Jeff, it’s been a pleasure, man! I hope you get things squared away and wish you the best of luck in whatever it is that you decide to do. Was great getting to hang out in NYC and Raleigh and getting to know you a little bit. Take care, bro. Hoping you come back to it because you’re damn good at being the “unofficial voice of WordPress”, even if there are no fizzypop’s involved.

  24. This morning I was googling around for some WordPress theme information and came across an interview you coaxed me into doing for Weblog Tools Collection years ago. I was super-honored when that happened. I still am. I even told my mom and dad about it! I felt like I was doing something right and that what I was doing was important. You made that happen. And not just for me. You made a lot of people feel that way. Thank you for that.

    You’re important to a lot of people in this community, Jeff. We’ll be comparing people to what you’ve done for all of us for a long time. You will most definitely be missed. Good luck with everything.

  25. Good luck, my friend. You’ve proven that you CAN do anything if you set your mind to it. A lot of people told you no and had doubts about you along the way, but you proved to the world that you could do this. It’s something to be very proud of! Seriously. If I can help in anyway, you know just to ask. While this part of your life might be changing, a friendship like ours won’t. Faith, my friend. Faith in what you have accomplished to keep you moving forward.

  26. I still recall being in chat while attending my first podcast – I was instantly hooked. It seems so long ago.

    You’ve created something amazing here Jeff. The podcast, the site, the forum … all first class. You really did become the voice of WordPress.

    Due to my heavy work schedule I wasn’t able to get online as often as I would like but this was my favourite refuge when I did.

    You’re an awesome individual Jeff and I thank you for everything you have done in and for the community. I also wish you the absolute best in whatever you choose to do. You deserve it.

    As we say up here in Canada, keep your head up and your stick on the ice.

  27. Jeff – you are a great young man. I had the pleasure of interacting with you on a number of occasions and you were always a pleasure to chat with.We’ll always share that impromptu interview with Matt from WordCamp SF 2010 !!

    I wish you well with your family, career, and endeavors.

    Seeing the effort you placed in building a first class community here on WP Tavern, I know you’ll succeed at any and all efforts in the future.

  28. I just read this post tonight (talk about real life getting in the way :-))

    Jeff, it is sad to read this but not all that surprising. Life certainly did come crashing down on you and it was clear from following your Twitter stream that you had more important things on your hands. I would do the same in your situation.

    Thanks for being one of the community’s great enthusiasts. Your name has been in my RSS feeds for as long as I’ve been into blogging and WordPress.

    Best of luck!

  29. Jeff, you’ve always provided a unique voice in the WordPress landscape and you’re going to be sorely missed. Here’s to better things for the future and seeing you around the bar from time to time.

  30. Jeffro – you will be sorely missed! I think that the distinction lies in the fact that you always wanted to “get the word out” about WordPress because you cared about it, and the entrepreneurial (building a business based on WordPress) side of it was something you let others do. In that regard, it is truly hard to make a full time living with WordPress if you’re not doing full-time client work.

    I wish you well! Are you selling the site?

  31. I don’t know what to say, but I just had to comment.

    I wish you well in your personal life and hope you could bounce back somehow into the WordPress Community. The community needs people like you who are truly dedicated in serving the community.

    In my opinion you’ve done far greater than a good number of developers who fork around with the WordPress code, because thoughts of you and I, the people who don’t code is what makes WordPress better. Without our voices, there would be nothing to code.

    I don’t know what to say.. I sound silly now. It really makes me feel sad… I’ve always listened to your podcasts whenever I could on my iPod Touch. I still remember those glorious days… You’ve been the first and only WordPress podcast (and podcast in general) that I’ve anticipated and listened to from start to finish.

    Good luck in your future plans, and, hope to see you around again on the web!

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