WPDaily Is No More

WPDaily LogoFirst off, it’s extremely weird to be writing about the demise of a website that not too long ago, was writing about the demise and resurgence of WPTavern. WPDaily, one of the many sites dedicated to all things WordPress has closed its doors today. The move comes as a shock to many within the WordPress community, including me. WPDaily was spearheaded by John Saddington, leader of the development team 8Bit and project manager of PressGram. While no direct cause of the shutdown was given, John noted that while the site achieved a variety of goals, it did not achieve the larger global goals and strategy of their organization at the present time.

We achieved every single goal and metric that we had set out to accomplish (and then some) in this glorious experiment and so we consider it a “success.” But, it did not achieve the much larger global goals and strategy of our organization at this present time.

One thing I can confirm is that criticism and negative reactions to some of their published content was definitely not a reason for the shutdown. I give John a lot of credit for everything he did with WPDaily. The man was a publishing machine and if you blinked, you missed a ton of content. I occasionally joked that John published so much content that he was the reason infinite scroll was invented. Everywhere I looked, I saw John Saddington with the first comment on posts. This just shows how much he was on the ball with information. I know from experience that the only way John could accomplish what he did with WPDaily involved ridiculously long hours, lots of typing, living within the inbox, and juggling his time with reviewing products and just being in touch with people. For anyone that thinks running a community news type website is easy, you’re wrong. It’s very difficult. It requires lots of time reading, communicating, piecing together stories, managing the conversations that take place and a host of other responsibilities. This is why I continue to think that if you don’t have a primary source of funding, that creating a site like WPDaily or WPTavern just isn’t worth it in the long run.

However, the shutdown of WPDaily stirred up the conversation again around WordPress news sites and how they can be sustainable. According to one individual, the curation of WordPress content can not be achieved by 1 person or 10 but rather, should be an automated process. Then, you could charge access to the site as it would do all of the filtering for you. Hard to say if that idea would take off but the site I have in mind that could potentially make this work is PostStat.us. Brian Krogsgard has stated on Twitter that he has a few tricks up his sleeve to monetize the site but we will have to wait until they are implemented to find out what they are.

I want to personally say to John Saddington that I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and especially with PressGram. At the same time however, I make a formal request that you highly consider leaving the content archived somewhere for reference material or you either sell, or provide the archive to someone who is more concerned with the historical significance of the content than any other agenda.

Last but not least, I want to thank the individuals who suggested to others that they can use WPTavern to get their fix for WordPress information. However, WPTavern can not and will not be a direct replacement for WPDaily. Both sites contain their own unique flavors, takes on various topics that come up in the community.

As of July 11th 2013, the site has been turned back on and is in Archive mode.


20 responses to “WPDaily Is No More”

  1. Sad to see WP Daily close down, but I can definitely appreciate that while running WP Daily, how John could ever have time for anything else!

    I agree it would be good if the historical content was made available somehow too. It’d be a shame for all the work John put in to just vanish.

    Great work, John. WP Daily will be missed, and I wish you the best with whatever you do with your new-found time ;)

  2. Didn’t the original maker of wpcandy sell it to someone else and they run it? (I read tweets that WPC is dead as well, anyone can confirm/deny?).

    I told Jeff ancient times ago that I had doubts WPT would survive. Look what happened. I thought weblogtoolscollection would survive. why didn’t WLTC owner sell the site to someone who would run it. Instead of Matt buying it and archiving it.

    I liked the plugin/theme listings every few days. It seems WLTC part for plugins is now in WPTavern.

    I told Jeff that he should sell t-shirts. I would of bought a few, give them out on my site.
    I told Jeff that he should have other authors as well.
    I also told Jeff that if he ever locks WPT as a paid site that I would go somewhere else.

    The problem with paying for WP news is that I can go to 100 other sites that will give me the same news. When WordPress 3.6 comes around. I will see at least 500 posts about it. Not I will read more than 5 sites with that post.

    I always wondered why wpdaily didn’t take wpdaily.com and chose wpdaily.co

    M hater?

    Whats going to happen when Matt retires/dies in a freak accident/gets eaten by a shark? what will happen to WLTC/WPT?

    WP news sites come and go. why don’t people mention to those owners to sell.

    I honestly think that there are too many. How many ways can you say “WordPress 3.6 is here”.

    I am being my blunt self. People who do wp news based sites got to realize that they got to do more than just write a post or two or three a week. Do consultation, something I told Jeff and he refused.

    WPDaily will die (domain will expire) and someone will take it.

    Is it fair that the original owners worked up the site, sell it, yet a new owner gets the rep all of a sudden with no real effort and continues?

  3. I’m the guy who suggested to automate WP news…

    I feel like every time I suggest something, it should come with a wireframe or info graphic to illustrate the idea as I never seem to get a fair shake or proper platform to explain the entire thing.

    Problems with WP News:
    1. Only power users seem to care

    2. WP news are made of multiple exclusive niches because the core audience have varying levels of WordPress understanding and skills. Some only care about development and some only care about industry happenings. Covering all niches through one RSS feed or one home page like WPTavern, WPDaily, WPCandy, and Postat.us actually dilutes the quality of your effort. For example, people trying to find theme releases and plugin updates might not care about WordPress start-ups and acquisitions, yet they’re a huge chunk of the WP news audience.

    3. While it’s humanly possible to curate WP news, you burn out before it’s profitable.


    Those problems are caused by misunderstanding what are actually WordPress news and who power users are. While “power users” is the easiest way to generalize people with deeper WordPress interests, it doesn’t illustrate skill levels which influence their WordPress news interests.

    WordPress news encompass much more than what WP news sites have been covering. For one example, Github hosted updates of WordPress related projects. But, how many times can you post about Github updates before your readers give negative feedback on quality of posting?

    On the flip side, if you were to dedicate an entire page to Github WP-related updates on your site, it would be a different story.


    You could have a large enough team to keep tabs on every sub niche of WP news to keep the entire audience happy, but where is the money going to come from to pay off that team?

    Therefore, I suggest automating news posting with moderation and then organize in an easy to digest way across multiple pages of a site, not just one RSS feed or one home page. For example, when reading about theme releases or updates, I want to see theme screenshots. I don’t want to consume theme news via texts. It takes the fun out of it.


    We don’t know how big the WP news niche is. At the moment, it seems pretty small because sites have been dying left and right, but IMO no one has done WP news right, in a way that makes consuming fun for the audience and in a way that saves time for the curators.

  4. I was very shocked. I LOVED getting their daily e-mails and reading through them. I really liked the listing of the NEW plugins. Also, there text of the programs, themes, plugins, whatever they were writing about seemed more balanced and I greatly appreciated that. I will miss WPDaily.

  5. @Tung – my friend Brett has a pretty great way of automating the link portion of his blog, his “Web Excursions” stuff — at BrettTerpstra.com. I don’t know the exact particulars (though I’m sure he has it documented, he would), but I’m pretty sure it uses a combination of Pinboard.in links and hand-crafted descriptions. Markdown is involved somewhere too (if you know Brett you get the joke).

    His site isn’t built on WordPress — he uses Jekyll — but he used to use WordPress and I know he had a plugin for auto-posting his link-list each day back then (using either Pinboard and before that Delicious).

    I think that some sort of bookmarklet that would let you add a link and a description to a running list someplace, and once you hit X number of links, you publish, could be a great way for multiple people to contribute to a curated workflow that is also partially automated.

    Of course, as you say, the need for images and other data to carry over into posts — which could be added to the embed/link process as part of a bookmarklet or other system — is still there. And that doesn’t obviate the other value of a news site, which is commentary, analysis and reviews — but it would be better than nothing. If the more day-to-day aspect of surfacing the best stuff could be better automated, maybe that would leave more time for those individuals who want to create other types of content.

    Now, this doesn’t address the monetization issue at all — but at this point, that wouldn’t necessarily have to be the goal. I’m fortunate enough to have lots of friends (like Brett), that make at least some money from their curated link/blog efforts. Some of them (like Shawn Blanc), even make their whole living that way.

  6. The site I use most heavily for WordPress news these days is http://wproll.com/. I add new sites to my feed whenever anything good shows up there. That does become somewhat of a firehose though, so perhaps not suitable for those who aren’t hard core WordPress junkies looking to trawl through as much content as possible. It’s also not a generator of content, but with the huge number of blogs out there about WordPress, this doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.

    I wrote an article about wproll.com (and other WordPress news sites) not long ago too … http://wprealm.com/blog/wp-roll-got-launched-today/

  7. @Ryan Hellyer – I discovered WPRoll recently and was intrigued by the design and its implementation. Then I scrolled to the bottom and seeing Kaspars name made everything make sense. It’s a cool way to showcase a bunch of sites. It reminds me of a more graphical Planet type website. Also has some of that AllTop to it as well.

    Cool to see WPTavern near the top in the top 100 rollranked sites heh.


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