WP Tavern and Jeff Chandler part ways

WP Tavern, a popular website focused on what’s currently taking the place in the world of WordPress, has ended its relationship with Jeff Chandler, the site’s founder.  It’s not clear if the decision was mutual, but I get the feeling from reading Twitter it wasn’t.

WP Tavern and Jeff Chandler part ways - Bent Corner
Jeff Chandler

Chandler started WP Tavern in early 2009. He then sold the site in 2011 to a mystery buyer who had the site scrubbed of all advertisements. This person hired Chandler to operate the site. Two years later, it was announced the mystery buyer was none other than Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic.

Matt Mullenweg owning WP Tavern changed everything

WP Tavern and Jeff Chandler part ways - Bent Corner
Matt Mullenweg

It was then WP Tavern stopped being a news site dedicated to WordPress. At least for me. Knowing Mullenweg owned WP Tavern made it seem something much different than a WordPress news site. Jeff Bezos, founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Amazon.com owns The Washington Post. I read it almost every day. That said, even though Bezos is said to have a hands-off approach to the newspaper, it probably wouldn’t be my go-to source for news about Amazon.

Mullenweg owning WP Tavern is different than Bezos owning The Washington Post. WP Tavern only covers WordPress. It’s also the only website covering news in the WordPress environment. The Washington Post has lots of competition. WP Tavern does not.

In conclusion

Now would be the perfect opportunity for Jeff Chandler to create a truly independent WordPress news site. The world is a lot different than it was in 2011 when he sold WP Tavern to Mullenweg. I think it would be much easier today to monetize a website dedicated to WordPress news than it was then. Plus, Chandler is much better known in the WordPress community now than he was back then. If he launched a website dedicated to WordPress news today, it would get traffic.

2 thoughts on “WP Tavern and Jeff Chandler part ways”

  1. It’s very dishonest of Automattic, the way WP Tavern is presented. It’s just an advertising mechanism, not a news site or a blog. However, since it’s PRESENTED as a news site or a blog, well – you get it obviously. Just another example of their true colors. Imagine if WPTavern was presented as a blog, or a discussion group, with clearly defined rules clearly stated policies. Well, then it would just be full of complaints about Gutenberg! So that will never happen.

    1. I agree 100 percent. I urged Jeff on Twitter to start his own independent site and podcast dedicated to WP. He didn’t think he had a non-compete clause in his contract. I don’t know why he didn’t do it.

      There’s a market for it.

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