Steve Burge

TaxoPress is Our New WordPress Plugin

Simple Tags has been a popular WordPress plugin for 10 years, and now has over 80,000 users.

I’m delighted to say that our team has taken over running the plugin. This is the same team that runs the plugins at PublishPress.

We’ve given it a new name (“TaxoPress”) and a new website at

Over the last few years, we’ve repeatedly answered custom questions about Tags and Categories. We often found that we didn’t have good answers because the plugins in this space weren’t great.

So our goal with TaxoPress is to build the perfect tool to create, edit and manage all your WordPress taxonomy terms.

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Eulogy for My Dad

In many ways, my family and I were very fortunate.

My Dad first had cancer in 2000. He went on to survive multiple fights with several forms of cancer. He had 20 years of absolutely world-class medical treatment from England’s National Health Service.

We had 20 extra years with him, thanks to that treatment, and his own resilience and determination.

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Some Big Life Changes

Last July, I turned 40. For some people that’s not a huge milestone, but for me it was. I felt stale and in need of fresh challenges.

So from last summer to this summer, I worked on making changes. Some things happened: I bought out my main business partner and made a significant move into WordPress. But, by-and-large, it was a year of slow negotiations, many discussions and lots of tire-kicking. I even sat for my first job interview in 15 years, before realizing that was the wrong direction.

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I met Eddie Tabush back in 2010 at CMS Expo, a semi-legendary event with people from across the open source world. It was the start of a partnership that dominated our work during the 2010’s.

We worked together on OSTraining and Joomlashack, which have gone great. We also teamed up for an attempt at a SaaS project called Admincredible. That didn’t end well, but taught me more than all the successful projects. Recently, we started working on WordPress plugins too.

We’ve spent time together all across North America, including in Atlanta, Denver, Cancun, Orlando, Los Angeles, Nashville and Chicago.

Back when I met him, Eddie was on the board of Habitat for Humanity. It doesn’t hurt a new business connection when your partner has just returned from hanging out with Jimmy Carter.

Over the years, Eddie’s housing work has grown and grown. In particular, he’s been working to launch AVI, an organization that aims to transform access to affordable housing in Guatemala. In July, he presented a law to the Guatemalan Congress which will give formal approval to AVI.

Because the housing work has become a full-time job (perhaps two full-time jobs), Eddie is slowly stepping back from our work together. It’s been a great eight years. But Eddie’s housing work has the potential to transform Guatemala. I’ll be cheering him on all the way.

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We’re adopting more extensions at Joomlashack

Over at Joomlashack, we’ve hit on a business model that is working well.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve adopted 6 extensions: JCal ProjInboundShack FormsShack ToolboxShack Open Graph, and Tabs and Sliders.

A few weeks ago, we announced the arrival of 5 more extensions. This week saw the arrival of Shack Locations.

Oh, and we’ve adopted WordPress plugins too with Bylines and UpStream.

Joomla and WordPress are mature markets and some developers are leaving after 10+ years. We think that adopting code is a win for everyone. In the past, developers had limited options if they wanted to stop work on their extensions. If they made an official announcement, they had to deal with unhappy users. To avoid this, sometimes the developers would just disappear. In contrast, a smooth adoption leads to a great outcome for the developers and users.

I suspect we’ll adopt more Joomla extensions in the future, and more WordPress plugins too. 

Update: We did indeed adopt more. See this post on going from 1,000 to 100,000 WordPress installs.

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Interview with Post Status about PublishPress

Post Status published an interview with me that covered a range of WordPress-related topics:

Many thanks to Dan Knauss for bearing with me and shaping these answers into something readable.

Post Status is one of the leading sources for WordPress news. It’s well worth the membership for their newsletter and their members-only Slack channel.

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