Over the last 4 days, I must have done at least 16 hours working on other people’s sites – and that doesn’t count any time spent in the forums. I’ve ftp’d to their space, logged in and changed stuff, you name it, I’ve done it. Now the vast majority of this I don’t actually mind doing – if someone is having problems, and I can fix them, then I’m happy to help. But..
If someone stopped me in the street and asked me to help pick their shopping up I would – so would you probably. But if they then asked me to carry it to their house, then put it away, then maybe cook some, and wash up …….. you think I would ? No, and I’m going to start saying that to some people who are contacting me for one thing, then escalating their needs / wants. If I offer more, or if I say that I can do something better or if I email someone about something, that’s one thing. But a virtually ‘cold’ email is totally another.
Many people have asked what I’m charging for the work I’ve done, and in every case, without exception, I’ve said to ‘pay it forward’. It’s not that I couldn’t do with more money (who can’t ?) but that I think as soon as money enters into any sort of ‘deal’ there are expectations on both sides, expectations which I would hope are not there now. Plus there is the fact that if a service is charged for, then you are automatically excluding people who do not have the ability to pay through a given channel or at all – and I know all about that thankyouverymuch. But just supposing ……how much would I charge ?
When you pay for someone to do something – whether it’s fixing a broken install of WP, installing it in the first place, replacing a leaking tap or repairing a car, part of the cost is for the skill of the person doing it. But surely most of the real cost is to save yourself huge frustrations ? Now okay, repairing a car takes experience, skills, tools, but even mending a tap could be done from a book or website guide. But with WordPress (and any software in fact), the simple fact is that if people took a little more time to understand how it worked, what was needed in it and what was not before they tore it to bits, then half of the problems would not occur. It can be learned – it’s not difficult. Back to charging .. if I were to charge, then one way would be to ask the person concerned “How long do you think it would take you to learn what is needed ?” and “How much monetary value do you put on your hourly time ?”. Multiply those two together, and there’s a charge. I think that figure, if people answered honestly, would scare people.
I have not the slightest intention of changing what I do for people, but I am going to alter the Contact page here to include some more information.
I do not mind helping – I’ve met some really nice people – but I’m having to draw some lines in the sand now.