WP Help

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.

9 thoughts on “WP Help

  1. No Thunderbyrd, I do not mean you, or Shadow, or Dana, or Katie or Ang . . . . . ………..it’s just a few people that over the last four days, in comparison to people such as you and those others there, have taken more than they really should.

    It’s only a few, but they just got under my skin …..

    Sorry – I didn’t mean to offend you!!

  2. Don’t worry Mark – most of us can totally relate to what you are saying here.

    The more you do for people the more they want. I have always been amazed at how generous you are with your support on the forums, let alone the help you have given me personally.

    Definitely, learn to say NO, I’m busy, Not right now – and don’t let other people burden you with their own problems.

    Now about that issue with the border in the storycontent……

    Vote 1 for Mark – WordPress superstar and all-round nice guy 🙂

  3. Mark- a lot of folk are going to empathise with this. I have noticed that a lot of forum answerers tend to fade over time and head to irc. A shame really. As a concept – I do not think anyone in the forum would be offended by a request for payment to WordPress. It would give pause for thought to some folks. It would certainly act as a filter. The guys I really worry about are people developing blatantly commercial sites, thinly disguised with latin text, occupying the skilled people like you – with complicated problems. Then they disappear.
    In many cases with scarcely a word of thanks.

  4. Root – #Irc tends to be more of a hacker’s hangout as I guess it suits that for the exchange of some information, but it’s good to also see what’s going on and help out those that have actually read up and found there is a channel. I think of myself there as the ‘guy who is okay with the *not* php questions :)’

    As for sites … yes, I have been asked, but I’m not about to design a site to a deadline. I don’t need that hassle. (plus they have no way of paying me !). Helping *someone* is fine, helping someTHING is not.

    I’ve just added something to my contact page, but I’m somewhat unsure about it. I don’t want to put off someone with a genuine query who I can help out of a hole. I’ll change it something else probably.

    But the forums – nah .. I’m not leaving 🙂

    (And when I get round to fixing the css, I’ll start using the ‘reply to comment’ function !)

    (Oh…. and compared to *that* thread you were involved in, I’ve had it easy!!)

  5. I’m very glad there are people like you out there, willing to help. Thanks.

    IMHO, the problem is not so much not knowing how things like WordPress work, but the LANGUAGE!

    Even the explanations are impossible to understand, because it’s all a foreign language…and there’s no reliable dictionary (English/Geek) for the ignorant, such as myself, to go to.

    Your post referred to exceeding your b/w….in MY language that is “black and white” (as in photographs)…but you thought nothing of using a term that has for almost a hundred years been associated with photography, and applying it to something completely different….bandwidth.

    Many of us would require a lot less help, if you’d explain the language. See?


  6. Bear – Band width is something in photography ? Never knew that !
    Light ? Spectrum ?

    I do agree though, jargon is bad, but then each ‘industry’ has it’s own. I’d like to think that we try not to use too much of it on the forums, but inevitably it will slide in at times. Having said that, I read stuff in #wordpress and have no clue too – it’s all relative.

    Root – Being welsh is okay in my book. Lovely country. Been there lots and loved it.

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