My original intention was to use the famous photo of Thích Quảng Đức, the Buddhist monk who undertook self-imollation in protest on June 11th 1963, on this blog post.
When I then went to search for an open source image file, I paused and thought, that’s a good way to cheapen his life, by using it to illustrate my own feelings.
That’s all to say: Why do I not charge at all for the WordPress websites I design and develop? How can I afford to host dozens of sites, set up CRM’s, Job Boards, and all the myriad work that is usually handled by a team or outsourced?
I’m absolutely not opposed to being able to feed myself 🙂. I just never charge, mostly because those I am endeavoring to support usually have no means at that moment to reciprocate monetarily.
And that is exactly why I do it.
How do you take one step in front of the other and make progress, when you can’t even get out of the hole?Mark-Andrew
As a great human I know believes (link to GoGreaterGood Website), I feel we can all do good… even if just for one person.
Luckily for me, one of my greatest passions coincides with this feeling: WordPress and democratizing publishing.
Yes, I’ve drank the Kool-Aid. I’m all aboard. I’m whatever analogy you choose to use.
I’m a true believer in everyone being seen, everyone being treated as a human being, and everyone being afforded prosperity in whatever way gives them the most joy (that does no harm to others).
Tomorrow I’m back outside, although on this occasion it wasn’t my first choice.
So why do this? Why suffer, when that suffering could shortly be alleviated?
Part of that story are my views on the current system and paradigm from which we (almost) all currently operate from.
The majority of that story can be summed up in 1 word: Fatih 🦸♀️ (link to Fatih’s website).
Fatih is a good human I met via Reddit, giving them support for a WordPress website they were building for a friend’s business last year.
They are currently living in Austria, though not born there. I won’t tell a story that’s not mine to share, so the details here are brief. Suffice to say, they are in a situation they would rather not be in and they have a skill that can improve that situation dramatically.
Me and Fatih remained in touch, and I’m honored to call him my friend today.
I was continually encouraging the use of the skills he possessed with WordPress websites. I used my own story as a living example of what can be done with WordPress…without even asking for payment. I viewed it as the lowest entry barrier option, with the largest probability of a positive return.
I am absolutely beyond stoked to report that not only do they now feel comfortable leveraging WordPress for their career, they launched their own site and found their first client within a week! 🎉
The dollar amounts are Fatih’s story to tell as well, if they ever choose to. But it is a four figure amount and all of those figures are more than they had.
Fatih, along with my true belief that there are better options for most of us, most of the time, than what most of us are currently doing, is why I do this. ❤️
Another good human recently told me that the reason I don’t receive much reciprocation even after the fact (when those I’ve supported have more means) is because no one views me as an expert.
This person is actually correct (link to Houston EA website). I’m not an expert. Other than one time, with explanation attached, in a DM in WordPress core slack, I’ve never claimed to be an expert at building WordPress websites.
I understand that there is just too much information that changes too rapidly for one person to have a handle on it all.
But after 14 years of paying attention to as much of WordPress as I can, building hundreds of websites, and supporting hundreds of others in supporting their businesses or dreams, I at least know where to look for the answers.
I try to have no one I work with be dependent on me, or any third party or person, if possible.
My entire pitch is that using WordPress, in combination with knowing where to look for some answers, gives anyone in the world the ability to control their own content. That gives them the ability to control their voice, how loud it is, and how often they would like others to hear it. That gives them the ability to affect positive changes for themselves and for others.
But as I said above, that good human did have a point in my knowledge level not being recognized. This is all on me.
I’ve used this website as an example of what can be done with WordPress for most of its existence. Just a tool with which I can show anyone at any time, as long as I have a mobile device, how to change their life.
This means it’s often unfinished, involved in some sort of beta testing, or generally neglected, as my entire focus is on supporting others.
I’ve recently begun to address that perception in earnest. Continuing to address that, I’m going to redesign this site, simplify the information that’s here, and present it in a clearer way.
So the answer to the question of “why I do this for free?” is always a Fatih.
PSS: Thank you to Kathy and Kadence for the support I was able to forward to Fatih. ❤️ (Link to Kadence website.)