Why do I need to offer Freebies?

In the mist of Covid-19 (Corona Virus), we at JDS WebDesign are hoping everyone is safe, washing your hands frequently, sneezing and coughing in your elbow, and practicing social distancing.  Over the next several weeks, we are planning on blogging about how to make your website more business friendly.  We will have some tutorials on our favorite plugins and features, which will make your site more efficient.


Freebies are my weakness.  I have even made a New Year’s Resolution to stop giving free information to help free loaders. I have a few prior clients, who will call me asking for help.  It is always the same reason, when I explain my fee.  I have not made any money off my site.  You claimed that you give back to the WordPress Community, but you can not provide a little help for former clients.

As a disclaimer, I do not mind offer help.  Sometimes my help is I would recommend this plugin or that plugin.  Sometimes my recommendations is to google for a solution, however, the belief that I should google the solution and provide it for free…is my issue with freebies.

I thought the WordPress community was about sharing.

I attend four different WordPress Meetup Monthly. I have joined two more (We have a huge WordPress Community in the Atlanta Area).  I love helping and contributing.  Helping  to me, is to advised.  Helping is to offer solutions.  Helping is not going into your back end of your site, and working on your site for no compensation.

I work on sites eight (8) hours a day, usually six (6) days a week. I love to discuss plugins.  I will give detailed pro’s and con’s about plugins. I have uploaded hundreds of plugins.  I have my favorites and least favorites.  I have worked on a lot of themes.  I love to discuss the pro’s and con’s of themes.  Some themes come with way too many plugins, others do not come with enough.  Some themes are responsive (view able on all devices), others are not responsive.

A good example of stewardship

Late last week as I was working on one of client’s site, I received a call from an  former client.  He was having some troubles with his site.  The original design had changed.

He asked me, “If I had made some changes to his site.”  “No”, I answered.  “Some weird things were occurring on his site. Can you take a quick look? I will pay you.”  I had built his site using Divi from Elegant Themes.  He provided me log in credentials, and after about a few minutes.  I notice that he had not updated his WordPress core, theme, and several plugins.

My recommendation was to …

  • *Get a back up (service or plugin)
  • *Update WordPress Core
  • *Update Theme
  • *Update Plugins

He told me that “I’m not that technical.”  I recommended a couple of services. He responded with “Can I give you $20.00 to take care of this for me.”  “No, but you can become one of my support clients for around $150.00 a month.”  “No”, he told me. “Your services never end.”, he responded.  “I can not afford you!”.

This is my dilemma

I do not want to come off as a jerk.  However, I have bills to pay.  This is not a hobby for me. This is my business.  A good friend of mine, once told me “That if this is your business, then treat it like a business”. I have evaluated the issue (for free), made some recommendations (for free), and offer to fix his issues.

“My hourly rate is $100.00 with a minimal of two (2) hours.” I responded.  “That’s $200.00!”. “I might as well join your support.”, he answered.  It was quiet for a few minutes. I advised him that I was headed off to a conference call and wished him good luck in his search for a resolution.

Another example of freebies

A few months ago, I received a call from a faith based organization.  They want to start a donation campaign.  They wanted me to do a KLT (Know, Like, and Trust) Campaign.  I explained the program and cost associated with the campaign. “We are going to promote your business, so we was hoping you would do this pro bono”, they stated.  While I have done some pro bono (free or reduced cost projects), it is for an organization that I value.  Someone or group, which has impacted my life.

I kindly told them, that I in business plan my pro bono limited had been reached. I would be accepting applications in January 2018, and decisions would be made by February 2019.  I did recommend 48in48, which is an awesome group.  This organization will provide 48 non-profit organization with free web sites and the sites are completed in 48 hours ( I am planning on attending the next weekend).

While I love helping some folks

I do not like being taken advantage..lifestyle of a web designer.

Image Courtesy of Cathryn Lavery

JDS WebDesign is a Web Design and Brand Marketing Agency located in Marietta, Georgia.  We create AWESOME on line presence for Start-ups and Influential People/Organizations.  To learn more about us or how we can help you and your organization, you can contact us or schedule a meeting.