Should you pay for something that is supplied for free? We think you should.
It happens to us all, sooner or later. Your client wants something you have
never done before. For some this is a challenge, for others it is a
nightmare. Maybe you try a few things yourself first. If that doesn’t work,
you start looking for some information or code on the internet. Then you get
stuck. Chances are you are not even sure what you are looking for.
Now what? Perhaps you will do more searches, read more forums, post to a
forum, or search for a plug-in or a code snippet. Anything that will make it
work. The last thing you want is to tell your client you can’t do the job.
Finally you find something that works, someone to help, some code you can
adjust a little, a plug-in you overlooked earlier, or a manual on someone’s
You are saved! You are happy. Your client is happy. You are going to earn
some money. The end. Right?
Well, that should not be the end. The next thing you should do is find the
website of the owner of the information you ended up using and donate a few
bucks. Trust me, no one is offended by $5.
I can hear your arguments for not donating:
– It was just one line of code.
– The plug in is a free download.
– I’m practically broke.
– You’re not my mother.
How about…, without that piece of information you would have lost your
client? Or, your own website would not have been as slick as it is right
You are not donating for the effort it took the supplier, but for the amount
of time and effort it saved you.
The reason why someone can easily fix (your) issues is that they spent the
hours, days, weeks, and months of reading, searching, exploring, and
learning things by trial and error, to get a grip on the system. They should be compensated for being willing to share that with the rest of the world. What’s worse than not donating is complaining that the software isn’t updated quickly enough. In the meantime, the developer who has already worked hard enough on previous versions is not getting paid.
Do we donate? Yes, we do!
We think it is a shame that so many people for example use Wikipedia and
every year they have to beg for donations. If all schools, no matter what
type, would donate as much as $10, things would be so much easier for them.
So how much do we donate?
Here’s a good rule of thumb: “If we earn something, they earn something.”
Creating a website for some charity will unfortunately not lead to any
donations. Creating a website someone is paying for, will lead to
– WordPress – $10
– Plug-ins – $5 each
– Really helpful plug-ins – $10
These are small amounts but imagine what they could add up to if everyone
would live by that rule.
Thanks for reading.