How unfair we often are toward plugins developers
Designing website for, and with WordPress since three years by now, I’ve archived few blocks of code that I’m willing to convert into one or more plugins.
I also admit that third parties’ plugins are a determinant component of the final website I end up delivering to my customer.
Plugins are an essential part of a WordPress website.
An other aspect I want to mention is my recent statement to not charge for what I’ve got for free being this the core of WordPress or an open source plugin. So I committed to charge only for the time I actually employ to realize the whole pack: sketching, designing, coding as well as investigating the competitors of my customers and so on. And for my competence in doing so, obviously.
I was proud of my approach and policy, feeling very honest and transparent toward my customers.
However, I will have to reconsider my approach to my own business and profession. I would invite you to give a read at two significant articles by Alex King and Andy Killen. I’ll add more notes about those articles soon, since it’s a topic I’m very interested in. And it deserves further investigation.
Now a day, realizing a website in WordPress could take minutes. Obviously, if you do just that, I wouldn’t precisely call you a web designer. But still, the fact I’m pointing here is that we can access to countless resources at no cost. Realizing a website is so much faster today than it was just a couple of years ago.
It is so easy that we have difficulties in understanding the real value of what we’re delivering to our customers.
Consequently, if I just grab what is freely available, without questioning where it came from and who’s behind it (not just for the quality of the software but also for the monetary value it adds to my final product) then I’m being unfair and disrespectful in the regard of the developer who produced it.
Even if I can have it at no cost, the author dedicated tons of hours to give me such a possibility. Most of the time they did for passion, in the trust that other developers will share the same attitude and vision and will eventually donate accordingly to support the author.
But this does not happen.
Money isn’t necessarily the key element. There is also an other, perhaps more important aspect to consider: Support.
In talking with other plugin developers, it seems fairly universal that the reward for a successful plugin is a deluge of support email that includes the worst kind of sense of entitlement, rudeness and ignorance. The community as a whole seems to expect to be able to pay nothing, yet received expert and individual help and support for free. – Alex King
If we don’t educate our customers in understanding the quantity of work and dedication spent on what we’re giving them at no cost, we’re responsible of not being fair to the WordPress community. Neither to the much bigger Open Source movement and principle.
I have no answer by now.
It is something I have to consider in my business model in the respect of the people who contributed so much to the development of WordPress and its community. I will find a reasonable and honest way to repay them.
There are so many things I would like to say regarding how web designers are using WordPress and the incredible amount of resources available to enhance it. For the most, we ignore where all these came from. That means, something isn’t quite right, and it will be probably not easy to change it.
Nevertheless, we need to make the effort.
Thank you for taking the time to read me. If you have any suggestion, please add a comment.