There’s no such thing as “Free Lunch”

Howdy, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am not used to blog here, but something so atypical happened to me along the last few weeks, that I believe I’ll only be able to let go of it if I write about it!

I want to talk briefly about my work. Working with the digital universe is not just a challenge from a technological point of view: often the biggest challenge is the lack of digital knowledge of customers, and I recently discovered that this can lead to a great deal of misunderstandings. And that’s what I want to talk about.

As Milton Friedman (RIP) said “There is no such thing as a “free lunch”. And what he meant here was that wherever you get something “for free”, it is not really free: someone is paying for that. Maybe not you. But someone is FOR SURE paying – or not being paid – for that. Because everything that is done or created HAVE a kind of cost – or several – inherent to it.

The development of a WordPress website – and actually any website, even more if it’s an ecommerce (WooCommerce, you have my heart! <3) – involves study, many hours of work (weeks, or even months), sometimes night without sleeping and COSTS, many kinds of costs! “Under construction” pages, translation plugins, pro version of themes, hosting, etc. And once the website is ready to go online, it will need maintenance: an SLL certificate to enhance its security; system, plugin and theme updates; SEO optimization, content writing, CRM management, product inventory control, etc, etc, etc.

What does it mean? 

It means that the price you paid for your website to be developed DOESN’T INCLUDE  lifetime management and support for it,  unless you pay for the service!

It’s not so difficult to understand. Let me give you some examples:

You go to IKEA and buy a bed and a mattress. It certainly DOESN’T MEAN IKEA is going to furnish you with sheets and pillowcases for the rest of eternity. Fact is they won’t GIVE you ANY sheets and pillowcases AT ALL. You want them? You buy them. Simple like this.

You go to Volkswagen and buy a car. For sure it doesn’t give you lifetime insurance, neither unlimited fuel supply from any gas company. You are the car owner, but if you want to drive it and see it run, you need to fill it up. If you want it to be safe and sound, you’ll need insurance. And guess what? You’ll need to PAY for it!

You go to a Bakery and buy a birthday cake. They’ll probably not give you balloons or any party decoration. 

So WHY ON EARTH there are clients who think the web developer has sold her soul to them, and that paying for a website includes neverending hours of support and website modifications?!

Why even when they change from your company to another, they insist on contacting you for some “free help”, when they need, seeing your work is not free? And when every time you help them for free, you are losing money from someone willing to fairly pay for your work!!!

Then, at this moment, you’ll have two options, dear client: manage your own website – if you know how to do so – or PAY for someone to do it. Because your website is not in a kind of Limbo, where it’s magically “on the Internet”: it is HOSTED somewhere. All your website files MUST BE available inside of a Web server, which is basically some wardrobe-sized device that stores data and processes requests from a client, through HTTP, or else “hyper-text transfer protocol”, that simplifying is something like a language code for the machine understands what you want from it.

If I give further explanation about it, most of you won’t even read, let alone understand. So, summarizing: all information about your website features and content is stored within some company’s machines in order to be ready to be accessed by anyone who writes your URL on a browser (that is thing “thing” like Chrome, Edge, Opera, etc through which you access the Internet). And, obviously, it also has costs. 

It not only have costs, but it usually involves contracting (and PAYING) a freelancer, or a team, or an Agency, to take care of it for you, because you probably have enough work of your field of expertise to worry about. As well as you probably don’t change your own electrical wires from inside your walls, nor your plumbing system, if you are not a web professional, you’d better contract one to do your company’s web tasks.

“Awnnn, but my page on Facebook is free…”. First things first: “your” page on Facebook is not even really yours. And you have agreed to that, when you’ve signed up for your account. What means that if one day Mark Zuckerberg sinks, you sink with him, if all your business is based on a Facebook page… And it seems free because you don’t notice you are supplying Facebook everyday with free content about your life. What “pays” them for your use. Oh, and let not forget the ads. They need audience to their ads. And this audience is US.

Then we can find all around the web a bunch of catchy and scammy advertisement of “Free Websites” and ok, some of them are really free (for you). But they are NEVER the website you dreamt about. And for sure they are NEVER the website you or your Business needs (even if you are a entrepreneur or solopreneur).

You’ll notice in no time that all those nice functionalities you want to offer to your clients – like Gift Cards, discount coupons, multilanguage options, subscriptions, etc, are of course available FOR A FEE. In the end, when you get to that point in which you are totally satisfied with your website, it would have probably taken a fair amount of money from your pocket. And this is ok! Perfectly normal. Because as I quoted that famous American Economist who received who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science “There’s no such a (g’damn) thing as “Free Lunch”.

You want someone to do something you don’t or can’t do? Then PAY for it. Or pay a Course, so that YOU can learn to do what I do, and then do it yourself.

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