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Should web designers or creatives work for free?

There is much discussion amongst our creative community over working for free. Some (perhaps most) are strongly against it and others see it as ok for a short while, perhaps while starting out to boost their portfolios and gain valuable experience.

My view on this is that by working for free you are in fact devaluing your work and your own creativity. Just to be clear we never work for free at TP digital. If someone comes to us wanting a web design or any website assistance we charge for our time, creativity and expertise. This applies whether they are an influencer/blogger/YouTuber offering free exposure for a free site, or a charity or startup business asking for a free site because of limited/no funds - the answer is NO.

After all, you wouldn’t go into Starbucks to order a coffee and then say you want to try it first before you buy it. So why should anyone ask an artist, photographer, creative or web designer to design them something for free so they can try it out first?

Basic one-page website designs take a least one full day’s work (10 hours), and that’s not including any testing or client revisions, which is additional work. So asking someone to work a full day for free and use their creative and expertise to create something for you to use commercially to make money from is not just disrespectful of their creativity and expertise but also you are profiting from their goodwill.

Please remember this when ask for something for free from a creatives, and to the creatives out there please stand up for yourselves and value your hard work and creativity by charging for your work even when you start out.

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