Web Devs - I need your opinions.

To make a long story short, when my fiancé and I first moved in together I changed cities. One day at the grocery store we ran in to one of his old buddies, whom I had never met. His buddy works as a counselor at a non profit organization for mental illness. His friend asked me some questions to get to know me and found out I was a web developer. He instantly got exited and told us they needed a new website for their non profit, and asked me what I charged. Being shy, put on the spot, newer to the industry (uncomfortable talking $ due to inexperience) and seeing the guy was paralyzed I felt I HAD to say yes. I also said I would consider donating the site to them, as I knew my other web dev friends had done that for other non profits.

They were easy to work with and the build went smooth. We chose Wordpress so that they could go in and update the site on their own. I was under the assumption that I would create the site for them, but that they would take care of changes on their own, that I wouldn't be "supporting it". I even trained the friend 2-3xs on how to use Wordpress and make changes, but they ALWAYS have changes every month, including slides and content creation. Being a noob at the time, I KNOW it's my fault for not being more clear on the I'll build it but not make changes thing, and I've tried to kind of get them to see that I'm too busy, politely.

We'll, 3+ years later I've now found success in a different career path that takes up ALL of my free time after my 9-5 corporate web dev position, and am no longer interested nor able to do freelance work, including supporting existing sites. Since we don't have a contract in place, and they've never given me a cent, i was thinking of giving them a notice at the end of this month saying as of 2018 I will no longer be able to take care of their website, and that they'll have to find someone else by that time? I feel bad because it's a non profit and they don't have a lot of money. I'm afraid they won't find someone else nor be able to afford it. The situation is a little more sticky since this is my fiancés friend and I don't want them to feel like I'm leaving them high and dry, cuz I know they're very thankful for the site. I just wish they understood that I never promised to do changes for them every month. Even if they offered me money, I just don't have the time. I'm 100% fine if they want to keep the site and my code, although they really could use a redesign anyways cuz my code back then was terrible. What are your thoughts on this? Is 5 months fair? Am I doing the right thing?

  • 6
    Explain to them your job situation calmly and politely and help them find some basic wordpress administrator that could do the changes for them. I have seen many students doing that for small money or no money at all - just for a good review later or just to help and contribute.
  • 3
    Yeah, help them find some students, they'll be happy to work for them
  • 1
    You already did the right thing. If you don't have time, it would be really unfair to you to continue doing it.
  • 2
    @laceytech do you have multiple personalities or you are a company?🤔
  • 1
    Tell them the situation. Let them know you don't have time for that, and show it by delaying any request indefinitely if they keep going like that.
  • 2
    you already know the answer (and other answers describe handling it with grace). You've done a good thing and you've profitted from the experience via dealing with a frustrating client; that is some nice armor to be wearing.

    Every individual has a right to free agency; we should be behoove to help others; sure, but your time is valuable and you owe it to yourself and to the world to see what comes of persuing your own agenda.
  • 1
    @just-basic-user we are a company
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