Projects that are not questions, prize money that is too low

I agree with what Denzel Chia writes here:

It seems to be a trend on @wpquestions to ask a question with a long list of requirements and a low price money. This should be a project with an hourly rate or break it up into a few questions or simply offer a high price money of at least $100? Programmers are professionals and not cheap labours. Knowing some codes does not make you a “programmer”, or “on par” with a programmer. Please show us some respect. Thanks.

This question is an example.

I am not sure what the solution is.

Possibly the top experts should have the collective (voted) right to demand that certain questions are immediately taken down and refunded, the purpose being to send a message to the asker that either they offer more money or their question will not be addressed by anyone?

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22 Responses to Projects that are not questions, prize money that is too low

  1. Christianto says:


    That vote useful for asker – they get refund immediately and won’t complain if none experts are answer they question, or they not get the answer they need.

    But for the experts, taking the question down by voting can be a problem, we can’t standardize prize money, $10 may sound to low for US citizen but not for Vietnam, India or other developing nation.

    If I voted one of question that I think the prize is too low and the question will be taken down, it will block other expert with potential answer that think is reasonable prize.

    I think notification message is enough for the asker, and for the experts you can provide another form field for suggested prize and job type notification.

    Also an attractive alert box may help other expert for not giving an answer if its not an appropriate prize. Or for asker, an alert box on their question page will result them to increase the prize. Differentiate this type of question on front page list also help.

    I ask for another suggested prize field because currently we can’t submit prize suggestion without posting comment on question thread andcan result on empty comment if I did.

    Just my2cent,

  2. I agree with the “project” questions being unfairly priced. I think it is a product of ignorance, in that they do not know what is actually required to complete the request. I do not think it is intentional, but that is not excusing the behaviour.

    I think the “question education” should be more prevalent to the asker. Almost to the point that it is part of the “ask” process, like a terms & conditions. They have to agree to the them and acknowledge they understand that what they are posting is actually appropriate for the site to be able to actually post it. This does not completely solve the issue. For some askers, will probably still insist something can be done in 20 minutes when they are actually asking for a 20 hour project. It’s inevitable, I think. We have to remember that people are coming to the WPquestions site for answers because they do not have them. So experience and education into WordPress will vary.

    I do agree though with Christianto about having a separate method to poll the actual prize worth, according to the experts. I think you should extend this method to include an actual poll that would allow the experts to basically rate the question, without actually answering on it. The poll would have selections that classify the appropriateness of the question. They should also be able to add a short comment to their rating for further choice clarity. This poll should be clearly visible to all viewing the question and I think the poll should be fully disclosed (all will know who voted for what). I also think that only monthly active experts should be allowed to answer the poll.

    With the poll, you could use the information many different ways. You could place a message on the question page, saying whether or not a majority approve or disapprove of the question. Or you could send an email to the asker letting them know that there is something not right with their question and some of the experts will not answer your question for reasons, xy & z.

    Using a poll will effectively separate the opinions of an expert from any possible answers that that expert may give. And when I speak of opinions I mean the opinions about the quality of the question, as per the appropriateness.


  3. Lawrence Krubner says:

    I thank both of you. These are excellent suggestions. Being able to post the suggested prize, without posting a comment, is clearly a good idea.

    I wonder if it would make sense to for the experts to be able to put a question into something like “probation”? I’m thinking that at least 3 experts would have to agree on this, and vote for probation. The process would work like this:

    1.) imagine an asker asks for a lot of work, but only offers $30

    2.) the experts feel the amount of work asked for is worth at least $200

    3.) at least 3 different experts then vote for probation

    4.) while the question is in probation, people can discuss what prize might be offered, but no one can post an answer to the question itself

    5.) if the asker raises their prize, then the question comes out of probation

    6.) once the question is out of probation, then the experts can post answers on it

    So is this a good idea? A bad idea?

  4. 2.) the experts feel the amount of work asked for is worth at least $200
    – Why $200, isn’t the upper limit for a question $100?

    3.) at least 3 different experts then vote for probation
    – Agreed, that would probably be sufficient.

    4.) while the question is in probation, people can discuss what prize might be offered, but no one can post an answer to the question itself
    – Again agreed. I think it should be stressed to not discuss any possible answer in the discussion about the prize.

    5.) if the asker raises their prize, then the question comes out of probation
    – What would be the threshold for moving the status of the question? $1 dollar? I would think that probably if they raised it to at least 80% of the expertly 😉 suggested amount, might work. I don’t know, you could do 80% of the difference of the suggested amount and the original prize amount. I don’t know what would work in this regard, but it’s me blabbing.

    It would definitely be cool to see this included.


  5. Christianto says:

    1. Asker post a question.. worth $15
    2. Expert will see if this a custom job or just need quick solution answer.

    3. If expert think this isn’t job, they give them an answer like usual. If this is custom job go to no.4

    And if some experts want prize to be raise they can submit prize suggestion, a notification will appear in form of email to the asker and notification box on question page/thread, If 3 or more vote comes from top expert, temporary close the thread from other expert that haven’t answer the question, but keep open it for expert that already answer it.

    Show notification that prize money should be raise to open the thread on the thread. These alert box will contain all expert name (including those who are not top expert) and prize suggestion.

    From notification box, Asker can decided the amount of prize from looking if expert has “ability” with reasonable prize suggestion or choose to raise it at maximum number.

    If there are 5 suggestion prize from $20 to $50 for example, and asker choose to raise it to $25, open the thread let the expert answer it. These will leave some expert with suggestion prize more than $25. Its ok, they can decide to participate on the question or not.
    If they think it still to low, they can submit another prize suggestion, if it doesn’t meet minimal 3 vote from top expert, noting happen to the thread, only notification to the asker will appear.

    Fair enough since other expert that think is reasonable prize can answer it and the asker has freedom to set his reasonable prize amount.

    4. If expert think this a job, they can vote it (separate from ordinary question prize suggestion vote). If vote comes from minimal 3 top experts OR comes from minimal 6 experts (both top expert or not) move it to job listing, give notification to the asker to set up maximum amount prize they can pay.
    Show the maximum prize on the thread, Let experts bid. If the job is taken by one of expert close temporary the thread and show a notification who is working on this job.
    If the task is finished award the expert the money, if failed, asker can reopen the thread give notification through mail to all expert that bid to the job, let asker choose it again who will do the job.

    The only drawback of this is it won’t allow hourly rate all fixed price. 🙂


  6. Christianto says:

    sorry for the typos
    Show notification that prize money should be raise to open the thread on the thread.
    should be
    Show notification that prize money should be raise to open the question on the thread.

  7. I don’t really don’t see a problem here. In my opinion wpQuestions should do it’s best not to alienate those who ask questions. I understand that the example given above illustrates a very complex question, but who’s to say that someone will not answer it for the price asked? Personally, I would not. It’s more of a Facebook question than a WordPress question and I’m not that interested in Facebook. That being said, I would not even think to answer it. It is important to note that people who answer questions here make a decision. I try to only answer questions that I know the answer to.

    The real strength of this website is the fact that users can choose the price that they feel comfortable paying. I think that this a really amazing system. I don’t believe that it would be good PR to have the “Top Experts” policing the dollar amounts that people are willing to pay. Potential this could alienate those asking questions and many may choose to seek other venues. I don’t think anyone wants this to happen 🙂

    “Probation” has really negative connotations. I personally would never use this phrase.

    If management feels that this is a problem that needs to be addressed, I would suggest that moderators should be appointed with the capability of moving questions to the “Job” section. (forget the actual name, there currently are not any on the site).


    Like I stated before, I really don’t see this as too big of a problem. I feel that another area seriously needs to be addressed. Enabling “Experts” to vote and answer up or down. No money would ever be paid to voters. I have noticed that some people who answer questions really don’t know the answers or are suggesting really bad code for the asker’s to use on their sites. This also goes the other way too. If someone geave a really great answer, I would totally vote it up. Just a thought …

  8. Lawrence Krubner says:

    Michael, I’m sorry, but I do not understand what you mean by this:

    >>Enabling “Experts” to vote and answer up or down. No money would ever be paid to voters.

    Experts are already able to vote, so long as they have not offered an answer. But perhaps you are suggesting that experts should have the right to vote on anything, with the understanding that if they do vote they are giving up their right to receive money? That is an interesting idea.

  9. I mean voting before an answer is accepted by the asker. If some posts insecure code or code that demonstrates the “wrong” way to go about a task it would be good for “experts” to be able to vote it down so that the asker does not install poor code on their sites. What I’m suggesting is very similar to what is done on StackExchange. I think that it’s a great feature worth adopting because it help filter the noise for inexperienced users. The money part just meant that voters would not be paid for voting -> voting an answer up would not entitle the voter to a portion of the prize.

  10. Christianto says:

    Michael, I agree..

    Top expert should not policing how much prize money should be set for a question.

    But how if the question is too complex and some expert want to answer it but it need to increase the prize? I know not every expert here try to create money as much as possible, personally I answer a question not just because its prize and my ability but also other factor.

    And as I stated above on my first comment, we can’t standardize prize money. But we should not forget that expert here also spending their time to solve an issue and need to be appreciate for it.

    May be we can eliminate what we called “Probation”, thats leave us to create a mechanism only to raise the question prize better than current system “Can you make it $20 ?” its seems not elegant for me. There are so many example expert ask to raise the prize money but then abandon it due to inability or something else, that leave the asker with high price money and no option to lower it (cmiiw).

    I think the principal we should honor is “Choice”, we should give both asker and expert a choice without pushing them. Asker can decide how much money they will spend for a question, expert can decide how much money they think “appropriate” if they answer a question.

    And then we can create a mechanism to bridge between asker and expert in term of prize money. That will result in a “bidding” like mechanism but we preserve asker right to make a choice whether going to one of expert prize (so he can receive a solution from respective expert), going to the highest number expert submit, or keep the prize and wait if there are expert can solve the issue with this prize.

    For voting for an answer before accepted by asker, I personally disagree with it.
    I think we have to try to minimize conflict between expert, thats why I think one of advantage we cannot comment on other expert answer.
    Even if someone post an insecure code and contain bad practice coding the best way is to alert the asker by commenting or contact them by message and providing better solution.

    So my conclusion, we create a better mechanism for suggested prize and create other option to vote if this question is a job.

  11. Denzel Chia says:

    Hi Lawrence,

    Maybe what I am trying to say now is way off this topic.

    We can see clearly that there is 4 types of experts on WP Questions.

    1) Minority number of Experts who are quite “well known” in the “circle” of WordPress, who provides answers on WP Questions for “reputation” rather than price money.

    2) Experts who are “working” on WP Questions, always on WP Questions almost 8 hours a day.
    What they make on WP Questions seems to be part of their monthly income.
    These Experts can be from First World Country such as USA or Third World Country such as Vietnam.

    3) “Serious New Comers”, Experts who are new to WP Questions, keen to answer, eager to climb to the top.

    4) Experts who are answering “rubbish” and hoping to get a share of the price money by Asker for their “hard work” or participation.
    Experts who “try too hard” or “act as if they know”, by providing long “development solutions” that never resulted in a working solution.
    These experts can also be “working” almost 8 hours on WP Questions, and can also be one of the “Serious New Comers”.

    Whether WP Questions should develop into a site for type 1, 2 ,3 or 4 Experts, is for the owner to decide.

    But in my opinion, the majority of Experts here belong to type (2).

    I see myself as belonging to type 2, which is why I tweeted that projects should have a high price money or break up into a few questions.

    (For your information I lived in Singapore and our living standard is high. I am a stay home Dad and what I made on WP Questions is a major part of my income.)

    Not to forget that type 2 includes Experts from developed countries and developing countries. Which is why I think that pricing should be according to developed country professional free lancer rate, which should be around USD $15 per hour of work. And not the minimum wages of USA which is around $7.50 per hour. If pricing is consider using developed country professional pay scale, it benefits both developed and developing country experts.

    Lastly, Yes! I support the “probation” system, it will benefit type (2) Experts on the long run.
    It will serve as a system for Experts to publicly voice their opinion about the pricing without making an answer. Perhaps it can be like the refund challenge system, whereby you can write down your reason.

    And to experts who are against the voting of Question into “probation”, please do not worry, it will probably never go into probation, because looking at the current voting to assign price money system, there is no more than 1 voter per question, and if we need 3 experts to vote a question into “probation”, it may never happen.

    We need a fair system, in case a really ridiculously priced question comes along, we will have a ready system for it. I am sure by that time more than 3 experts will be voting it into “probation”.

    We need a fair system for the community to “tell” the Asker to price the question “correctly” and a fair system to “refuse to answer” if it is “exploiting”. We hope askers will “learn” along the way.
    We hope to built a “fair and sustaining” community here.

    We do not want WP Questions to become an “outsourcing site” like Odesk or, whereby free lancers work for ridiculously low priced work.

    Thanks for reading my long rant.


  12. Lawrence Krubner says:

    Okay, following up on what Michael Fields wrote, I have made one change: experts can now vote on every question, but they can not vote money to themselves. If you think another expert posted a really great answer, you are free to vote them money, and they are free to vote you money.

    This only took me 15 minutes to implement. There are many other good suggestions on this page, but they will take me more time to implement.

    I like the idea of 3 experts being able to reject a prize if it is too low. Or maybe 4 experts. This should be something rare, reserved for extreme cases. Certainly, I would never give this kind of power to just 1 expert. But if several experts feel the same way, then there is probably truth to the feeling. For 3 or 4 experts to agree that a prize is unreasonably low, chances are the prize is really to low. Christianto offers some good thoughts about this.

    I like Michael Fields suggestion of downvoting, but I’m not sure of how to make it work comfortably.

    And I will make it possible to suggest a prize without posting an answer.

  13. Christianto says:

    Okay, following up on what Michael Fields wrote, I have made one change: experts can now vote on every question, but they can not vote money to themselves.

    I think what Michael said is about voting an answer, its like a “filtering system” for every answer by expert so if an answer is using insecure code or bad practice coding other expert can take it down by vote.

    Michael wrote: I mean voting before an answer is accepted by the asker. If some posts insecure code or code that demonstrates the “wrong” way to go about a task it would be good for “experts” to be able to vote it down so that the asker does not install poor code on their sites.

    But that change is good too, but is this mean that every expert can vote, not just those 5 groups who qualified to vote?

  14. Lawrence Krubner says:


    I apologize for writing that poorly! Only these 5 groups can vote:

    The true elite who’ve earned 1% of all winnings on the site.

    The top monthly experts.

    All askers

    This month’s donators to the community pot.

    The admins of this site.

  15. Lawrence Krubner says:


    I think Michael actually brought up 2 issues. I understand the difference. As yet, I have not yet implemented anything like the downvoting that exists on StackOverflow. At some point I will try to implement something like that.

    Nevertheless, I have expanded the range of times you can vote, by making it easy to vote on every question, so long as you do not vote money to yourself.

    I hope to eventually expand voting to every issue, till WP Questions is a self-governing society.

  16. Christianto says:

    If only those 5 group that can vote, I notice that there is expert who not include on those 5 group but can vote, his profile id is 2070. Is he admin of this site or this is a bug?

  17. lawrence says:

    Christianto, not a bug, but I’ve changed this anyway. I had it so any asker could vote on any question, but I just restricted it so the asker can only vote on their own questions.

  18. Christianto says:

    But he isn’t asking any question, and he voted on someone else question..
    Please take a look..

  19. Lawrence Krubner says:

    He had asked a question, at some point.

  20. Lawrence Krubner says:

    Following up on the above requests, you can now suggest a prize for a question, without having to give an answer. These are now 2 separate forms, with the 2 unrelated actions.

  21. Lawrence Krubner says:

    An asker sent me an insightful email, and I will quote a part of it:

    “Firstly, as the Asker I don’t know the answer and that means there is a good chance I don’t really know how much effort the answer will take. I may be cheap, but more likely I am ignorant. No one, especially not the Asker, forces any Expert to answer a question which is priced too low. As the Asker, I need someone to tell me that I my prize is too low. I sympathize with the Experts – it is as though they are trying to form a union with bargaining rights to be treated fairly – I support that. But if an Expert is willing to give an answer for a prize which is too low… how is that
    the Asker’s fault?”

    I do think education will be an important part of what makes WP Questions worthwhile. Educating clients (and managers when you work in a firm, which I have done) about why some programming tasks takes time is important, and difficult. We need to do this in a professional manner, without being emotional.

    This was also good:

    “Secondly, I am at WP Questions willing to pay for an answer. That means I want the answer quickly. Suggestions like probation will destroy the reason I am using WP Questions in the first place.”

    I’m going to give up on the idea of probation, at least for now. It would be too controversial.

    The asker also wrote this:

    “Finally, I experienced confusion when receiving answers to the question I posted. I had no way of knowing which was the best answer. And mine was a very straight forward, easy question. I would welcome effective guidance if an Expert was giving me rubbish.”

    I read this as agreement with Michael Fields suggestion — there should be some kind of StackOverflow downvote mechanism. I will think about the best way to implement this, and what it should look like visually.

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