We'll always do our best to fulfill your needs and meet your expectations, but it's important to have things written down so that we both know what's what, who should do what and when, and what will happen if something goes wrong. In this contract you won't find any complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. We've no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. What we do want is what's best for both parties, now and in the future.
So in short;
You, client name, are hiring us, developer names, to build a web site for the estimated total price of total as outlined in the project's proposal/specification. Of course it's a little more complicated, but we'll get to that.
What do both parties agree to do?
You: You have the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself, your company or your organisation. You'll give us everything we need to complete the project as and when and in the format we need it. You'll review our work, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways, so you'll also be bound by dates we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.
Us: We have the experience and ability to do everything we've agreed with you and we'll do it all in a professional and timely manner. We'll endeavour to meet every deadline that's set and on top of that we'll maintain the confidentiality of everything you give us.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty
We build web sites using best practice techniques which conform to web standards. We believe in creating sites which are easily accessible to all, so we place a high focus on accessibility and usability.
We are experienced in a number of development platforms, and would have made recommendations on the best to use for this project. If any platforms for the project require premium licences, you will need to obtain said licences, and supply us anything required to make the platforms work; i.e. source code, assets, documentation and licence keys, etc. If you'd like us to obtain platforms on your behalf, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
We are not a design studio, but we're able to implement, within reason, almost any design supplied to us. Due to the nature of the web, and our own high standards, if we feel that any particular aspects of design for this project are unsuitable, we will endeavour to explain why and offer alternatives.
If you wish us to use third-party templates, you should supply them to us in full, including any source files, assets and documentation they include. If you'd like us to make recommendations on templates, we can suggest template libraries. If you'd like us to supply website templates, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
We reserve the right to choose the best method of implementing any designs/templates supplied to us for the project, taking aspects such as accessibility and usability into account, in accordance to our standards.
Working with others
If required for the project, we are happy to work with third-parties who are able to provide additional skills. To ensure a smooth build process, we will require direct access to them, in accordance to the separate agreements you have with them.
Because we want you to be happy with the site we create for you, there will be two formal opportunities during the build to review and sign-off our work. The first will be at a suitable pre-arranged half-way point, while the second will be upon completion of a working site for you to preview.
If, at any stage, you're not happy with the direction our work is taking, you'll pay us in full for everything we've produced until that point and cancel this contract.
We're not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy, nor creating any images or videos. If you'd like us to write new content or input text for you, we can provide a separate estimate for that. If you choose to buy stock images, we can suggest stock libraries. Any content needed for the website should be given to us in a timely manner, as the needs of progress demand.
Browser testing no longer means attempting to make a website look the same in browsers of different capabilities or on devices with different size screens. It does mean ensuring that a person's experience of a site should be appropriate to the capabilities of a browser or device.
Desktop browser testing
We test our work in current versions of major desktop browsers including those made by Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Microsoft (Internet Explorer), Mozilla (Firefox) and Opera. We'll also test to ensure Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 for Windows users get an appropriate, possibly different, experience. We don't support Internet Explorer 8 and below for Windows, and we won't test in other older browsers unless you specify otherwise. If you need an enhanced build for an older browser, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
Mobile browser testing
Testing popular small-screen devices is essential in ensuring that a person's experience of a site is appropriate to the capabilities of the device they're using. We test our work in:
- iOS: Safari, Google Chrome and Opera Mini.
- Android: Google Chrome, Browser, Firefox and Opera Mini.
We currently don't test Blackberry OS or Blackberry QNX, Opera Mobile, Symbian, Windows Mobile or other mobile browsers. If you need us to test using these, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
We're not a website hosting company so we don't offer support for website hosting, email or other services relating to hosting.
You may already have professional hosting and you might even manage that hosting in-house. If you do, great, but it will be your responsibility to ensure it is compatible with the platforms used in the build. If not, we can recommend a package for you at one of our preferred hosting providers.
If required we can install the working site on your server for you, but to do this we will need access to its FTP/SSH, databases and any other control panel software it uses. Any server management issues, and/or software updates required, as well as managing updates to the platform used in the build, will be up to you. If you require an on-going maintenance agreement, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
Changes and revisions
We know from experience that fixed-price contracts are rarely beneficial to you, as they often limit you to your earliest ideas. We don't want to limit your ability to change your mind. The price at the beginning of this contract is based on the length of time we estimate we'll need to accomplish everything you've told us you want to achieve, but we're happy to be flexible. If you want to change your mind or add anything new, that won't be a problem as we'll provide a separate estimate for that.
We can't guarantee that our work will be error-free and so we can't be liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if you have advised us of them. Finally, if any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
First, you guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by your good selves, or that you've permission to use them.
Then, when your final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows:
You'll own the visual elements that we create for this project. We'll give you source files and finished files and you should keep them somewhere safe as we're not required to keep a copy. You own all elements of text, images and data you provided, unless someone else owns them. You will also own the unique combination of these elements that constitutes a complete build.
We love to show off our work and share what we have learned with other people, so we reserve the right, with your permission, to display and link to your project as part of our portfolio and to write about it on websites, in magazine articles and in books.
We're sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that we send you promptly. As we're also sure you'll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule:
- 30% on sign-up (this will secure our time, and allows us to get started).
- 30% on sign-off of half-way point review.
- 30% on sign-off of working site preview.
- 10% balance due on go-live.
Any payments made to should preferably be paid directly into our bank account by bacs transfer. This will minimise any disturbance to the flow of the project. Our bank details will be provided upon request.
You may also, optionally, retain us to proceed with website management services after the go-live date. Such services would include:
- Quick repairs and changes
- Feature debugging
- Technical assistance
- General website upkeep
If you do decide to retain us, we agree to devote up to retainer monthly commitment hours per month, for no more than maximum retainer length months. Work will normally occur between the hours of 9 to 5 weekdays. For these retainer services, you will pay us $retainer monthly cost per month.
But where's all the horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you can't transfer this contract to anyone else without our permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document.