This is based heavily on Andy Clarke's brilliant article on 24 Ways: http://24ways.org/2008/contract-killer
The following Agreement between Company Name and Customer Name has been reached on Date:
We will always do our best to fulfill your needs and meet your goals, but sometimes it is best to have a few simple things written down so that we both know what is what, who should do what, and what happens if things go wrong. In this contract you won't find complicated legal terms or large passages of unreadable text. We have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. We do, however, want what's best for the safety of both parties, now and in the future.
You, Customer Name, are hiring Company Name to design and develop a web site for the estimated total price of $ Price outlined in our previous correspondence. The payment schedule is outlined at the end of the document.
What do both parties agree to do?
As our customer, you have the power and ability to enter into this contract on behalf of your company or organization. You agree to provide us with everything that we need to complete the project including text copy, images and/or logos, and other information as and when we need it, and in the format that we ask for. You agree to review our work, provide feedback, and sign-off approval in a timely manner as well. Deadlines work both ways and you will also be bound by any dates that we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.
We have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from us, and we will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way we will endeavor to meet all the deadlines set, but we can't be held responsible for a missed launch date or a deadline if you have been late in supplying materials or have not approved or signed off our work on-time at any stage. On top of this, we will also maintain the confidentiality of any information that you give us.
Details of Services Provided
If we are providing you with custom website design services, we will create designs for the look-and-feel, layout, and functionality of your website based on your established image, your needs and goals, and a collection of content you put together ("Content" could mean a collection of colors, fonts, ad copy, or websites you find that mirror design elements you'd like to see in your website) from which we will draw inspiration. If we are providing you with template website design services, we will provide you with themes to choose from that we feel embody your brand or image, and will customize the template you choose from there.
This contract includes one primary design plus the opportunity for you to make a reasonable number of revisions. If you're not happy with the design at any point before you've signed-off on it, you may opt to cancel this contract, but will forgo your initial deposit which will compensate us for all of the work that we have produced until that point. Once you sign off on the design, we will start coding. Once coding has begun, only minor revisions will be accepted, as we will be unable to shift the design paradigm after we've coded the foundational framework.
If we are providing you with custom website design services, we will develop the website using valid HTML5 markup and CSS3 for styling. If we are providing you with template website design services, we cannot make any guarantees as to the quality or validity of the markup contained therein. We will do our due diligence in testing the code thoroughly in the most current versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer (please note that Microsoft Internet Explorer does not offer the same standard functionality as the other aforementioned browsers, and cannot realistically be expected to leverage web technologies it does not possess, for example, media queries). Appropriate additional cross-browser compatibility considerations (legacy browsers, mobile browsers, etc.) will be made if provided for in the website design package you purchased (as outlined in the Provision of Services Agreement).
We are not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy unless we specified it in the Provision of Services and the resulting estimate. We'll be happy to help though, and in addition to the estimate we will charge you at $ Hourly Copy Fee per hour, including a free initial consultation, for copy writing or content input.
If needed, you will supply us photographs or images in specific digital formats. If you choose to buy stock photographs we can suggest vendors of stock photography. If you choose to hire a professional photographer we can suggest vendors with whom we're comfortable working. Any time we spend searching for appropriate photographs or images will be charged at $Hourly Photo Fee per hour, after a free initial consultation to determine if this is the best route to take.
Changes and Revisions
We offer a fixed-price contract to allow you to appropriately prepare and budget for your website. You should not be penalized for our pace or unexpected technical difficulties. While the estimate is fixed, it is subject to change. This gives you the flexibility to add to or take away from your project within the technical bounds of what is possible given our current progress, as we go through the design process together.
The estimated price at the beginning of this document is based on the services you've selected, as outlined in the Provision of Services Agreement. If you do change your mind, add extra pages, or even add new functionality, that typically won't be a problem. You will request a change to the Provision of Services Agreement by filling out an Amendment of Services Request. If approved, you will need sign-off on the charges for the extra work before we commence said work. These changes will be treated as a separate billable service, and will be subject to the same billing prescription as the original work.
As the code we produce contains proprietary functions and/or coding techniques, and the constituent files we use to construct your website are licensed to us, we require that all websites be hosted on servers over which we administrate. This also allows us to provide superior technical support when it comes to editing or modifying your website in the future. Additional terms and conditions are outlined in the Hosting Services Contract.
Because each website we create resides on hosting servers over which we administrate, we are here to provide you technical support. The level of support you are entitled to depends on the hosting plan you've selected. Changes or support outside the scope of your support level will be billed to you at the current support hourly rate. All support requests may be informally submitted via email to Support Email; there is no need to fill out a formal signed request. All support will be handled in triage, and at our earliest availability.
We can't guarantee that the functions contained in any website templates or in a completed website will always 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 arising out of the operation of or inability to operate this website and any other web pages, even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages.
If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
You guarantee to us that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide us for inclusion in the website are either owned by your good selves, or that you have permission to use them. We are not responsible for copyright infringement, and will comply with all legitimate copyright violation notices to the best of our abilities.
When we receive your final payment, the copyrights are automatically assigned as follows:
You own the graphics and other visual elements that we create for you for this project. We will give you a copy of all files and you should store them really safely as we are not required to keep them or provide any native source files that we used in making them.
We love to show off our work and share what we have learned with other people, so we also reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of our portfolio and to write about the project on websites, in magazine articles, and in books about web design. We also reserve the right to link back to our website from the completed design, although this link may be removed in extenuating circumstances for a monthly extended licensing fee.
We are 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, which will be as follows, but may be revised based on further conversations between us.
50% of estimated price upon agreement of initial design:
Remainder of fee payable not more than 14 days after receipt of finished product:
$Remainder of Fee
Interest accrued if payment is more than 14 days late is 5% of outstanding amount to be added every 5 days, starting from 15th day after receipt of finished product. We reserve the right to revoke your license for the website and suspend the completed work from our hosting servers, as outlined in our Hosting Services Contract, if remuneration for the work done is considered late. A fee of $Reactivation Fee may be paid to reactivate your website.
The Fine Print
Just like a parking ticket, you cannot 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 under exclusive jurisdiction of United States courts.
Everyone should sign below and keep a copy for their own records.