10 Step Web Design And Development Contract Agreement

10 Step Web Design And Development Contract Agreement



This is​ not written by a​ professional lawyer or​ anyone close to​ one. it​ is​ written by a​ typically business owner of​ a​ successful web development company who has no law degree or​ the​ budget to​ hire a​ lawyer to​ write a​ web development contract. However, they are in​ need of​ a​ contract agreement that will assure a​ project will be well outlined for​ both the​ client and​ the​ developer as​ to​ what the​ expectations are of​ the​ entire project.

I must write a​ disclaimer that this proven web development agreement is​ purely based on experience and​ knowledge of​ the​ web design and​ development industry. Others may write these contracts and​ agreements differently. This article is​ written to​ help others who wish to​ know how to​ begin to​ write a​ 10 step web design and​ development agreement. So enough said, let’s get down to​ the​ 10 steps:

1. Scope of​ Services:
Start off with the​ most important aspect of​ the​ entire project. What exactly are you as​ the​ developer going to​ do for​ the​ client? Present a​ general 3-5 sentence summary of​ the​ scope of​ service. Will you be responsible for​ the​ design and​ programming? How will the​ website be updated? Who will be responsible for​ the​ marketing at​ the​ end of​ the​ proejct? Who will host the​ website when the​ project is​ done?

2. Price and​ Payments
This is​ the​ area where you are upfront and​ state the​ exact price payment and​ terms of​ the​ payment is​ split up into installments. is​ the​ project quoted at​ a​ fixed rate? is​ it​ an​ hourly rate and​ how is​ this documented and​ tracked? Will the​ payments be made with a​ certain percentage up front as​ a​ down payment and​ then a​ monthly billing cycle, or​ is​ it​ a​ milestone related payment system?

3. Term and​ Termination
How long will this agreement contract be enforceable? if​ the​ client does not want to​ persue the​ project ¾ of​ the​ way through the​ project how can he get out? What are the​ penalties and​ timeframe they can exit the​ contract? This is​ crucial especially to​ web development agreements with entreprenuers and​ startups who many times have a​ great idea, some type of​ outline or​ business plan for​ what they wish to​ do, but for​ some reason never finish through with the​ project. Then as​ the​ developer you must have certain rights. Do you keep all of​ the​ code that has been developed? Can you finish it​ and​ retain intellectual property to​ it? Many factors can go in​ this area, but it​ protects both the​ client and​ the​ developer in​ the​ case a​ developer never is​ able to​ complete a​ project or​ continues to​ be late on deliverables and​ the​ client wishes to​ terminate the​ relationship.

4. Ownership of​ Intellectual Property
One aspect that needs to​ be addressed is​ who will retain the​ intellectual property to​ the​ project? Typically the​ client retains all intellectual property. This area highlights all of​ the​ intellectual property covered such as​ the​ source code, all digital files, documentation, etc. Intellectual property is​ very important to​ any and​ all web design and​ development projects.
5. Confidential Information
Many clients wish to​ keep all information that is​ exchanged within a​ project to​ the​ developer as​ highly confidential and​ cannot be disclosed whatsoever. This must be addressed in​ any agreement as​ to​ the​ extent that information can be disclosed. Can the​ developer mention that they are working for​ the​ client during the​ course of​ the​ project to​ other prospects or​ potential clients? Many developers use their portfolio of​ clients as​ sales tools for​ other clients. This area must represent exactly what is​ disclosed and​ for​ how long. What period of​ time is​ the​ information kept confidential and​ so on.

6. Warranty and​ Disclaimer
Having a​ warranty on the​ work that is​ developed is​ standard in​ most web projects. Typically a​ 30-90 day warranty is​ given on all work to​ be functional and​ bug free. Now this is​ the​ area that small details such as​ the​ client having access to​ the​ server and​ by mistake entering the​ files and​ making changes on mistake that affect the​ functionality within the​ terms. Think of​ the​ label on products that you purchase such as​ furniture and​ mattresses. it​ says that the​ warranty is​ void if​ you tear the​ label off. This is​ what you can address in​ this area. You will provide warranty on certain terms and​ conditions with specific disclaimers as​ well.

7. Limitation of​ Liability
This is​ the​ area in​ which the​ developer discloses that they are not liable for​ any losses of​ money for​ the​ developer or​ other economic losses directly or​ indirectly associated with the​ development of​ the​ website. Some less experiences clients will turn around to​ the​ developer as​ the​ source of​ their website not succeeding online. Avoid issues in​ the​ future if​ something does not succeed that the​ client thought would, especially things that the​ developer cannot control once the​ website is​ launched. Also, during the​ project itself, if​ for​ whatever reason there is​ a​ financial loss, it​ protects you as​ a​ developer.

8. Relation of​ Parties
Make sure that the​ client and​ developer understand what their relationship is. is​ the​ relationship a​ development partnership? is​ it​ strictly a​ work-for-hire type relationship? is​ it​ a​ client and​ vendor relationship. This is​ the​ area where this needs to​ be highlighted to​ make sure the​ business relationship is​ understood.

9. Employee Solicitation / Hiring
Many developers never think twice about this, but there have been cases where clients have lured employees or​ freelancers of​ the​ developer during or​ after the​ project was completed. of​ course this has huge negative aspects associated to​ it​ if​ this happens. That is​ why this area is​ also extremely crucial to​ lay out the​ fact that the​ client can not solicite the​ developers employees in​ any way when it​ comes to​ potential hiring or​ additional perks. Specify a​ certain amount of​ time for​ this as​ well. Typically this time from is​ between 2-5 years.

10. Entire Agreement
This is​ the​ ending of​ the​ document that basically should say that the​ entire document and​ its attributes fall under the​ entire contract and​ that nothing will supersede it. Also, this is​ the​ area the​ will have the​ client and​ developers key representative who will sign it, date it, and​ post their roles within the​ company. Make sure that any and​ all modifications after signature are signed with initials of​ both parties next to​ the​ change.

These 10 steps to​ writing a​ successful web design and​ development contract and​ agreement will give a​ peace of​ mind to​ both the​ client and​ developer and​ will pave the​ way to​ a​ trusting business relationship.

Some clients may be surprised when presented with what could be a​ 2-4 page document to​ read and​ sign. Don’t be afraid to​ walk them through each point and​ reaffirm the​ fact that such a​ document is​ needed to​ protect them as​ a​ client and​ you as​ a​ developer in​ any unwanted circumstances, at​ the​ same time highlights exactly what everyone’s obligations are. With that said, there should be no issues and​ the​ client should be willing to​ sign the​ document. of​ course if​ they are not willing to​ sign the​ document perhaps it​ is​ a​ financial loss to​ you as​ the​ developer but in​ the​ long run it​ will avoid headaches and​ even more substancial financial losses.

Good luck on writing your first web design and​ development agreement. as​ all things the​ more you practice writing these the​ easier they become.




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