Website Development Contract Essentials

A website development contract keeps the designing and development work of a particular website within a time frame and helps the developer claim a sum for all the efforts he has put in. Contracts prove to be useful in defining the scope of a website development project. Many specifications such as number of pages to be built, graphics to be created, CGIs to be built, content to be written, etc. can be included in them. The margin of error in building pages and all the above mentioned activities is calculated in percentage and included in the contract.

Points to Consider When Setting Up a Contract
A contract for website development is mainly created for approaching the development activity in a time-bound manner. Inclusion of dates keeps both the developer and the client on their toes and thereby, the work is completed in the given time frame. Here are some points that must be included when deciding the contract dates.

  • Date of contract signing
  • Date when work started
  • Date of completing the planning and designing process
  • Date of plan approval and design creation for the project
  • Date of releasing milestones for the designer
  • Date for releasing the invoice
  • Website development completion date
  • Date for client review of the completed work
  • Date of completion of updates
  • Date of completion of final review by clients
  • Date of launching the website

Deciding the cost of a project is important from the point of view of web development services. It is recommended that the developer should demand for an advance of around 30-50% of the total fees. Keeping track of minor expenses like setting up the hosting service, buying domains, etc. and their inclusion in the project cost is also important. Charging the service fees in an upfront manner is the best thing to do. It is necessary to specify the way in which one wants to get paid; for example, by means of a PayPal account, by check or any other means. The number of revisions to be made in a design should be limited by a certain number; you could also specify that the activity be time-bound. It means that the client should be allowed to specify any changes only up to a certain date. Taking care of copyright issues in advance, through the contract, also makes abundant sense. It is advisable to decide beforehand, who (client or developer) owns the source files used in a particular program. Using legal boilerplate clauses is considered a best practice so that you stay on a safer side. Including a limitation of liability clause is important from the point of view of excluding consequential damages that result from the breach of a contract. If such a clause is not included in the contract, one might have to suffer unlimited financial losses. A developer should also think of availing legal advice to prevent any losses resulting from breach of contract.

Here is a list of elements/items regarding which copyright issues might crop up.

  • Multimedia files (For example, ‘Flash’)
  • Graphics
  • The entire design/template used for a particular website
  • Scripts and programs used in the process of web development
  • Content created for the website

Template of a website development contract should contain the following points.

  • Authorization
  • Name of the Developer
  • Web Design Project Assignment
  • Copyright Specifications
  • Rules about Website Maintenance
  • Due Date of Project Completion
  • Project Delivery Date
  • Electronic Commerce Laws
  • Copyright Web Design Project
  • Payments
  • Schedule of Payments
  • Legal Notice

Based on the points enlisted above, one can create a precise contract. Signatures of both, the client and web developer should conclude the contract document.

Creating a contract gives the web designer some authority and control over the activity of developing a website. The customer can also get value for his money with a systematic approach towards development.