Sample Contract

Sample Development Contract

Between Clevermonkey Web Design
and you [customer name]

Summary:

We will always do our best to fulfill your needs and meet your goals, but it’s best to have some things written down so that we both know what’s what, who should do what, and what happens if stuff goes wrong. In this contract you won’t find complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. We have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. We do want what’s best for the safety and interests of both parties, now and in the future. We’re looking forward to your repeat business :)

In short:

You ([customer name]) are hiring us (Clevermonkey Web Design) located at [address] to [design and develop a web site] for the estimated total price of [total] as outlined in our previous correspondence. Of course it’s a little more complicated, but we’ll get to that.

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’ll need to complete the project, including text, images and other information, as and when we need it and in the format we ask for. You agree to review our work, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner, too. Deadlines work two ways and you’ll 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 strive to meet all the deadlines set but we can’t be 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’ll also maintain the confidentiality of any information that you give us.

Design

We’ll create designs for the look-and-feel, layout and functionality of your web site. This contract includes one main design plus the opportunity for you to make up to two rounds of revisions. If you’re not happy with the designs at this stage, you will pay us in full for all of the work that we have produced until that point and you may either cancel this contract or continue to commission us to make further design revisions at the daily rate set out in our original estimate.

HTML5 and CSS layout templates

If the project includes HTML markup and CSS templates, we’ll develop these using HTML5 and CSS2.1 and CSS3 for styling. The landscape of web browsers and devices changes regularly and our approach is to look forward, not back. With that in mind we will test all our markup and CSS in current versions of all major desktop browsers to ensure that we make the most from them. Users of older or less capable browsers or devices will experience a design that is appropriate to the capabilities of their software. For people using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, this means a universal, typographically-focused design but no layout. We will also test that these templates perform well on Apple’s iPad.

We will not test old or abandoned browsers, for example Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or 5.5 for Windows or Mac, previous versions of Apple’s Safari, Mozilla Firefox or Opera unless otherwise specified. If you need us to consider these older browsers, we will charge you at the daily rate set out in our original estimate for any necessary additional design work, development and testing.

Text content

We can’t be responsible for writing or entering any text copy unless we specified it in the original estimate. We’ll be happy to help though, and in addition to the estimate we will charge you at [price] per hour for copy writing or content input.

Photographs

You will supply us photographs either in digital or printed format. If you choose to buy stock photographs we can suggest vendors of stock photography. Any time we spend searching for appropriate photographs will be charged at [price] per hour.

Changes and revisions

We know from plenty of experience that fixed-price contracts are rarely beneficial to you, as they often limit you to your first idea about how something should look, or how it might work. We don’t want to limit either your options or your opportunities to change your mind.

The estimate/quotation prices at the beginning of this document are based on the number of hours that we estimate we’ll need to accomplish everything that you have told us you want to achieve. If you do want to change your mind, add extra pages or templates or even add new functionality, that won’t be a problem. You will be charged the rate set out in the estimate we gave you. Along the way we might ask you to put requests in writing so we can keep track of changes.

Technical support

You may already have professional web site hosting, you might even manage that hosting in-house; if that’s the case, great. If you don’t manage your own web site hosting, we can set up an account for you at one of our preferred, third-party hosting providers. We will charge you a one-off fee for installing your site on this server, plus any statistics software such as Google Analytics; then the updates to, and management of that server, plus any support issues will be up to you. Technical support for web site hosting, email and other services relating to web site hosting may be available from us under a separate contract but is not covered by this agreement.

Legal stuff

We can’t guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed web site 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 web site and any other web pages, even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages.

If any provision of this agreement is unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision will be excluded from this agreement but will not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

Phew.

Copyrights

You guarantee to us that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide us for inclusion in the web site are either owned by you, or that you have permission to use them.

When we receive your final payment, copyright is automatically assigned as follows:

You own the graphics and other visual elements that we create for you for this project. We’ll give you a copy of all files and you should store them safely as we are not required to keep them or provide any native source files we used to make them.

You also own text content, photographs and other data you provided, unless someone else owns them. We own the markup, CSS and other code and we license it to you for use on only this project.

We love to show off our work and share what we have learned with other people, so we reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of our portfolio and to write about the project on web sites, in magazine articles and in books about web design.

Payments

We are sure you understand how important it is as an individual or small business that you pay the invoices that we send you promptly. As we’re also sure you’ll want to stay friends, so you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.

[Payment schedule]

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 under exclusive jurisdiction of [locality] courts. Oh and don’t forget those men with big dogs.

The dotted line

Signed by and on behalf of Clevermonkey Web Design
Signed by and on behalf of [customer name]
Date [date]

Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their own records.

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