I’m not really a fan of the word contract. This is just a starting point—we’ll update parts of it to suit both of our needs.
It’s designed to keep us both safe, and helps outline expectations from all parties involved in a project. It’s based on the popular Contract Killer.
Whilst I usually work alone, sometimes I may draft in some help to complete parts of the project—which I’ll run by you in such event—hence the royal “we”.
Between us Dot Monster and yourself. Dated Monday 27th March 2017.
We’ll always do our best to fulfil 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 agreement 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 are hiring us, Dot Monster, located at 29 Auld Kirk Road, Tullibody, FK10 2TG to design and develop a web site for the estimated price 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?
You: You have the authority to enter into this agreement 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 in this agreement.
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.
The nitty gritty
We either create the look-and-feel with flexible layouts that adapt to the capabilities of many devices and screen sizes, or we’ll modify an existing design or template. We create designs iteratively and use predominantly HTML and CSS so we won’t waste time mocking up every template as a static visual. We may use static visuals to indicate a look-and-feel direction (colour, texture and typography). 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 agreement.
We’re not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy. If you’d like us to write new content or input text for you, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
You should supply graphic files in an editable, vector digital format. You should supply photographs in a high resolution digital format. If you choose to buy stock photographs, we can suggest stock libraries. If you’d like us to search for photographs for you, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
Search Engine Optimisation
We’ll always aim to improve search engine results for the specified criteria; however we do not guarantee increase of position.
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 design 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 won’t test in other older browsers unless you specify otherwise. If you need an enhanced design 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 design is appropriate to the capabilities of the device they’re using. We test our work in iOS Safari and Google Chrome. We currently don’t test Blackberry OS or Blackberry QNX, Opera Mobile, Symbian or other mobile browsers. If you need us to test using these, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
We’re not an IT company, so we don’t offer support for computer systems, servers, email or other services. We do however rent a web server so if you don’t already have professional hosting, or hosting that you manage in-house, we can set you up for an additional cost. If your website is not hosted on the server we rent, then the updates to, and management of that server will be up to you. We may be able to assist with server management, but this would be covered in a separate estimate.
Changes and revisions
We know from experience that fixed-price agreements/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 agreement 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.
From the date of completion we provide you with thirty days warranty. This warranty covers any errors, bugs or emissions on our behalf, based on the project brief. We’ll also be around to answer any questions you have during this time. There may be small periods in the year where warranty and support will be limited due to holidays or long distance meetings and events; in such scenarios you will be informed in advance of any disruption.
We only provide one support plan which covers Question and Answer email support with a 24 hour response time, critical security patch cover if you're website is built on WordPress, and entitles you to a 20% discount on the hourly rate for work outside of the Q&A support. This is billed separately and is not included in the estimate. There is a fair use limit of three hours per month, which can't be carried from month to month. Any time outside of this limit is billed at the discounted rate, as is any work which isn't covered by the plan such as design alterations. This plan is billed in three monthly cycles (of 90 days) and no refunds can be given for ending a plan early. The purpose of the plan is to cover you for any questions you may have about the website, whilst keeping the software that powers it up to date and secure. Ad-hoc work such as design changes and development time are not covered by the plan and are charged at an hourly rate as normal, however being covered by the plan would entitle you to a whopping 20% discount. This discount may only be applied to the project it covers; it may not be used for new projects.
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’ve advised us of them. Due to the continual development of new techniques in intruding and attacking internet based systems we can’t guarantee the software or server that the website is hosted on will be free of vulnerability to intrusion or attack. Finally, 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.
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. The source files will be available from your web server or provided separately should that be requested. 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.
We’ll own the unique combination of these elements that constitutes a complete design and we’ll license that you, exclusively and in perpetuity for this project only, unless we agree otherwise.
We love to show off our work and share what we’ve 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, on social networks, 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, all invoices are due on receipt. Any travel outside of Clackmannanshire will be added to the final invoice. As we’re also sure you’ll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.
A 30% deposit is required before work begins unless otherwise agreed. This is non-refundable and could be seen as a booking fee to schedule work in, as well as to cover the initial time starting the project. If this invoice isn’t settled within 5 days there is no guarantee we’ll still be available to start on the date noted. Any hosting or domain fees must also be paid up front, in addition to this 30%.
The final 70% must be paid before the project ends. The project ends when the web site goes live or any work such as designs are completed and delivered. As soon as the final payment is cleared, the site will be made live or project deliverables will be, well, delivered.
If the final invoice isn’t settled within 30 days we reserve the right to charge a late fee and interest as outlined in the Late Payment of Commercial Debt Act.
But where’s the small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you can’t transfer this agreement to anyone else without our permission. This agreement stays in place and need not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this agreement becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place. Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this agreement is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of Scottish, English and Welsh courts.