About this Contract
I’ll always do my best to fulfil the client’s needs and meet their 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 contract there aren’t any complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. I’ve no desire to trick anyone into signing something that they might later regret.
As an agreement, this contract must also be in your best interests, not just mine. If there’s anything in here that is not to your satisfaction, then please feel free to discuss it, and I will consider amending it.
You are also welcome to present me with your own contract, in which case both will apply provided they do not contradict. If / where they did would be something to discuss.
The client is hiring Simon Barnett to design, develop and / or work on a website for the estimated total price as outlined in the brief and spec.
The contract – in its current form at the time – applies to each and all jobs going forward, so there’s no need to sign it each time. I may re-issue it if the wording or terms change significantly.
Signing this contract confirms that it has been read. The contract takes effect on commencement of the job, and applies regardless of whether or not it has been read or signed.
What do both parties agree to do?
The client has the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of themselves, their company or their organisation.
They should provide the assets (pictures, videos, audio etc.) and information (text, sitemaps etc.) that I need to complete the project. They should do this when I ask and provide it via file sharing (email, WeTransfer,DropBox etc. – in the formats I need. They should review my work, provide approval and be available during the process to provide prompt feedback and supply necessary assets. Deadlines work two ways, so the client will also be bound by dates we set together. Deadlines can only be agreed to if all assets are supplied at the start of the job.
I have the experience and ability to do everything I’ve agreed to, and I’ll do it all in a professional and timely manner. I’ll endeavour to meet every deadline that’s set and on top of that I’ll maintain the confidentiality of everything given to me, including as per any NDAs agreed-to.
THE FINE PRINT
The client can’t transfer this contract to anyone else without my 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 a court of law.
Even though my websites are built with the highest integrity I can’t guarantee that my work will be error-free and so I can’t be liable to the client or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if the client has advised me of them.
If any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
First, the client guarantees that all elements of text, images or other artwork they provide are either owned by themselves, or that they have permission to use them.
Then, when the client’s final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows: the client will own the visual elements that I create for this project. I’ll give the client source files and finished files and they should keep them somewhere safe as I’m not required to keep a copy. The client owns all elements of text, images and data they provide, unless someone else owns them.
Payment and Schedules
I require a 50% deposit upfront. This must be paid before the date the project is agreed to commence.
Because I need to carefully schedule jobs, the commence date (and hence also payment of the deposit) must be adhered to. If it is not, then the project will be cancelled and rescheduled.
The client agrees to pay the 50% remainder on the due date, regardless of whether the project is complete or not. This is to prevent situations in which a delay caused by the client – such as not providing content or feedback – causes the project to delay to the point of clashing with the schedule of another project. It’s also to prevent situations where large amounts of additional functionality were requested that were not in the original brief. Additional scope will be scheduled and billed-for separately.
If it is the case that the project is not completed by the due date, I will consider working beyond the due date within reason, and at my discretion.
In the case that a delay has been caused by me, then I will make sure this accounted-for, and I am open to negotiating extra time, and whether or not it’s billable.
I reserve the right to charge interest on all overdue debts at the rate of 1.5% per month or part of a month.
I agree to design and / or build the website within the parameters – schedules and deliverables – defined in the quote, which is based on the specification.
I’ll be in regular, possibly daily contact. During the process the client should be on-hand to answer queries.
If this is not possible – and I’m open to the fact that things come up – if I am not able to proceed on the whole project, then the project goes on hold. Of course if I am able to proceed on another part of the project while I await a response, then I shall do so.
I can’t be held responsible for missed deadlines in the case of delays in communication.
In the case of a major delay, depending on the degree / duration I may choose to invoice for work up until that point. Please be aware that starting a stalled project up again takes time which will be billed for.
If, at any stage, the client is not happy with the direction the work is taking, they will pay me in full for everything we’ve produced until that point and cancel this contract.
The Design (if one is not provided by the client)
The ideal process is prototypal, involving a workflow consisting of spec ➙ wireframe ➙ mockup ➙ prototype ➙ website.
This allows clients multiple opportunities to review concepts for the finished product.
However in the case of budget or time constraints, and especially where the look-and-feel of the client’s brand is known, I am able to bypass some of these steps, and use an iterative methodology with a set number of revisions which will be defined as deliverables in the quote document.
As a general rule I’m not responsible for inputting content – text, images, audio, video, pdfs etc. – into the content management system or creating every page on the client’s website.
Generally I will produce one sample page for each unique template using either the client’s or dummy content. I also create many reusable elements based on the required design to make the process of populating the website very easy.
If agreed on a per-project basis, however, I will populate the website with the client’s content. This is a model which is preferable to content-driven brochure-type websites.
Changes and revisions
The price, if quoted, is based on the time that I estimate I’ll need to accomplish everything the client has told me they want to achieve, but I’m happy to be flexible. If the client wants to change their mind or add anything new, that won’t be a problem as I’ll provide a separate estimate for that additional time.
The client may make revisions to the design and functionality of the website to a degree at my discretion. The number of revisions will be defined, possibly on an itemised basis.
As a general rule, two revisions on provided mockups or built designs is customary and normal procedure unless otherwise agreed.
Large, and/or many revisions may require re-quoting, and may impact scheduling.
At least a week – or more, depending on the size of the project – should be reserved at the end to implement the client’s comments and revisions.
After going live
Training is a deliverable which will be defined in the quote.
I am not responsible for maintaining the website. Tweaks down the line may be separately commissioned.
Two hours of training is provided. I can – if agreed in writing – offer technical support for the websites I build as a separately-quoted and scheduled service. Taking on additional work beyond this initial agreement is at my discretion. I may recommend co-designers and co-developers to assist with tasks beyond this agreement.
Although I install and configure security plugins on each website I build, I can’t be held responsible for security breaches and hacked websites. Rest assured though that my measures are sound.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
I don’t guarantee improvements to the client’s website’s search engine ranking. That mainly comes down to the content the client puts on the website, and how they market the website.
Note that due to increased competition on the world wide web it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete for a #1 position or a position on page 1 of Google search results. Please inquire about an SEO analysis if you require your website to rank well.
Due to project deadlines and client meetings I am not always available via phone. Please use email to clearly formulate new requests, and I will reply after taking your requests into consideration.
THE DOTTED LINE
Signing this contract confirms that it has been read. The contract takes effect on commencement of the job, and applies regardless of whether it has been signed.
As before: The contract applies to each and all jobs going forward, so there’s no need to sign it each time. I’ll only reissue it if the wording or terms change significantly.