This is my example web design contract

Between me [Human + Cargo]
and you [The Client]

Summary:

I will always do my best to fulfil your needs and meet your goals, but sometimes it is best to have a few simple things written down so that we both know what is what, who should do what and what happens if stuff goes wrong. In this contract you won’t find complicated legal terms or large passages of unreadable text. I have no desire to trick you into agreeing to something that you might later regret. I do want what’s best for the safety of both parties, now and in the future.

In short

You [The Client] are hiring me [Human + Cargo] 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 my customer, you have the power and ability to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself, your company or organisation. You agree to provide me with everything that I need to complete the project including text, images and other information as and when I need it, and in the format that I ask for. You agree to review my work, provide feedback and sign-off approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways and you will 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.

I have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from me and I will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way I will endeavour to meet all the deadlines set but I 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 I will also maintain the confidentiality of any information that you give me.

Getting down to the nitty gritty

Design

I will create designs for the look-and-feel, layout and functionality of your web site. This contract includes one main design that we have agreed from the drawings at our last meeting on the [Date Here]. Minimal edits to the initial design are fine but if you’re not happy with the overall design that we both agreed on at this stage, you will pay me in full for all of the work that I have produced until that point and you may either cancel this contract or continue to commission me to make further design revisions.

XHTML/CSS layout templates

If the project includes XHTML or HTML markup and CSS templates, I will develop these using valid XHTML 1.0 Strict markup and CSS2.1 + 3 for styling. I will test all of the markup and CSS in current versions of all major browsers including those made by Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera. I will also test to ensure that pages will display visually in Microsoft Internet 7 and above but not Explorer 6 for Windows as this browser is now past it’s sell-by date.

I will not test these templates in 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.

Text content

I may have written a best-seller but I’m not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy unless we specified it in the original estimate. I’ll be happy to help though, and in addition to the estimate I will charge you at [£25] per hour for copy writing or content input.

Photographs

You will supply me photographs either in digital or printed format. If you choose to buy stock photographs I can suggest vendors of stock photography. Any time I spend searching for appropriate photographs will be charged at [£25] per hour. All images supplied will need to be hi-resolution.

Changes and revisions

I 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. I 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 days that I estimate I will need to accomplish everything that you have told me 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 an additional cost that we can agree on. Along the way I might ask you to put requests in writing so I 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, but this must meet the demands for the content management system I use and adhere to certain server criteria. If this does not meet the criteria or if you don’t manage your own web site hosting, I can set up an account for you at one of my trusted servers that is setup and configured specifically for the content management system I use. I will charge you an annual fee of [Cost] for installing your site on this server, plus any statistics software like Google Analytics; then the updates to, and management of that server, plus any support issues.

Legal stuff

I can’t guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed web site will always be error-free because of changing code from various browsers and so I 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 me of the possibilities of such damages.

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.

Although, all websites that are managed by [Human + Cargo] are secured and backed up on a monthly basis to ensure all data is not lost.

Phew.

Copyrights

You guarantee to me 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 your good selfs, or that you have permission to use them.

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

You own the graphics and other visual elements that I create for you for this project.

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

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

Payments

I am sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that I send you promptly. As I’m also sure you’ll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.

[Payment schedule]

But where is all the horrible small print?

Just like a parking ticket, you cannot 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 [English + Welsh] courts. Oh and don’t forget those men with big dogs.

The dotted line

Signed by and on behalf of [Human + Cargo]
Signed by and on behalf of [The Client]
Date [date]

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