Website development agreements

Net Lawman website design and development agreements provide both practical and legal provisions that should make client and project management easier.

Each document provides a flexible framework that allows either side to draw terms that fit their precise requirements.

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Web development contract

3 Reviews

This is a comprehensive agreement for writing or editing a technologically simple website.

It is suitable whether the work involves customised coding or simpler configuration of third party content management systems or add-ons.

The client may be based in any country.

You can use this document as your standard contract, or you can use it as the basis for a negotiated contract for each client.

The document covers all areas of most frequent misunderstanding, including:

  • approval and payment for work in stages
  • procedure for changes requested by the client, so that you get paid for additional work
  • responsibilities for organisation of related tasks such as domain registration
  • testing and acceptance
  • identification and protection of intellectual property

Website design and development contract: developer's version

This is a comprehensive agreement, suitable for any software house to reuse with clients in any country.

It will protect you from many legal pitfalls and provide you with a thorough framework for the legal relationship and the progress of the work.

You may use this document as your standard contract that all clients must accept, or you may vary the terms on a client by client basis as you negotiate details.

The document covers all stages of website development, from graphic design to testing. It does not cover on-going hosting provision, or services such as marketing.

The customer approves the work in stages and pays for additional work on an agreed basis.

Some of the more important matters covered in this agreement include:

  • the procedure for writing a specification that covers all elements of the website design and development work, to provide a precise instruction to you and a record of the work for your client
  • how the customer may change to specification, so that it is clear what work is additional to the original agreement
  • testing and acceptance
  • payment for work
  • identification and protection of your intellectual property

Web design contract: client's version

1 Review

This is a contract for a prospective client of a developer to have a new website written or to order substantial software work - a comprehensive framework you can use to negotiate with your contractor.

This contract has been drawn to give you, the client, greater legal protection rather than the developer.

It is suitable for both the writing of a complex web site where work needs to be performed to time, specification and budget, and for a small works where you need a single contractor for a short time.

It addresses the problems that may arise between you and your development, including those relating to approval of work, payment and changes to the specification.

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You don’t need legal knowledge to use our documents. We explain what to edit and how in the guidance notes included at the end of the document.

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Practical, commercial agreements that clarify the requirements of each side

The relationship between technical professional firms on the one hand and their clients on the other hand, is a gigantic source of frustration, misunderstanding and conflict.

The government is renowned for getting it wrong, but we hear less about the thousands of small businesses who fail to get their contract right.

We do not have a magic wand, but we offer here contracts that cover the main bases for coding or website development work, whether you are a developer or a client, and whether the project is simple or substantial.

Each of these contracts will undoubtedly prompt you to think through what each side wants from your proposed deal.

These are not technical contracts – we require you to add the specification precisely and clearly, using technical terms. However, they provide the legal framework that gives you protection and reduces the likelihood of problems down the line.

Web technologies and development methods change so frequently that it is highly unlikely a client will be able to communicate exactly what he requires. Conflict is caused primarily by a knowledge gap between the technical professional and the client. By focusing on the specification of work – making sure both sides know exactly what is required and how it will be delivered – the possibility for conflict should be reduced.

Contents of these documents

Of note, our contracts cover:

  • intellectual property ownership: recognition that the website developer may include his own original work in the project; ownership of new IP rights in the work created for the client; ownership of work completed but not used; ownership if the client fails to pay.
  • who pays for changes to work already done
  • how many iterations of design or amendments to work can the client have before the work is considered additional to the original specification
  • options for payment arrangements
  • testing and client acceptance
  • training

Each of these documents will protect you from many legal pitfalls at the same time as it will provide a thorough framework for the legal relationship and the progress of the work.

As for all Net Lawman documents, extensive drafting notes explain even more.

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Good document, does what it says on the tin.
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