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Table of Contents

Are there free web developer contract templates?

If you need a law vetted web developer contact template, then Bonsai has exactly what you need. Regularly reviewed by lawyers with all the nitty-gritty a contract should have.

What is the difference between website development and design?

Web design and web development are two essential tasks when building a website. Web design focuses on the alignment of the website's look to the brand's brand identity. Web development deals with the sites programming and functionality.

How many types of website development are there?

There are three main types of web development that ensures your website is fully functional. We have the user interface developer that deals with the front-end, then the back end for the functionality and the full-stack.

Web Development Contract Template
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What is a website development contract?


A website development contract is a binding agreement for a web developer to create or evolve a website for a client. Different from a web design contract, this is a legal document specifically for developers which includes their payment schedule, web hosting requirements, intellectual property rights, and more.

A web development agreement is the last legal document between a developer and client to change hands before work ensues. Before this, you'll want to align on specifics such as a web development proposal.

Note: Sign-up now for your free template and start streamlining your business today!

Why you need a web developer contract


A web development agreement is critical for both the client and the web developer. Web development contracts align both parties on the expectations of the web project and legally bind them to their agreement.

When you have this type of contract in place, both parties can enter the working agreement knowing they are legally protected should things take a turn. With a solid contract, you know you can start your first sprint without worries.

What should be included in a freelance web developer contract?


Whether you're creating a web development agreement from scratch or deciding to work from a contract template, there are a few things that every web development contract needs. Follow this list and your contract won’t be full of bugs.

Detailed description of work

The first thing you want to kick off within your  web development agreement  is a detailed description of the work. This will be what you've previously agreed upon with the client during the proposal phase. It’s also a good idea to present this information with a scope of work template before sending your contract for signing.

The description of work gives a good overview of what the project entails. For example, this could include the build of a website, acquiring the domain name, and the maintenance of the website for up to three months post-release.

Project requirements and responsibilities

Here is where you'll want to go into finer detail about the development services you've agreed to do. It's important to mention any stakeholders for this project and the role they'll play in your web development agreement.

For example, it could look something like this:

Client: approves ideas and out of scope spend

Web developer: responsible for website build

Graphic designer: provides the web developer with desired graphics

UX designer: provides the web developer with high-fidelity mockups and research

You'll also want to break down the stages the developer goes through to complete a project. This can include:

  • Research
  • Planning
  • Design
  • Content
  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Launch
  • Maintenance

Communication

Communication is crucial in every web or app development agreement you make. So crucial, in fact, that it deserves its own clause. Define how you'll communicate with the client—whether that's on a day-to-day basis or regular reporting basis throughout the project.

In this clause, you’ll also want to make sure the client agrees to your contact hours, and layout costs if the client needs something outside of your designated hours.

As an independent contractor, one of the most important things you can do to keep a client happy is to communicate.

Payment details

Some of the best advice you'll receive when creating your own contract is to lay out your payment terms, and bring attention to them when you present your contract.

You need to ensure the client pays you at the end of the day and within your terms. So, here’s a list of things to include in this clause to secure yourself an easy payday:

  • Payment terms
  • Payment dates
  • Out of scope project pay
  • Extra consultancy hours
  • Payment of subcontractors
  • Quotation and invoicing details
  • Payment method

Intellectual property

You may be hired to build a website for the client, but once the work is over, your client will want full ownership of the site. This means it will be their intellectual property and that they will own the rights to the website and can do with it what they wish.

Contract templates without an intellectual property clause can end up in sticky situations for both parties. Not only do they state who has ownership of what, they also protect sensitive information like trade secrets. For example, who owns the source code after the work is complete?

Although the developer or web designer may not own the rights to the website, the client can give them the right to use the work in their digital portfolio. Plus, if the client loves your work, you can even win a review from them too.

Termination of contract

There may come the point when your web development agreement needs to be terminated. In this situation, it's best to seek legal advice with a concrete termination clause.

This clause defines what deems the termination of a contract, the written notice either party will have to give, what happens to the work the developer created so far, and the promised payment.

This termination clause should be present in all of your contract templates.

Other factors

Last on your list for web development agreements are the extras.

  • What's unique to this particular agreement?
  • What more does the client promise to deliver for it to be a success?
  • What happens if the developer uses their own tools to build the website?

Also consider liability for responses, the maintenance of the fully-functioning website, if the client needs to provide timely feedback, and anything else you've missed from the above necessary clauses.

What's the benefit of using Bonsai instead of editing a template yourself?


All Bonsai contract templates are legally vetted and ready when you are. You can save time, money, and resources from building a contract template from scratch and instead use a trusted platform to build and deliver one for you.

How to create a web development contract template with Bonsai


Web development agreements and contract templates with Bonsai are simple to create and work with.

  1. Sign up to Bonsai for free
  2. Choose to edit a template or build a new one
  3. Add all your necessary details
  4. Store it for later or send it to your client

The client then decides if they agree to the contract, can then sign it online, and you'll be notified when it's ready.

Web development contract FAQs


How do I write a web development contract?

A freelance web development contract is one of the few essential legal documents for your work. It needs the following clauses for it to be useful to you and your client:

  • A detailed description of work
  • Project scope
  • Communication terms
  • Payment details
  • Intellectual property rights
  • A project termination clause

Is web development still a good career?

Yes! Whether you're working as a freelancer or building a large web design agency, web development is a lucrative market. Front, back and especially full stack developers are in high demand, and this is expected to increase. There’s a greater demand than ever before from customers to have a positive online experience. Web development is an essential role for online businesses to utilize and meet this demand.

Sample website development agreement


That's a wrap for your web development agreement necessities. If you're ready to get your hands on your web development contract template, you can sign-up to Bonsai here and get going in a few clicks.

The entire agreement template is available for you to twist and tweak as you see fit, while having a legally vetted bare-bones template you know you can rely on.

Web Development Contract Template

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