What is a web design contract?
A web design contract is a written, legally binding agreement between the designer and the client. It ties both parties to the scope of work. It ensures the web designer and their client are protected by law in their agreement together.
A web design contract—also referred to as a web development contract— is the last legal document to pass between a web designer and their client before work on the website starts.
This website contract comes after the web design proposal and web design brief are agreed upon.
Note: Your website design contract template is ready and waiting for you. Sign-up now to Bonsai for free and get instant access today.
Why you need a website design contract
As a web designer, using a web design contract and optimizing your business with web design contract templates is important for a few reasons.
Firstly, your web design contract is there to protect you, should the client not fulfill their legal responsibilities such as paying you the correct amount, briefing in time, or publishing your work without your consent.
A web design contract also protects your client, ensuring they get the work you've agreed upon within the timeframe and at the set price. Website design contract templates can assure your client you're a professional and streamline your onboarding processes—saving you time and money.
What should be included in a web design agreement template
Every web design contract needs some specific clauses to help protect both parties and the work produced. Out of all of the legal documents to change hands, this one is probably the most important.
Every web developer needs to include an overview of their development services, the web design project, payment terms, project scope, and more.
If you're looking to create your own web design contract, read on for a breakdown of every clause you need.
Know you need a web design agreement and are looking for the Bonsai contract template? Look no further; sign-up now to Bonsai today and get your template in minutes.
Detailed descriptions of the work and parties involved
Every web designer needs to detail the work ahead and work with any other web designers or web developers on the project. You will also want to give a clear overview of the website design agreement and work.
Web designers need to include the exact deliverables for the project. Perhaps they're delivering ongoing web design services, or maybe it's website build and design as a one-off project. Whatever you've promised to deliver the client, note the details of it all here.
It's vital to include your payment information in this clause and every aspect of it.
- When will you get paid?
- How will you get paid?
- What company details do you need to prepare your web design invoice?
Make sure this clause is crystal clear.
Intellectual property & rights
Intellectual property rights are something every web design client looks for in their contract agreement. Clients typically want full usage and ownership rights of the intellectual property you create.
Whether you're a seasoned web designer, new to the game, or you're running a large web design agency, you need to be prepared to sign away property rights of your designs. It's worth asking if you can still use the design in your portfolio!
Design & development process
All of your web design contract templates need to include a section for the design and development process. This clause should provide a roadmap and how you'll go about hitting each of your design goals.
What is your customer obligated to do to make this contract doable? This includes things like briefings, payment, access to legal documents, or access to any folders that you need to get the design job done.
Every contract template you create should have a space for the customer's obligations.
Change in specification
Web designers are certainly used to doing renditions and edits to client work. However, how many edits are in scope for your project, given the brief?
At what point has there been a change in the specification that the client is actually looking for something else? Ensure the process for a change in the specification is mapped out here and what is essentially out of scope.
Your website contract needs a confidentiality clause to give your client peace of mind in your work together. Web designers often come across sensitive information, competitor research, budgets, operational information, to name a few.
Your confidentiality clause is exactly what every client looks for before working with any web developer or freelance web designer.
Termination of contract
There are occasions when web design projects need to be terminated because of something the website designer or the client has done. Termination is not to be confused with cancellation.
Cancellation is often amicable and is for reasons beyond either party's control. However, termination is usually due to a breach of contract. Describe the process for this here.
Web designers use a lot of tools and occasionally work with other designers to get the job done. Note this information here and any costs incurred because of this. Who is paying for what? And who is responsible for what?
Simple web design planner contract template
Your free website contract template is ready for you below. Start working on this website design template into your onboarding processes and tweak it as you see fit.
When freelance web designers use a freelance contract template like this one, they streamline processes, protect themselves by law, and create a safe working environment for both the client and themselves.
What's the benefit of using Bonsai instead of editing a template yourself?
As a freelance web designer, using this website design contract from Bonsai will save you time and the need for legal advice. Your website design contract is legally vetted and prewritten, meaning all you need to do is fill in the blanks and send it on its way.
How to create a freelance web design contract template with Bonsai
Create your website design contract in a few simple steps.
First, sign up for Bonsai and get free access to a wealth of freelance resources—including your design contract template. Once you've selected the contract you need, make any edits or additions specific to the project. You can then submit your contract via Bonsai and track when someone has viewed and signed it.
Web design contract template FAQs
A few common website design contract FAQs we see are:
How much do I charge for website design?
Web design quotation depends on your experience, the client's needs, the time and resources it will take you, and the intellectual property of the final work. Decide if you want to charge for the project or by the hour, and make sure you have a clear understanding with your client on whether you'll be paid in full or by the milestone.
Is web design still in demand?
Of course! Web design and the user experience is still very much a business-critical resource. Every business needs a digital presence, and although supported with social media, it starts with its website. In fact, 85% of B2B users say their brand experience is just as important as the brand's product.