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Front End Developer Contract

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Bonsai handles the back office

Here you are, staring at this golden opportunity to build the front end of a simple website or a robust online application. At the back of your mind, you know very well that you aren’t getting started on the project until a binding agreement is signed and sealed. As a freelancer, what are you going to do? The simple answer is, create one. But what if you’ve never formulated a front end developer contract before? How do you even start? For most people, the first place they’d head to is Google. Who knows, maybe you also found your way here from the search engine.

That aside, let’s see how we can help you to come up with a watertight contract that secures both your interest and that of your client. You can always grab a template and modify it based on the project you’re expected to undertake. Even if you choose that path, ensure you employ the following tips.

Image Credits: slideshare.net

1. Detail the services

Front-end web development remains one of the most fascinating jobs. It basically involves building the interface through which users interact with the system. Developing such an interface requires some real work for excellent user experience. To achieve this, in your front end developer contract, give an overview of the end product and outline the chunks of work that will see you get there.

2. Define milestones and payment schedule

By the time you’re coming up with a front end developer contract, you must have agreed with your client on the total cost of the project. If you accurately outlined the milestones in your proposal, all you’d need to do is to transfer the details to your contract.

Such details help to provide guidelines on personal obligations of every party to the contract. Ensure you align every milestone against the project timeline and payment schedule. This would make it easier for both of you to evaluate the project progress at every stage.

3. Define the roles of the parties to the contract

Freelancing is quite a risky undertaking if you’re not keen on making things clear at the very onset. In fact, if you fail to put together a well detailed, concise and definitive front end developer contract, you’re likely to perform some tasks that, ideally, the client should take care of. Having this in mind, ensure that your front end developer contract captures as much critical detail as possible about every party’s role.  

4. Approval and delivery of the final product

What are you going to do with the final product? Of course, you’ll deliver it to the client. The question the contract should answer, therefore, is the mode of delivery. But before that, the final product has to be approved by the client. So, what’s the approval procedure? For a seamless conclusion of the project, add an acceptable approval method. Because modifications are at times expected at the tail-end of the project, outline the ones that are accepted as part of the agreement and which ones aren’t. Don’t leave anything open-ended.  

Image Credits: anyflip.com

5. Intellectual property rights in the final product

Intellectual property rights form a very delicate element of any given contract. Therefore, a calculated freelancer wouldn’t sign a contract that doesn’t address it. Before putting in work, it’s vital to make everything clear as to who owns what rights relating to the project. In most cases, the freelancer hands over all rights to the client at the delivery of the project and on condition that the client has met all his contractual obligations.

6. Alterations to the project specifications

Your front end developer contract should cater for modifications to the specifications already etched in the contract. This happens. Maybe after further consultations with his team, the client wants you to make a change that would significantly alter the terms of the agreement.

  • How do you handle a modification requested before you implement a milestone and one that comes after?
  • What happens in a case where the client wants you to make some alterations to the project specifications?
  • At what point are you going to charge separate fees for such alterations?
  • Are there reasonable tweaks you can do without charging extra fees?

In all these scenarios, a good relationship with the client would make it easier for the two of you to agree on any desired changes. You should, however, never allow the client to request so many alterations that would stagnate your progress with the work. State clearly in the contract that all requests for modifications must be done in writing and could delay the delivery of the project.

Other notable elements to capture in the contract are warranties, confidentiality, indemnification, and terms of payment.

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