A web design agreement sets the pace for a successful design project. It enlightens everyone involved in the project and ensures the parties are on the same page regarding the work. The agreement defines the project's goal, the roles of individuals, and other vital items like schedule and compensation. One mistake that freelancers and designers make is to commence a project without a signed web design agreement in place.
Usually, the excuse involves the fear of scaring a client away, trusting the client, estimating a project as small, or seeing the document as formal for the work.
However, it is highly recommended to have the document for different reasons:
While some reasons for ignoring an agreement might be tenable, it is only reasonable to prepare against an ugly situation. The unexpected may happen- it is why part of why business is unpredictable and exciting. Websites come in different shapes and sizes.
Some require a simple HTML/CSS brochure that can be launched a few minutes while others may take years to plan, develop, and launch. Irrespective of the nature of a web design project, a web design agreement should be written to reflect the project's complexity and the risk involved.
Web development projects may vary from simple to vast and complex. Details of the agreement should cover the nature, budget, business model, roles, the developer, and, consequently, the customer. A typical web design agreement template should cover some or all of the following details:
The agreement must define the project's specific goals, and you may paint a picture that lets the client see the benefits of the project. It is essential that the details here align with the objectives of the client.
What is the scope of the web design project? What is the flexibility of the project, and what methodologies will you employ to achieve the goal project? Will the web designer have a specific schedule, and is subcontracting allowed in any part of the development process? These are common questions to address in this section of your web design agreement.
Define the resources your client must provide to help you achieve the goal of the project. Will the client provide some pieces of code and other content to incorporate into the site? If yes, when and would performance be dependent on cooperation and timely provision of the resources?
Make a list of your services and include your fees for each. Ensure you briefly describe them in a simple language for ease of understanding. Include other fees that may affect the total due.
Define the method of delivery of the website to the customer. Will you provide the customer with the source code for website elements? What about testing? Let your agreement state if the client must test the site before acceptance and the consequences for failure or success.
Clients shall be the owner of all the rights and intellectual properties on the website following the Copyright Act. Include the last sentence in your web design agreement if you've agreed to your web design service as a Work Made For Hire in accordance with your industry copyright law.
Include details of warranties - website warranties, website, and documentation IPR infringement warranty, exclusion of implied warranties, and representations.
It is wise to prepare for the unexpected in case the agreement goes ugly. Add clauses that deal with premature withdrawal and consequences plus the conditions for termination of the contract.
Guard against the required unlimited revision and modification in specifications of the project with a clause to cap the number of reviews.