I’ve been having some problems lately getting paid quickly (or at all sometimes) for work done. Unlike a lot of other design companies I’ve never asked for deposits or signed contracts up front, preferring instead to get started quickly on a project and give a client something to see and be impressed by. This has worked quite well for me and has speed up my whole process nicely. But perhaps it’s naive of me.
Maybe it’s the current climate we’re in or maybe its something else entirely but this approach doesn’t seem to work anymore! Also, I’m getting lambasted by peers for not having contracts and deposits in place before starting a project so I’ve decided to give it a bash to see how it works out.
Here’s a contract I’ve knocked up myself and which I send out with all new project quotes. I’ve tried to keep it simple and concise and hopefully it covers everything.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT TERMS & CONDITIONS BEFORE ACCEPTANCE OF THIS ESTIMATE.
1. A 50% DEPOSIT of the value of this Estimate is strictly required before project commencement.
2. By accepting this Estimate Price, instructing Reverb Studios to go ahead with this project and paying the 50% DEPOSIT you are entering into a CONTRACT OF WORK. Any work undertaken must be paid for according to the terms of the invoice you will receive on completion of the project.
3. Major additional work required by the client after the project start but not mentioned in this estimate will be billed at an ADDITIONAL HOURLY RATE.
4. Project changes reasonably falling under the QUOTED COST of the project will only be made within the PROJECT DURATION period mentioned in the initial ESTIMATE. This is to avoid open ended project/delays and ensure an end date.
5. The project will be considered completed and an invoice issued after the PROJECT DURATION period mentioned in the initial ESTIMATE barring unforeseen circumstances/delays. Once the INVOICE is issued no further work will be done on the project until the invoice is paid in full..
6. NB – Failure to pay by the due date mentioned on the invoice will result in SERVICES BEING WITHDRAWN. INTEREST on payments later than 30 days from the date of issue of the invoice will be charged at a rate of 0.02% per day. This is in full accordance with current legislation.
7. Ownership of Website Domains, Website Framework, Email, and any other Designs will remain with Reverb Studios until the invoice is paid in full.
8. Ongoing SUPPORT for any project after the project end date will be billed at an HOURLY RATE unless a fault lies with Reverb Studios.
9. Reverb Studios will contact clients from time to time regarding service renewals and other relevant information. All communication will be by EMAIL primarily therefore clients must ensure that current and CORRECT CONTACT DETAILS including a valid EMAIL address are provided to Reverb Studios. Services and Web Addresses lost due to non receipt of invoices at invalid email addresses will not be the responsibility of Reverb Studios.
10. Clients are responsible for the provision of all informational content for a project whether textual, graphic or other. Responsibility will not be taken by Reverb Studios for any COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT on content chosen or provided by the client themselves. Reverb Studios reserves the right to remove any illegal, offensive or obscene content published by a client.
11. All Websites are powered by third party OPEN SOURCE content management (CMS) software that is constantly being updated by others. No responsibility will be taken by Reverb Studios for such software that becomes out of date or software that becomes insecure or unstable over time. Reverb Studios does however offer service contracts at a yearly rate to help keep CMS software updated.
12. Reverb Studios cannot be held responsible for Website hosting DOWNTIME caused by external influences, negligence by the client or Bandwidth/Storage limit breaches. Reverb Studios sub-contracts to a third party SHARED HOSTING company that guarantees uptime within industry standards but some downtime is always expected.
13. Reverb Studios will not be responsible for client DATA BACKUP. Backups of all Website data are made and kept automatically by the Hosting Company sub-contracted by Reverb Studios and can be made available on request. Clients are also advised to export, copy and backup their own data.
14. Web Design clients are expected to use the TUTORIALS and MANUALS provided at http://www.reverbstudios.ie/blog/category/wordpress-tips/ to learn the use of the WORDPRESS Website Content Management system used for all Reverb Studios websites. No Training will be provided within the scope of an estimate but may be available at an additional hourly rate on request.
15. Estimates are valid for a period of ONE MONTH only from the date of issue and are subject to change depending on current prices and any changes to the design specifications by either the client or Reverb Studios, before or during the project build.
7 thoughts on “Web Design Contract”
While it’s nice to think that people are generally good, that’s not always the case. What if a client says the web site you built is nothing like what they want, or they aren’t satisfied, or its terrible work and that you’re not a professional, etc. If they think that they are paying for an end product, or it isn’t understood that they are paying for a service which gets charged by the hour, which they do not control, there might be problems.
I don’t use contracts myself but do require deposits. I would like to hear how you got on and what clients think about your contract.
All the best,
I don’t think the contract needs to be seen or manually signed Keith. As long as you communicate it to the client. I personally attach it to every quote I send out so I’ve given it to the client by doing that and they accept it if they approve the quote.
I think taking deposits is helping a bit. Looking forward to arguing with the first potential client who refuses to pay one!
I came across this article by Andy Clarke many moons ago. It has a bit more of a graphics/design focus, but I liked the friendly style and ‘real world’ language. I can’t say I’ve used it myself, but always thought it would be a good starting point…
Thanks Mike, good article and nice site he has eh!? It’s a nightmare trying to cover all possible angles but as long as I have the basics I’ll be happy.
Hiya I would put in a clause about using open source as you can not guarentee it also put in something about backups of the website, who does it etc
Will do, thanks!