When you ask McGregor Media to design your website, we ask you to sign our web design contract. This contract is deliberately written in plain English with no complicated legal terms.
A signed contract and a cleared first payment must be received by McGregor Media before any work will commence on your project.
A sample of our standard web design terms and conditions is below – feel free to have a read through it. Your actual contract may differ. Text [in bold with square brackets] will be substituted for your actual details.
Website Design Contract
Between us: McGregor Media Web Design
and you: [customer name]
We’ll always do our best to fulfil your needs and meet your expectations, but it’s important to have things written down so that we both know what’s what, who should do what and when, and what will happen if something goes wrong. In this contract you won’t find any complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. We’ve no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. What we do want is what’s best for both parties, now and in the future.
So, in short:
You, ([customer name]), located at [customer address] are hiring us, McGregor Media Web Design, located at McGregor House, 67 Dalcross Court, Middlesbrough, TS8 9JE to [design and develop a web site] for the estimated total price of [total] as outlined in our previous correspondence. Of course it’s a little more complicated, but we’ll get to that.
What do both parties agree to do?
You: You have the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself, your company or your organisation. You agree that you are hiring McGregor Media as an independent contractor, not as an employee. You’ll give us everything we need to complete the project as and when and in the format we need it. You’ll review our work, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways, so you’ll also be bound by any dates we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.
Us: We have the experience and ability to do everything we’ve agreed with you and we’ll do it all in a professional and timely manner. We’ll endeavour to meet every deadline that’s set and on top of that we’ll maintain the confidentiality of everything you give us.
The specific tasks of both parties are listed later in the contract.
Getting down to the nitty gritty
We create look-and-feel designs, and flexible layouts that adapt to the capabilities of many devices and screen sizes. We create designs iteratively and use predominantly HTML and CSS so we won’t waste time mocking up every template as a static visual. We may use static visuals to indicate a look-and-feel direction (colour, texture and typography).
You’ll at least one weekly opportunity to review our work and provide feedback. If, at any stage, you’re not happy with the direction our work is taking, you’ll pay us in full for everything we’ve produced until that point and cancel this contract.
We’re not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy. If you’d like us to write new content or input text for you, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
You should supply graphic files in an editable, vector digital format. You should supply photographs in a high resolution digital format. If you choose to buy stock photographs, we can suggest stock libraries. If you’d like us to search for photographs for you, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
Browser testing no longer means attempting to make a website look the same in browsers of different capabilities or on devices with different size screens. It does mean ensuring that a person’s experience of a design should be appropriate to the capabilities of a browser or device.
Desktop browser testing
We test our work in current versions of major desktop browsers including those made by Google (Chrome), Microsoft (Edge and Internet Explorer), Mozilla Firefox and Opera. We’ll test in Apple Safari for Windows. We’ll also test to ensure Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 for Windows users get an appropriate, although possibly different, experience. We won’t test in other older browsers unless you specify otherwise. If you need an enhanced design for an older browser, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
Mobile browser testing
Testing popular small-screen devices is essential in ensuring that a person’s experience of a design is appropriate to the capabilities of the device they’re using. We test our work in:
iOS: Safari, Google Chrome
Android: Browser, Google Chrome, Firefox
We currently don’t test Blackberry OS or Blackberry QNX, Windows Phone, Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Symbian or other mobile browsers. If you need us to test using these, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
What we’re going to do
This is the work, to which this contract relates, that we’re going to complete for you.
[work listed here]
What you’re going to do
In order for us to complete the work, this is what you must complete.
[client tasks listed here]
Changes and revisions
We know from experience that fixed-price contracts are rarely beneficial to you, as they often limit you to your earliest ideas. We don’t want to limit your ability to change your mind. The price at the beginning of this contract is based on the length of time we estimate we’ll need to accomplish everything you’ve told us you want to achieve, but we’re happy to be flexible. If you want to change your mind or add anything new, that won’t be a problem as we’ll provide a separate estimate for that.
First, you guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by your good selves, or that you have permission to use them.
When your final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows:
- You’ll own the visual elements that we create for this project. We’ll give you source files and finished files and you should keep them somewhere safe as we’re not required to keep a copy. You own all elements of text, images and data you provided, unless someone else owns them.
- We’ll own the unique combination of these elements that constitutes a complete design and we’ll license that to you, exclusively and in perpetuity for this project only, unless we agree otherwise. We can provide a separate estimate for that.
- If your site runs on our content management system, we’ll also own that (except the parts licenced to us) and we’ll grant a licence to you to use it.
We love to show off our work and share what we’ve learned with other people, so we reserve the right to display and link to your project as part of our portfolio and to write about it on websites, in magazine articles and in books.
We’ll also place a link to our website in the footer of every page. If you’d like to remove this link, we can provide a separate estimate for that.
We’re sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that we send you promptly. As we’re also sure you’ll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the payment schedule below. Your invoice will show the actual date that payment is due.
You’ll pay us 50% of the estimated total upon signing this contract. No work will commence until this payment has cleared.
If we’re registering a domain name on your behalf, or hosting your website at extra cost, this must also be paid upon signing the contract.
The remaining 50% will become due when the site is ready to launch – the site won’t go live unless this has been paid.
You agree to pay us in Pounds Sterling by one of the following electronic methods:
- Credit or debit card
- Bank deposit or transfer to NatWest account 54-10-04 90398963 (IBAN GB13 NWBK 410 0490 3989 63)
- PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We reserve the right to restrict payment methods without notice and without giving reason. Please don’t take offence. Cheques are not accepted.
In order to keep the project on track, (as mentioned above) you’ll send us any stuff we need as we ask for it, and in a timely manner. We know that it’s normally extra work for you, but we can’t continue our work if you don’t send us content.
We sometimes get clients who start a project and then disappear. We don’t hear from them for months. I know, right? How strange is that? It causes us problems though, because we can’t tell our next client when we can start work for them. So if there’s any point it takes more than 30 days to receive the stuff we’ve requested, we’ll consider the project abandoned and we’ll invoice for the work completed up to that point. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that as a small business we need to keep cash flowing as we work.
If you subsequently come back to the project, there’ll be a charge for us to get everything running again. This covers the cost of admin work to edit schedules and possibly rearrange other work we may have. Fair’s fair.
Also, please don’t let anyone mess about with the source code of your website. If you allow someone to edit or change the source code in any way and it breaks your site, we’ll happily come riding to the rescue (as quickly as we can but it depends what other work we may be busy with), but repairing your site will be charged at four times our standard hourly rate.
One more thing. This is the awkward bit that nobody likes mentioning but it has to be in the contract so we both know where we stand. If you don’t pay us on time, in the first instance we’ll take one or more of the following actions:
- suspend any on-going work that we’re doing for you
- replace, modify or remove the website that this contract relates to and revoke your licence to use it
- If after 30 days payment has not been made, we may add interest to the outstanding amount at a rate of 8% plus the Bank of England base rate for business to business transactions. We may also charge for recovering a late payment. This charge, set by late payment legislation, is currently £40 for debts of up to £999.99, £70 for debts of £1,000 to £9,999.99, or £100 for debts over £10,000.
If you still don’t pay us, we’ll have no option but to go to the small claims court. And nobody wants that.
Phew. I’m glad we got through that bit. Is there any more horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you can’t transfer this contract to anyone else without our permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place.
We can’t guarantee that our work will be error-free and so we can’t be liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if you’ve advised us of them.
We reserve the right to refuse or break a contract without prior notice if we believe that any material you send us or upload to our server is illegal, immoral or otherwise unacceptable.
We’ll not be held liable for anything that might go wrong that’s beyond our control.
Finally, if any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of English and Welsh courts.
The dotted line
Signed by and on behalf of McGregor Media Web Design
Signed by and on behalf of [customer name]
Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their records.