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A website development contract keeps the designing and development work of a particular website time bound and helps the developer to claim a sum for all the efforts he has put into the work hours. Contracts prove to be useful in defining the scope of a website development project. Many specifications such as number of pages to be built, graphics to be created, CGIs to be built, content to be written, etc. can be included in a website development contract. The margin of error also has to be specified. The margin of error in building pages and all the above mentioned activities is calculated in percentage.

Simple Website Development Contract
A contract of website development is created mainly for approaching the development activity in a time bound manner. Inclusion of dates in a contract keeps both the developer and the client on their toes and thereby, the work is completed in the given time frame. Here are some of the examples or points to be considered for deciding the contract dates.

  • Date of signing the contract.
  • Starting the work.
  • Completion of the planning and designing process.
  • Date of approval of plans and designs created for the project.
  • Date of releasing milestones for the designer.
  • Date for releasing the invoice.
  • Website development completion date.
  • Client review of the completed work.
  • Date of completion of updates.
  • Completion of final review by clients.
  • Date of launching the website.

Deciding the cost of a project is important from the point of web development services. It is recommended to get an advance of around 30-50% of the total fees. Keeping track of minor expenses like setting up hosting service, buying domains, etc. and their inclusion in the project cost is also important. Charging the service fees in an upfront manner is the best thing to do. It is necessary to specify the way in which one wants to get paid; for example, by means of a PayPal account, by check or any other means. The number of revisions to be made in a design should be limited by a certain number; you could also specify that the activity be time bound. It means that the client should be allowed to specify any changes up to a certain date. Taking care of copyright issues in advance is sensible. It is advisable to decide beforehand, who (client or developer) owns the source files used in a particular program. Using legal boilerplate clauses is considered a best practice so that you stay on a safer side. Limitation of liability is important from the point of excluding consequential damages that result from the breach of a contract. If a clause pertaining to limitation of liability is not included in the contract, one might have to suffer unlimited financial losses. One should also think of availing legal advice to prevent any losses resulting from such kind of breach of contract.

Here is a list of elements/items regarding which the copyright issues might crop up.

  • Multimedia files. For example, ‘Flash’.
  • Graphics.
  • The entire design/template used for a particular website.
  • Scripts and programs used in the process of web development.
  • Content created for the website.

Template of a website development contract should contain the following points.

  • Authorization
  • Name of the Developer
  • Web Design Project Assignment
  • Copyright Specifications
  • Rules about Website Maintenance
  • Due Date of Project Completion
  • Project Delivery Date
  • Electronic Commerce Laws
  • Copyright Web Design Project
  • Payments
  • Schedule of Payments
  • Legal Notice

Based on the points enlisted above, one can create a sample of customized website development contract. Signatures of both the client and website developer should conclude the contract document.

Creating a website development contract should give the web designer some authority and control over the process/activity of developing a website. The customer can also get value for his money with a systematic approach towards website development.

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