Web development contracts are legally binding documents that record the agreements between hiring parties and web developers for web development services rendered. They serve the purpose of ensuring that the customers will receive the specific services they ordered within certain time frames and the service providers will receive the specified amounts of remuneration.

Basics of Web Development Agreement

A web design contract refers to an agreement between an individual or business and a freelancer or team of web developers. It contains details such as the parties involved, agreed-upon payment methods, work-related requirements, time restraints, and others. Besides covering financial agreements, a web development contract also helps alleviate the common pressure points that occur during a project and improve time management. This type of contract is also called a website contract, web design contract, website development agreement, or freelance web design contract.

What Should Be Included in a Web Design Contract?

While a web design contract can vary in terms of form and purpose, it should contain a number of important elements, including:

  • Summary of work or project to be undertaken
  • Definition of the scope of the work or project
  • Description of what the parties have agreed to do
  • Specification of the design elements included in the project
  • Whether the text content will be included in the project
  • The party that will provide photography or videos and own the copyrights as well as the acceptability of stock photography and license requirements for the images used
  • The party responsible for programming, debugging, and updating HTML, Javascript, CSS, and other coding elements
  • The party that will be performing browser tests on all platforms and make the necessary changes
  • The party that is responsible for making changes and revisions
  • Whether technical support will be included in the web design contract as well as the duration of the support service and additional charges, if any
  • Legal recommendations from an attorney
  • The party that will own the intellectual property of the design and codes
  • Method and schedule of payment
  • Method for handling the transfer of information
  • Signatures of consenting parties and the effective date of the contract

Which Party Will Provide the Web Design Contract?

Usually, if you are a web developer who works with small clients, you are the one who should provide the web design contract. Some clients may not know the process of creating a website, so they will rely on your knowledge and expertise to ensure that everything is included. Being the one who makes the contract is beneficial because it allows you to set realistic deadlines and address common concerns and issues upfront. If the contract is long and complicated, it is a good idea to hire an attorney to review it.

What to Do After the Completion of the Website

  • Final handover – The designer is required to give the client access to the newly created website, including login, password, and account information.
  • Training – If the client wishes to update the website or add content in the future, the designer can provide training. Often, clients will purchase a training program for performing simple updates.
  • Maintenance – Problems may occur following the initial round of testing. A client can opt for an add-on to the web development contract by including terms for website maintenance. The extra service can be paid for at an hourly rate. If extensive work is needed, a new web development agreement can be created.

Tips for a Successful Web Design Project                     

  • Setting realistic deadlines – Freelance web designers should set realistic deadlines to ensure that the project will be completed on time, while a hiring company should set deadlines that are reachable and provide extra time for remedying missed deadlines.
  • Knowing exactly what you want – When you are hiring a designer, you should know exactly what your desired website should be like and communicate it clearly to the designer. Provide sample images, color schemes, and other examples of the kind of website you want.
  • Get several bids – Getting more than one bid will give you more options and increase your chances of finding the right web designer.
  • Increase your budget – You may have to spend more to hire a designer who can deliver the quality of work you desire. While you do not have to select the highest bid, you should be prepared to pay more for experience.

If you need help with web development contracts, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.