Here's a sample contract that keeps both you and I happy. What's better than that?
Between Me : Travis Willis
and You : Future Client
I will always do my best to fulfill your needs and meet your goals, but sometimes it is best to have a few simple things written down so that we both know what is what, who should do what and what happens if stuff goes wrong. In this contract you won’t find complicated legal terms or large passages of unreadable text. I have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. We do want what’s best for the safety of both parties, now and in the future.
You (The Client) are hiring Me (Travis Willis) to design and develop a (Insert Project Here) for the estimated total price of ($ Amount). 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?
As my customer, you have the power and ability to enter into this contract on behalf of your company or organization. You agree to provide us with everything that we need to complete the project including text, images and other information as and when we need it, and in the format that we ask for. You agree to review our work, provide feedback and sign-off approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways and you will also be bound by any dates that we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.
I have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from me and we will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way I will endeavor to meet all the deadlines set but I can’t be responsible for a missed launch date or a deadline if you have been late in supplying materials or have not approved or signed off our work on-time at any stage. On top of this we will also maintain the confidentiality of any information that you give us.
Getting down to the nitty gritty
We will create designs for the look-and-feel, layout and functionality of your (Project). This contract includes one main design plus the opportunity for you to make up to two rounds of revisions. If you’re not happy with the designs at this stage, you will pay us in full for all of the work that we have produced until that point and you may either cancel this contract or continue to commission us to make further design revisions at the daily rate set out in our original estimate.
I will test all our markup and CSS in current versions of all major browsers including those made by Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera. I will not test these templates in any old or abandoned browsers, for example Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or 5.5 for Windows or Mac, previous versions of Apple’s Safari, Mozilla Firefox or Opera. The internet is a modern device, and should be maintained and treated as such.
I may have written a best-seller but I’m not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy unless we specified it in the original estimate. I’d be happy to help though, and in addition to the estimate we will charge you at $75 per hour for copy writing or content input.
You will supply me photographs either in digital or printed format. If you choose to buy stock photographs I suggest Istock Photo or Corbis. Any time I spend searching for appropriate photographs will be charged at $75 per hour.
Changes and revisions
I know from plenty of experience that fixed-price contracts are rarely beneficial to you, as they often limit you to your first idea about how something should look, or how it might work. I don’t want to limit either your options or your opportunities to change your mind.
The estimate/quotation prices at the beginning of this document are based on the number of days that I estimate I’ll need to accomplish everything that you have told me you want to achieve. If you do want to change your mind, add extra pages or templates or even add new functionality, that won’t be a problem. You will be charged the daily rate set out in the estimate I gave you. Along the way I might ask you to put requests in writing so we can keep track of changes.
I will set up an account for you at one of your preferred, third-party hosting providers. Any statistics software such as Mint or Google Analytics; then the updates to, and management of that server, plus any support issues will be up to you. I am not a web site hosting company and so we do not offer or include technical support for web site hosting, email or other services relating to web site hosting. If you do require help with anything beyond the design and development of your site, I’ll be happy to help and will charge you $75 per hour.
I can’t guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed web site will always be error-free and so I can’t be liable to you or any third party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate this web site and any other web pages, even if you have advised me of the possibilities of such damages. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
You guarantee to me that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide for inclusion in the web site are either owned by your good selfs, or that you have permission to use them. This means no stealing images/content from the internet... save yourself a headache and purchase images properly so you don’t have lawyers knocking on your door. They will do it.
When I receive your final payment, copyright is automatically assigned as follows:
You own the graphics and other visual elements that we create for you for this project. I will give you a copy of all files and you should store them really safely as I am not required to keep them or provide any native source files that I used in making them. You also own text content, photographs and other data you provided, unless someone else owns them. I own the XHTML markup, CSS and other code and I license it to you for use on only this project. I love to show off my work and share what I have learned with other people, so I also reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of my portfolio and to write about the project on web sites, in magazine articles and in books about web design.
I am sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that we send you promptly. As I’m also sure you’ll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.
• Phase 1 - Contract Signed / Agreed upon - First Payment of $??? to start the project.
• Phase 2 - Project Layout & Design Approved. $??? due
• Phase 3 - Project Wrap-up, Art files delivered / Project Completion $??? due
Payments can be via Paypal (fees apply) or by personal check made to Travis Willis.
But where is all the horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you cannot transfer this contract to anyone else without my 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.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of English courts. Oh and don’t forget those men with big dogs.
The dotted line
Signed by and on behalf of Travis Willis
Signed by and on behalf of ______________________________________________________
Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their own records.
**It should be noted that I have used a revised version of a contract found at http://24ways.org/2008/contract-killer/, written by Andy Clarke. A very generous THANK YOU to him for helping individuals keep the law in between the lines.