Website Development Contract
Whether you are a business that needs a website or a web designer that needs help with clients, a website development contract is your key to minimizing legal problems online.
Website Project Agreement
The days of building a website for your business on your own are pretty much over. Yes, you can still do it, but the time required is such that most people will simply hire someone who already is versed in the technology. I'm a big believer in using specialists, so I fully endorse this approach. Do you think I built this site? No a chance, my friend!
Why do you need a website development contract or project agreement? There are a number of reasons. The most important is to nail down the transfer of copyright. Under copyright law, the person that "authors" a work is the copyright owner. This means that the person who designs your site owns the copyright to the design. Ah, but what about the fact you are paying them? It doesn't matter unless they are your employee. Since they are almost always going to be an independent contractor, steps need to be taken to make sure the copyright is transferred once the site is done and payment is made. Such language is included in the website project agreement.
A second reason for securing a website development contract is to nail down payment and milestone terms. I represent both web designers and business owners looking to have sites built. The two biggest issues that come up in the relationship between the designer and client is getting the project done on time and getting paid. A well drafted contract is going to contain specific milestones detailing when the designer has to have work done. It is also going to detail how and when payments will be made on these milestones. This creates a project timeline that eliminates most of the issues that come up in these relationships. Designers get paid on time and business owners don't have to wait 12 months for their site to be built.
Search Engine Optimization
If you are a site owner, you also must take into account search engine optimization when developing a site. A site needs to be designed in certain ways if you ever hope to get ranked on Google, Yahoo and Bing. The time to consider these issues is when the site is being designed. Most people mistakenly wait till a site is up and end up spending big money on redesigns.
Let me give you an example. Look at the domain for this page. See the file extension? It is the "/website-development-contract" part. This is known as a static file name and is necessary for getting rankings. Many site designers don't know this because they don't work in the search engine optimization field. Instead, they will use file names that read 18343=?3dflaf or something of this sort. These are known as dynamic file names and are very difficult for search engines to tract. I've seen numerous sites that have had to be redesigned because of this very problem. Don't let yours be one of them. Select a search engine optimization specialist and get them involved during the design stage of your site. You will obviously want to detail the relationship with them in a separate contract.
Whether you are a website designer or business needing a site designed, you should use a website development contract to protect yourself in the relationship. Contact me at 619-637-6043 to learn more.