You have chosen your designer and agreed on a scope of work and budget. Now you are presented with the Website Design Agreement to review and sign. Before you sign it ask these 6 important questions:
1. Where will the website be hosted after it is designed?
You and the designer need a mutual understanding of where the website will “live” after it is designed. If your domain name is with say GoDaddy and your website is built elsewhere then you will either have to do domain forwarding or upload the design files to that hosting package. This could be a very long, costly process if you don’t clarify this before the design is started.
2. How many pages are included in the website design package?
You and the designer need a mutual understanding of how many pages are included in the design package and how much additional pages will cost. If this is not determined beforehand you can expect to be charged for additional pages at a fee you may or may not be comfortable with.
3. Will you own the site?
In the agreement it should specify clearly that you will or will not own the site after final payment is received. It should also clearly state that the designer has all rights to display the website design for promotional purposes and whether or not they will offer the design to other clients.
4. Will You be able to make changes yourself?
Being able to make simple changes yourself like a picture or phone number could be great if you want to update your site frequently. Make sure you know if you will have access to update the site yourself or if you will need to submit changes to the designer on a monthly basis. If you are able to make changes yourself, make sure the designer shows you how to update the parts of the site that you will be updating and PUBLISH.
5. Is ongoing support available?
Designers are happy to help provide ongoing technical support and design maintenance for the masterpiece they just created. Make sure you understand the services included in the ongoing support and how much it is.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I have 2 lawyer clients that reviewed and helped me with my current Website Design Agreement that I present to clients in the State of Florida. For any design agreement, whether you are a designer or client, make sure you review it thoroughly with legal counsel.
Hope you found these tips helpful.
If you are in the market for a new website or website re-design for your small business e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.