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Ten Step Web Design and Development Contract Agreement

This is not written by a professional lawyer or anyone close to one. It is written by a typical business owner of a successful web development company who has no law degree or the budget to hire a lawyer to write a web development contract. However, they are in need of a contract agreement that will assure a project will be well outlined for both the client and the developer as to what the expectations are of the entire project.

I must write a disclaimer that this proven web development agreement is purely based on experience and knowledge of the web design and development industry. Others may write these contracts and agreements differently. This article is written to help others who wish to know how to begin to write a ten step web design and development agreement. So enough said, let's get down to the ten steps:

1. Scope of Services: Start off with the most important aspect of the entire project. What exactly are you as the developer going to do for the client? Present a general 3-5 sentence summary of the scope of service. Will you be responsible for the design and programming? How will the website be updated? Who will be responsible for the marketing at the end of the project? Who will host the website when the project is done?

2. Price and Payments This is the area where you are upfront and state the exact price payment and terms of the payment is split up into installments. Is the project quoted at a fixed rate? Is it an hourly rate and how is this documented and tracked? Will the payments be made with a certain percentage up front as a down payment and then a monthly billing cycle, or is it a milestone related payment system?

3. Term and Termination How long will this agreement contract be enforceable? If the client does not want to peruse the project 3/4 of the way through the project how can he get out? What are the penalties and timeframe they can exit the contract? This is crucial especially to web development agreements with entrepreneurs and startups that many times have a great idea, some type of outline or business plan for what they wish to do, but for some reason never finish through with the project.

Then as the developer you must have certain rights. Do you keep all of the code that has been developed? Can you finish it and retain intellectual property to it? Many factors can go in this area, but it protects both the client and the developer in the case a developer never is able to complete a project or continues to be late on deliverables and the client wishes to terminate the relationship.

4. Ownership of Intellectual Property One aspect that needs to be addressed is who will retain the intellectual property to the project? Typically the client retains all intellectual property. This area highlights all of the intellectual property covered such as the source code, all digital files, documentation, etc. Intellectual property is very important to any and all web design and development projects.

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