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Web Design Contractual Agreement – Know Your Right As The Client of a Web Developer

Digitalization is a 21st Century trend that has come to stay. In today’s world, digitalization has taken over the traditional way of doing business. The truth is, by not having an online presence for your business, be it a startup, big conglomerates, or an already established SMEs, is as good as not having a business.

The disservice of not owning your website are numerous, you could firstly suffer significant economic loss, now imagine a situation where numerous clients are unable to access your website for several days because you did not own your website and you can’t lay legal claim to it. This can happen if you sign a dubious web development contract.

KNOWING YOUR RIGHT:- In order to stay within the confinement of the law, there’s a need for an understanding of what the law says, covers, and what it doesn’t. The same measure applies to sign a web development contract. Most times, web design clients have cried foul of agreeing to web developer contracts that later came back to hurt and hunt them without knowing their roles and responsibilities. This is why this article is focused on guiding you on understanding your rights as the client of a web developer.

Also, as gaining SEO traction gets harder by the day when you lose your website, you lose its SEO rankings and authority with it. That way, you will struggle to get the attention of potential clients.

On a final note, (as one cannot exhaust the list of these numerous dangers) business without a web site will most definitely lose its analytical data, data gotten through analytics are of many benefits to the business. They help in directing the business path and evaluating goals. Without reference to the previously collated data, you will lose valuable insight needed to move forward.

Who owns what (read between the lines)

Meanwhile, for those trying to acquire a website as a business owner, you need to avoid contracting your web development project to just “anyhow” web developer to avoid an ambiguous clause on web development contract papers and even before you agree to a deal, you need to properly digest your contract papers and clear the air about who “owns” the website and content before agreeing to the deal.

But if the developer agrees to build your business website for free (please bear in mind that a free website also comes at a cost), the web development contract should be clear about the following:

  • The cost of the service: In truth, the cost of acquiring a website isn’t one time; there will always be a need to spend a few bucks every once in a while. However, your web developer should be able to say in clear terms, the cost of the service that will be offered, mode of payment, and if there will be additional payments for extra features in the future.
  • The domain name: What is a domain name? A Domain name can be simply defined as the address to your website (e.g. this is what people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website. In whose name is the domain name registered? A domain name can be purchased with the developer’s account but the client’s email should be added as a secondary email address to enable access to the account at any point and other technical notifications that require immediate attention
  • The hosting package:  What is Domain hosting?  Domain Hosting can be seen as a bank were your website information and files are kept onlineWebsites must be hosted on a remote server before it can be accessed by users. You should know the hosting platform chosen by your developer and the cost. Be wary of free hosting plans because it’s almost impossible to move your data from a free hosting plan in one piece if you ever decide to leave the hosting company. It is important that the developer handles the hosting process to enable active actions during downtime and all other necessary updates (e.g. PHP upgrade etc) but let it be stated clearly in the agreement that all credentials are transferable to the client at any time as long as the client has paid fully for his services. The client should also ensure that his website is SSL enabled (secured socket layer)
  • The visuals and design: If your web development contract clause includes payment for custom interface design, this intellectual property should also be yours. However, you can’t claim ownership if your website design is modeled after a free template.
  • The Website content: Ownership must also be clear about the videos, images, text, infographics, and other types of content on your website.
  • The source code: Aside from the open-source software used in building your website, you should own and have the right to alter the codes (the front and back end codes) used in developing your website.
  • Read the web development contract: The key to not getting screwed by your developer greatly lies in your ability to read and understand the contract papers. If you aren’t a reader, hire a competent lawyer to go through the content for you.
  • Project duration: the duration of this project must be clearly stated and agreed on before the commencement of the project to avoid prolonged stay on the project.

After the web development contract expiration, it is expected of the web developer to prepare a proper handing over email with all necessary information that will help the client in taking possession of the website. Also, the developer is expected to instruct and orientate the client on how to effect the changes to the login credentials as soon as possible in order to prevent possible cybersecurity attacks.

Undoubtedly, websites have become the biggest assets for most businesses. They generate enough data to profile clients and personalize content for them.

Websites are:

  • The sales representatives that don’t go on break
  • The customer care representatives that are always polite
  • The store that never runs out of space
  • The flexible brand promoting tools
  • The cheap and highly-effective mechanism for advert
  • The medium to reach clients that are outside your geographical location.
  • A pack of many more benefits.

The dangers of losing a business website are as critical as losing the business. Hence, who owns what and what should be clear before pen is put to paper in a web development contract.

As an innovative website development agency with several years of experience in digital marketing, branding, guest blogging, and online reputation management and outreach, TechAtLast team is established to employ the best practices in the industry in providing high-quality digital-related services to its clients.

By Olawale Daniel

I love tech support services!

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