A successful project is one where everybody involved manages to deliver everything that they sign up for and in sync with the expectation set from day one. A contract web-design project is no different.
An important first step in any contract web design project is finding and on-boarding the right person for the job. That’s 50% of your success right there.
The rest of it is an outcome of how much the contracting parties can agree upon and get done in a defined period of time. And just to knot any loose ends, it helps to work with a comprehensive web design contract that clearly spells out the scope of work, the expectations from contracting parties, the copyrights, the timelines and the process of hand-overs, among other things. As with any creative project, there are a lot of chances of treading on grey than black and white, and that is why it’s important to have things written down so that everybody knows what’s what, who’s responsible for doing what and when, and what will happen if something goes wrong.
Here are 5 free web design contract template sources that can help both the designer as well as the contracting party arrive at a comprehensive one. Note that these aren’t all-inclusive templates and there’s room to add or remove clauses depending on the nature of a project. Also, it’s always advisable to get a lawyer to review contracts and legal documents before you sign them.
Contract Killer is a popular open-source contract for web designers and developers, created by UK-based Stuff and Nonsense, in use since 2008 and last revised in the ’16. It’s an easy-to-understand draft that’s written in plain human, and factors in all the essentials in a web design contract. It even includes typically missed clauses around SEO, browser testing, and changes and revisions.
AIGA’s contract template is an elaborate and a pretty exhaustive one. It contains 2 main modules, one with basic terms and conditions and another around intellectual property rights. AIGA also offers supplementary modules for specific design disciplines which can be added to the 2 main modules. And this is what their template does best: help derive at a comprehensive binding agreement which clearly spells out, in manageable terms and conditions, the rights and responsibilities of all contracting parties.
Andy Rutledge offers a crisp bundle of Terms and Conditions and what he calls “Authorization to Proceed”, which is basically a long list of project details including the scope of work, deliverables, budget, payments, and sign offs. It’s a complete enough collection and offers room to modify the text to fit a context or project better.
The sample template offered by proposal software BidSketch is particularly useful to and for web developers. It captures all the essentials around site coding, testing, iterations, and even acceptance certifications.
This bundle of contracts and documents by webdesignlaw is an exhaustive and an all-inclusive resource. It contains two sets of terms and conditions: a detailed one and a condensed one, along with a sample letter of agreement, sample project proposal, and an invoice template. Suitable to freelancers and those working with freelancer, as well.
Now that you know what’s ideal and out there, design your contracts wisely. Use these templates as is or as a reference, just remember that each of the templates can be customized to suit your needs and that of the project and that it’s good to get a legal counsel on a contract before signing one.
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