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Home / Business Contracts / Website Development and Maintenance Agreement

What is a Website Development and Maintenance Agreement?

It’s a legally enforceable contract between a website developer or designer and their client.

Simply put; it’s a document where a website designer promises to create a website for a client and then once the website is developed they will maintain the website (to keep it looking good and functioning properly).

The agreement outlines essential aspects such as pricing for services offered, the scope of the design and maintenance tasks, schedule for payment, and timeline of deliverables.

When do I need a Website Development and Maintenance Agreement?

The majority of web developers and designers don’t stop to consider written contracts before advertising their services. Still, others have verbal agreements, which are legally binding, but how can you prove what was agreed (in the event of dispute).

But if you’re entering into a long-term partnership where you’ll be offering web design and maintenance services, it’s crucial to have a contract. This way, you have a document you can refer to in case of any misunderstandings or disputes.

A written agreement is equally valuable to the customer. Whether you’re an individual or large-scale corporation, the contract ensures that your interests and needs are met. You’re guaranteed that your website will be developed as specified, in a timely fashion and in full working order.

What are the Main Clauses in a Website Development and Maintenance Agreement?

Parties to the agreement – This clause provides contact details of all the parties involved. It specifies the exact name of the recipient company or individual and that of the web designing firm.

Scope of services – Another crucial clause in this contract, the scope of work highlights the specific duties that each party is tasked with.

On the part of the web developer, this would include:

  • Designing and developing a website for the client
  • Updating the site’s content management system (CMS) such as plugins and themes
  • Storing vital data in the cloud
  • Recovering website files from backups, if the need arises
  • Providing real-time monitoring of the site
  • Updating texts, images and making other minor changes to keep the website functioning optimally
  • Getting rid of malware or keeping spam away from the client (for instance by implementing spam filters when people fill in forms on your website).

On the client’s part, they’d be required to:

  • Share details regarding their business such as the logo, trademark or photos to be integrated into the website
  • Provide timely and accurate feedback during the website development phase so that the developer clearly understands what the client wants
  • Make timely payments to facilitate the web development process
  • Provide product catalog information including product images
  • Share the license agreement to utilize any third-party applications such as incorporating a payment gateway
Acceptance procedure and criteria

Usually, there are four key stages in a website development process: concept, design, initial development, and testing.

For the best outcome, a client may request a detailed progress report after each stage. Similarly, they may provide a specific timeframe for each stage of the process.

That said, this clause should also provide room for flexibility. For instance, if the client fails to provide vital details or materials in a timely manner, it could cause a slight delay and this should not unfairly penalise the developer.

Duration of the contract

How long a web developer or designer chooses to maintain the website is another aspect that warrants a discussion.

Since website maintenance is a service that’s needed on a continual basis, the client may prefer a rolling contract. This is a contract that remains in existence until one of the parties decides to terminate it.

On the other hand, the web developer may prefer a renewable contract. To avoid misunderstandings, the two parties should discuss and agree on a deal that favors both parties.

Another point that should be included in this section is how maintenance should be handled if the web developer isn’t available. Can they hand over the task to a third-party? How will remuneration be handled in such an instance?

Confidentiality

This clause explains the obligation that each party has to hold sensitive information in strict confidence.

Both parties must specify the information that’s regarded as confidential. This could be anything from trade secrets, business methods, reports, know-how procedures, financial records, and more.

In the event that this clause is breached, the contract should outline the steps that both parties ought to take.

Payment terms and cost

Another significant clause that should be included in the contract is the payment schedule. Some of the questions that should be addressed in this section include:

  • How many milestones will be set up, and how much will be paid after each? Similarly, what proportion of the payment will be made upfront?
  • How soon will the final payment be made upon receiving deliverables?
  • What situations would cause the client to withhold payment?
  • How will payments regarding website hosting and domain registration be handled?
  • How much will maintenance services cost?

Wrap Up

A website development and maintenance agreement is made between a web designer and his/her client.

It specifies relevant information such as pricing for the web design services offered and criteria for accepting deliverables.

It also outlines the project’s milestones, and when each one is due. Finally, it specifies how payments will be made and other terms such as confidentiality.

Any questions please fill in one of the forms and get in touch.

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Send us the contract with your questions or requirements. We will then provide you a fixed price quote to answer your questions, or to provide a general review of the contract.

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