In the age of digital technology and social media, a business needs a good website if it has any hope of surviving long term. However, many business owners aren’t tech savvy and instead have to depend on either hiring a freelancer, a professional web design company, like Eight25Media; or a WordPress Shop, like sparklogix.com.
Whichever path you choose to follow, you will need to familiarise yourself with the legalities involved in the web design process. Here are some points to keep in mind when either drafting or signing a design contract.
This section clearly defines and states what the client needs to execute to bring their website to
fruition. This of course will include basic things like providing content and images e.t.c. to the designers as they construct the website. However, for a client to figure out what their responsibilities should be beyond the basic, they should ask themselves what rights would they like to have in the development process?’.
For instance, if they would like all creative decisions to be cleared with them before implementation; then it would be their responsibility to check over and critique samples sent to them, in a timely manner. But beware; more power always comes with more responsibility.
This section of the contract would basically state that as a result of the business relationship,
confidential information from both parties might be exchanged; and if so, these shouldn’t be disclosed to any third parties.
Basically, what happens in the meetings stays in the meetings. This could prove useful in the implementation and execution of marketing ploys that need to be kept under wraps.
Fees and charges
Of course, one of the greatest worries for a small business owner is how much it costs to get
everything done. As such, clients and designers should ensure they sit down and carefully read through this section of the contract especially when contracts are being negotiated.
A Standard Agreement for design services doesn’t usually go into to the real dollars and cents prices, but instead, may deal with percentages. If you’re not good with estimating costs based on percentages then ensure you have a calculator nearby so that you can apply the percentages to real figures to see if you’re comfortable with what the other party is offering.
This is important for both Client and designer as it clarifies the rights of the designer to get credit for their work and usually grants them copyright over the delivered product. This would give them the right to publish or display the work as long as it has already been made public.
However, if the client has made any significant contributions to the design of the web site, such as personal images, that they would like to keep the rights for, this would be the section in which they explicitly communicate this desire. This would probably just clarify that while the copyright for the web page as a whole lays with the designer; the rights for that picture on its own belong to the client.
Design contracts come part and parcel with any design based job that includes graphic design and social media work. So whether you hire
designer or you yourself are a freelancer, make sure you pay attention to these points when either reading or drafting your contract.