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Web Development Contract

Web Design Contract

Based on Contract Killer, an open-source contract for web developers.


I’ll always do my best to fulfill your needs and meet your expectations, but it’s important to have things written down so that we both know what’s what, who should do what and when, and what will happen if something goes wrong. In this contract you won’t find any complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. I have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. What I do want is what’s best for both parties, now and in the future.

So in short;

You ([CLIENT COMPANY]), located at [CLIENT ADDRESS] are hiring me ([DEVELOPER]) located at [DEVELOPER ADDRESS] to design and develop a web site for the estimated total price of [QUOTE] as outlined in our previous correspondence.

Our Agreement

You: You have the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself, your company or your organization. You’ll give me everything I need to complete the project as and when and in the format I need it. You’ll review my work, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways, so you’ll also be bound by dates we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.

Me: I have the experience and ability to do everything I’ve agreed with you and I’ll do it all in a professional and timely manner. I’ll endeavor to meet every deadline that’s set and on top of that I'll maintain the confidentiality of everything you give me.

The Gist

I create, maintain, and host websites with flexible layouts that adapt to the capabilities of many devices and screen sizes. I strive to use open source software, standing on the shoulders of giants rather than reinventing the wheel. The code that I write adheres to modern best practices, is readable, maintainable, and has lots of comments so that other developers should be able to jump right in.

During development I'll create a testing version of your site, hidden from search engines, so you can see the site as it comes together.


Being in contact is very important. We both agree to reply to each other's communications in a timely manner, and we also agree to respect each other's time and adhere to basic email etiquette.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to review my work and provide feedback. I'll post frequent updates to the testing site and we will engage in regular, possibly daily contact.

Text content

I'm not responsible for writing or inputting any text into the site. I can write new content or input text for you, but it is outside the scope of this agreement and we would need to discuss it first.

Graphics and images

You should supply graphic files in an editable, vector digital format. You should supply photographs in a high resolution digital format. If you choose to buy stock photographs, I can suggest stock libraries. I can search for photographs for you create new graphics, or even take photos for you, but it is outside the scope of this agreement and we would need to discuss it first.

Browser Testing

Browser testing no longer means attempting to make a website look the same in browsers of different capabilities or on devices with different size screens. It does mean ensuring that a person’s experience of a design should be appropriate to the capabilities of a browser or device.

This means that your site will work in IE8, but it certainly won't look the same as it does on an iPad or a modern web browser.

Desktop Browser Testing

I test my work in current versions of major desktop browsers including those made by Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Microsoft (Internet Explorer), and Mozilla (Firefox). We’ll also test to ensure Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and 9 for Windows users get an appropriate, possibly different, experience.

I won’t test in other older browsers unless you specify otherwise. I can provide an enhanced design for an older browser, but it is outside the scope of this agreement and we would need to discuss it first.

Mobile Browser Testing

Testing popular small-screen devices is essential in ensuring that a person’s experience of a design is appropriate to the capabilities of the device they’re using. I test my work in:

iOS: Safari, Google Chrome Android 4.x: Google Chrome and Firefox

I currently don’t test Blackberry, Opera Mini/Mobile, Windows Phone or other mobile browsers. I can test using these, but it is outside the scope of this agreement and we would need to discuss it first.

Design Team, Products and Services

While I welcome suggestion and input, I must approve the inclusion of other developers, graphic designers, graphic artists, writers, SEO specialists, or anyone else involved in the project and may choose to include others at my discretion. In addition I have the freedom to choose which development products and services are used in the creation of the website.

Technical Support & Hosting

I offer managed website hosting for [PRICE] per [TERM].

This includes installing WordPress core, theme, and plugin updates, maintenance, email support, backups, a staging site for testing new features and updates, technical support and security against hackers. If you do get hacked, fixing this is included.

It does not include the work necessary to fix things broken by updates. If an update breaks something, I'll revert to the last functional version of the site and we'll discuss what needs to be done. Work will be charged at a rate of [PRICE] per hour.

You are free to host your site with whomever you choose, but if you host your site elsewhere, technical support will be charged at my hourly rate and you will be responsible for all maintenance and updates.

I have a streamlined workflow that I've developed over the years, but I can't use it if you don't host your site with me. It's totally fine if you host your site somewhere else, but future work on the site will take a longer and thus be more expensive.

Software Licenses

Often times in the course of development I will need to use some software isn't free.

I have a developer license for common ones like WP Migrate DB Pro, Advanced Custom Fields, WP All Import Pro, and a few others. If you choose to have me maintain your websites for you, then we'll use my licenses for your site and I'll keep the software updated.

If you choose to maintain your website through other means, then you will still be able to use the software that I own licenses for, but you will need to purchase your own license if you want updates. And you want updates.

If I need to purchase software for use on your site, you can either purchase it yourself and send me the software and license key. Or I can purchase it, add it to your invoice, and send you the license key for your records. It's up to you.


You guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by you or that you have permission to use them.

When your final payment has cleared, you’ll own the visual elements that I've created for this project. I’ll give you source files and finished files and you should keep them somewhere safe as I'm not required to keep a copy. You own all elements of text, images and data you provided, unless someone else owns them.

WordPress is GPL licensed which really means either of us can do whatever we want with the code without asking the other person. Now of course it would be pretty stupid of me to sell your website to someone else and you'd look pretty stupid if you sold something I wrote as your own work. We can agree that neither of us like looking stupid so let's just agree to be civil about it all.

I love to show off my work and share what I’ve learned with other people, so I reserve the right, with your permission, to host a version of your site, hidden from search engines, as part of my portfolio, and to write about your project on other websites. I also reserve the right to publish, distribute, reuse the code used in this project.

All of your business processes are protected and neither of us will ever release any code or files that expose business processes of the other party.


I'm sure you understand how important it is that you promptly pay the invoices that I send. Invoices are due 15 days after receipt. You agree to stick to the following payment schedule:

If hosting with me:

  • 50% of estimate paid before work starts
  • 25% of estimate paid after site is considered 'feature-complete'
  • Remainder paid 15 days after site is push live

If not hosting with me:

  • 50% of estimate paid before work starts
  • Remainder of estimate paid after site is considered 'feature-complete'

You agree to pay a monthly late payment fee equal to 15% of the unpaid balance for invoices that are over 30 days late.


If, at any stage, you’re not happy with the direction my work is taking, all you need to do is submit notice via email and we will consider this contract to be cancelled.

If I decide that I'm no longer able to work on this project, I'll provide you with everything I've created up to that point.

Any unpaid work that I've completed will be my own loss, but you won't be entitled to a refund on payments you've already made.

Terrifying Small Print

Just like a parking ticket, you can’t transfer this contract to anyone else without my permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed.

I can’t guarantee that my work will be error-free and so I can’t be liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if you’ve advised me of them.

Finally, if any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of California courts in the United States of America.

The Dotted Line

Since we're all friends, you can simply reply to the email in which you received this contract stating that you agree to the contract and are ready to get started.

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