Having a professional taking care of your web design can release you from the pressure of having to do it all yourself, however, you need to ensure that the stress doesn’t manifest itself in a different way. What we mean is ensuring that the agreement you have with your web designer is more than just a handshake, because if it isn’t then you are potentially inviting all sorts of problems if anything goes wrong.
To ensure this doesn’t happen a simple written contract which both you and your designer agree to, means both of you know exactly what is required on both sides. There should be five basic sections included and here is an explanation of each one.
#1 Cost and Payment Method: Make sure both parties know what the agreed cost of the work is and what, if any, part payment agreement there is. You’ll also want to agree whether the amount is an hourly rate or a fixed price and the method of payment.
#2 Work Agreed To: This might seem strange but you do actually need to agree what services you are employing your designer for. For a website, this should be detailed and include the agreed process for edits and reworking of the design if it is not satisfactory. It is essential this part makes it clear that the designer is expected to make any changes you want to make as part of the work.
#3 Timescale: They say time is money and in the case of your website it will be if the time it takes to get it up and running is excessive. For this reason, you must include in your agreement the agreed time it will take the designer to complete the work. You may want to agree beforehand any penalties in terms of a reduced fee for any delay that occurs.
#4 Intellectual Property: This has caught out a lot of people who haven’t got an agreement that the business owns the website and all the material contained within it. Unless you have this in writing there is the danger that a rogue designer could claim it is their work and make a claim against you for using it.
#5 Confidentiality Agreement: It is possible that to build the website you want for your business you need to divulge sensitive or confidential information to the designer. To ensure it remains private you should have a confidentiality clause in the agreement prohibiting them from divulging any information that you pass to them about you or your business.
These are the five main elements of the agreement you must have in place when you employ a freelance web designer or agency to build your business website. If you are unsure about how to create such an agreement you can find templates online which you can edit to suit your design work. Another option is to speak to your legal advisor and ask them to draw up a simple agreement for you.