7 Tips for Writing a Web Design Contract

Here are 7 great tips for writing a web design contract:

The importance of a web design contract can never be overemphasized. It contains business details between the web designer and the client regarding the web design project. This particular contract provides protection for both parties from fraud and liability, so it has to be written carefully.
  1. State the components of the contract clearly
    As with any legal documentation, web design contracts have to be clear and formal. This is extremely important because they contain vital information about the project, the processes by which it is to be done, and the expectations on both ends of the party.
  2. Make it concise
    Contracts do not have to be long. So long as it contains the necessary details of the project and the expected responses of both parties, then it should be enough. Remember, there should have been a web design proposal that both the designer and client have agreed to before the contract was even made.
  3. Make conservative projections
    In making a web design contract, do not cut your project costing too close to the bone. It would still be wise to consider a margin of error because there are a lot of things you need to consider. Aside from the usual costs like domain name registration, hosting fees and outsourcing for sections of the site, you still need to take into account business-related items such as travel time, electricity, telephone, and other consumables. Even the web design proposal has to be considered.

    Allow space for delays as well. In web design, things rarely go strictly as planned, and delays can be normally expected. Since these also take up the designer’s time, the work done as a result of such delays should also be paid.
  4. Emphasize expectations and commitments
    It is normal for web projects to be delayed. It is important for the clients to be aware of what will happen if they do not supply information when requested, or if they request changes in the middle of the process, as well as the designer’s response if the designer is running behind in the project. A web design contract should be clear on payment details and the consequences of failure to pay for the services provided.
  5. Include revision schedule
    A revision schedule limits the number of revisions or the time with which revisions to the project are to be entertained. This prevents clients from using up more than the expected hours to be put in the project. After such limit is reached, then the client agrees to compensate the designer for additional work.
  6. Include Non-Disclosure Agreement for additional protection
    While not always necessary, providing non-disclosure agreements to the client can be good because it makes them feel confident about their secrets. It can also be used to protect the proprietary knowledge put to use while working for the client.
  7. Run it by a lawyer
    It is always a good idea to have an attorney / lawyer look at the web design contract before having it signed, as legal specifics may vary by city, county and state.

Kelly Wilson

Web Design Contract

7 Great Tips for Writing a Web Design Proposal

Many people do not even know how important it is for their businesses to boast of a good, well written Web Design Proposal. This is the reason why these tips will help those who care enough to improve on this very important aspect and give their businesses a new lease in life. A good and well presented web design and development will go a long way in swaying business to come your way by helping you win marketing contracts. A good and perfectly presented development proposal would look professional and would more often than not decide who wins or loses the business. A clearly presented web design that is not full of clutter also decreases the chances of any misunderstandings between your business and its clients at the point when the project is progressing and acts as a basis for a formal contract.

Since a properly designed Web Design Proposal is very important to the success of your business, it is very important for you to follow these steps when putting together a basic web site proposal. You should take care to include the following features:

Your Information – It is imperative that you put a clear case or a proper summary of the background of your business. Describe yourself and your business in brief clear terms that will show the client what kind of organization you have and what your strengths are. Include the company history and how you have developed over the years. Put down information about your business qualifications, technical skills, past achievements, and the address or contact details.

  •  Project Overview – When you are submitting a proposal for any business, you must have a clear understanding of what the company is all about; their products and their services. Know their target market, the goals of the web site and have a rough idea or outline of how you will help to achieve those aspirations.
  •  Project Theme – The project theme is important in that it carries the style description of the site you are proposing. You should include which elements from the client’s current branding you have chosen to include or will use. You should also show which new elements you will develop.
  •  Special Considerations – you will have to decide on the following special factors about the business and its products: the language, security or other issues that pertain to the business. Consider the site or target market that will need to be addressed without fail.
  •  Web Site Flow Chart – A web site flow chart is a diagram that shows the different pages of the site. It is a navigational structure.
  •  Flowchart Description – A flowchart description is a detailed description of each web page. How it fits in with the rest or the overall web site theme and the project element it deals with or addresses.
  •  Development Timeline – Describe each stage of the project and how much time it will take to complete. Include notes regarding client consultation and supply of information or feedback from client. Include any major payments for involved projects and site promotion activities. It should be clarified that traffic may take time to build up.
  •  Project Costing – Give a breakdown of costing and total quotation, and also include an end date by which the price will need to be recalculated. Include domain name registration and hosting fees. It should also include outsourcing for the sections you may not be able to handle on your own. Include travel time, electricity, telephone costs, and consumables. Remember the many hours you spent in developing the website, and ask for compensation. 

Kelly Wilson
Web Design Proposal Template
Website Proposal Template
Web Design Contract

Web Design Proposal - How to deal with Difficult Clients

A lot of web developers out there are the masters of their trade but somehow just cannot put out their masterpiece because they have no clue on how to deal with difficult clients. The best way of dealing with difficult clients is to lay down the basic framework of how the job is going to be done before anything is even started. The best way to outline this skeleton will be to draw up a well thought out web design proposal that you both will stick to right to the very end. This brings us to the question of how does one draw up a perfect web design proposal that will give the web developer an edge on how to deal with difficult clients?

The first thing that you will have to do before you draw up a web design proposal is to get to know your client first. You will have to get into all the details on what does the client’s company offer and exactly how do they offer it. Who is their largest consumer target and what exactly are their preferences? Once you have got this covered then you have your first piece of ammunition in how to deal with difficult clients; know your clients inside out.

The next thing that you want to do for your web design proposal is to agree on a suitable theme for the whole project. Does the client already know the theme that they want to go with or do you have to come up with a variety for the client to choose from. If you know how to deal with difficult clients, you would know that providing them with a variety of themes to choose from will take forever as they may never be satisfied with what you come up with. The best thing to do is listen to their theme ideas and run with the best one.

The next thing that you need to include in your web design proposal is an actual visual projection of how the end results will look like. This does not have to be complicated, rough descriptions of the way the site will be would be enough. You can use a flow chart to demonstrate to the client exactly how the pages of the website will go from one to the next. Basically, let them know how one will be navigating through the site. In this rough description you can then briefly discuss how each of the pages in your flow chart is going to be. Those who know how to deal with difficult clients always ask them to chip in their ideas here on the pages.

Last, but not least, you will have to put a timeline in your web development proposal. Be honest and do not promise what you cannot deliver for each and every single step of the way. This way, the client will be on your neck every other day because he knows how long you had agreed upon. This is how to deal with difficult clients without losing them.

Kelly Wilson
Web Design Proposal
Website Proposal Template

Web Design Contract

Web Design Proposal - How To Prevent Scope Creep

In making a web design proposal, there are bound to be things that will be (but not deliberately) overlooked. When these things eventually surface and cause minor to major changes in the development of the design that were not agreed upon directly in the web design proposal, then these are collectively called scope creep.

Scope creep technically refers to the additional requirements outside of the accepted proposal that come up after web development has started. They are potentially dangerous because they usually have significant negative effects on the process due to the following results:

1.       Extension of the project duration

2.       Missed deadlines

3.       Additional costs

4.       Possible collapse of client–developer relationship

5.       Customer dissatisfaction

6.       Loss of developer credibility due to late delivery


Scope creep can be avoided and dealt with using the following methods:

Start with a design that is well researched.

This gives the developer a lot of insight on the possible angles where additional requirements might spring from. If the developer has a lot of experience and research on the agreed template or design, then there is little chance for things to be overlooked. Even if the client forgets or is not able to foresee certain changes, the developer would be able to plan things ahead or at least communicate to the client what possible considerations to make for future changes.

Set milestones

It is important to set measurable milestones. This sets out your timetable and stresses to the client how important time constraint is to each of the steps in the development. This not only keeps the client updated with the progress of the design but also prevents him/her from messing with the time table by suggesting additional features which were not included in the web design proposal.

Clarify all the expectations of all parties involved

Before starting on the development, make sure that everyone involved in the project – the client, the developer and the CEO, understands what each and every party expects to be done. It is vital that everyone has the same understanding in order for the development to proceed without surprises.

Refuse last-minute features or changes

No matter how simple the requests are, they entail the risk of affecting the whole process. Even if these additional features seemingly cause little changes, they might compromise the integrity of the whole design in the end. By the time the developer goes back them, they would have had caused significant delay in the process already. This is not usually the primary cause of scope creep but it does promote delays.

Make a prototype product for early feedback 

This allows you to test certain features before investing time in incorporating them in the design. If the end-customer does not like these features, then you don’t have to invest time to developing them.

Recommend changes for future development

If changes and additional features do come up, it would be better to put them in a recommendation to prevent scope creep. Forcing to incorporate them will only jeopardize the integrity of the design as well as the deadlines agreed upon in the web design proposal, not to mention the costs involved. Put the features and functionality into future releases. It is inevitable that better ideas would come up after you have already started development.

Kelly Wilson
Web Design Proposal Template
Website Proposal Template

Web Design Contract


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