When you engage a company to build and develop your website, there are quite a number of things that need to be addressed before work begins. Things may go pear-shaped at the first hurdle resulting in delays at the very least, if not, complete project abandonment and extra costs.
Consider these points when engaging with a developer:
- From the outset, you should agree:
(a) a ‘Project Plan’ i.e. an estimated timetable to complete each and every aspect of the Project. This can be set out in ‘Phases’ and/ or ‘Stages’ (or milestones); and,
(b) a ‘Site Specification’ i.e. the detailed description of what is to be delivered in terms of design and functionality.
- You will want to agree the fees of course in advance so that you don’t get any surprises! Note:
(a) when the fees will be due if paid in instalments (e.g. according to the ‘Phases’, ‘Stages’ or ‘Milestones’) and ensure this is set out clearly in the contract;
(b) if any fees are non-refundable e.g. a ‘Commissioning Fee’;
(c) if payments are in advance or in arrears and any other invoicing and payment terms;
(d) under what circumstances any Additional Fees’ may be payable which are not known at the outset e.g. ‘Disbursements’ in respect of ‘Third Party Products and/ or Services’.
- Will you have a first point of contact for all queries during the project i.e. is there going to be a specific ‘Project Manager’ dealing with your project, or, are you going to be sent round the houses when you want to discuss any aspect of your project?
- Will you be considering on-going ‘Maintenance & Support Services’ for your website? If yes, when would these commence? At what cost? Are there agreed service levels? Are there any restrictions/ exclusions?
- Will you be considering on-going ‘Hosting Services’ for your website? If yes, when would these commence? At what cost? Are there agreed service levels? Are there any restrictions/ exclusions e.g. emergency downtime etc?
- You may wish to ensure you are offered a ‘Warranty’ for a limited time i.e. a ‘Warranty Period’ in relation to the website generally and any ‘Custom Software’ i.e. that the same will perform substantially in accordance with the ‘Site Specification’ during the ‘Warranty Period’.
- Is it likely that any ‘Third Party Products and/ or Services’ will be used in the provision of the website? Will there be ‘Third Party Terms’ that will apply to you after completion? Will you need to make any on-going payments to a Third Party provider thereafter?
- Will VAT be included in the quotes or excluded?
- Will Custom Software be used? If yes, will it be assigned or licensed? If licensed, will you be granted an ‘exclusive licence’ or a ‘non-exclusive licence’ or a ‘sole licence’? What will be the licence duration? What are the licensed rights? Are any rights specifically reserved?
- Will Third Party Software be used? If yes, will it be assigned or licensed? Presumably, it will be licensed as your web developer will not be in a position to assign it…will you be granted an ‘exclusive licence’ or a ‘non-exclusive licence’ or a ‘sole licence’? What will be the licence duration? What are the licensed rights? What are the terms and conditions governing the licence?
- Will Open Source Software be used? If yes, will it be assigned or licensed? Presumably, it will be licensed as your web developer will not be in a position to assign it…will you be granted an ‘exclusive licence’ or a ‘non-exclusive licence’ or a ‘sole licence’? What will be the licence duration? What are the licensed rights? What are the terms and conditions governing the licence?
- Will you require any training on the website? If yes, at what cost or is it included? If included, what exactly is included i.e. hours, persons, location etc?
- How will the design element of the website be delivered to you for your review? How many revisions will be permitted as a result of your review(s)?
- Will you be providing ‘Client Content’ (including ‘Third Party Materials’) for incorporation in to the website? If yes, do you own it or, have you at least been granted usage rights by way of a licence?
- Who will be responsible for performing ‘Acceptance Tests’ to see if the website and the ‘Software’ complies with the ‘Site Specification’? What will happen if the Acceptance Tests fail after an agreed amount of testing?
- What will be used to signify your acceptance of the website as a whole or any relevant ‘Phase’ or ‘Stage’? For example, is there a type of ‘Final Sign-Off Form’?
These are just some of the many points your need to consider. It does not represent an exhaustive checklist.
Let us know if we can help you!
Author: Yvonne Morris
CloudLegal is a tech-enabled legal support consultancy which promises practical commercial and jargon-free advice. We support all company matters, commercial contracts/ Ts & Cs (including software and IT), employment & HR as well as data protection matters. We have various services including:
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