Wondering what your contract looks like? We enjoy keeping it very simple, so here is a non-specific version of our contract for your perusal. Your personal contract will have specific information custom to you and may differ from below.
We will always do our best to fulfill your needs and meet your goals, but sometimes it is best to have a few simple things written down so that we both know what is what, who should do what and what happens if stuff goes wrong. In this contract you wont find complicated legal terms or large passages of unreadable text. We have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. We do want whats best for the safety of both parties, now and in the future.
You [customer name] are hiring us [ThreeSided Studios] located at [address] to [design and develop a web site] for the estimated total price of [total] as outlined in our previous correspondence. Of course its a little more complicated, but well get to that.
What do both parties agree to do?
As our customer, you have the power and ability to enter into this contract on behalf of your company or organization. You agree to provide us with everything that we need to complete the project including text, images and other information as and when we need it, and in the format that we ask for. You agree to review our work, provide feedback and sign-off approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways and you will also be bound by any dates that we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out at the end of this contract.
We have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from us and we will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way we will endeavor to meet all the deadlines set but we cant be responsible for a missed launch date or a deadline if you have been late in supplying materials or have not approved or signed off our work on-time at any stage. On top of this we will also maintain the confidentiality of any information that you give us.
Getting down to the nitty gritty
We will create designs for the look-and-feel, layout and functionality of your web site. This contract includes one main design plus the opportunity for you to make up to two rounds of revisions. If youre not happy with the designs at this stage, you will pay us in full for all of the work that we have produced until that point and you may either cancel this contract or continue to commission us to make further design revisions at the daily rate set out in our original estimate.
XHTML/CSS layout templates
If the project includes XHTML or HTML markup and CSS templates, we will develop these using valid XHTML and CSS2.1 + 3 for styling. We will test all our markup and CSS in current versions of all major browsers including those made by Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple. We will also test to ensure that pages will display visually in a similar, albeit not necessarily an identical way, in Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 for Windows as this browser is now past its sell-by date.
We will not test these templates in old or abandoned browsers, for example Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or 6 for Windows or Mac, previous versions of Apples Safari, Mozilla Firefox or Opera unless otherwise specified. If you need to show the same or similar visual design to visitors using these older browsers, we will charge you at the daily rate set out in our original estimate for any necessary additional code and its testing.
We may have written a best-seller but were not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy unless we specified it in the original estimate. Well be happy to help though, and in addition to the estimate we will charge you at [$50] per hour for copy writing or content input.
You will supply us photographs either in digital or printed format. If you choose to buy stock photographs we can suggest vendors of stock photography. Any time we spend searching for appropriate photographs will be charged at  per hour.
Changes and revisions
We know from plenty of experience that fixed-price contracts are rarely beneficial to you, as they often limit you to your first idea about how something should look, or how it might work. We dont want to limit either your options or your opportunities to change your mind.
The estimate/quotation prices at the beginning of this document are based on the number of days that we estimate well need to accomplish everything that you have told us you want to achieve. If you do want to change your mind, add extra pages or templates or even add new functionality, that wont be a problem. You will be charged the daily rate set out in the estimate we gave you. Along the way we might ask you to put requests in writing so we can keep track of changes.
You may already have professional web site hosting, you might even manage that hosting in-house; if thats the case, great. If you dont manage your own web site hosting, we can set up an account for you at one of our preferred, third-party hosting providers. We will charge you a one-off fee for installing your site on this server, plus any statistics software such as Mint or Google Analytics; then the updates to, and management of that server, plus any support issues will be up to you.
We are not a web site hosting company and so we do not offer or include technical support for web site hosting, email or other services relating to web site hosting. If you do require help with anything beyond the design and development of your site, well be happy to help and will charge you [$50] per hour.
We cant guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed web site will always be error-free and so we cant be liable to you or any third party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate this web site and any other web pages, even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages.
If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions..
You guarantee to us that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide us for inclusion in the web site are either owned by your good selfs, or that you have permission to use them.
When we receive your final payment, copyright is automatically assigned as follows:
You own the graphics and other visual elements that we create for you for this project. We will give you a copy of all files and you should store them really safely as we are not required to keep them or provide any native source files that we used in making them.
You also own text content, photographs and other data you provided, unless someone else owns them. We own the XHTML markup, CSS and other code and we license it to you for use on only this project.
We love to show off our work and share what we have learned with other people, so we also reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of our portfolio and to write about the project on web sites, in magazine articles and in books about web design. We also require that you include a small text link back to our website at the bottom or edge of your page.
We are sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that we send you promptly. As were also sure youll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.
[50 Percent up front and 50 percent within 5 business days of completion unless otherwise arranged by contract]
But where is all the horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you cannot transfer this contract to anyone else without our permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of US courts. Oh and dont forget those men with big dogs.
The dotted line
Signed by and on behalf of [ThreeSided Studios]
Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their own records.