I try to keep things simple and clear. These are my terms of engagement. If they don't work for you, get in touch and let's chat.
I like to keep things as transparent and straightforward as possible. I don't go in for complicated terms and conditions, preferring instead to use plain English. So that everyone is clear and expectations are met, I've created this "Terms Of Engagement" contract.
Please read it before making any payments to me, as making the payment means you accept these terms.
I do our best to work to fixed prices and will always outline these and the work I agree to undertake in the final proposal I send. The proposal and all prices are based on our discussions and agreements before the project commences. As the project progresses, requirements change, incurring additional work on our behalf. In most cases, my price will have to increase.
If elements and information needed by me from the client or the client's agents aren't supplied within the agreed time frame, this can also impact the final price.
If, for any of these or other reasons, I feel the final price is going to change, I will always talk to you beforehand and gain your approval.
I retain the right to decline any requested changes once a project has commenced if I feel unachievable within the agreed design and time frame.
Unless otherwise agreed, I work on a strict 50% in advance with the balance due when the project is approx 75% complete. This usually is when I are ready for your content.
Typical work/payment schedule
I agree to design, layout content arrangements and prices etc. At this point, I send a final proposal. Once you've approved the proposal, I will send an invoice for the initial 50%
Upon payment of this invoice, your project is added to the next available slot in my work schedule.
Once your time slot is live, I commence the project by building the barebones of your site, including structure, navigation, colours etc.
I agree with you any changes to the barebones site as required. If additional costs are incurred, it's discussed at this point.
I complete the structure of the site, including all pages, navigation, special features, dummy content etc.
I will now invoice you for the balance to date.
Once the account is settled, If you supply the content, I will add it when provided. If you're adding your own, I will publish the site with dummy content. If I'm producing it, I'll create and add it as agreed.
I now require any monthly subscription payments to be set up. Once done, I'll set up your email and publish the site.
This applies to all projects unless otherwise agreed.
As a busy small agency, most new projects must be booked in advance, typically 2-3 months ahead of schedule. I do not schedule any work until the initial 50% deposit is paid.
Accounts must be cleared and any monthly subscriptions set up before the website goes live.
Invoices can be settled either by a card with our online processing company or BACS. Subscriptions must be paid by automatic card payment or automated monthly bank transfers and paid monthly on an agreed date automatically via our online payment processor.
By content, I mean the text, pictures, logos and anything else I will be "adding" to your website.
Getting your content on time and in a usable format is usually the most significant challenge any website developer will meet. What appears an easy task for the client during the planning stages often becomes the thing that holds up projects and pushes up the price.
I have three options when it comes to content.
a. I do it all.
I will chat with you and take notes, then head off and create the content on your behalf. This is a great way to do things, but it's also the most expensive. Creating content is a very time-consuming process and so can easily double or even treble the total cost.
b. You do it all.
This is the cheapest approach, as you do everything: You write and proof your content, select and process your images and send it all to me in a usable format. To aid this approach, I can create dummy content areas on each page, so you can see how much content is needed and where it'll go.
This is the most popular approach. You do basic write-ups and send it to me. I then edit and proof it then add it to the page. You also select the images you want to use and send them to me, then let me do all the processing. Or you can show the types of images you like, and I'll will source and process them.
Useable Content Formats
How you send us your content is as important as when you send it. All text content to be added to your site must be sent to me in digital format, entirely written out, either as email body text or a Word/text document. I need to be able to cut and paste your content into your website, so photos of text or uneditable PDF docs are not suitable.
Almost all content on the internet is under copyright, which means someone owns it.
Although I strongly recommend against it for SEO reasons, If your content is from an existing website, you must have written consent to use it. If you send me content from another site, I will act in good faith on the assumption that permissions are obtained. In the event of a copyright challenge, all liability will revert to you, the client. In most instances, I will also charge to remove or change copyright-protected content.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I EVER COPY CONTENT FROM A THIRD PARTY SITE ON YOUR BEHALF
The most important thing about the content is to get it to me on time. If I'm late getting the content, the entire project is delayed, which can often lead to additional charges.
So at the time of discussing your requirements, be realistic about how much time you have to commit to content creation, and once we've agreed on a time frame, please adhere to it.
I am very good at search engine optimisation; I've been doing it for over 20 years. But it's not a precise science, and it usually takes several months or more for any SEO work I've done to bear fruit.
However, while I will always do my best to get the search rankings you want, I can't guarantee them. No one can. Anyone who says otherwise is lying, most likely to get your money.
Also, the major search engines are continually moving the goalposts, which means the ranking of your website can change over time. If any of the search engines change their algorithms resulting in your site needing some SEO work, I can do it, but it is a chargeable service. Please get in touch to discuss requirements.
How your website looks and performs relies on many factors, not least the internet browser your site visitor is using. I test all my websites across all the main browsers to ensure they work as expected, but I can't take into account old versions (that people haven't updated) or the weird and whacky ones that almost no one uses.
Browsers are also being updated continuously, so what worked one day might not work the next. I can't monitor every site I make, so it's up to the client to regularly check their website and report any issues. If a problem arises and all that's needed from my end is a minor tweak, it's typically done for free. If not, I have to charge.
Nowadays, everyone wants their social platforms integrated into their websites; I offer a whole range of plugins for this very reason. All plugins rely on a thing called an API, which is supplied by the service being integrated.
Very often, these services change or are even entirely remove their API's which results in my plugins falling over. If/when this happens, I usually fix the plugin for free, but it can take time. In some instances, though, a fix isn't possible, so I have to remove the feature from your site.
This situation is, unfortunately, the nature of the beast when dealing with social networks.
You are welcome to use your domain name on your new website. To have it point to your new site instead of the old one, some changes will need to be made with the company it's registered with. If you can do this yourself, I can give you the settings, or if you prefer, you can provide me with the log-in details, and I can change them for you.
If your domain is looked after by a third party, I strongly suggest you check they are able/willing to make the changes on your behalf.
PLEASE ENSURE YOU OWN YOUR DOMAIN AND THAT YOUR PRESENT WEBSITE SUPPLIER DOESN'T OWN IT!
If you don't yet have a domain name, I am happy to purchase one for you. In some instances, I will cover this cost, and in others, I will invoice you for the price plus a small service charge to cover our time.
If I've acquired a domain on your behalf, I will, at your request, transfer this domain to you if your account is up to date. In some instances, I will charge you any recent renewal fee.
If I am letting you use one of my domain names which I owned before you approached me, and I didn't buy on your behalf, I will keep the domain should you change to a different website/service. In this situation, I will enter discussions to sell the domain name to you at a mutually agreed price.
All websites need to be stored on a virtual computer that is permanently connected to the internet via a high-speed connection. These virtual computers are called servers. When your website is stored on one of these computers and made available to people surfing the internet, it's called "website hosting".
I operate my own servers and, in almost all circumstances, host all the sites I build. As well as "hosting" your website, I can also supply you with email accounts connected to your domain.
As part of my hosting packages, I perform daily and weekly backups and ensure all the software needed to keep the servers running is up to date and 100% working.
My hosting prices vary depending on your requirements and in all instances, must be paid for monthly via an automated payment process.
Any hosting accounts that go overdue by more than 30 days will trigger an automatic cessation of services.
In certain circumstances, I build self-contained websites that you can host on your own servers. In this instance, I will create a zip file containing all the files you need to upload to your server and make it available to you via email or an online sharing service.
If you choose to self-host, before I zip the website up and send it to you, I will first demo it working on my server. This is so you can see that it looks, performs and works as agreed. Once I send you the zip folder, I can offer no further support. I can't help you publish it to your server, or help with any functionality that might not work on your server.
I'm not unreasonable!
The reason I can't support the site once I've sent it to you is that for a website to work, the server must be modern, robust and have all the required up to date software. As it's not my server, I've no idea if it meets any of these requirements. Typically, the cheap hosting companies supply old hardware running outdated software, that's how they are cheap!
The basic things you will need to be able to do yourself if you self-host…
If you're up for this and trust your cheap hosting company, go for it. If you want professionals to look after everything for you, leaving you to run your business, use my hosting!
SELF-HOSTED TYPICALLY INCUR A 25% (min £100) UPCHARGE TO MY REGULAR PRICES
This isn't because I'm greedy, it's because self-hosted sites take longer to build.
All my hosting packages come with standard IMAP/POP email accounts…
Each account has a maximum online "cloud" storage of 200mg.
After setting up your email accounts with your chosen addresses, I will send you the username and password, for security reasons, I do not store these on your behalf. If you forgot a password, I can not retrieve it, only reset it. There may be a charge for doing so. I will also send you the setting needed to connect your devices to new email inboxes.
In most cases, I are unable to offer much assistance to you with connecting your device to your inboxes. This isn't because I don't want to help. If I can help, I will, but due to the various complexities of different devices and different email clients it's not always possible.
When using my standard email services, I strongly suggest a connection to an online email service such as Gmail. Doing this will make sending and receiving emails on your devices much easier and also give up almost limitless online storage for emails and attachments.
Office 365 Email
If you prefer an enterprise-level email service, I recommend Office 365. For this service, I have partnered with Support IT NI (who also look after my servers). The costs start at £4 per month with billing directly between the client and Support IT NI (I'm not involved). They will handle the integration of your Office 365 account with your domain and website. Please mention your interest in this to me, and I will make the introduction.
As well as making websites, I manage them too on a monthly or ad-hoc basis. If you've taken a management contract with me, all settlements must be made by automated payments, normally every month.