Website Development Contracts

Websites

Following the rapid development of the internet and the world wide web over the last 20 years or so, websites have become an essential part of most serious businesses.  A website is now often the first port of call for prospective clients or consumers when searching for new products or services.  Comfort and ease of access now save consumers a great deal of time, for example, when shopping for books or CDs.  Comparing prices or locating hard to find items has become a simple task, and consumers can now buy things from Australia or Japan with a few clicks of a mouse and some credit or debit card information.  All this is possible through the availability of websites, and all forward-thinking businesses, and indeed individuals, will fully appreciate that having an attractive, easy to navigate website could play a pivotal role in gaining them an advantage over their competitors.  Having a suitable domain name, and writing the website in a suitable language are key issues, but there are many facets to a website that should be dealt with as far as a contract for a website between a client and a developer is concerned.  Some of these facets will now be addressed.

Website specification

Although individual requirements for a website will vary dramatically, the website developer will usually be responsible for the technical aspects of a website, such as formatting and inserting links.  The client will usually provide the content, that is, information which the website should contain, such as text or pictures.  All of this should be detailed in the specification, which should provide a more definite description of the developer’s contractual obligations.  The specification might include some of the following features:

  • Browser compatibility – will the website be displayed correctly in different browsers?

  • Hosting and bandwidth – where will the website be hosted, and who by?

  • Search engines – what terms will be reserved to increase the website’s listing in search results?

  • Security – how will customers’ personal data be protected and will data encryption be of a sufficient standard?

  • Maintenance – how will improvements, modifications and other developments be implemented to keep abreast of technological change, and who has responsibility for these?

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For more information on:

  • Terms in a website development contract
  • ‘Feature-creep’
  • Website maintenance
  • Domain name