Apr 05 2014
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Web Development Contract Template

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As a web designer or developer, it's important for you to have a contract that protects you from fraud and liability. This is the case for sole proprietors as well as corporations. Liability protection, even for corporations, has many loopholes. For this reason we are providing a web development contract template sample for those interested. Feel free to use this on your own projects, but keep in mind that we are not guaranteeing its use or protection from liabilities in any way, and will not be held responsible for any damages that incur as a result of use or misuse of this information. Remember, as with any legal matter, always consult an attorney. And this is only a template - you need to adjust it to fit your specific needs and situation.


A Contract For Both Web Design Companies and Their Clients

This web development contract can be used by either the web design company, or the client purchasing a website from a web design company. It is tailored to meet and protect the needs of both parties, and includes a clause that specifies who retains ownership in the website (this defaults to the client purchasing the website from the web design company, which is typical in the industry, but can be changed to meet your needs).

Web Site Development Contract Template

Here are a list of the sections that are found in a typical web site development contract. We have added examples where necessary.

Business Information

  • Business Name
  • Client Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Website

Above-named client [Client Name] (referred to hereinafter as "Client") has engaged [Your Name] for the specific purpose of performing web development tasks on a site called [Website Name] (referred to hereinafter as "Client’s Site"), including all subdirectories and pages.

Services Rendered

[Your Name] agrees to perform web development services (referred to hereinafter as "Services") agreed upon with Client which may include but are not limited to:

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  • Web Page Design, Layout, and Production
  • Coding in HMTL, XHTML, XML, XSL, CSS, PHP, JavaScript
  • Graphic Design
  • Search Engine Optimization


Client and [Your Name] agree that Services described in this contract shall be completed for [Your Hourly Rate] per hour, payable to "[Your Name]." Client agrees to pay [Your Name] for Services described in estimate submitted to Client once estimate has been agreed upon in writing (email is considered writing) by Client.


[Your Name] will submit Services based on turnaround times stated in estimates submitted to Client. Client to provide [Your Name] with all data needed to complete Services, including but not limited to text, code, graphics, and photos.

Web Development Standards

All services described herein are to be performed by [Your Name] in accordance with the most commonly accepted standards and practices of the Web Services Industry. [Your Name] will use the most universally accepted website design technologies to satisfy the broadest market possible - meaning web pages affected by Services rendered will look and act the same on over 95% of all web browsers in use at any given time.

Additional Services

The terms and conditions set forth in this document constitute the sole agreement between [Your Name] and the Client regarding Client’s Site. Any additional work not specified in this contract must be authorized by both original parties in writing. Any additional Services needed beyond what is specified in estimates submitted to Client will be charged at a rate of [Your Hourly Rate] per hour.

Warranties and Liability

[Your Name] does not warrant the functions of Client’s Site will meet Client's expectations of traffic or resulting business. In no event will [Your Name] be liable to Client or any third party for any damages, including any lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate Client’s Site or any of its web pages, even if [Your Name] has been advised of the possibility of such damages.


If Agreement is canceled before work is finished, Client forfeits any payments made and may be held liable for breach of contract.

Trademarks and Copyrights

Client represents to [Your Name] and unconditionally guarantees that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork furnished to [Your Name] for inclusion in web pages are owned by the Client, or Client has permission from the rightful owner to use each of these elements, and will hold harmless, protect, and defend [Your Name] from any claim or suit arising from the use of such elements furnished by the Client. [Your Name] initially owns copyright to the assembled work of Services produced by [Your Name]. Upon payment for Services rendered, all rights owned by [Your Name] as to Services rendered for Client’s Site transfer to the Client.

Web Developer Credits

For a period of at least 1 year beginning on date of written consent to allow Web Developer Credits, and as long as [Your Name] is performing Services for Client, Client agrees to allow [Your Name] to claim credit for Services rendered by posting a link, visible to search engines, to [Your Website URL] on Client’s Site and in author meta tags of Client’s Site.


Any disputes arising from this contract will be litigated or arbitrated in [Your County], [Your State]. This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of [Your State]. The undersigned hereby agree to the terms, conditions and stipulations of this agreement on behalf of his or her organization. This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding of the parties. Any changes or modifications thereto must be in writing and signed by both parties.

Signing the Contract

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date indicated below:

As a final step you and your client both sign and date the contract. Voila :)

Revision Schedule

Finally, you'll want to specify some sort of revision-based schedule. What does this mean? A revision schedule is used to prevent your client from using up all your hours and diluting your hourly value. In other words, you might say that they have 3 revisions they can submit on specific dates. After those 3 revisions are in, you don't work more unless they compensate you more. Be sure to include the revision number in all correspondence with the client and specify that they submit their revision one time on the revision date, and not a number of times leading up to the revision date.

Run it by an attorney

Remember that once you've fully written your contract it's always a good idea to have an attorney look at it, as legal specifics may vary by city, county, and state. We take no responsibility nor will we be held liable for your use or misuse of this information. If you would like an official, attorney-approved contract, please check out our offer below.

Either way, having an attorney examine an existing contract (for example, if you use this contract as your template), should be less expensive than having them draft one for you for scratch).

Tips for finding a good lawyer

Typically, large law firms will charge an extraordinary amount for a web design contract (and they'll probably just pass it to their paralegal to complete, or to print out a copy they already had on hand from a past client). If you can find a smaller local law firm, or even better, a recent law school graduate, your contract may get a lot more attention for a lot less money.

Non-Disclosure Agreement

The final part of your web development agreement package is an NDA, or Non-Disclosure Agreement. While not always necessary, it can be a good idea to provide this form to your client so they'll feel confident that you're not going to run away with their secrets. You can also use it to protect your own proprietary knowledge that you may put to use while working for your client. An NDA is used to keep any secret or proprietary knowledge under lock and key while you and your client work on your project. It prevents either one of you from benefiting from the project in a way that may competitively harm the other party down the road. For a limited time, we're including an NDA template in our web development contract template package at no additional charge.

Web Development Contract Sample

Web development contract sampleOur web development contract sample is being updated and will return shortly! To be notified of its return, please sign up to our email newsletter in the right sidebar. Once it's back, you'll be able to view the first full page of a sample web design contract. The full contract contains four pages.


Web Design Contract

Our full Web Design Contract is being updated for your benefit and will return shortly. Please sign up for our mailing list in the right sidebar to be notified when it's available.

Since we've gotten many questions regarding the difference between a "web design contract" and a "web development contract," we'd like to put your mind at ease. This contract is interchange-able for just about any Web or Internet related profession. In fact, it can be used for any business - but is tailored towards Internet businesses, in particular, web design or development. You'll find, as you can see in the sample contract page above, that the template is easy to adjust to your needs. It includes the base legal language that any contract should have, and then gives you the flexibility to add in specifics related to your particular line of business.

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Alex Schenker on WeRockYourWeb.comAlex is our SEO and web guru. He loves tennis, hiking, and surfing. For more, read Alex's bio.



Using a Contract for Web Development Workers is a Smart Idea

Anyone who does business online these days knows the importance of making sure everything is done properly. This includes when businesses hire outside companies to help them do thing like build a web presence or expand their online site. There is no substitute for having good legal protection.

One of the ways to make that nothing is overlooked is by having contracts for outside workers. After all, these people are going to be let inside your business, at least figuratively. The may be exposed to your business model and how you spank your competition on a daily basis. Having non compete and non disclosure agreements can keep you and your business (and its secrets) legally protected.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to find some good forms and then simply use them as templates. Of course, you want to look for those that have been written o reviewed by a competent attorney. Additionally, make sure that it is legal and ready for use in your state or wherever your business is incorporated. One more thing, make sure to actually use them!

contracts should protect both parties

Of course, a good contract should also protect the buyer. For example, if the buyer is unhappy with the final results, or there is a problem in the future, the designer should be required to fix the problems. Like any other contract, it should be written with the best interests of both parties in mind. Not only does this protect you, but it makes the customer feel safe as well.

Great Web Development Contract Template

I can easily use this contract template for any project.  I'm glad that you put it in article form with subtitles instead of just slapping a blank form up there for us to print out or fill out in PDF.  I think that it is important to have explanations for what we are doing, especially if we are self taught web professionals as opposed to professionally trained individuals.  If we had gone to school for web development, they would have taught us how to draw up our contracts and handle a work order, but without that, sometimes we need a little help.

I think it is also crucial that you insure that you include the step to let an attorney see your document before you actually have the client sign it.  One thing that I've learned in life is that though professionals are human and can make mistakes, there are some professionals that are really good at their jobs.  So when you find a doctor or lawyer like this, stick with him because a good one is worth way more than you're paying him and will spot holes in your contracts from a mile away.

contracts for virtual content

There is no way I would hand my money over to someone for services like web building or virtual content without a contract. I can't imagine that anyone with any common sense would. If you are going to do something like that, you may as well go to Las Vegas and take your chances there.

Contracts are not just for security purposes either. A contract can help you clear up any misunderstandings about what is expected from either party. You might each have different thoughts in mind, but when you fill out the contract, you are putting it all out there so there is no confusion at all. It's pretty hard to argue about a misconception when it is all right there in black and white right in front of you.

Also, an NDA can protect you after the fact. What if you have some great ideas and you shared them in an effort to reveal a particular feel or concept? Then, when the job is done the person you hired goes and shares your ideas with someone else who ends up profiting from them. What can you do without an NDA to back you up?

A Great Resource to Use When Hiring a Web Developer

Anyone who has ever considered developing a web presence knows that this can be easier said then done. This is especially true when you do not really have the technical knowledge or experience required to do the work yourself. In this case, it is probably a wise idea to hire someone who does have the proper skill set and pertinent experience.

Still, you want to make sure that your wed developer is good, can do what they say they can and that you are protected from any damages done in the end. A great resource to consider for all of this is using a web development contract. This article includes an attorney approved downloadable template which may be used as a contract between your company and the hired web developer. Every major area of concern seems to be addressed adequately.

The article also points out that you may want to consider adding a non disclosure agreement. This way, none of the details about your site, company, business model, etc... may be legally revealed or used in any way by the web developer.

Websites and Contracts

The simple truth is that no website builder can compare to a great web designer. When you hire a website designer, you get a completely customized website. However, it does come at a cost and, if you're not careful, you could get ripped off. One of the biggest problems many face is having a great website designed, but not being able to contact the designer after the job is done. This is why I was so happy to find this article. Not only is this an excellent price, but it covers all the important aspects of a web development contract.

Not only are these things that many website owners don't think about, but it can also be hard to find attorneys that understand all these aspects. Even though the world has become extremely digital, it's hard to find an attorney that can handle this type of contract. I would recommend this to all my friends looking for a website developer. Thank you for not only making this available, but explaining all the important parts of the contract and why they're necessary. These are items that should not be overlooked when creating a website that will around for years to come.

Contracts Should Be A Priority

I don't care what kind of a business you are in, having a contract is a vital part of potential success or failure. Even when I ran a daycare, all of my clients signed a rather lengthy contract that protected us both. Yet, for some reason, people who work on the Internet seem to overlook the importance of a web contract. As a result, things can happen that can cause business owners to lose their business or start seeing duplicates of it all over the Internet.

And then there are those who are intimidated by contracts. They think that if they have to sign their name to something, it must be something they have to worry about. In most cases, the contract covers all parties involved. It also outlines clear expectations to that if those expectations are not met, you have a leg to stand on when you point that fact out. They may also be the only thing you have to stand on if the issue ever goes to court.

I think a package deal like this is a great idea. It helps you save time trying to write up the entire thing. Instead you can just tweak it to fit the needs of your business. And, since you are buying a template, it can fit the needs of more than one business model.

The problem with free web contract templates

I agree that a web design contract is the most important legal document for a web startup. The problem is, most web contracts I've come across are pretty haphazardly put together. You need to look and make sure that the legalese matches your local state and county laws, and make sure you have a clause that specifies where litigation will take place (ie. your state), so you don't have travel expenses and inconveniences should a case end up in court.

Excellent contract template

Of all the web contract's I've come across, this is one of the most solid and flexible. I was able to make some minor tweaks to the contract to have it suit my business, and I feel comfortable enough with the language (after having had a lawyer proof it) that it will stand up and support my biggest client relationships.

Have both parties sign contract

Good idea to have something to sign on the part of both parties. I remember I needed someone to do a site for my builders merchants business and I signed up with a company but I didn't sign any kind of contract or agreement and eventually I got ripped off, so now I'm looking for a company that offers a proper contract like this one.


What about a non-compete clause? And how does a "non compete" differ from an NDA (non-disclosure)? Finally, being a web developer, I would need to ask myself how far my non-compete can stretch. In other words - I'm sure that there are certain "open source" or "publicly available" elements that won't fall under any non-compete category (or a client would have to be an idiot to sign the contract).

I already have a fairly bulletproof web development contract I've put together over the years, and tweaked here and there. It includes most of the clauses you mention in your template on this page. The only thing I'm missing is a solid "non-compete" that will prevent my client from learning too much about how all the pieces of my business fit together. If they were to piece it all together, I don't doubt they would be tempted to open up their own shop, which would prove detrimental to my business.

Any advice is much appreciated!

New Zealand

Hi there, do these documents contain any references to specific US legislation? I'm setting up my business in New Zealand and don't want to have holes show up in my contracts because I'm using documents based on foreign law.

And aside from the NDA, do the documents make any provision for protection of proprietary in-house systems (such as a custom built CMS) that are used as a foundation of the project? In my view (though I'm not an IP lawyer), the work that I provide for the client is only the work that is actually produced as part of their requirements - customisations, designs and templates etc. But the proprietary software on which it's built is not created specially for them. Might be something I have to discuss with a solicitor, I guess...

Web Contract for Other Countries and IP Law

Hi there,

Great questions. The contract was drafted by a U.S.-based attorney. Since the U.S. contains some of the strictest interpretation of intellectual property law, many of the clauses will probably apply abroad. But since we're not lawyers ourselves we can't guarantee anything, so you'll probably want to have it proofed by a local attorney.

As for protecting your proprietary in-house systems, you'll be able to specify exactly what you're doing in schedules A and B, which are used to delineate your project requirements and deliveries in detail. As long as you describe in detail what you're delivering to the client, there shouldn't be any surprises on either end. If there is, the intent of the contract is to protect you from the client asking for any work that goes above and beyond what you've stated in your schedules. These can be revised as the project matures, new milestones are reached, etc. - without you and your client having to sign a new contract every time a new phase of the project is initiated.

Website Development Contract Add-Ons

Very nice, I love the fact that you're including all the other templates for the same price. My lawyer was going to charge me $450 for the NDA contract alone. Go CWD!

For those thinking about buying - this contract is solid, but flexible enough for you to adapt it to your own needs. There are placeholders you can use to fill in information specific to your company.

CMS systems

Does this contract specifically discuss the development of websites using a CMS system, such as Joomla or WordPress, or other PHP-programmed site, as opposed to the use of strictly HTML/CSS coding? If no, is there any source for such specificity other than my local lawyer that you can recommend?

Web Development Contract for CMS

Great question. The contract is provided in a format that references a "Schedule A" (which you can use as your invoice) where you specify precisely the work you are going to do. In your case, you would outline the details of the website - CMS, Joomla or Drupal, etc.

How old is this contract?

It appears this contract is from 2006. Much has changed in law and procedure in four years. What is the date of the latest review and revision?
Thank you.

Contract is kept up to date

Good question. The 2006 date stems from the initial publication of this article. The contract and templates are kept up to date on a regular basis. The latest revision occurred in 2010. 

Web Design Contract

I agree with the last poster - this fits perfectly well to my web design business. I suppose web design and development are related anyways, but will surely help your sales if you point this out.

This is by far the best deal I've found on the Internet for an attorney-approved contract, especially considering all the extra templates that are thrown into the package.

I was able to download my file within seconds after payment. Great service!


Thank you so much for throwing in the estimate, invoice, NDA, etc. templates with the web development contract. I recently opened a web design shop, and these contracts were the missing elements. A local attorney wanted $1200 to draft them all up - insane! And your explanations on this page help me adjust the individual clauses to suit my needs.

Only thing you might want to do is market this as a web design contract as well - first I wasn't sure if it was just for development? Turns out it's general enough to fit just about any online business situation, but is especially well suited to web designers and developers.

Great template

Would like to reuse this as mine too.

Hi webmaster, commenters and

Hi webmaster, commenters and everybody else !!! The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!

Keep 'em coming... you all do such a great job at such Concepts... can't tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in our community.

Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvelous job!

Employment contract?

Thanks for considering this, I am planning to make an employment contract and I need your advice on this. Do you think this contract template would help me? I need to know this before buying the template.

Employment contract template

Hi Donna,

I'm assuming you mean to have your employees sign the contract? Are they freelancers or full-time employees? If they are freelancers, you'll probably want to use our freelance contract. We should have a template for that shortly.

Does this work for Canada?

Hi, I'm thinking of buying your template but I was wondering if I can use it in Canada.
Thank You

Web Contract Template for Canada

Hi Marcio,

Good question. I'm not an attorney so I can't speak to the specifics of Canadian law. However, knowing that the U.S. legal system is one of the most stringent in the world, I imagine that this contract will do the trick in Canada as well.

Does web template work for California?

I probably should have asked this before purchasing...just wondering if anyone knows what adaptations, if any, would be required for the Golden State?


Universal web template

The web contract template is universal, and can be adapted to your state. We mark the sections you need to update for your state, and describe the updates in detail in the included definitions file.

Are updates covered?

I have a question before I purchase this template - say an update or revision is made to the web development contract template down the road. Will I be notified of this update, and will I have to pay for it or is it provided free of charge?

Thanks for the template tips on this page - they've already proven useful and I'm considering purchasing the attorney approved template.

Template updates are covered

Good question - yes, updates to the web development contract are covered, for up to one year.

Web development contract = good deal

For anyone out there trying to decide whether to purchase this contract template - unless you can get one for free somewhere this can't be beat. I scoured the net for hours and was unable to find such a detailed and bulletproof contract for such a reasonable price. My local attorneys wanted $800 to draft one up, when really all they do is copy a template they've already used a million times. No thanks!


Thanks for the template. This helped me get started on establishing a web development contract.

So what if you sell the page to a re-seller?

I have this problem right now, I recently got a call from a friend who owns a company that claims to sell several computer related services, he needed me to create a page for him (obviously a client of his). Where should the link to my site be? in his site (the re-seller) or in the clients' page(the page i created)?

Reseller link or client link?

That's a good question. It could be in both places, depending on whom you provided the service(s) for. You'll need to contact your friend and discuss this.


What about a non-disclosure clause? Do you have a separate NDA for this?

Often a client will provide

Often a client will provide you with an NDA to sign. This is a document that covers their butt - in other words, prevents you from stealing their trade secrets. The contract discussed on this page is designed to cover your butt.

For a limited time, we're including an NDA template for you to use. This can be beneficial to both parties, enabling you to work with the confidence that neither party will run away or profit from the other's secrets outside of the confines of the project you're contracted to work on.

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