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Protect Your Business With a Website Development Agreement

Stack of Legal Books on a Lawyer's DeskAs 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 discuss and provide web development contract resources 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 treat these as a template – they should be tweaked 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. If you’d like to jump straight down and get access to the actual contract, click here.

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:

  • 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. We also have conducted a comprehensive review and comparison of the major online legal services you may be interested in.

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. A mutual NDA (benefiting both sides) 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. We recommend this mutual NDA by LegalZoom, which our readers can get for $14.95 for a limited time.

Web Development Contract Sample

Given the rapid passing of time on the Internet, these contracts need to be regularly updated. This is why we now defer to the legal experts at LegalZoom, who have put together an up-to-date, reliable Website Development Agreement that we don’t hesitate to recommend. Our readers can get it for $19.95 for a limited time by clicking here.

Preparing a Web Design Contract (Video)

Kosta from Head HR has put together this video tutorial which essentially opens up an MS Word template, goes through the steps, and then explains how to process the document using DocuSign.

Got Any Web Design Contract Questions?

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.

Are you having your web design or development clients sign a contract? If so, where did you obtain your contract and how confident are you in it to protect you in case of a legal dispute?

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About Alex Schenker
Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.
  • Gary Michael

    I see some references to an actual template in the comments below, but I don’t see any downloadable document or PDF. Is this available?

    • Kimberly Kurimski

      Unfortunately, we chose to remove the download. Since we are not lawyers we did not want to assume liability. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

      • Gary Michael

        Can I send you a private message with a hold-harmless, and you can send by email?

        • Alex Schenker

          Hi Gary, we’re flattered by your request! Unfortunately the document is now ancient in Internet time and would have to be revisited by an attorney given updates to laws and regulations over the years. We invite you to checkout this LegalZoom Web Development Agreement which features a contract for $20.

  • guest

    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.

  • guest

    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?

  • guest

    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.

  • Guest

    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.

  • Guest

    Although hiring an attorney is quite helpful for setting up an iron-clad legal web design contract, this prospect is potentially very expensive. It seemed that this article, despite the solid legal advice, was in fact an advertisement for a legal firm’s services. Nonetheless, the attorney-approved web design template is a handy and less expensive way to create a solid contract. My company received legal advice on our contract, which was expensive, as well as having to take the time to draw up the papers ourselves from scratch. The template design should save time, money, and hassle, and is likely to be a worthy investment if you hire contractors frequently or work as a contractor yourself.

    The information provided in the article is great, and even without the template itself is a solid resource for anyone who is developing a web design contract. Using these elements, you should be able to come up with a document that will protect you and your company, as well as hold up in court should the unfortunate event of a dispute arise. For that reason, the author certainly does maintain credibility. Perhaps he or she should simply have hired a professional web content writer on contract.

    One stylistic note about this article: I was surprised and I must say slightly appalled that the word “butt” was repeatedly used. I think there are much more elegant and professional ways of conveying information that need not include such slangy terms. I expect legal advice in a more formal manner, and the repeated use of slang words and phrases, especially those involving the word “butt”, really lowered the credibility of the writer in my eyes.

  • Guest

    I should add that my tale is a cautionary one to you and anyone that the advice in this article is for real. Before getting involved in a web design contract on either side, make sure that these elements are completely explicit. Also be sure to get the contract signed by both parties and sealed by a notary public. Then stick to the contract unless a formal change is made that both parties have signed and agreed to. Some problems, at least, can be minimized by not trying to make changes after the fact. While this way of doing things requires more careful and knowledgeable planning in advance, it can be incredibly helpful to you if your contractor breaks the contract by not following the schedule or suggestions, as in my company’s case.

    The elements that are suggested to include in your contract include many that center around the creation of a schedule. I cannot possibly tell you how important this advice really is. Contractors are notorious for being behind schedule, in part because of competition when bidding for jobs. To win a contract, hired contractors will almost always under-bid on the time and resources that it will take in order to complete a job. Getting behind may not always be a malicious event based on under-bidding, especially when the contractor is aiming to keep things on schedule and budget but perhaps truly cannot for reasons beyond the contractor’s control. However, having the schedule to stick to and attempting to hold to it as much as possible definitely keeps the pressure on both sides to continue giving each other maximum support in order to accomplish the goals.

  • Guest

    Having hired web design contractors, as well as been hired as a web designer on contract myself, I have had experience with web design contracts gone awry. Because of my experiences, I can attest to the necessity of having all of these elements in your contract prior to paying someone to work for you, in addition to having a firm contract when you sign up to work for someone else’s company.

    A legally binding contract is quite important in the contractor negotiations, to ensure that you and your company are getting high quality work from your contractor in a timely fashion. Too often, a contract is too nebulous and is changed by either party orally or by another means not officially in the contract, leading to confusion as to when things are due and what materials are necessary to accomplish a specific job.

    This is one of the lessons that we have had to learn the hard way in my own company. We hired a web design contractor with a schedule of payments and a few decisions as to when the work we needed done would need to be turned in by. We then kept asking to make changes and did not hear from the contractor for over two months. By the deadline of the contract, when the final product was due that we were supposed to turn in, we had changed the business model and told the contractor that we should re-negotiate a new contract so that he could receive the other half of the money. He turned in to us what he had accomplished so far, and we sent him a list of changes we needed to make to the web design. It has been about five months now since the contract expired, and we have not heard from him since we sent him a list of final changes we wanted for our design.

    The case with my company and this web design contractor appears headed for court, and it is a hard lesson to learn about creating a firm contract that is legally binding, and holding your contractor to it unless both parties agree to modify it. Another thing that this contract seemed to lack is the Ownership clause mentioned in the article. This is very important, in case the rights to the website are ever in contention, which could happen in this case. I believe that our contract does have something along these lines that will be admissible in a court of law, but it should have been clearer. The Confidential Information clause is another great one to have. While our company’s contract with this web designer does indicate ownership of the information, once again, it was not put into clear and explicit enough language, which could be confusing for the individual even if a court will accept it.

  • Guest

    I should point out that if you take the time to outline your services in advance, your website contract, no matter how good or bad, will never be litigated. So, I recommend you spend just as much time opening up a direct and clear channel of communication with your clients as you do spending time to nail down the perfect “bulletproof” web design agreement.

  • Guest

    A web design contract is one of the first things you’ll need to get your foot off the ground as a web designer. Take your time and setup your business right the first time. You’ll need:

    Web design contract
    Business bank account
    Business license (to operate a business from your home, for example)
    DBA if you’re a sole proprietor (short of incorporating)
    Business cards
    Website (probably obvious 😉
    Client testimonials

    In my experience banging out this list as you search for leads will help you get going in the right direction without running into to many embarrassing/ learning moments along the way.

  • Guest

    One of the main issues I’ve run into with my web design contracts is specifying different hourly rates according to project requirements. SEO work, I do, for example, is billed at a higher hourly rate than say, installing a website template. The nice thing about the templates I received is that they include “scheduling” in the contract language that allows you to adjust pricing with each invoice/ for each project.

    That’s key folks – don’t undersell yourself by maintaining a static hourly rate for all the work you do. It’s fine to have a consistent “overage” (i.e. additional work) rate, but make sure you adjust according to the type of work you’re doing.

  • Guest

    Guys, a website contract is key to your business. In fact, it’s more important than incorporating or forming an LLC or whatever. The “corporate veil” doesn’t protect single owner entities from lawsuits – that gets passed right down to the shareholder – you. The only way to protect yourself is to draft a bullet proof contract that will hold up in court. But if you have a good contract and understanding between yourself and your client you’ll probably never end up in court to begin with, which is the ultimate goal.

  • Guest

    For those that are still wondering whether or not to get a web contract, do it. It’s way more important than the “corporate veil” that a corporate or LLC filing my get you. Not only because single person corporations have the liability pass down to you (the only shareholder), but because a solid web development contract will make both parties not only more comfortable, but will help put you and your client on the same page as far as what services are being provided and when to expect them delivered.

  • Guest

    Let’s put it this way guys – if you don’t back your web business with a solid contract, you could be paddling down $hit creek in the near future. Why? Because clients do not understand your business like you do. They don’t know how hard/ easy it is to setup email, or hosting, or design a template for a CMS, etc. Therefore, you need to delineate these items exactly in your contract schedules, and specify that anything that’s not explicitly listed will be charged at your hourly rate. Give the client an advance notice time frame as well.

    For example:

    Any additional work not outlined in this contract will be billed at our hourly rate ($200/hour). Client will be notified two weeks in advance if additional work is deemed necessary.

  • Guest

    Nice, a solid contract. While I didn’t need your full contract, I was able to use some of the guidance you provide on individual clauses to polish up my own contract (which I’ve been using for years). Thanks for the help!

  • Guest

    For those web designers that are holding back from investing in a contract – don’t make the same mistake I did! Having to renegotiate your terms in fear of going to court is not fun. If for some reason you don’t decide to use a contract, make sure you specify explicitly in writing what you will and will not do for your client. Any paperwork can be used in legal proceedings if necessary. That means if you make an oral agreement over the phone, it won’t do you much good. Even if you record the conversation, it can only be admitted as court evidence if you asked the caller if you have their permission to record the conversation (that’s why you hear “this call will be monitored” when you call call centers).

    But to avoid all that headache, setup a bullet proof web design contract, specific to your business, and then specifically state in the attached invoice/ schedule A what you’re going to do for your client. Make sure you say that anything not listed on the invoice will be charged extra or hourly or what have you.

  • Guest

    Great article on website contracts. I found your samples particularly useful, but I’m thinking I may just purchase the “official” web contract so I have it all together. Unfortunately there’s so many people offering contracts it’s hard to tell which one to decide on.

  • Anonymous

    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.

    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.

  • Guest

    Nice information. I was also using some web design contract. But this contract is also very useful for me and other people.

    Regards:- Web design Orange County

  • Guest

    Is this contract only meant for web development? Or can I use it for my graphic design business as well?

    • Alex Schenker

      While the contract was originally tailored towards website design and development, you can adapt the contract template to suit any business need. The majority of clauses apply to any business, and those that are web development specific you can update to reflect your business. In most cases this can be done by simply replacing “web development” with your profession, in your case “graphic design.”

  • Guest

    I heard that you guys are including Non Disclosure, invoice, and estimate templates, among other things, for free for a limited time? Where can I find out more about exactly what’s included?

  • Guest

    Thanks for the contract clauses – they provide an excellent starting point for a contract. The full template you offer is excellent as well – I’m going to customize it a bit with the sample clauses you provided to create a bulletproof contract.

    I’m not sure why some of your samples clauses didn’t make it into the final contract? Or maybe they did, but the wording is definitely different.

    • We Rock Your Web

      The sample clauses use a more generalized wording for the sake of example, whereas the full web development contract template uses specific legal language.

  • Guest

    I recommend testing in IE versions 5+, Firefox 0.9+, Netscape 5+, Opera (a closed-source browser with dwindling market share, but good for standards compliance testing) and the latest versions of KHTML-based browsers Konqueror and Safari. Successful testing in the above environments should yield an estimated market penetration of at least 98%.

  • Guest

    These are useful tips on formulating a web contract. I found this particularly useful in the outsourcing industry, where a contract like this is vital to maintaining business integrity and keeping relationships across suppliers from various countries intact.

  • Guest

    Great article – I wish they would teach this stuff in school!

  • Alex

    Very good points, thanks! Needless to say we learned this the hard way. I’ve updated the contract with a “Revisions” clause to reflect this. This article was written a couple years ago and is in dire need of an update – hopefully we’ll find the time soon.

  • Guest

    This is just basic information and does not come close enough in providing useful information specific to web development.

    For example,
    –how many revisions should an information architect allow?
    –If you are to be paid extra for substantive changes in info architecture, how do you define “substantive”?
    –Are these changes asked for prior to design and coding?
    –What about after usability testing?
    –How many changes should be allowed then?

  • user1

    Are you referring to the $ amount in the estimate or the estimate reference (ID) #? It helps to state the estimate ID # so you both can reference the same estimate and there is no confusion. As for the dollar amount, if that changes you should simply submit a new contract. Alternatively, if you are working with a client on a retainer or for repeat business, you can simply state “estimates,” without explicitly mentioning the estimate ID #. Just make sure that you mention that any changes must be approved in writing.

  • Guest

    I have a question on the payment details section – in particular, isn’t it a problem if I quote an estimate # in the contract that changes down the road?

  • developpeur

    I read your article but I don’t know who you’re targeting, developers or customers??

    • Kimberly

      This article is aimed towards developers and designers. Thanks for reading and commenting!


  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Anonymous

    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…

    • We Rock Your Web

      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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

    • We Rock Your Web

      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.

  • Anonymous

    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?

    • We Rock Your Web

      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.

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Anonymous

    Would like to reuse this as mine too.

  • donna

    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.

    • We Rock Your Web

      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.

  • Anonymous

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

    • We Rock Your Web

      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.

  • Anonymous

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


    • alexc

      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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

    • alexc

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

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    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)?

    • alexc

      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.

  • Anonymous

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

    • Alex

      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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