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Our 'written' contract

Between us: Parlour Design
and you {your name}

Summary:

We will always do our best to fulfil your needs and meet your goals, but sometimes it's best to have a few things written down so that we both know what's what, who should do what and what happens if stuff goes wrong. In this contract you won't find complicated legal terms or long passages of unreadable text. We have no desire to trick you into signing something that you might later regret. We do want what's best for the safety of both parties, now and in the future.

In short

You ([customer name]) are hiring us, Parlour Design, with our registered office at 16 Mays Lane, Reading, RG6 1JX, website www.parlourdesign.co.uk, to design and develop a web site for the estimated total price as outlined in our previous correspondence and quote for services. Of course it's a little more complicated, but we'll 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 organisation. You agree to provide us with everything that we'll need to complete the project, including text, images and other information as and when we need it and in the format we ask for. You agree to review our work, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work two ways and you'll 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 confirm from us and we will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way we will endeavour to meet all the deadlines set but we can't 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'll also maintain the confidentiality of any information that you give us.

The finer details

Design

We'll 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 you're 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/hourly rate set out in our original estimate.

HTML and CSS layout templates

If the project includes HTML markup and CSS templates, we'll develop these where reasonably possible, using HTML for content, and CSS for styling.

The landscape of web browsers and devices changes regularly and our approach is to look forward, not back. With that in mind we will test all our markup and CSS in current versions of all major desktop browsers to ensure that we make the most from them. Users of older or less capable browsers or devices will experience a design that is appropriate to the capabilities of their software. For people using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, this often means a universal, typographically focused design but no or little layout. We will also aim to develop these templates to work well on other screen media, such as Apple's iPad.

We will not test old or abandoned browsers, for example Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or 5.5 for Windows or Mac, previous versions of Apple's Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera, unless otherwise specified. If you need us to consider these older browsers, we will charge you at our normal hourly rate for any necessary additional design work, development and testing.

Text content

We may have written a lot of content and copy for our various customers, but we're not responsible for writing or inputting any text copy unless we specified it in the original estimate. We'll be happy to help though (or recommend you get a professional copywriter in to help directly). Therefore, in addition to the estimate we will charge you at our standard price per hour for copy writing, or content input if you've not supplied it in an easily accessible (digital copy and paste) format.

Photographs

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 our standard rate 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 don't want to limit either your options or your opportunities to change your mind.

The estimate/quotation prices we provide, are based on the number of days/hours that we estimate we'll 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 won't be a problem. You will be charged the hourly 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.

Technical support

You may already have professional web site hosting, you might even manage that hosting in-house; if that's the case, great, and please let us know what it is, so we can see about working with it.

If you don't manage your own web site hosting, or if you're using a third party that we can't get the access we need, we can set up an account for you on one of our shared servers, or on a dedicated server if that's more appropriate.

We will charge you a one-off fee for installing your site on this server, plus a fee for any statistics software such as Google Analytics, and/or for installing a Content Management System.

After that time, the updates to, renewals on, and management of that server, plus any support issues will be up to you (but we'll try and help where we can, if you authorise us to do so)

We are predominantly not a web site hosting company (so we work closely with a well respected reseller of hosting, Heart Internet), and although we'll do our best to help you with the experience we do have, we can not always offer or include immediate technical support for web site hosting, email or other services relating to web site hosting.

If required, we will do our best to find a solution though, and charge this at our standard rate where applicable.

Are normal web hosts are pretty good though (which is why we use them), and all our websites stay 'live' on the web for a massive majority of the time, but there are occasions when websites are taken offline temporarily. If this happens, and it doesn't come back online again in a few minutes by itself, we'll need to find out why.

Unfortunately we're not able to offer 24/7 support, but do try to deal with the situation as quickly as we're able.

You can help reduce the chances of your website being taken offline, by not using it for things you should be (like a file sharing website, pornography, offering large files for download, being involved in spam or phishing emails, etc.). Similarly, if you're expecting particularly high numbers of visitors on a particular day (because of a radio interview, national event, etc.) please let us know in advance, so we can try and pre-warn our hosts too.

Legal stuff

We can't guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed web site will always be error-free and so we can't 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.

Copyrights

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 selves, or that you have written permission to use them, in the manner provided.

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 we used to make them. (If we're organising the hosting for you, on our shared servers, you can also make a zip file copy of your site at any time through your website management area)
  • You also own text content, photographs and other data you provided, unless someone else owns them (and you thus have written permission to use them). We own the 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 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 sometimes also add a small text link on each of your web pages, to our main website. If this isn't appropriate please do let us know as soon as you can.

Payments

We are sure you understand how important it is as a small business that you pay the invoices that we send you promptly. As we're also sure you'll want to stay friends, you agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.

Payments must be cleared in our account within 14 days of the invoice issue date. We normally ask for a part payment up-front before the project begins, and then subsequent payments at key stages during the larger projects, with the final balance on 'completion' (ie the website going live on the internet, within the agreed time scales and revisions). If you agree chargeable additions to your website, the original final balance must be paid first, before additional work is carried out.

As a signatory to the Better Payment Practice Campaign, we understand and will exercise our statutory right to interest and compensation for debt recovery costs under the late payment legislation, if the full fee is not paid according to agreed credit terms. These are under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 & the amended Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002.

The other small print

Just like a parking ticket, you can't 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.

This contract is updated from time to time, to help improve it's clarity and effectiveness, so it's a good idea for you to print out a copy now (at the time of entering into this agreement), so you can keep a copy for your records.

For an updated copy (ie for work agreed to in addition to your original quote), please refer back to this page for the most recent version, and make a subsequent copy too

Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under exclusive jurisdiction of [English] courts.

Unfortunately, we have already been required to take some clients to court over not paying within the agreed time scales, and so far, we've won every case (so it'll cost you more too, as there's additional costs incurred in going to court).

Please do pay promptly, so we don't have to go this far. We don't like doing it, plus it makes everyone feel less happy about things.

The dotted line

By entering into a written agreement with Parlour Design (ie confirming in writing, or by email for us to carry out work for you), you are effectively signing agreement to this contract as stated above, under English law. Our 'Terms' page also forms part of this agreement.

 

Provided on behalf of Parlour Ltd, trading as Parlour Design.

Signed by and on behalf of [customer name] __________________

Date ___________________