Your contract with your web designer will govern the whole website design project. It will guide your working relationship and set the scope and limitations of what the client should expect and what the designer should do. While many designer-client relationships prosper and everyone gets what they want from the project, there are several projects that encounter problems because of misunderstandings in the terms of the contract.
To prevent this from happening, you need to check your contract—the nitty-gritty of it; even the things you think will not matter in the long run. Remember that your website design can make or break your business so you should be extra careful with trusting people about the ideas you have to market your products and services.
The milestones and deadlines
Every project has a set milestone to reach. While the deadline for the final output is usually set in stone, the milestones are a different matter. An example of a milestone for a web design is the completion of the homepage and the importing of all images to be uploaded to the website. You may also count as another milestone the choosing of the fonts, the logos, and the color to use for the general parts of the website.
The payment method
Some designers require that they will be paid when a milestone is hit. This prevents the client from trying to bargain or strike another deal with them once the site is complete. Many designers go unpaid because the clients refuse to release the payment for some perceived “dissatisfaction” from the website’s design (even if they still decide to use the site). It should also be clear to the client when these payments are expected and if any missed deadlines will automatically mean a discount.
The limitations of the designer’s job
What are the limitations of the designer’s job? Will he be the one tasked to hire or outsource content for your website? Some designers also provide content for the website for an added fee. They may also stay on with the business to manage the website and maintain it regularly. But if these “duties” are not part of your contract then the designer is not obligated to provide these services for your website. There are some designers who charge per webpage. This means you have to pay for every page added to the site.
As with every contract and agreement you enter into for your business, it is best to be surrounded by people whose opinions you trust. When reviewing a contract, you may want to let your lawyers look into it, too.