Attention: This is the right contract for web design jobs

If web designers and customers agree, everything goes well and the work is delivered on time and perfectly, everything is in bad shape. But as soon as problems arise, it is over with the healing world. To avoid that, it needs a contract. But which? Work contract, employment contract? And what about the copyright agreement?

The differences are serious. That’s why it’s important to make the right choice first. Onwork contractinvolves the obligation to deliver a specific work product – a website, a “work”. Onservice Agreementis knit quite differently. It involves the obligation to do a certain job, to do a “service”. This results in a significant difference.

Payment is made when the service has been provided, regardless of whether thecustomerNow that is satisfied, a problem has been resolved or not. Even if, for whatever reason, the website is not completed or can not go online, the contract is a contract and is paid when the service is provided. Typical of this is oneBilling by the hour, If the agreed hours have been paid, the contract is fulfilled, regardless of the result. If, for example, the service can not be provided because the client was unable to procure the necessary documents or if preparatory work required for the project has not been performed, there is no entitlement to a kind of “wage continuation”.

This information must include a service contract:

  • Exact description of the service
  • Number of hours to be worked
  • Distribution of working hours per week, per day etc.
  • Appointment at which the service must be completed
  • payment arrangements
  • Reimbursement of any expenses
  • Notice periods of the contract

A service contract will always occur when a web designer only takes on part of a larger project, as it werespecialistbut has nothing to do with the direction of the overall project.


Conflicts can not be avoided, but they can be regulated. (Source: Depositphotos)

This also applies toconsulting services, For example, if you bring a website up to par for accessibility or do a search engine optimization. Here, the workload can not be exactly determined before. Unless by a previous analysis, and that would be a service again.

Onwork contractis only then fulfilled if the work was delivered completely, on time and in accordance with the contract, no matter how big the effort was. Even if the customer should have changed his mind to date, is not satisfied with the concept and wants to give up publishing: contract is contract and binds. He has to pay anyway, because the “work” has been completed.

A contract for work holds a certain amountriskfor the web designer. A final acceptance of the finished website is part of it. This is opportunity for the client to detect all sorts of shortcomings – if only to push the price. Should the website but actuallydefectsmust be improved. If order forms do not work, common browsers just show a confused mess, javascript error messages produced, links do not work or images were simply forgotten. If this happens, the final acceptance is denied and the web designer is allowed to get back to work and make improvements.

But attention: The customer can for onedeadlinewhich must be adhered to. If you do not do that, your rights expand. At worst, he can withdraw from the entire contract and even demand damages.

This information must include a work contract:

  • An exact description of the website to be designed. Here are also details to specify. About the number of pages, pictures, forms. This goes up to the “specification sheet”, which lists all the details exactly.
  • Services of the client. For example, obtaining photos, product data, texts.
  • Date of completion and final acceptance.
  • Date for a possible interim acceptance.
  • Payment arrangements. With larger orders, advance payments make sense, which are negotiated beforehand and which are of course regulated in the contract.

TheCopyright Treatyregulates what the customer is allowed to do with his website. Without such a regulation that is not much. He is allowed to publish the website and that’s it. He is not even allowed to change them afterwards.

The copyright contract is needed here:

  • The customer wants to press his website on CD-ROM and distribute it to his own customers.
  • The customer wants to copy the website for its stores, adapt and also put on the net.
  • The customer wishes to use parts of the website, design elements or texts for a printed brochure.
  • The customer wants to sell the website to a third party.
  • Translation and publication of the website in other countries.

All that regulates theCopyright Treaty, If the worst comes to the worst you can secure extra income as a web designer. If such a contract is not concluded or these questions are not regulated in the context of the work contract, there is no tacit agreement, according to the motto: “You have said nothing to me”. Without contractual regulation there is no extended right of use. Of course, it makes sense to regulate copyright issues within the service or work contract with the same.

Other important tips include our freelancer protection program against unwilling customers 😉

(Post picture: Depositphotos)

(The post first appeared in 2003 and has been kept up to date since. The last update was in May 2019.)