I provide my services to customers in response to a written or emailed specification from a customer, which we may later agree to change or add to. I will work from my own premises but may sometimes need to visit you (the customer) or we may need to arrange remote desktop sessions to cover some elements of the work. You agree you have authority to commission any work for your organisation, and can provide everything needed to complete the project including text, images and other information, in a suitable format. You also agree to review work done, provide feedback and approval in a professional and timely manner. I’ll also carry out the work in a professional and timely manner but cannot guarantee to meet short deadlines, especially if there has been a delay in receiving your materials or approvals. I will also maintain the confidentiality of any personal information or business data that you give me.
Full payment for designs is not normally requested until completion although between us we may agree early payment contributions where there are up-front costs (e.g. templates, licenses, images or domain names) to be paid for before work can begin. I’ll send you a summary of expected costs before starting anything, and should additional costs arise (e.g. due to specification changes or unforeseen circumstances) I’ll let you know in advance and propose some alternative options if necessary. Hosting costs are normally paid annually, domain names normally every two years, Adwords campaigns monthly, and any ad-hoc work billed no less frequently than quarterly, all at the prevailing web hosting, domain management, Adwords, or general hourly rate respectively. All invoices are due on receipt and annual/biennial costs cannot be paid in instalments or on a pro-rata basis. Refunds for unused hosting periods cannot be given, except in the case of a serious failure of the hosting service. Unpaid bills may accrue interest after 30 days and non-payment may result in your web site being disabled.
Site design and maintenance
My WordPress sites are based around commonly available free or paid-for templates. These are programmed by third parties and I rely on their technical support to deal with any issues which arise. I will customise the templates for your needs as far as is possible, and I will guide you in template choice towards those from companies with a good track record of customer support. Choice of base theme must be agreed early on in the design process, as once customisation has been carried out, reworking a site to a new base theme once significant work has been done, will occur additional costs. Because of the nature of WordPress as a content management platform you accept full responsibility for changing your site template or any of its detailed code. If you break something it may be necessary to restore a backup version. If your site is not hosted with me and you have not arranged to keep your site’s core software, themes and plugins up to date then I will not be responsible for any issues which may arise as a result of operating or upgrading a poorly maintained site. If you require your site to be compliant with certain standards, browsers, or screen sizes, I will test against these, and you also agree to report any pre-release issues found.
If I am providing a training session in WordPress or general internet and social media usage for you, either in person or remotely, I will aim to cover all the points we have agreed in advance, but may not always have time to cover additional matters not previously advised. If I have created a WordPress site for you I will show you how to add text, images, and use any plug-ins that we agreed to install, such as SEO, analytics or stats packages.
When creating a web site, I will populate up to ten pages with copy and images you provide, some of which may be done as part of a training session for you to learn how to do it yourself. Additional updates to the site that you need me to do, searching for content, changing theme, or amending functionality after the site has been designed and launched, may be chargeable at the prevailing hourly rate. The content on the site is your own responsibility and I am not responsible for how well it fares in search engine results, although I will use Google’s webmaster guidance to ensure no major optimisation errors are introduced at the design stage. You agree to adhere to standard practice for UK-based hosting in terms of validity of content and acceptable use policies.
Hosting and site security
If your site is hosted on my servers, I will look after all matters relating to the web site’s security, installing and monitoring key WordPress patches, bandwidth, anti-hacker plugins, monitoring any downtime and similar. Off-site backups can be taken as an additional service. There is no service level agreement and I cannot guarantee 100% server uptime, but the server company I use is extremely reliable and all my own web sites are hosted in the same place. WordPress stores previous revisions of content, but you should assure yourself that you have access to whatever backups of web server data you might need in an emergency – particularly any emails which may be stored there. If I am providing an email service for you on my server, you need to retrieve mail via POP3 rather than IMAP, for reasons of space and security. For any network- or security-related issues you agree that I am largely in the hands of the hosting or network providers concerned, and whilst I will submit fault requests and progress-chase, I cannot actually fix any such technical issues myself.
If you have made your own hosting arrangements and are granting me access to the space, the above does not necessarily apply. You will need to check whether the web space is suitably configured and/or whether I have sufficient access rights, and make your own security and back up arrangements if necessary.
I provide my services in good faith but 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 I 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 the web site and any other web pages, even if you have advised me 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 under UK law.
You guarantee that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide for inclusion in a web site are either owned by you, or that you have permission to use them. When your final payment is received, copyright is automatically assigned as follows:
You own the graphics and other visual elements created for you for this project. You have access to the web site files on the server and you are responsible for keeping backup copies. I may also keep backup copies of your files, but you shouldn’t rely on this possibility. You also own the text content, photographs and other data you provided, unless someone else owns them (such as a site template or plugin creator). Some of the generic code or other general material on your site may be specially written by me and you are permitted to use it on this web site, but you agree that I may re-use it on sites for other customers.
You agree that I can link to your web site as a previous customer and refer other potential customers to you for references.
If you are a customer of mine and are selling or closing your business please advise me as early as possible so I can make the necessary transitional or winding-down arrangements. Don’t automatically assume that the web site can simply be transferred to a new business owner as they may have specific needs, and they also need to be made aware of these terms of operation. If you are transferring a web site to me from another provider, or require me to transfer a site away, I will do all I can to ensure a smooth transition but actions taken (or not taken) by the other parties involved may hinder this.
If you have any concerns or questions at any time, regarding any of the services I offer, please use the contact form to get in touch. I aim to respond to all emails within 24 hours, all year round.
I have been creating web sites for small businesses since 1996 and rarely has there ever been a need to sign a formal contract. However, your email confirming that you require my services for a web site or social media project assumes you have read this terms document, which is also linked to from every invoice and my email footer, and that we will proceed in accordance with its stipulations.
© Martin Kay 2014