How Every Web Designer Can Protect Their Business By Using Service Delivery Agreements

How Every Web Designer Can Protect Their Business By Using Service Delivery Agreements

Although it does not happen very often to web designers, there can be occasions when a client, for whatever reason, claims that the website a web designer has delivered was not what was agreed upon. The claims can range from the website not having the appearance they asked for, fewer pages than agreed, or lacking functionality that they thought it would have.

Now, we should not be so naive to think that there are not a few rogues who sadly give the vast majority of professional web designates a bad name by selling clients short and quite rightly those clients have every right to be aggrieved. However, if we focus on web designers who genuinely strive to deliver great service and great websites,  we have to consider the scenarios where clients dispute what was agreed upon.

One of the key problems that cause such situations is that the agreement to design and create a website was done verbally, or if it were done in writing, it has the scantest of details as to what should be included. This serves neither the web designer nor the client and is why, when a dispute does happen, neither has anything to back up their side of the argument.

This can escalate and the dangers for the web designer are that they are not likely to receive final or full payment from the client, and worse, the client could set about rubbishing that web designer’s reputation by going on a crusade of posting negative reviews about them on the internet.

So, if any web designers are reading that and hoping there are ways to avoid such a situation, the good news is there are. Prime amongst them is using service delivery agreements, which are ideal for businesses that provide services such as web designers.

What Is A Service Delivery Agreement For Web Designers

A service delivery agreement is a document that is legally binding and details the terms and conditions that exist between a web designer and their client. It outlines the services that are to be provided by the web designer, when they are due to be delivered, the payment terms, the payment methods, and also any clauses related to the termination of the contract by either party.

What Is Included In A Service Delivery Agreement For Web Designers

Whilst you do not want a service agreement to run to dozens of pages, it is certainly worth erring on the side of having more clauses than not enough, to ensure every aspect of the website contract is outlined. Whilst there might be different inclusions depending on each client, the normal sections that appear are:

  • Names of both parties
  • Contact details
  • Full and entailed description of the web design services to be provided
  • Payment terms, amounts, due dates, and what happens if no payment is made
  • Time for completion including dates of expected milestones
  • Warranties and guarantees offered by the web designer
  • Conditions for termination by either party
  • Confidentiality clauses
  • Copyrights and intellectual property and who owns them
  • Dispute resolution detailing the process for resolving disputes between the client and the web designer
  • The acceptance, states that, by signing it, both the client and the web designer accept the service delivery agreement’s terms

And finally…

You can find generic service delivery agreement templates online, however, we would recommend all web designers ask their commercial lawyers to create one for their specific needs, or possibly even go a stage further and get them to draft one for each new client.