Roles and Responsibilities
I will always do my best to fulfill your needs and meet your goals, but sometimes it is best to have a few simple things written down so that we both know what is what, and who should do what.Negotiations via email – A legally binding contract?
Producing a website is about collaboration between the client and the designer. We’re in it together from start to finish.
You, as the client, are key in establishing the direction for the web project. You understand why it is being undertaken, what its key goals are and who it is for. You understand your business requirements and know your customers intimately so it falls on you to focus on these areas.
Content (text and photos) are your primary responsibility. I design and develop your website and make sure that it fulfills your business goals and satisfies users. My web design process includes page build (yes I’ll load your content), plugin implementation, basic SEO configuration (comprehensive package is available if requested), social media integration, a blog, contact form, and even an e-commerce store if needed.
At the end of the website project my goal is to make sure your new website meets your unique requirements and more importantly, it is something you love. And I’ll do everything possible to make sure that happens!
I like to make sure all important information between myself and a client is handled through e-mail so we have a record of everything.
Your project is very important to me and because I have multiple active clients at any given time, if you phone me with requests or changes I can possibly be distracted by something after your phone call and forget what you wanted done. By using e-mail, not only will it be impossible for me to forget the request, I can also reference the e-mail during the changes to make sure I don’t miss anything.
Content and Deadlines
I have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from me and I will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way I will endeavour to meet all the deadlines set but I 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 my work on-time at any stage.
You agree to provide me with everything that I need to complete the project including text, images and other information as and when I need it. You agree to review my work, provide feedback and sign-off approval in a timely manner. Deadlines work two ways and you will also be bound by any dates that we set together.
If you don’t know what to say, or are simply too busy to write content for your website, please talk to me and I may be able to assist you. I understand that you are business owners in different industries. Website developers, like me, are the ones who know what kind of writing you need for your site, and it is only natural to provide this service to you or to refer you to a copywriter I know that can take care of the job and get your website up and running on time.
The Design Stage
At the beginning of the process if you have specific features in mind, it’s great if I have idea of what you’re wanting your website to look like, so as not to let you down. Perhaps you have some other sites you like, or you could email me a selection of descriptive words – for example: bold, colourful, creative, dark, earthy, corporate, vintage. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
As long as you don’t attack me personally, we are good. Sometimes I may present a design element to you and you want something different. In that case, if I truly believe what you want won’t work or will hurt you (e.g. lower rankings, people getting turned off by the website, fewer conversions, etc.) then I will tell you exactly why I used the element, why I believe it will work better than what you are proposing, and that I strongly recommend my element. It’s my job to offer my expertise to you and suggest what I consider the best way to do things – but there really is no best way, just different opinions on what best means. In saying that, the decision is ultimately up to you.
All WordPress websites are based on a theme, as well as WordPress core files.
I only purchase WordPress themes from reputable and trusted sources. Your theme will meet strict coding standards and will have been checked for legacy functions, incorrect text domains, hidden files, required functions and attributes, and much more. Purchasing themes that have undergone this testing is the best way to make sure your theme is 100% WordPress compliant. I will not use free themes as they cannot be guaranteed to fulfill these requirements. In addition to using themes obtained from reputable sources, I scan all of your theme files for potentially malicious or unwanted code.
As your designer, I take great care in selecting your WordPress theme. The theme developer must provide good information and support. I take into account user reviews and ratings, and I make sure that the theme I select for your website incorporates the features that best suit your requirements. I want your website to be great too!
As my client, you are asked to trust in my experience, and in my ability to select the best theme for you.
Search Engine Performance
As part of setting up your website I carry out basic search engine optimisation for you. However, I cannot and do not guarantee where your website will be ranked – and any additional, ongoing specialist search engine work requested will be charged for.
I’ll advise you if I see that the content you’re supplying me with may harm your SEO. Of course, if you choose to go ahead and use the content as-is regardless, I’ll not be held responsible if Google penalises you by lowering your ranking for ignoring its ‘best practice’ guidelines.
Cross Browser Compatibility
I create websites to display in the latest versions of the most common browsers. Websites and web applications may be displayed differently between browsers or operating systems. I do not guarantee your website will render exactly the same in all browsers, and additional charges may be applied if you require your site to display perfectly in less common or older browsers.
Please be aware that as new browser versions are developed, they may not be backward compatible. I make reasonable efforts to standardize your site, and I perform cross browser and cross device testing, but there is no way I can account for every single past and future browser or device. Time spent making changes to a website for compatibility due to the introduction of a new browser version will be charged for if required.
Hosting, Maintenance and Administration
i4design is not a hosting company. Domain registration, hosting, email accounts, administration, maintenance and support are only offered to website clients. They’re not offered to third-parties as a separate service.
You can choose to host with i4design (NetVirtue VPS located in Melbourne, Australia) and if required I will arrange the transfer your domain from your old host. Because the VPS is administered by myself I have full control of the domains, sites and email systems on the server. You will be invoiced directly for hosting each year when it is due for renewal.
If you choose to have your website and emails hosted with someone other than i4design that’s fine, but please note that I will only provide maintenance and support if you use reputable providers such as Freeparking or OpenHost/WebDrive/Domains4less or NetVirtue. In particular, I will not provide support if you choose to have your site on another web designer’s personal hosting system.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure uninterrupted services, i4design does not guarantee that the functions and services provided by its web servers, mail servers, web sites and software will always be uninterrupted, timely and secure or error free. i4design will not be held responsible for any losses incurred as a result of server down time. Any issues that arise from hosting with another provider are not the responsibility of i4design.
As we all know, technology, computers, servers, systems and software sometimes go wrong. I can’t guarantee that this won’t happen on my watch but, if it does, you can be assured I will do my best to get everything working again as soon as possible.
No matter who you choose to host with, all website and domain administration will be taken care of on a regular basis – including software updates, backups, security and settings. If there are technical difficulties with a third-party hosting company (trusted providers only) I will liaise with them directly on your behalf to resolve any issues.
Where i4design is looking after site maintenance, measures will be taken to lock down security and customization. You will be able to make changes to all posts, pages, galleries and other general items, and will have restricted access to certain other parts of the WP admin area. The security that’s set up is not only for your benefit but for the benefit of all clients who share the i4design server (including you). A compromised website can be hacked and affect all the other sites on the server, and in turn affect my other clients and their businesses. I understand that different clients want different levels of assistance or freedom to make changes though, and I’m more than happy to “hand over the keys” to particular areas of your site’s admin after discussing your requirements with you and agreeing on a solution.
Disk Space and Bandwidth
i4design does not have defined limitations. Server resources are “unmetered”, meaning you are not billed according to the amount of disk space or bandwidth used. While of course these resources are not infinite, I believe my customers should have all the resources necessary to build an online presence and 99.95% of customers will have more than enough disk space and bandwidth to meet their needs. That said, I do require all customers to utilise disk space and bandwidth in a manner consistent with the normal operation of a website. While rare, I occasionally constrain accounts utilising more resources than should be the case in the normal operation of a personal or small business website. Typically, customers only experience issues if they use their accounts for storage (for example large multimedia files) or file sharing. The i4design hosting services are not intended to support these activities, and disk space and bandwidth usage must be integrated into the normal operation of a website.
I regularly examine customer bandwidth and disk space utilisation data in a series of statistical analyses and use the results to define “normal”. Although these tests vary from month to month, one thing remains constant: 99.95% of my customers fall into “normal” range. If your account’s bandwidth or disk space utilization causes any concern, you will receive an email asking you to reduce usage. I strive to provide at least 48 hours notice to allow customers to make adjustments before I take any corrective action.
cPanel and FTP Access
i4design does not provide cPanel access or FTP access due to security reasons. In the event you wish to pursue with this access level I can organise the packaging of your website for you to use with your new hosts.
Transfer of Email Accounts
When your domain is transferred from your current host to the new one there will be a period of time – up to 48 hours – that emails sent to you will end up on both servers. To ensure that you receive all your emails from both servers during the transition period I will request login information from you and/or your old website hosting company.
The first, and perhaps only, information I will need from you is your email address and password. There may be a small amount of changes to make to your email program (e.g. Microsoft Outlook). I will supply you with all the necessary instructions and assistance. Please don’t change any settings unless I ask you to.
Third Party Email Providers
If you use a third party system – for example Google Mail – to host your emails I will need to get from you or your current website hosting company the DNS information so that I can enable a redirect to your system on your new host’s servers.
I can only support email systems that run through dedicated website hosting companies, therefore if you wish to use a third party system such as Google Mail, you will need to be able to access your email administration area yourself.
i4design reserves the right to refuse service and cancel a job if necessary, in which case, the balance of the initial deposit will be returned to client after all applicable fees have been deducted for work completed.
Likewise, the client may cancel a job if necessary, in which case, the balance of the initial deposit will be returned to the client after all applicable fees have been deducted for work completed. If applicable fees are greater than the previously paid deposit, the client will be billed for the difference.
i4design reserves the right to deny support and design services for rude or unpleasant customers, and will not produce sites that have content related to pornography or anything illegal.
Website Design Payment Terms
i4design retains full ownership of all website files and domains until paid for in full.
Standard Websites: 30% of the total fee is due before development/design will begin. Whether the deposit is refundable or not depends on how much work has been completed at the point of cancellation. The remaining 70% is due upon completion of all project specifications.
eCommerce Websites: 30% of the total fee is due before development/design will begin, followed by a 30% progress payment half way though the project. Whether the deposit or progress payment is refundable or not depends on how much work has been completed at the point of cancellation. The remaining 40% is due upon completion of all project specifications.
During the website design and development stage, should the scope of the quoted project change, we may need to come to a compromise to stay on schedule and within budget, or reconsider the deadline and budget to accommodate the new directions in the project.
Website updates/miscellaneous monthly charges: i4design charges $60.00/hour, with a 1/4 hour ($15.00) minimum for all charges that are not pre-quoted or contracted. Charges thereafter are billed in 15-minute increments ($15.00).
i4design is not GST registered, therefore all prices mentioned are the total amounts that will be charged.
Overdue Payments: Payments are due within 14 days of the invoice date. Late or non-payment of invoices, following a 30-day reminder from i4design, will allow i4design to suspend or remove any related website content. Non-payment on an invoice for a service may cause all services, including email and hosting, to be affected. All that is needed to re-activate the website and/or services is to pay the outstanding invoice.
Refund Policy: i4design provides non-tangible irrevocable goods. Therefore, I do not issue refunds once a proposal or product is provided or hourly-based work is completed or started. As a customer, client, or user you are responsible for understanding this upon utilizing or accepting a proposal or entering into a contract i4design has provided you, your company or organization.
Please note that if a proposal is accepted and a portion paid (generally 30% of the total proposed amount), you are bound by this Refund Policy and agree to and understand its terms and conditions.
Moving, Cancellation and Contingency
If you wish to move your site to another website designer’s system, I will provide the files, including themes and plugins, required for your website to be transferred as it looks and functions at the time of transfer. Security, management and caching plugins will not be supplied. To be able to update the supplied themes and plugins beyond the transfer date, the new designer/administrator will need to purchase them directly from their respective developers.
Refunds are not issued for pre-paid domains, hosting or maintenance/care plans if you cancel your account during the billing period.
If I ever decide to give up the web design business, I will get in touch with other capable web design companies who offer a similar service to me, in the same price range, and ask them if they’d be happy to take on my clients. If you then agree to the switch you won’t need to do anything. The other company and I will take care of your website and email accounts transfer.
If, for any reason, you’re not happy with the arrangement you can move your website to wherever and whoever you want. In fact, you can do this at any time – not just if I stop trading. I provide all the files, including the database, to enable you to transfer your website in its entirety (less management and security plugins). Your domains are registered in your name, and a UDAI/EPP number will be provided to you on request.
There is also a contingency plan in place should my disappearance be sudden and unexpected. You’ll be notified via email and provided with full website access information, as well as instructions on how to move your domain to another host and replicate your website on their server. I’ve been assured by the host where your domains and websites are held – NetVirtue – that they won’t leave you high and dry where they can help, and that they will step in and assist you directly if the worst was to happen.
Copyrights, Privacy and Ownership
Any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide me for inclusion in the website must be either owned by you, or you must have permission to use them. You own the final graphics and other visual elements that I create for you for this project. You also own text content, photographs and other data you provided, unless someone else owns them.
Graphic Design: i4design supplies the end product, not the source files (individual elements that make up the design). Copyright and ownership of the source material transfers from i4design to the client only if there is a specific agreement in writing to this effect.
Themes, plugins and other software that make up your website were purchased by, and are licenced to, i4design. I am not selling software to you, but rather I am selling the service to put together existing software that will turn into a website for you. I am employing the availability of existing software and using your time to do so. This is saving you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, from having it otherwise be custom made. In short, I am selling time, not a tangible product.
i4design retains all rights of your website and the content provided by i4design until full payment for the design and development is received.
Passwords and private information you give me will be treated with strict confidentiality. No personal information that you provide to me will be shared with any third party.
Finally, I love to show off my work and share what I have learned with other people, so I also reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of my portfolio and to write about the project on web sites, in magazine articles and in books about web design.