Terms of Service - Roles and Responsibilities
I will always do my best to fulfil 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.
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 fulfils 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!
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 fulfil 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 standardise 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 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. 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 customisation. 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 and the vast majority of i4design customers will have more than enough to meet their needs.
The i4design hosting services are not intended to support irregular activities, and disk space and bandwidth usage are expected to be within the range of the normal operation of a website. If your account’s bandwidth or disk space utilisation causes concern you’ll receive an email asking you to reduce usage. I’ll provide at least 48 hours notice to allow you time to make any required changes before I take 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.
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.
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.
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.