I Know, I Know
Web design contracts are an integral and very important part of your web design business. Just like all contracts, they’re a legally binding agreement between multiple parties. Contracts not only protect you and your business, they protect the client as well. No matter how painful or inconvenient you may find contracts to be, I absolutely recommend you use them with each and every client you work with. They help reduce and even eliminate any type of misunderstanding.
Are Contracts Really Needed?
The short answer, YES! Regardless if you’re a freelancer, just starting out, a small business, or doing work for family or friends, a contract is needed. Even if you’re not charging the client for your work, still use a contract to eliminate misunderstanding. Contracts not only discuss cost, but they contain agreed upon milestones, deliverables, timelines, etc. The beauty of it all is that you don’t necessarily have to create your contracts from scratch. There’s many free web design contract templates available on the web that just requires minimum modification to make it your own.
If you signed up for my Complete Web Design Business Starter Kit then you now have a very solid web design contract template that I still use to this day. Not every contract will be the same, but every project you do for clients should involve one.
What about Family and Friends?
If you’re running any type of “business” you should be using a contract, Period! Because you’re a business, the same rules should apply to family and friends as any other potential client. Now I’m not saying the same prices, I’m saying the same rules. Use a contract, Ensure they meet all Milestones, Provide you with Deliverables, etc. Whatever your rules are, family and friends should be following those same rules. If your family member or friend don’t want to sign a contract there’s a good chance they don’t take you serious and will more than likely not pay on time, or pay at all for that matter.
A lot of the time the main people that try to take advantage of you or get over on you, are the people closest to you. Because they are family and friends they feel they should get the “family and Friend” discount rate, that they’re doing you a favor, or that they can get back to you when their schedule allows. If you’ve read my article How to Potentially Spot and Avoid those Nightmare Clients, I would consider family and friends as The Chameleon. Not all, but most.
Sample Web Design Contracts
You don’t have to be a lawyer that speaks a ton of legal jargon to write a contract. You could always go out and hire a lawyer to personally create you a custom Web Design contract for your business, or you can download templates that builds the foundation for you, and only requires you to make minimum changes.
- Complete Web Design Business Starter Kit
- Contract Sample, Website Design
- Resources for Web Designers – Web Design Contracts
- Design Contract Guide for Freelance Web Designers
I’ve personally done three projects for clients without the use of a contract when I first started out freelancing as a web designer. Of the three, I had difficulty with two of the clients. They wanted more work done than we agreed upon verbally, they wanted changes made without paying additional fees, and neither client cared about meeting any of my deadlines.
Always use a contract when doing any type of work for clients. If you don’t have a contract at this point, I highly recommend you check out the sample web design contracts above, or just download my Complete Web Design Business Starter Kit and use the one that comes with it. Regardless which route you take, just make sure you take one.