terms and conditions

Terms & Conditions of work / Technical Disclaimer (Last Updated: 13th September 2015)


SEO (Search engine optimisation)

HTML website

·         For standard HTML based websites, I will employ measures to assist in search engine optimization.  These include conforming to contemporary standards of HTML, automated meta-tag generation and the creation of “friendly url’s” that make links generated by the provided CMS easy to read, by both other computers and customers that will browse the website.

Please note; if url’s of a specific format / syntax are required please advise me of this before development commences. 

HTML website including AJAX technology

·         If the website will include the use of AJAX technology, some content may not be indexed by search engines such as Google.  In addition, it must be understood that traditional page linking may not take place in this website. 

With this in mind various counter measures will be developed including a deep linking system based around html anchor points, which should assist both users and search engine indexers in locating and referencing specific pages deep within the website.


For Flash based websites

·         If the website will be built using Adobe Flash technology it must be accepted the SEO capabilities of the end product will most likely be impaired and less able to optimize due to the nature of flash being unreadable by most search engines.  

·         An alternative HTML version of the website for clients without flash installed will not be developed as part of any standard website specification.  If it is required please contact me for a revised quotation.

Applicable to all web based solutions

·         If you have specific requirements in terms of SEO compatibility and the level of control you will have over the SEO features of the website please discuss these with me before I commence development as changes to the level of SEO control available will not be possible after I commence work.

·         The design and construction of the website dictates that the core areas of navigation throughout the website will remain constant.  For this reason the core navigation of the website will be static.

 

·         If the website is to include 3rd party technology, due to the customisation I will undertake to embed the technology into a bespoke solution, various features of the original 3rd party product may not be accessible in the solution I develop.    Any concerns regarding specific features required within the 3rd party technology must be discussed before development commences. 

 

Content Maintenance and provided CMS

·         It is important to reiterate that even for a project that has been devised to allow the customer the ability to change content via a provided content management system (CMS), there may still be areas of the website that consist of static content that the customer will not be able to edit.

Repeated elements (such as menus page headers and footers) will remain constant and so therefore not be included as copy that the user can edit.  

Pages throughout the website containing large amounts of bespoke design and interface dialogs, interspersed with small areas of copy within these elements may also be hard coded.

If the customer has any queries or concern over the full level of flexibility of the provided CMS they must contact me before development begins.

·         The provided content management system (CMS) will act as an independent system and feature its own interface separate to that of the live front-end website.   For this reason the CMS will not be integrated into the front-end site or share elements of the same design.

·         Due to the modular design of the CMS, interface changes cannot be made once the website has been developed and installed.  If the customer has any queries or concerns about the use of the CMS they can contact me before development commences to be given a full run-through of a mock-up version of the system.

·         As standard the provided CMS does not provide image editing functionality.  It is therefore recommended that anyone given access to the CMS has basic knowledge of image preparation and an understanding of image file sizes and the implication this has for download speeds and the quality of their appearance within the front-end website. 

Users should also have a basic understanding of basic image preparation techniques such as cropping.   This will ensure that any images integrated into the website look as professional as possible.

3rd party image editing software can be recommended to the customer but is not provided or included with the development of the solution provided.

·         The placement of images within pages on the website may be restricted to specific areas and certain rules may be enforced as to what size and dimensions such images can be.   Such limitations would be enforced by the CMS to ensure that the visual integrity of the design is maintained at all times.

·         Functionality to format the copy of the website via the provided CMS interface will as standard be limited to basic text formatting (bold, italic and possibly colour control)  in order for the website to be able to maintain the integrity of the conceived design language and page templates.  If this limited level of formatting control is a concern, the client must speak to me before development begins.

·         Whilst you will probably be fully aware of the design and interface of your front-end website before I start to develop the website, you may not have seen the interface of the proposed CMS solution.  If you have any queries regarding the interface I will be using and its functionality please contact me before development begins. I will not be able to make changes to this interface after development commences.

·         If the website is to contain video content and player, it must be noted that although videos can be uploaded via the provided CMS, they would need to be in the required video file format/s before uploading.   

Note; this point can be ignored if an optional feature is agreed upon in the project specification to convert any uploaded video automatically.

Website Screen Resolution

·         The website and its entire interface will be designed to display within a 1024x768 screen (“desktop”) resolution.  The left/right side of the design may appear off screen on users with a lower screen resolution.    At the time of writing, no one standard resolution has dominance, so it cannot be guaranteed that all users will see a pages full content without the need to scroll vertically within their web browser.


Data Population

·         The initial population of copy within the website would be the responsibility of the client, unless it has been agreed in advance that I would also undertake this task for an additional per hour fee.  

·         It is assumed that once live, the customer would always be responsible for the ongoing update and maintenance of content within the whenever changes are required.  

·         If I have agreed to undertake data population of your new website, it is expected that all media required for the population will be provided in a clear and consistent format.  All copy must be provided in clearly annotated Microsoft Word documents.  Images must be of a consistent size and resolution, in JPG, PNG or TIFF format.  Images and any other documents to be attached to the website should also have a consistent agreed file naming convention.

·         If I have agreed to “convert” content from an existing website into your new website, it must be understood that due to differences in design of both websites it is highly unlikely that all data could be copied automatically into the new website.   In such situations, unless it has been specifically agreed that I would undertake this task, it would be the client’s responsibility to complete the entry of data in the new website.

Web browser compatibility

·         Your website will be developed and tested to ensure compatibility with the current major revision of the English speaking world’s top 3 most popular desktop web browser programs.  At the time of writing these are Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer.

Previous revisions of some of these products may also be used to ensure backwards compatibility with recent versions of the product that may still be in use by some web users.  

I can however not guarantee compatibility with any web browser version greater than three years old, from the point of starting development.

If compatibility with very old browser technology is important for your project please inform me before development begins.

·         Different web browsers render content differently as the pages are loaded via the internet.  Some web browsers shift content around the screen as pages are populated with slow loading images and other media.

I cannot guarantee the placement of content on your website whilst pages are still loading as shifting of content may occur in some web browsers. This effect cannot be seen as a fault and is inherent in the way some web browsers have been programmed to render the content onto the screen.

·         External font libraries that are now compatible with all major browsers also display differently depending on operating system and browser.  Specifically the exact size and sharpness of fonts can vary.  This is to be expected and is not something that can be completely eradicated.


Mobile Platform compatibility

·         All websites I build are tested for compatibility on mobile devices.   However please note that specific device compatibility cannot be guaranteed unless I am told about the device/s in question before I commence development.  

·         The website will not be developed with “reactive” / “adaptive” resizing technology unless this is undertaken as a separate task.   This means that the same exact page layouts will be used on all devices.    If simplified designs are required for any platforms viewing the proposed website please contact me before development begins.


Form based content

·         The labels, layout and configuration of any pages containing HTML forms within the proposed website will be developed outside of the provided CMS.   This means that any changes to the layout of the form/s features will require further bespoke development at a later date. 


Shop Checkout (applicable only to websites with payment functionality)

·         The payment methods available to a customer in terms of cards accepted is dependent on the payment processor chosen for integration with the website.

·         Your chosen payment processing company will most likely provide their own separate secure administration website that you can access in order to review and maintain your payments.  The features provided by this website are dependent of the solution I have provided and the two systems may not be directly linked. 

Support and instruction on the use of such a system would also be the responsibility of the payment processing company in question.

·         The external services provided by this feature are dependent on the availability of this service from your chosen checkout provider.  I cannot be held responsible for any unreliability of these external services.

·         In order to reduce the possibility of issues occurring on your live shop, it is highly recommended that a secondly separate test version of your website is also installed.  This allows for full testing, by both myself and you the client in order to ensure that any new features installed after the initial “go-live” date are applied and tested thoroughly in a controlled environment.  This may be recommended during or after the initial build of your site.

Additional time would be required to complete this task at some point during or after the "go-live" point.

Hosting Costs

·         This quote is exclusive of any hosting costs that may be required during the setup and running of your domain name, email and web services.    I can provide my own hosting and would be happy to provide a quotation should you require them.

·         It may have been advised that your website requires a security certificate.  This will usually require renewal every one or two years.  This cost is not covered by myself and the product would need to be purchased via your ISP or a digital certificate issuing authority.


Other Development Costs

·         Any price quotations provided by myself will not include costs for graphic design work or development using other technologies such as Adobe Flash technology.   These tasks are likely to require another developer / designer and would need to be quoted for separately by the relevant party. 

·         If the solution I provide for you relies on commercial 3rd party software, the cost of this software would be an additional cost and the responsibility of the customer to purchase.

·         If the solution I provide relies on external 3rd party software (commercial or free open source software) in order to function, it may require routine updates in order to keep the product patched with the latest security updates. 

Various well known software packages become soft targets for hackers looking for sites with known security flaws and various packages from shopping cart frameworks to blogging software may fall victim to such attacks unless it is kept up to date.  If such updates are required after the “go live” date these would be installed at a per hour work cost.

The possible frequency of such updates varies between software products.  If the client has a concern about routine repeat costs this should be discussed before inclusion of the relevant 3rd party software is agreed upon in the provided solution.

·         If I have been commissioned to undertake work via an intermediary and am not in contact with the end customer for any given project, the work I am undertaking will be to the instruction and specification dictated to me via  this intermediary, be it  in written or electronic form, or through conversations during the development of the product.  I cannot accept responsibility for misunderstandings that may arise due to a lack of direct communication with the end customer.

·         If I have been employed to modify an existing website, I cannot be held responsible for any problems that may arise as a result of issues in the original system before it was handed to me.  It is advisable that some contingency time should be set aside (on my hourly rate) to cover any issues that may arise during the course of the work I undertake.

·         I always aim to be flexible in allowing for small aesthetic changes to a website after initial review by the client.  It must however be understood that requests that require the redevelopment of code and logic routines may take considerable time.  Requests for changes or additions to a projects functionality outside of basic aesthetic changes may incur additional development fees (on a per hour basis).


Documentation

·         All CMS systems I supply contain online help resources, either in the CMS interface itself or via external online documentation. 

To keep development costs down I do not as standard provide a custom instruction or specifications manual upon delivery of your new website.   If you require further documentation for using your CMS or any other part of your website please inform me before development begins so I can quote for this extra task. 

Data Liability

·         The backup of data within the provided website is the responsibility of the customer. 

It cannot be assumed that an automated backups is being made on a daily basis by the ISP (Internet Service Provider) hosting the proposed website.    Without a daily backup, there is always the possibility that unexpected data loss at the ISP could result in the permanent loss of data / records from your website.   Please enquire if you require me to assist in setting up any backup procedure or liaising with your ISP. 

            User data and liability for data security

·         If the proposed solution is to include the saving of customer data, it will very likely be required by UK law (under the Data Protection Act 1998) to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.  This is a procedure that the client themselves must initiate and complete.  I would be happy to assist on a consultation basis though if required.

·         Due to the nature of applications placed on a public computer network (ie; The Internet) and the multitude of external sources of a possible data breach, I cannot be held responsible for any data loss a website may experience after the agreed going live date.


Support & Consultation

·         All websites I develop come with 3 months of free modification support in case any technical issues / bugs are found with what I have developed.  This time period starts on the day the website is set live.

·         All websites I develop come with lifetime telephone / email query support – useful in case the client has any questions down the road or staff change and new personnel require help getting up to speed on using the website’s CMS.  

Please note; if support I provide requires consultation, research or development time that is the result of a problem outside of my control I will need to charge at my normal hourly rate.  To give an example;

I am requested to troubleshoot a problem with the website not working and after extended communications with the clients internet service provider discover that a change to the hosting environment caused the website to fail.

·         The cost of consultation provided during the planning and development stages of the website are included in the stated development costs. 

·         Any communication required between myself and any external web hosting providers or other 3rd parties involved in the initial setup and development of the website will be undertaken without additional cost.   This applies to communication before and one month after the initial “go live” date for the website.    After the website has been set live however consultation with 3rd parties may be deemed chargeable at my hourly rate.

·         Any tasks I undertake that require the assistance of a 3rd party service provider, such as your ISP, another developer or a payment processor company (relevant to websites with shopping carts) may involve extended communication with the relevant 3rd party.  As a result I cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by external parties that may jeopardise any proposed date of completion for the work we have agreed.  

·         Any of the following services would be charged at an hourly rate:

o    Any new work or change requests agreed upon outside of the specification within this document.

o    Development new work undertaken after the “go live” date  (except when resolving any technical problems reported within the first 3 months of the go live date, which would be free of charge).

o    Any new development work undertaken after the “go live” date.

 

o   Technical support or consultation that is not related to the features already in place on the website once it has been completed and placed live.