Client Services: Website Development Agreement

If you have been directed to this page, this is a draft article on a standard development project. The below is just a draft agreement and has to be mutually agreed. As the client, feel free to adjust, suggest and query against this.

Here is an outline agreement between and you:
  1. Once I have the domain names, I will configure my server to receive requests for those domains (along with webspace and emails). Please wait up to 3 hours for these changes to cascade across my servers (average wait is 1 hour).

  2. JoelLipman.Com will develop the startup site using an Agile framework based on the initial requirements up to and including the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) date (not yet agreed, but about a week prior to release date).

  3. JoelLipman.Com will make the source files available for download 24/7 so in the event that we lose contact with each other, the project manager has the option of going to another developer with the source files in order to continue the work.

  4. JoelLipman.Com will produce a signed-off production site as per the initial specification:
    1. Front-end customer facing interface as per an agreed template.
    2. Back-end administration interface for managing the website (GUI based for non-technical staff. Web-based for remote working.)

  5. JoelLipman.Com will create 2 development sites ("play" sites) which the project manager and his/her team can use to experiment and test.

  6. Once the production website is finalised, the following need to be agreed:
    1. Parallel running with legacy systems – testing and confirmation that both systems are operational, data needs to be entered in both systems. (this is only necessary if this is an upgrade or replacement of an existing system).
    2. Warranty checks will be run for 1 month (unless agreed otherwise). Support during this month is included in the initial development.
    3. Service Transition will happen over the course of 1 month where the client's team should be made available to receive manuals and training on how to manage their website.
    4. A support agreement is drawn up with regards to maintenance, upgrades and repairs (for how long?).
    5. [Optional] Web Hosting: A separate agreement will need to be made if JoelLipman.Com is to host the production and development websites after release date. (see my pricing structure below).

This is, of course, merely an initial draft of the agreement. Feel free to query, change and suggest other actions or route to take.

My pricing structure:

Easy, my base rate is £20/hour. I use my own timesheet system, so if you have a 5 minute job, this will only be added to subsequent tasks until these add up to 1 hour.

Housing the production and 2 development websites and email system as permanent host is £120/year (or £10/mo). This includes keeping the servers up-to-date and running with the latest technologies.

You are welcome to find and use your own website hosts with their own support plans and I can help you configure these for the source files (as per my base rate).

Note that my servers are based in Houston, Texas, USA (due to their traffic [when europe is active, these are not and vice-versa] and resilience [99.99% uptime] status compared to European companies). This will have an impact on some of the systems date and time operations (eg. if you get an e-mail at 2am PST from the server, this is also 10am GMT – e-mails from people will use the timezone they are accessing the service from).


I am a one-man band, a solopreneur, freelancer but I specialise in automation which lets me do the work of many more. I have associates who can step in when necessary but they will not necessarily match my skillset. My associates only get involved when something goes unexpectedly wrong and I do not have the extra time to allocate. They will do the investigative work to get the service up and running again.

Having a small chain-of-command and quick development cycle, there are advantages to working on my own: I can keep costs low, I have scripts which have sped up development on similar projects, I have bespoke project management systems which manage my work accurately (eg. my Project Analysis Manager - dubbed PAM - can tell me how long it took to setup a website previously, and will plan the same again). My 15 years of web-development experience allow me to reduce the risk of nasty surprises and also allows me not have to Google search every solution.

As an IT developer, I often get told I may win the lottery or get run over by a bus, so I am used to needing a backup plan. My aim is always to hand over the project so that I am no longer required. Isn't that when we know we did our job best? When nobody knows you did anything at all?

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