So you’ve decided to hire me! Awesome! Here are some things you should know:
1. All sales and deposits are non-refundable and final. The only exception to this would be if I decide that I cannot finish your project, in which case I will return a pro-rated portion of your deposit and do my best to refer you to someone who can take over for me. Please note that to date I’ve never not finished a project.
2. A 50% deposit is required for me to begin work on your project. The balance is due no more than three days after the project is complete. A $10 per week late payment fee starts accruing a week after that. I prefer payment via PayPal (address: email@example.com). If you would like to work out a different payment plan or means of payment I’d be happy to discuss it.
3. I work from home. This is good for you in that I can keep my costs moderate. The money you pay for my services is going directly into feeding my family and not, for example, toward office rental or commuting expenses or fancy clothes. It’s also good for you because it means that you’ll often find me toiling away at 10pm on a Tuesday night or 9am on Saturday. However, it also means that I occasionally pop out for a bit of a nap at 11 in the morning. Never fear! My super-smart phone is turned on and nearby pretty much always, so if you send me an urgent email I should be able to get back to you quickly.
4. Even after you make your final payment I will answer your questions. I want you to do well with your new site. Don’t understand how something works? I will do my best to explain it to you, multiple times if necessary.
5. Flexibility is my middle name. Actually it’s Shelley, but if you decide in the midst of a project that you’d like to expand the work we’re doing together, I’ll probably be game. If the scope of the work is outside what we previously negotiated, I will either quote you an additional flat rate or we can work on an hourly basis.
6. I work with WordPress, and plugins and themes that are designed to work with WordPress. Almost anything you can imagine can be implemented through WP, existing plugins, and themes. If you need a feature that would require the creation of a new plugin, I can probably refer you to someone who specializes in this service.
7. After I’ve trained you, you’ll be able to make updates to your site. Updates are absolutely necessary for the continued well-being of any website. You cannot expect your site to stay healthy if you do not make the required updates. If you can’t commit to performing updates yourself, hire someone (Hey…maybe me? This is a service I offer!) to handle them for you. The cost of regular maintenance will be far, far less than the cost of doing an enormous overhaul because you neglected your site. Trust me on this.
8. WordPress, your theme and your plugins are constantly being modified by their creators. The upside of this is that you get new features and improved protection against online troublemakers. The downside is that very occasionally, something I’ve installed for you will stop working properly. If you need my help straightening out a misbehaving plugin or feature, let me know. I will either tell you that it’s no big deal (read: I’ll do it gratis), or that it will take some time, in which case you can hire me on an hourly basis.
9. Will Google love your business, and will it make boatloads of cash? I will do everything in my power to make the structure of your site attractive to search engines and the general public but no one — No, really! NO ONE. — can guarantee you a number-one placement in search results, tons of quality backlinks or anything else SEO gurus try to peddle. While much of your continued success is in your hands (to wit: quality content/products, frequent updates, outreach to others in your niche), a not-insignificant portion of it is in the hands of fate. As much as I’d like to be able to guarantee you the top spot in Google or a certain number of clicks or sales, I can’t do that.
10. At the start of our project I will give you an estimate of how long my work will take, and I believe my clients will tell you that they are shocked at how quickly I get things done. That said, some aspects of scheduling are out of my control. I cannot force a domain to transfer to a new registrar any faster than it already does. I cannot make your host have 100% up time. I cannot guarantee that my geographical location will not experience weather foul enough to knock out my power. I cannot — no matter how much I’d like it to be different! — keep squirrels from chewing through the cable that brings ‘net into my house1.
11. Conflict is a part of every relationship. If you don’t like something I’ve made for you, please tell me bluntly and directly. I have thick skin and zero (well, almost zero) ego; I will not weep in the corner if you ask for alterations. By the same token, if I think you’re making a bad decision in the direction you want the project to take, I will tell you directly.
99.999 ad infinitum% of our creative differences can be solved with open, honest, and sometimes robust discussion. In the unexpected event that one of us feels that legal remedies are necessary, please note that my business is located in the beautiful state of Illinois. Any adjudication that you initiate against me, or that I initiate against you, will take place in the county of my residence; furthermore any costs incurred by me (including but not limited to filing fees, attorney fees, and collections fees) will be paid by you. MY LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO NO MORE THAN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF MONEY AGREED TO IN MY PROPOSAL.
These terms are subject to change without notice. Your initial payment to me constitutes your acceptance of these terms.
Need something clarified? Ask away.
- Yes this happened. I spent a lot of time in coffee shops. [↩]