An Elephant Look at a Website Development Contract: One Byte at a Time
Today the basics and "First Byte" - Term and ownership of a Website Development Contract
The Term is the length of the Website AgreementThe term is not of indefinite length. The term should be outlined in the Contract. That term should last only as long as the Website Developer is in control of the Website. If the Developer gives control to the Owner or the owner's own IT/development personnel - the term of the contract is concluded. The Website owner (and also the Website buyer) should see the logic that once the control is over, the developer can not run and/or maintain the site. Thus with no authority should also come with no blame, and conversely no credit.
Any subsequent payments to maintain the Website should cease at that time. Even if there are payments to be made (installments) the contract should be clear that it's for past work, not ongoing maintenance.
Ownership:; this is who owns the code.The structure, the underlying software, the moving parts, that is the ownership. The content should remain with the business, the business writer, etc. But the technical movements of the site must be in the control of the Website developer. And with that ownership they usually retain rights to change/amend it for later use in other original Website Development projects.
If you own the Website, you should insist on Ownership. If you are the Website Developer you should insist on Ownership. This conflict is why the wording should be very precise in the contract and "ownership" , "maintenance", and "right to change and amend the code" should be defined in the contract.