Controlling the content of your business website is critical to the success of your enterprise.
Almost every business has a website. That is how the average person finds information about the business. Whether a potential customer is looking for contact information or wants a detailed explanation of what services the business provides, they expect to find that information online.
Even more importantly, if you don’t create a website for your business, you can be certain someone else will make one that you don’t control the content of.
Controlling the content of your business website is critical to the success of your enterprise. But unless your business builds websites, you probably don’t know how to create and maintain one.
Rather than fumble through basic website creation, you are better off hiring someone to develop your website. That is an excellent idea, as long as you avoid these common pitfalls.
Not All Developers Are as Professional as They Seem
Confirm who created the websites with the business owners.
It doesn’t take a lot of training to learn basic website development. The average person can build a barebones website with just a few days of learning basic web development programming from online tutorials. And even if a developer doesn’t know advanced techniques, they can make their work product look more professional by copying other websites.
Before choosing a vendor, ask them to show examples of their work. These examples should be active websites of thriving businesses. And don’t take their word that they made these websites. Confirm who created the websites with the business owners.
Not All Website Creators Can Maintain the Back-End
Any development contract should include terms for IT support and updates.
If your website is the face of your business, the back-end is the brain. No one can find your website if the server that supports it goes down every few days.
Your website needs to run efficiently and interface with visitors. Most interactions on a business website are pretty simple. For example, a customer might sign up for email updates or submit an order for your product online. If that information never reaches you, the website isn’t doing its job.
Any development contract should include terms for IT support and updates. If the developer can’t keep your website up to date with modern technology and ensure that customers can interface with your business, they aren’t providing the service you need.
A Website Developer May Try to Make Claims on Your IP
Typically, any contract should stipulate that the website is work-for-hire and that you control any work product made for your business.
Who owns the content on your website?
That is a very important question and one you shouldn’t leave unanswered. Typically, any contract should stipulate that the website is work-for-hire and that you control any work product made for your business.
Just as importantly, while you are allowing the website developer to use your IP, the contract must be clear that the website developer has the right to use it only when building content for your website.
But what if the developer wants the right to include that content in their portfolio? That is a reasonable request, and many of the best website developers will insist on that control over the content they create. An experienced tech law attorney can help you add such a clause to the contract without sacrificing control of your IP or other work product.
Don’t Enter a Contract Without an Attorney Representing You
If you needed to have your spleen removed, would you operate on yourself or would you let a surgeon do it? Agreeing to a contract without having a lawyer look it over is pretty much the same thing.
If the other party created the contract, there is likely some clause in it you won’t like. And no matter how careful you are, you will probably encounter some pitfalls if you go it alone. Don’t leave anything to chance — make sure you have a Lancaster, PA, tech lawyer from Lancaster Tech Law representing you. Reach out to us today.