Monday, June 19, 2006

Website Owner's Bill of Rights

The owner of a website has certain inalienable rights when working with a web developer.

  1. The website owner will be the registrant and the administrative contact on all domains that the web developer registers for the owner. The web developer or host can be the technical contact.

  2. It must be clear as to who owns the copyright for the visible content of the website and who owns the copyright to the formatting and programming of the website.

  3. The website owner deserves a non-technical explanation of the decisions they need to make. It is ok if the owner does not know all the technical stuff. That is why they hired a web developer. The website owner is the unquestioned expert in their own business. The owner deserves dignity and respect for that knowledge.

  4. The website owner is entitled to a clear, detailed quote of the services provided. The explanation should state what the service is and why it is important. The quote should state the required services and the optional ones. The quote should state the one time charges, annual charges, monthly charges, and hourly charges. The quote should state the services included and the services specifically excluded.

  5. The website owner deserves a clear, accurate invoice. A non-technical person should be able to read an invoice and understand that value was provided.

  6. The website owner deserves to know what they are expected to do. The owner should know if they provide the text and the images for the pages.

  7. If the owner wants to maintain their own site after it is built, they should get instructions on how to do that. The owner deserves to know which things they can change and which they can't.

  8. The website owner is entitled to the user names, passwords, URLs, and folders of each component that they are allowed to maintain.

  9. The website owner is entitled to statistics about the traffic to the website.

  10. A website owner should not be required to link to the web developer on every page unless there is some incentive.