Terms of Service
Last Modified: January 12, 2021
Whenever we take on a project to provide website audit, design, implementation, and/or maintenance services, the following basic terms and conditions will be deemed to apply, unless we explicitly agree to any item to the contrary.
- In Short
- Website & Design Projects
- Website Maintenance
- Website Audits
- Ownership and Intellectual Property
- Small Print
You are hiring us, Carefree Creative, to audit, design, implement, and/or support a website and additional design services for the total price that we agree on in our correspondence or your project proposal.
As our customer, you confirm that you have the power and ability to enter into this agreement either on your own account or on behalf of your company or organization. You agree to provide us with everything that we need to complete the project including text, images, and other information as and when we need it, and in the format that we ask for. You agree to review our work, provide feedback, and sign-off approval in a timely manner. Deadlines work both ways and you will also be bound by any dates that we set together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out in your project proposal.
We have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from us and we will carry them out in a professional and timely manner. Along the way, we will endeavor to meet all the deadlines set but we can’t be responsible for a missed launch date or a deadline if you have been late in supplying materials or have not approved or signed off our work on-time at any stage.
Website & Design Projects
We want you to be entirely happy with the end result of your project. You will have the opportunity to make revisions to the design as laid out in your project proposal, during which process we will make every effort to revise the website to your satisfaction.
However, you should be aware that the fee quoted in your proposal is based upon our estimate of the amount of work required to achieve the objective, and that repeated changes of requirements can lead to substantially more work being required on our part. As a result, if you’re not happy with the designs following the revisions mentioned in your proposal, we reserve the right to invoice you for payment in full for all of the work that we have produced until that point and you may either cancel this contract or continue to commission us to make further design revisions at an hourly rate that would be advised at the time.
When we (Carefree Creative and you) have an agreement about the final design for the website, we will then implement that website (i.e. make it ‘live’ on the Internet) on an agreed schedule, and using whatever hosting arrangement we have agreed. You will be invoiced for the agreed amounts, minus any deposit already paid. If the website is being hosted on our servers, the final project invoice is due within 7 days of the website launch. If the website is being transferred to a hosting company of your choosing, the final project invoice is due prior to the website transfer. Please see the payment section below for more details.
Unless agreed otherwise, that ‘go-live’ date will represent the completion of this particular project. From this point onwards, any ongoing work, amendments, or monitoring of your website will be dependent upon the maintenance agreement that we have agreed.
We are not responsible for writing any final text copy unless we specified it in the original estimate. We’ll be happy to help though, but if we become substantially required to create content, in addition to the estimate we reserve the right to charge you at our hourly rate for copywriting or content editing.
We are not liable for any mistakes, errors, and typos provided by you in the finalized copy.
If the project involves the provision of photographs, you will supply us such images in digital format, which must be of suitable quality and resolution and be fit for purpose. If you choose to buy stock photographs we can suggest vendors of stock photography. We reserve the right to refuse to work with any images that we consider to be inappropriate, offensive, or in breach of intellectual property laws.
We are happy to source and provide free stock photography for your project within the quoted project cost.
Scheduling & Timelines
Your project will be scheduled to begin once we’ve received the downpayment, completed questionnaire, and all your website content. You will not be added to our schedule until all of those components have been received by us in full.
Our schedule is on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will give you our best estimate of when we will be able to start your project upon our initial discussions and project proposal. This date/spot is not guaranteed, it is an estimate based on the assumption that you already have all your website content ready, and are able to submit a downpayment, questionnaire, and our additional required items within the next few days.
Your project proposal will outline an estimated timeline for your project. This is an estimate based on the assumption that you will reply, provide feedback, and draft approval within 1-2 business days of our emails. Any delays in this will increase the overall projected project time, and can, in some circumstances, can completely void the projected timeline. For example, if we do not receive approval from you for the development phase for 2+ weeks, we’d be unable to continue with the originally projected dates, as we’ll have to move ahead with other client work to keep them on schedule. If you are unable to reply or stick to the timeline provided, please let us know with as much advance as possible.
Any changes to the scope of work not originally outlined in the project proposal will also increase the overall projected timeline. Feel free to check-in if you’d like an update or have questions about your project timeline.
Search Engine Optimization / Website visibility
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a broad internet marketing term for the processes by which you ‘promote’ your website on the Internet to appear ahead of the competition in search engines.
It is a complex area, and it is driven by a wide variety of factors. Some relate to the way the website is structured and created, but many relate to wider things like offline marketing, social media presence, and ‘backlinking’ from other websites.
You should therefore understand that the website design itself (our remit) is only part of the SEO story, and search engine rankings are also dependent upon factors outside our control. We are happy to advise, but for the avoidance of doubt, unless expressly agreed otherwise, we are not providing SEO services as part of this agreement beyond best practice design and on-page optimization as outlined in your project proposal (we will be happy to discuss the specific meaning of these terms). Most importantly, everything is ultimately determined by search engine algorithms.
We therefore cannot make any assurances about Google rankings, or search engine results more broadly.
Websites are not ‘one-and-done’ pieces of work; they should be looked after, updated, and maintained to ensure that they remain secure, accurate, and relevant. For this reason, we offer ongoing maintenance, and it is your choice whether and to what extent you take advantage of this maintenance. Our website maintenance includes:
- Routine technical and security updates to the core components and additional extensions that power your website.
- Routine backups of your entire website (content, functionality, and data), to allow for the restoration of your website following a technical issue.
- Implementation of security scan plugins in order to take all reasonable precautions to identify and block malicious traffic.
- 24/7 uptime monitoring.
- Included hour(s) of website content changes/updates.
- Website hosting.
The monthly Maintenance plan (“Monthly Maintenance” or “Monthly Support”) comprises the services below. Please note Monthly Maintenance is the minimum level of support required if we are providing web hosting services to you (and your website is therefore technically located on our servers).
If we are providing hosting:
We will provide website hosting, as needed or requested, via our shared servers. We work hard to ensure that they provide as close to 99.9% uptime and appropriate performance as is possible.
We will always do everything within our control to minimize the impact and duration of any planned or unscheduled downtime, but we make no specific guarantees of time-to-fix.
When we are providing hosting via our servers, we will not grant website administrator-level access to any 3rd parties (such as SEO or marketing agencies). Likewise, we will not grant access via FTP, SSH, cPanel, or similar to the web server, database server, or any other part of the infrastructure. Should you require such 3rd party access, we’re happy to recommend 3rd party hosting providers that will fit your needs.
There are certain circumstances or types of websites we may not be able to host on our shared servers. For example, certain adult content or websites that transfer medical information (due to HIPAA) are not allowed on the majority of website servers. If this is the case, we’re happy to help you locate a suitable 3rd party hosting provider who will fit your needs.
When we are using your hosting service:
Some clients prefer to have their website hosted on their own server or a purchased 3rd party server for a variety of reasons. If this is the case, we can make no warranty relating to the performance, up-time, or service response that will be provided beyond the assurances made by the 3rd party themselves. We are happy to make recommendations for suitable 3rd party hosting.
All hosting must offer the following minimum requirements:
- It must support at least one MySQL database within your chosen hosting package.
- It must support the PHP scripting language (in the most current stable version).
- We will require access to your hosting control panel for configuration purposes.
Should you purchase a ‘Managed WordPress’ hosting package that is offered by many hosting providers, we may be unable to connect our backup software to your site. If this is the case, we will not make backups of your site. Backups will be created and maintained by your hosting provider. We make no claims or guarantees that these are reliable services.
If you choose to host your website on 3rd party servers, there is no obligation to take any form of maintenance services from us – but the responsibility for updates, security, backups, and so forth is then yours.
Some clients request us to host their domain-based emails on our server. We are able to help set this up at our hourly rate, with a maximum of 5 email accounts per domain. If additional emails are needed, this can be arranged at an additional monthly cost.
However, we do not make any claims or guarantees on the security or performance of emails hosted on our shared server or on any 3rd party server. We are not responsible or held liable to you or any 3rd party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential, or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate your email accounts, even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages. If the email accounts are not hosted on our servers, we are happy to send support tickets as needed.
We are also happy to help set up or recommend domain-based email providers as needed.
We will provide backup facilities that take a ‘snapshot’ of the entire website and/or its database(s) at regular intervals. The exact frequency will depend upon the level of content changes, the nature of your website, and any specific agreements that we make. We will provide for the backup files to be stored securely. In the event of a technical, security or other issues that affects the operation of your website, these backups will allow the site to be restored back to the last known good state. This does not guarantee zero data loss, as any changes made to the website since the last good backup will not be restored by the backup and would need to be re-applied.
We will not do any work on a website unless we can make a backup of it with our software.
In certain cases, backups will not solve all issues. For example, if we start our backups on a site that already had malware, we are not able to restore the site prior to our first date of backup. We are not liable for any loss of content or functionality of your website.
The core website framework (typically WordPress Content Management System) is regularly updated with functional changes, bug-fixes, and security enhancements. Likewise, any extensions to the core software (typically themes and plugins) will routinely be updated by their authors. As part of maintenance, we will routinely update these components of the software. We will supply any available licenses we have available for any related plugins during the course of maintenance. Any pro or premium plugins or themes for which you do not have an active license may not be able to be updated.
24/7 Uptime Monitoring
We will monitor site uptime, and attempt to resolve any issues that cause downtime. If it’s found that you, or a 3rd party that you authorized, are responsible for the site downtime, we reserve the right to bill you at our hourly rate for any hours used towards fixing or resolving uptime issues.
Website Content Updates
We will make changes and updates to your website content, up to the time allotted on your project proposal. The time included must be used within the calendar month, and unused time does not ‘rollover’ to subsequent months. All changes are subject to the fair usage condition, as outlined below.
Please note that our maintenance services are subject to a “fair usage” condition, which allows us to ensure that support can be provided on a commercially viable basis. In particular, this condition means that:
- We will make changes to the content of your website that fall within the scope of the original website that you purchased. For example, updating your business hours, changing an image, or updating the text in a paragraph of text would fall under content updates.
- We will not add pages/functionality that would effectively render the website a larger or more complex site. Substantial changes to the website, such as might amount to effectively rewriting or redesigning the site are not covered. We would of course be happy to provide an estimate for upgrading the website in these circumstances.
- We will expect that all change requests are properly and thoroughly considered, and are expressed with sufficient detail and clarity to allow us to understand the requirement. We will not begin work without fully understanding what you’d like done. If you have a number of change requirements, we would ask you to combine them into a single request wherever possible to allow us to manage those changes in the most efficient way.
- If we need to rework or redevelop any changes as a result of incorrect requirements, we reserve the right to charge on an hourly basis to rectify those issues. All changes should be made just once wherever possible.
- We can typically complete updates the same day, but depending on our availability they can take up to a week. If you have specific changes that are time-sensitive, it’s best to get us the information before the deadline/day you need it on the site. We will always do everything within our control to minimize the impact and duration of any planned or unscheduled downtime, but we make no specific guarantees of time-to-fix.
- Maintenance hourly website work is only considered in that calendar month. Time does not accrue or ‘rollover’ into subsequent months.
- You may cancel the maintenance by emailing us at [email protected]. To learn more about cancellations, please see the payment section below.
- If you choose to make content or other updates to the website yourself or allow a 3rd party to make such changes on your behalf, you must ensure that you/they have the appropriate skills and knowledge. With the exception of restoring the site to the last known good state via a backup, maintenance does not extend to fixing/repairing issues generated by you or a 3rd party authorized by you.
- Maintenance services will not be provided if your payments are not kept up to date. Maintenance is payable in advance, on the first of each month. Please see the payment section below for more information.
- We reserve the right to suspend or terminate maintenance if we consider that these fair usage requirements are not being met.
Upon purchasing a website audit, we grant you permission to access and use our completed website audit solely for your own internal business purposes. The link provided for your website audit expires 6 months after purchase. After that date, if you’d like a PDF version or access to the resources provided in the audit, contact us at [email protected]
By Audit (“Website Audit”) we’re indicating any portion of our marketing materials, website URL, PDF, or any other related materials we provide relating to your purchase of our Website Audit.
You may not directly or indirectly:
- Sublicense, resell, rent, lease, or otherwise commercially exploit the Audit or any portion thereof available to any 3rd party.
- Modify, translate, adapt, create, or attempt to create any derivative works of the Audit.
- Access the Audit to build a similar or competitive work.
You will promptly notify us if you learn of any unauthorized use or breach of security related to the Audit.
You guarantee to us that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide us for inclusion in the website are either owned by you or that you have permission to use them. Accordingly, we shall not be liable for any claims for breach of intellectual property rights relating to media provided by you, and you agree to indemnify us against any such claims.
When we receive your final payment, copyright is automatically assigned as follows:
For new website projects, you own the website files, text content, graphics, and other visual elements that we create for you for this project. We will give you a copy of all files as requested within a month of project completion. We are not required to keep any related project files after this date. You own text content, photographs, and other data you provided unless someone else owns them.
We reserve the right to display and link to your completed project as part of our portfolio and to write about the project on websites, in magazine articles, and in books about web design.
We also reserve the right to include and keep a small, unobtrusive link on your website to ours to show that we are proud to be associated with our work and your website.
If invoices are not paid in a timely manner as outlined in the terms, we reserve the right to recover unpaid invoices, including suspension of website services without notice, and/or legal recovery actions.
- Payment terms are 7 days from your invoice date unless we specifically agree otherwise.
- If the website is being hosted on our servers, the final project invoice is due within 7 days of the website launch. If the website is being transferred to a hosting company of your choosing, the final project invoice is due prior to the website transfer.
- Ongoing maintenance will be charged recurringly on the first of every month. These charges are non-refundable.
- If you are being auto-billed for monthly maintenance, and require work above the hourly limit included in your maintenance, we will auto-bill you for hours worked during the previous month up to 10 hours on the 1st of the month (in addition to the monthly maintenance payment). Anything above 10 hours, we will email you for confirmation to confirm this charge before continuing work.
- All deposits are non-refundable.
- All payments for website audits are non-refundable.
You may cancel the maintenance by emailing us at [email protected].
Cancellation does not entitle you to a refund of any prepaid or unused fees. You must email us to cancel services; you will continue to be billed and will be held liable for all payments and services until you have canceled maintenance.
Once canceled, maintenance may only be reinstated at our discretion and will be at our current/updated price. It is not to be considered as a service that may be ‘activated’ only on the months where work is required.
Be aware that if canceled and your website is hosted on our servers, we will send you the website files but are not responsible for transferring your website to a new provider, should you wish our website to remain online. All outstanding debts or invoices must be paid before we will give access to or transfer website files.
Early Termination of Website Project
During the design phase:
If you decide to terminate the project early, or if you do not meet your side of this agreement in terms of timely feedback and sign-off, you’re liable for any payments due for the work that we have completed up until that point.
Under those circumstances, we will invoice you for an amount up to 100% of the project cost (minus any payments already made on your behalf) to reflect the work already completed. We will be as fair as possible, but any reduction below 100% of the project cost will be at our discretion.
During the development phase:
Once we have started development, if you decide to terminate the project early, or if you do not meet your side of this agreement in terms of timely feedback and sign-off, you’re liable for 100% of the final project cost as outlined in your project proposal. You will be invoiced for project cost (minus any payments already made on your behalf).
We hope the need never arises, but we will take steps to recover unpaid invoices, including suspension of website services without notice and/or legal recovery actions.
Ownership and Intellectual Property
Unless otherwise stated, Carefree Creative owns the intellectual property rights for all material on https://carefree-creative.com, https://carefreecreative.dev, and https://carefreecreative.com. All intellectual property rights are reserved. You may access Carefree Creative’s website and resources for your own personal use as subject to restrictions set in these terms and conditions.
You must not:
- Republish material from Carefree Creative
- Sell, rent, or sub-license material from Carefree Creative
- Reproduce, duplicate or copy material from Carefree Creative
- Redistribute content from Carefree Creative
- Print, download, or otherwise use content from Carefree Creative without prior approval
Without prior approval and written permission, you may not create frames around our Webpages that alter in any way the visual presentation or appearance of our Website.
No link(s) should appear on any Website that may be interpreted as libelous, obscene, or criminal, or which infringes, otherwise violates, or advocates the infringement or other violation of, our rights.
We reserve the right to request that you remove all links or any particular link to our website. You agree to immediately remove all links to our website upon request. We also reserve the right to amend these terms and conditions and its linking policy at any time. By continuously using our services, accessing our website, audit, or other services, or by linking to our website, you agree to be bound to and follow all terms and conditions.
We can’t guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed website or website audit will always be error-free and so we can’t be liable to you or any 3rd party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings, or other incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate this website and any other web pages, even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages.
If any provision of this agreement shall be deemed to be unlawful, void, or for any reason is unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document under the jurisdiction of United States courts.
We may change the terms and conditions from time to time – though most changes are likely to be small. You can review the most current version anytime at https://carefree-creative.com/terms-of-service. The revised terms of service will become effective immediately after we post the updated text on the website. If you use our services after such date, such will constitute acceptance of the revised terms of service.