April 7, 2017
The Dreaded Paper Work (And Why You Need It)What are you buying? What are you getting? Who's responsible?
Early on in the the creation of many websites details are ironed out hastily. Most people get an idea, get really excited about it and want to get things done right away! What about that paper work? In a lot of cases, we see that our customers have had previous websites built and completed and launched all without any paperwork.
Why is this important?
Paper work serves many purposes but the most important, quickly missed, is that it provides several key protections. Let's get into it.
Expectations Into Deliverables
Towards the end of a project, many without paper work will scratch their heads as they wonder about 'component x' or 'page y' from their ideas phase. It might take several months to get a website built up and ready to launch. By that time most have forgotten what they were after in the beginning. Did they write everything down? Did they remember that thing they wanted? Is it in the website right now?
By the time many websites launch what was in the ideas phase is long forgotten and the original goals that sprouted from those ideas are quickly lost as well. So many sites continue to drudge along trying to do what websites do, but really end up benefiting nobody in particular. They become forgotten along with their original goals and the excitement that surrounded them. This is how websites fail.
Make sure you know what you're getting, right up front, with paper work that outlines all of what you are ordering. When the website reaches its launch date you'll be able to audit this information quickly and no arguments can ensue about what was and wasn't included. With that said, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches if you make sure you're dealing with a reputable party who puts all of these things up front.
The Legal Gotchas
Many who build websites neglect to inform their customers of their legal responsibility when including content from third parties. Some are completely in the dark about this and do not seem to grasp that you can't just grab content off the internet, that someone else made, and include it in your website. There are many legal gotchas that can creep up on the unsuspecting.
When your website is about to be launched, it should have all the releases and copyrights associated with it filed and ready, should there be any legal challenge brought down the road. Doesn't seem like something most people would worry about, but that's why so many get Cease and Desist letters from an attorney out of the blue. Usually for using some pictures or content that doesn't belong to them on their website.
Remember, content costs money and time to make and most will guard their work fiercely under the direction of their attorney. So to avoid this mistake, make sure you have all your content and paperwork together. If you want to include third party materials, like stock photography, you should get written permission from the owners or have your licensing paper work in order. Do not include it until you do.
Paper work solves many of the headaches that are easy to miss without it. If you don't know what you're ordering, or what you'll end up with or who's responsible, how can you be sure you'll get what you want? We want you to get exactly what you want, which is why along with giving you our best, we provide paper work for you to review.