Setting up and operating a website

The key question to ask when setting up a website or even if you already have one up and running is this:- is it mine? Around this question are a million and one other questions, most of which can be answered by having in place two very useful contracts: a website design and development agreement and a website hosting agreement.

Website design and development agreement

Unless you are very IT confident, you probably employed someone to design and build your website for you. This type of agreement is a contract between you and your designer which primarily deals with the building of the website. However, crucially, these agreements will also deal with ownership of the content of your website once it is built. You will want to ensure that you own all the rights in the design of your website pages and the software which makes them run so that you can legally sell the website or transfer it to another designer if necessary.

Website Hosting Agreement

An up and running website has to be ‘hosted’ on a server connected to the internet and not everyone can have their own dedicated servers to do this. If you do rely on another company then you will need a website hosting agreement so that you can hold your host responsible for ensuring that your customers have constant and uninterrupted access to your website at all times. After all, if your website crashes, you are probably losing business. 

Top Tip:- If you do not own the rights in your website then consider asking for them to be transferred to you or, at the very least, consider a website content licence which, whilst it does not give you 100% ownership, can give you all the rights of an owner. 

For more information please contact Palbir Vadesha at Lawson-West on 0116 212 1000.

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