- Decide what your budget and timescales are.
- Prepare a thorough brief, providing the background to your business and the web project and explaining what you hope to achieve.
- Decide what selection process you will use to choose a designer.
- If appropriate, require designers to sign a confidentiality agreement before you reveal project details or any confidential information.
- Explain what constraints the designer must work within: for example, matching your existing house style.
- Work with the designer to develop a specification; establish as clearly as possible what will constitute an acceptable design.
- Agree a timetable; plan interim targets and agree how progress will be regularly reviewed.
- Agree what testing will be required during the project and before you accept the completed site design.
- Establish what will happen if the project starts to run late.
- Establish what will happen if you want to modify the specification once the project has started.
- Establish what rights each of you will have to terminate the project once it has started and how any payments would be treated.
- Require the designer to assign copyright and design rights relating to the site to you, or at least to grant you an appropriate licence.
- Require the designer to waive any moral rights to be identified as the author or designer of material or to object to how it is used or modified.
- Ensure that you have an appropriate licence to use any software or source code required to make the site function.
- Require the designer to warrant that he has the right to any intellectual property used in the site, and to indemnify you against claims.
- Review any obligations you are asked to agree to (for example, to provide specified material by a certain date) and confirm that these are acceptable.
- Agree how much the designer will be paid, when payments will be made and whether you will pay any extra expenses.
- Agree an appropriate dispute resolution procedure in case of any problems during the project which you cannot resolve between yourselves.
- Prepare agreements with any third parties (for example, if someone else will host the site); establish how everyone will work together.
- Plan ahead for how the site will be maintained and developed in future; consider whether this needs to be taken into account now.
- set clear objectives
- expect delays
- specify if the project must achieve a fixed launch date
- ensure that you have appropriate rights to any intellectual property.
- require extravagant penalties for failing to meet deadlines
- change your requirements without agreeing how costs and timescales will be affected
- accept any obligations unless you are confident that you can fulfil them.