A Software and Website Development Agreement can cover other services such as maintenance, technical support and hosting that the service provider also provides. If you require these additional services, these need to be drafted into the agreement to help avoid future disputes.

 Maintenance

As your service provider provides maintenance services, a clause needs to be included which sets out clearly what maintenance services will be provided, how they will be provided, and for what period of time. In addition, this clause can also cover whether or not updates will be provided, either free of charge or at a cost, and if updates are provided, how such updates will be made available.  If your website is reliant on a number of different pieces of software, it is important that the agreement sets out whose responsibility it will be to update this software and how this will be done.

Technical Support

If you are receiving maintenance services, generally this comes hand in hand with technical support services. It is normal to request that technical support services be provided for a certain period after the development is complete in case there are any issues which arise with the software and website which were not previously detected. As with the maintenance clause, it is important that the technical support clause sets out how support will be provided, for example, will the service provider attend on site or will the support be by way of phone/email, and will the support services be available 24/7 or only within business hours?

Hosting

If the service provider will host your website once the development stages are complete, then there needs to be a clause in your Software and Website Development Agreement which covers hosting. Important things to consider include:

  • Where is the website being hosted?
  • Does the service provider maintain its own physical set of servers?
  • Will the service provider be using third party servers?

In addition, if the service provider is providing hosting services or other data storage services, the agreement needs to be clear on what security systems the service provider has in place. Generally, the service provider will maintain standard security systems which consist of encryption and firewall technologies. However, most service providers will not be able to guarantee the security of the services or data and cannot be held responsible in the event of any infiltration of its security systems if the service provider can show that it has used commercially reasonable efforts to prevent any such infiltration. You should ensure that your service provider is providing you with the industry standard security systems and you should investigate whether there are any other protections you may require outside of what the service provider is providing to you.

Conclusion

If you are paying for services which extend beyond the development stage, such as maintenance, technical support and hosting, as discussed above, and there is no intention of entering into a new agreement to cover these services, then have the appropriate clauses added to your Software and Website Development Agreement. As software and website development can take some time, it is important that the Agreement is clear and properly drafted. If you require any assistance with the drafting of your Software and Website Development Agreement, contact us on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our experienced online solicitors today.

Priscilla Ng

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