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Web Designers: Is Your Client Site Legal?

Web Designers: Is Your Client Site Legal?

If you’ve been using the internet at all in the last, like, 10 years, then you’ve definitely visited a website with a small pop-up asking whether or not you want to “allow cookies” or “consent to cookies.” You can either opt-out of cookies or agree to them. 

Now, not to be confused with Oreos or Chips Ahoy, these are not your average cookies.  Website cookies are how websites track and remember your activities. This data and information is a powerful tool to have, because it assigns a value to your browser whenever you revisit the site, making it easier to point you in the direction of conversions. 

However, cookies  are  stored data, specifically YOUR data stored, which is why you need to agree to the transaction before the collection begins. There is even  The Cookie Law, which states that if you don’t comply with asking permission before collecting cookies, it’ll be  very  bad for business.

If you’re a web designer or developer, you already know this. (Or… you  should.) 

The reason we’re bringing this up is not just because we want to make you hungry for chocolate chip cookies 🍪 (although we already did that to ourselves, so, mission half-accomplished). It’s so that you know, as a web designer or developer,  your clients' sites aren’t  done until they’re compliant — aka they have privacy and terms of use policies in place.

Every website you build or design needs a Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions to protect the client. As a service provider, it’s also your job to make sure that clients are aware these legal templates are needed! 

Disclaimer: You should never provide legal advice to clients. We are simply saying that  websites aren’t legally protected until they have a Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy in place.

Legal responsibility: Designer vs. client 

Before you got started on your web design or dev project, you signed a contract… right? 

If you did,  your contract  should eliminate any potential liability issues ahead of time. You want to make sure that you, as the service provider, are not liable for website outages (unless you mess something up, of course), data breaches, copyright claims, etc.

You also want to outline the client’s responsibilities, including:

  • Their responsibility to pay for hosting, domains, etc. as they renew
  • Their responsibility to review assets and pay  you on time
  • Their responsibility to ensure their website is compliant with local, state/region, and national laws

As web designers or developers, you might assume that there’s no liability beyond “not breaking their website,” but that’s just not true. Websites need a couple of legal elements and you want to make sure it’s clear in your contract that these elements do  not fall under your scope of liability. 

Legal policies every site needs (and every client needs to source)

As we’ve already established, legal agreements are  not  part of your legal requirements to your client as a developer, and you should  never  have any part in writing, drafting, advising, or generating agreements for or with your clients. 

BUT – what you can do is refer them to somewhere like, oh  we don’t know,  The Contract Shop®, where trustworthy and legally solid templates for every  important legal agreement   they’ll need are available with just a few clicks. 

The two biggies are  Privacy Policy  and  Terms and Conditions agreements, AKA the legal bread & butter to any successfully protected website. Depending on the nature of the client’s work, you may need to have blogging disclaimers, health disclaimers (i.e. for health coaches or nutritionists), or product terms (like shipping, refunds, etc.)

Because you need BOTH of these elements for a successful (and legal) site, we bundle the two together. Good news — we have three bundle options available for these needs: 

  1. Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy for Your Website: A contract template to cover all your basic privacy needs, ensured to be both GDPR and CaCPA Compliant!

  2. Terms & Conditions + Privacy Policy for Your E-commerce Store: All the basic terms & conditions and privacy policy legalese, with the added information needed to deal with inevitable chargebacks, returns, and failed credit card transactions.

  3. Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy for Online Courses & Digital Products: Building off of the agreements for your e-commerce store, this template also builds in how your intellectual property can be used (and can’t be used) due to the digital nature of your products. 

Great design, solid protection

All the good advice in the world won’t stop at least one person, at  some point,  from sending you a  scary legal letter that assigns some level of blame in a privacy dispute they’re dealing with. Honestly, some nightmare clients may even say their designer “didn’t tell them” they needed a privacy policy or terms and conditions.  This is why contracts are so important!

Aside from having a  rock-solid contract, web designers and developers should  always  refer your clients to legal templates you trust.  Of course, you can become an affiliate of The Contract Shop® today… so any time you refer clients to our templates, YOU get paid, too!

Your sites are covered, your clients are happy, and you get extra money. What’s not to like??


On average, affiliates earn $93 per sale!

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