MediaArchitects.org GENERAL POLICY AND FEE INFORMATION, updated May 14, 2012
Years of experience dictate the following policies, which apply to both new and current clients. It serves as an agreement and understanding of our fee and other work process policies. Please read it thoroughly and pose any questions about its contents before work ensues. Thank you.
We assume earnest responsibility to apply ourselves fully to all clients' projects, and do no less than strive for the most effective media possible within clients' means. We work hard. Our efforts are also quite public, so those things that bear our name must instill pride in both our clients and ourselves. This is our pledge. For the sake of efficiency and to reduce the added expense when there are "too many chefs in the kitchen", project communications, following any initial group brainstorming that might occur, will be between us (normally the project director) and 1 contact selected by the Client, unless other arrangements have been made.
Notes about our work and your website and video
By hiring us you agree that our website name MediaArchitects.Co is to remain visible at the bottom right of the the website pages, linked to our website. If we produce video for you, we retain the right to use some portion of the video for our portfolios. This includes some sequences of video we choose, but not your video in its entirety, unless otherwise approved by Client.
The first 1/2 hour to 45-minute meeting exploring your marketing and communications needs is free of charge. Phone meetings are recognized as meetings. After that free time, and before an agreement to hire for a project is executed, an additional 3 hours maximum of development of your new business ideas, existing business development and marketing development (website brainstorming, etc.) is charged at a firm $100., payable in advance via paypal. This token payment requirement is non-negotiable.
Upon an agreement to hire for any short or long-term project, including website research/design, collateral research/design, education and training materials research/design, and general market research (i.e., all work), a non-refundable $350. deposit is required before a project ensues. A committed start date on our part is applied when the deposit is cleared. In particular, website research/design work begins 2-6 weeks after accepting the deposit currently.
Work weeks are Monday through Friday, and do not include weekends. E.g., If we indicate that something will require 2 weeks, this is equal to 14 work days (close to 3 calendar weeks). Estimate for work quoted is based on work performed during the course of regular working hours (Mon-Fri 9 am to 6 pm). Rush, holiday and weekend work necessitated at Client's directive is billed at a 20% higher rate, and as time allows.
Though we strive for a finished product with which clients will be very pleased, and will make some amount of revisions to achieve this most important goal, we require payment for our services regardless; i.e., as professional service providers, we expect payment for our time and applied expertise. We bill and pursue accordingly. Client shall be responsible for making additional payments for changes necessitated by Client revisions and/or additions following Client's approval (other than for our error) and will be billed additionally at the hourly rate.
We can not work on commission, nor do we work "on spec". We bill for website outlines and plans. If you require a documented outline or plan for your project the work represents billable time, including any or all of the following: overall concept, marketing approach, look and feel, pages (categories, subcategories, etc.), user interface, functions, layout, special coding estimates, database creation, etc. We are very pleased to perform this research, planning and documentation process. A$350. deposit will be required before work ensues. If you choose, you may hire us for this outlining/planning task and subsequently provide the plans to another website developer who can execute the plans we're designed with you.
We want you to be happy with the process, so we both agree to communicate well and regularly. We are sincere in our efforts to make the content and information gathering process as easy as possible for clients (i.e., getting raw text, raw images, audio, and video from clients). If a client is unresponsive to requests for information or review/approval of proofs for 6 weeks from the time of providing the deposit, we maintain the right to cancel the contract and keep the deposit. We have learned that procrastination is the death of a good project, so please provide information as requested as soon as possible.
Any renewal of this project after termination will require a new agreement, fee schedule and up front deposit.
Expenses/Information External to Our Services
We do not like surprises in the context of business, so we are sure to likewise provide you with as much information as possible so that you are also not confronted with costly surprises during your project(s). You can expect the following:
Certain expenses of services that we contract outside of our normal offerings; e.g., printing a brochure or postcard, will normally be paid by the Client before the work is executed, unless other arrangements have been made.
We are not an Internet service provider inasmuch as we do not have our own server. We do perform the administration of website hosting, have hosting plans, and our fees are competitive for this service. We also perform the administration for annual domain registration and email accounts at competitive prices.
Alternatively, we can administer already established domain registrations, online email and website hosting on a Client's behalf. At times, Clients already have hosted websites they want us to replace/update, with service providers such as godaddy, networksolutions, etc. We will require complete login information at the time of deposit (i.e., host url, login name and password) for these accounts so we can upload/download website files. [F.Y.I. We do not recommend godaddy, nor networksolutions because we feel they are unnecessarily expensive, and we have encountered better technical support elsewhere]
If, to save money, the Client, requests a free remotely hosted [server side] tool including Wordpress.com, CushyCMS.com, Google Calendar, and other such Client-managed content, whereby the Client can change text and/or images, great! We're happy to research, administer and embed the many offerings available. However, the risk for a free offering is that it is more likely to cease to exist in the future, and we have no control over technical problems/security issues that arise with an online editing system [like Wordpress]. We are not responsible for their long term functioning, nor the cessation of these free enhancements. If higher reliability is of concern, please consider premium-based content management.
Regarding emails, as mentioned, we can set up several email accounts associated with your domains, including setting up forwarding to any email address you choose. Settings on your own computer using software installed on your computer that downloads the email from your hosting server account (e.g., Outlook) are your responsibility. [This link has been useful to clients for Outbox sending issues): http://www.slipstick.com/problems/common-problems-that-cause-email-to-stay-in-the-outbox/ ]
Any such items can be detailed in the contract between the Client (you) and us. Additional expenses for additional website features that might surface once a project is engaged will be detailed in emails to the Client and will require digital [email] approvals and deposits when applicable before work ensues.
Regarding What We Can Not Control and Therefore Websites Edits and Repairs for Which We Must Charge Hourly Rates
We do not monitor your site for anomalies/malfunctions. It is not possible. We can hire a service on your behalf to do so. Please ask. Repairs to malfunctions that occur as a result of hacker; e.g., viruses, intentionally damaged files that inhibit function of a website and anything unwanted resulting from a hack that stole access through covert means, is a circumstance that we can not control. From the largest to the smallest of companies and their websites, hackers spend their time figuring out how to break or destroy websites (sometimes it is just mischief. Sometimes it can take a whole company down at a loss of millions of dollars). We offer security items to minimize the hackers ability to access your files online. In any case, we charge for the repairs that result from being hacked.
In regards to browser functions (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari), Internet design protocol (coding parameters that dictate what appears correctly on the Internet), and security changes over time and your website function: regrettably, we can not control those changes made over time and the subsequent function of your website over time. If you notice malfunctions, please let us us know immediately, and we will make changes at our normal fees to have them work correctly. Infrequently, this may require a significant renovation of your site if it is several years old.
About Payment and Payment Venues
Note that bills may be submitted weekly and payment is due upon receipt. Cash, money orders and other verifiable currency are also acceptable. PayPal is acceptable with a 5% of total fee for this convenience.
Media Architects is a registered business in Newburyport, MA. Checks are payable to the selected project director. Form 1099's are issued per project director. Please do not write checks to Media Architects, thank you.
Note that if a client should fall short of being able to fund their project to completion, work to that date will be charged and payable immediately. Once the billable time has been paid, any materials/digital media in their partially complete state that can be transferred to the client will be, including website pages, logos, brochures, etc. upon request. If the transfer of files is more than an instant process (e.g., the sending of an email), the normal hourly rate will apply to find, record, transfer, copy and/or mail the files as required of the file format(s).
To avoid junk mail, a regular mailing address will be provided after a project has been confirmed.
Please print this document out with the associated date of update as a reference source, noting that policies will change intermittently and you are encouraged to visit this page intermittently to review new policies. Thank you for reading this document carefully.
Your Website Design
a non-negotiable marketing component in our marketplace
SEO and Content Development
if your goal is excellent search results, our SEO is outstanding
The Video You Need
professional video for websites & Internet content; new "TV" online
Graphic Design & Photography
business and market specific, professional projects require it
Collateral Design & Printing
brochures, banners & more, designed, printed & shipped