Service Terms and Conditions

Payment Obligations, Renewals, and Cancellations

  1. Website Development Payment Obligations: A down payment is required to begin the development of your website. This is usually 50% of the upfront design fee unless an alternative contract or proposal specifies a different amount. The outstanding balance on your website is due after the design, navigation, and pages have been approved and built. Final payment is due regardless of whether all content for the pages has been sent by the client. This provision is in place to encourage the client to get content submitted promptly so that their site can go live. It also ensures that Sidecar Productions gets paid for performing their duty under the proposal, despite tardy content from the client. After payment, Sidecar Productions will still post outstanding content AT NO CHARGE for 3 months. In the event an “under construction” page is posted due to missing content, Sidecar Productions will post ONE copy of any text/pictures on existing pages only, for up to 3 months after the publishing date. After the three months have expired, content posted to the site will be billable at our current regular hourly rate. If design and navigation changes are requested by the client after they have been specifically approved by the client, these changes will be billable at our current regular hourly rate.
  2. Website Development Cancellation: If site design and development work has already begun (such as creating a design concept), then the down payment is non-refundable. Sidecar Productions may elect at its sole discretion to offer a partial refund depending upon the circumstances.
  3. Stock Photography Payment Obligations: Stock photography includes most photos and/or images not provided by the client. Stock photography purchased on behalf of the client for use in website development is billable. This amount is separate from the amount quoted for website design and development. Some pictures are more expensive than others, in which case we will solicit client approval and communicate the cost to purchase photos before purchasing.
  4. Description of Ongoing Costs: There are 2 types of ongoing costs: domain registration/renewal and hosting.
    1. Domain name registration/renewal: This cost recurs annually. Domain name registration gives you exclusive rights to a certain name, such as, so you can use it for your web-based purposes. You are not required to register a domain through us, but we strongly recommend that you do. Many services are not honest in the way they sell names and we spend a lot of time helping people re-secure rights to the name they thought they had already purchased. If you have registered your own name, make sure you have yourself as the Registrant and Administrative Contact with a current, easily accessible email address. This will help to ensure that your domain can be renewed or transferred should the need arise. Domain name registration fees are not refundable.
    2. Hosting: This cost recurs annually. Hosting places the website on a server connected to the web, which allows you to post a website for viewing through a browser. You are not required to host through us, but we strongly recommend that you do. Hosting comes with domain-based emails, bandwidth, storage space, database and security tools, and other features. Projects involving custom programming must be hosted with Sidecar Productions to ensure the programs we write will work. If you want to host your site on another server this must be disclosed before we begin programming.
    3. Hosting Renewal Payment Obligations: Your hosting account will be automatically renewed unless you give written notice to Sidecar Productions thirty (30) days before the renewal date that you do not wish to renew the account.
    4. Hosting Cancellation Payment Obligations: You may cancel at any time. Cancellations made within the first 30 days are subject to a full refund, less any unrecoverable costs or fees incurred. If you cancel after the first 30 days, you will be obligated to pay all fees and charges accrued prior to the effective date of the cancellation. Sidecar Productions will refund the prepaid fees for basic hosting for the full months remaining after the effective date of the cancellation, less any prior fees and charges, and an early cancellation fee of $25. Accounts that are terminated by Sidecar Productions for abuse or violations of internet standards or these terms and conditions will not receive any refund. All cancellations must be received in writing according to the deadlines indicated: regular mail and e-mail are acceptable. Phone requests will not constitute acceptance of any cancellation. Refunds will be issued back to you within 15 business days from your cancellation date.
    5. Hosting Transfer Payment Obligations: If you wish to transfer your hosting to another provider Sidecar Productions can, upon request, assist with this. There may be charges related to any transfer that cannot be easily facilitated by providing hosting and/or FTP access.
    6. Limited 30-day Money Back Guarantee on Hosting: If you are not completely satisfied with our services within the first 30 days from the opening of the account, you will be given a refund on your hosting fee excluding setup fees and time accrued from the setup date. If paid by credit card, refunds will be issued to the original credit card provided at the time of purchase. If your account has been canceled by us due to a breach of the terms and conditions on your part, you will not be eligible for a refund. Domain name registration is non-refundable.
    7. Sites NOT Hosted by Sidecar Productions: Should clients decide to host their site on another server, Sidecar Productions cannot guarantee that all elements of the site will work. Sidecar Productions will make a reasonable effort to research the problem on the foreign platform to let the client know what we think the problem is. However, we cannot take responsibility for problems caused by or on another hosting server, including but not limited to email, FTP, SSL, database, server software, and site security issues. If Sidecar Productions believes it will take a significant amount of time to fix the problem, we will advise the client before proceeding. In most cases, fixing problems on a foreign hosting server is billable.
  5. Website Maintenance: There are no required maintenance fees other than domain registration and hosting. Most people do some work on their site every year, for which we offer several plans. We can make certain parts of the site updatable by you by implementing a custom Content Management System. For work we do on the site after going live, we charge on an hourly basis. If you expect that maintenance will be a regular occurrence, you can buy a prepaid maintenance contract that affords a discounted hourly rate. If need be, we can customize a maintenance plan for your needs, but no plan is required.
  6. Website Maintenance Payment Obligations: Depending upon the nature of the website changes, prepayment may be required. If payment is not received within 30 days of any invoice due date, the maintenance changes may be taken down until payment is received. After 60 days, there may also be a reposting fee added to the outstanding maintenance invoice balance.

Development Process

  1. Homepage Design – Once the site design is approved by the client, usually via email consent, the design is considered ready for implementation. Should the client wish to make changes to a design they have approved, those changes are billable at our standard hourly rate.
  2. Navigation – Once the site outline/map is approved by the client, usually via email consent, the site navigation is considered ready for implementation. Combined with the approved graphic design, this becomes the site structure. Once we build this structure per client approval, any subsequent changes are billable at our standard hourly rate.
  3. Content – Provision of content is the customer’s responsibility unless specifically negotiated ahead of time as part of the project proposal.
    • Text content – Copy for all website pages and links needs to be delivered digitally and should be carefully proofread by the client. Two rounds of revisions will be provided free of charge. Subsequent revisions will be billable at our regular hourly rate.
    • Copy development – Should the client wish Sidecar Productions to develop content for the site, website copy is billable at our regular hourly rate. Development of copy is accomplished via Sidecar Productions interviewing the client about the topic areas to be addressed on their web pages. Sidecar Productions then composes appropriate copy and submits it to the client for review, editing, and approval. The approved copy is then posted to the web pages.
    • Graphical content – Images outside of the website design must be provided in digital form or in a form that can be easily scanned unless otherwise provided for in the customer’s contract. Subsequent revisions will be billable at our regular hourly rate.
  4. Database Implementation – Entry of data for database applications is considered the client’s responsibility. Entry of data by Sidecar Productions is billable unless otherwise provided for in the customer’s contract.
  5. Email We offer free domain-based email accounts to our clients as part of any hosting contract. If Sidecar Productions does not host the site, we take no responsibility for setting up and troubleshooting email problems.
  6. Training – For websites with administrative control panels or content management systems, a one-hour Basic Training (Editor Access) will be provided. Additional training and/or Advanced Training can be scheduled at an additional fee.
  7. Technical Support – We offer local and long-distance phone support to our clients.

Training and Tutorials

Because customer service is an integral part of our business strategy, our projects include a one-time complimentary training session in order for our clients to better make use of their new web technology. Additional training hours can be purchased at our standard hourly rate or applied against your existing maintenance contract.

Domain Transfers and DNS Management

For domains not originally registered with Sidecar Productions, there will be a fee to either transfer the domain into our registration platform, or to transfer out to another registrar. If your domain is not registered with Sidecar Productions, DNS management and troubleshooting tasks are billable at our hourly rate.

Websites with Proprietary Source Code

Should a client contract with Sidecar Productions to write custom code for a website application, this code is not transferable to a new developer or host. Custom-written source code is considered the property of Sidecar Productions and cannot be shared with other developers. Clients are granted a license to use custom software code while on Sidecar Productions servers only. Sidecar Productions retains ownership of the code.

In some cases, Sidecar Productions will install software for the client’s use that has been built by a third party. Examples include WordPress software, FCK editor software, shopping carts, photo galleries, etc. In these instances, clients will be subject to the terms and conditions of the third party who owns the software and may use the software as a licensee only. No ownership rights of any kind are transferred to the client.

Access to or transfer of proprietary source code could result in a security risk to Sidecar Productions and its clients who are running similar pieces of code. In order to provide custom software development services, clients give us access to private and/or sensitive information, trade secrets, proprietary pricing, and business methods. If clients believed that we may be sharing this information with outside developers, they could lose faith that we are protecting their proprietary information. Therefore, neither access nor transfer of any code built for any purpose that is unique and not commonly and publicly available can be granted. Should the client want us to build software to run on another server, it must be disclosed upfront and specifically contracted for.

Website components that ARE transferable to another host include HTML code, graphics, logos, pictures, navigation, text, and the data residing within a database (but not the code). Hourly fees will apply for any special work that needs to be done to transfer those parts of the website that do not violate the other paragraphs in this section.

Non-Domain-Based Troubleshooting

Sidecar Productions maintains and troubleshoots the websites we develop for our clients, as well as any domain-based email accounts of those websites. We do NOT assume responsibility for upkeep or provide non-billable troubleshooting on our clients’ ISPs (Internet Service Providers), ISP-based email accounts (,, etc), your home or office internet connections, or any other non-domain-based issues outside Sidecar Productions’s realm of service. The provision of non-domain-based troubleshooting services will be billable at our normal hourly rate.