Terms of Service
The following content should be read in full as these terms will form the basis of any arrangement that both parties agree upon.
Our services to our clients are as a direct response to a written or emailed specification. It may be necessary to agree later to change or add the original scoping document.
We will work from our premises but may sometimes need to visit you (the client), or we may need to arrange remote desktop sessions to cover some elements of the work proposed.
You agree you have authority to commission any work for your organisation, and can provide everything needed to complete the project including text, images and other information, in a suitable format and to achieve deadlines.
You also agree to review any work done, provide suitable feedback and approval in a professional and timely fashion. We’ll also carry out the work in a professional and timely manner but cannot guarantee to meet short deadlines, especially if there has been a delay in receiving your materials or approvals. We will also maintain the confidentiality of any personal information or business data that you give us. For this purpose, it may be necessary to provide an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for signature by both parties.
Web hosting and administration
This section usually relates to start-up businesses or new ventures within an existing company. Some of the costs involved would be payable upfront with ownership recorded with the client from the outset.
Examples of initial set-up actions are listed below:
- Domain name search or alternative options if not available.
- Purchase of the domain once chosen. *
- Purchasing a suitable hosting package. *
- Free SSL Certificate with selected hosting.
- Setting up email accounts or re-direction. **
- Setting up auto-responders. **
- Necessary spam filtering, dependant on the hosting package chosen. **
- Acting as your domain administrator for ICANN or Nominet matters. **
* Billed at cost.
** Included in the set-up and annual maintenance costing.
We currently work with three hosting providers, all UK based and offer telephone support in addition to a ticket support system that operates 24/7. Hosting costs are typically paid annually with domain names purchases and renewals usually every two years. These are:
* Simplink Communications may receive a fee as an introducer.
If you have a preferred hosting provider, we are happy to work with them providing that the package offered carries the most up-to-date software installed on their servers and that their servers are in the UK or EEA. There are disadvantages to using hosting in other parts of the World as this can impact SEO ratings and page load speeds. Your preferred Web hosts must have the technical framework required for WordPress hosting.
If you are comparing prices with other hosting providers, be sure you are comparing like for like, paying particular attention to their “WordPress Hosting Packages” and what they include.
Simplink Communications provides the following back-end support throughout the year:
- A fully managed service for regular WordPress updates , plugins and themes.
- A free managed security plugin, and where necessary, a premium option installation* to protect against site intrusion and attempted hacking attacks.
- Webstats access reporting.
- 12 months’ support for sorting out any problems you are having with your installation, themes, widgets, lost passwords and suchlike. Some problems might require a remote desktop session, refer to the ‘remote desktop support’ section below.
* Charged at cost.
Maintenance and site visits
Site support sessions and maintenance work are currently billed at £30 per hour if not included in the hosting package. Small site updates, mail and phone support for clients (unless otherwise advised) are all free. There is no premium rate number to call and we are reachable should you have any problems with your site, either by phone, email, or WhatsApp.
Remote desktop support
If you need help with your WordPress site and you do not have remote support included in your hosting package, we can have a look at the issue over the Internet by connecting directly to your desktop or laptop computer. These sessions are charged at £30 per hour (to the nearest quarter hour) and invoiced for immediate settlement after the end of the session.
Simple stats for referrals, popular pages, keywords used to find you, etc., based on the rolling last 500 hits to your site can be set up free of charge.
The service provider we use is currently Statcounter. They have a paid service available currently priced at 5€ euro per month or 39€ per annum which extends the 500 hits limit to 50000 hits over 21 months whereas the free version retains rolling data for up-to 6 days. VAT is payable at the current rate on these figures and you will be invoiced directly by Statcounter.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is very much a specialist area of marketing involving the use of Adwords, keyword campaigns, etc. This is very much a specialist area and can cost serious money if you decide to enter into bidding wars for a particular keyword you want to rank for in a Pay Per Click Search (PPC).
You should bear in mind that it would be highly unlikely to rank high on the first page for such words as insurance, cleaning, motor, etc. For this reason, we prefer to outsource this work to a specialist SEO company who we have been using for a number of years. PPC tends to be instant once the Google or Bing spiders have crawled and indexed your site; whereas an organic listing can take up to six months to appear in your search results. It could be sooner if you have a totally unique product or proposition. Please be cautious of any SEO company who claim to get you on Page One of a Google search – that was possible some 15 years ago but not now.
Obviously, you can appoint your own SEO specialists and we would be happy to work with them, either by giving them limited access to your site (not recommended) or with Simplink making the changes to the page content that they may suggest. Providing the site changes are minimal they would be free of charge, otherwise, they would be subject to a quotation being offered prior to any changes commencing. All such changes are to be submitted via email only so that a paper-trail exists between all parties.
Website design and maintenance
WordPress sites are based on commonly available free or paid-for templates. It should be noted that some of the paid templates and plugins come with an annual licence fee and this should be considered in the overall budget.
These templates are created by third parties and we rely on their technical support to deal with any issues which may arise. We will customise the templates for your needs as far as is possible, and we will guide you in template choice towards those from companies with a good track record of customer support. Some templates are not changeable with regard to styling.
Because of the nature of WordPress as a content management platform, you accept full responsibility for changing your site template or any of its detailed code. If you break something it may be necessary to restore a backup version. If you have not arranged to keep your site’s core software, themes and plugins up to date then we will not be responsible for any issues which may arise as a result of operating or upgrading a poorly maintained site. If you require your site to be compliant with certain standards, browsers, or screen sizes, we will test against these, and you also agree to report any pre-release or ongoing issues found. We do not develop or work on any Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge browsers.
Hosting and site security
If your site is hosted with any of the recommended companies, we will look after all matters relating to the website’s security, installing and monitoring key WordPress patches, bandwidth, anti-hacker plugins, monitoring any downtime and similar. Off-site backups can be taken as an additional service and sent to yourselves as directed. We cannot guarantee 100% server uptime, but the hosting companies we use are extremely reliable with on average a 99.88% availability.
WordPress stores previous revisions of content, but you should assure yourself that you have access to whatever backups of webserver data you might need in an emergency – particularly any emails which may be stored there.
If you have an email service with your selected hosting package you need to retrieve mail via IMAP rather than POP3. For any network or security-related issues you may experience you are in the hands of the hosting or network providers concerned, and whilst we will submit fault requests and chase for resolutions, we cannot actually fix any such technical issues ourselves. An IMAP client synchronizes the e-mail on your computer with the contents of your account on the e-mail server, while a POP account simply downloads the inbox. Instead of moving messages from the server to your computer, IMAP synchronizes your computer with the e-mail server.
If you have made your own hosting arrangements and are granting us access to the server, the above will apply. Otherwise, you will need to check whether the web space is suitably configured and/or whether we have sufficient access rights and make your own security and back up arrangements if necessary.
When creating a website, we will create the pages previously agreed in the scope together with any images and text that you provide.
If you have requested that you wish to manage the web content, some of page building exercises can be included in a training session in order for you to learn how to do it yourself. As a rule of thumb, if you can type and have a solid understanding of MS Word or a similar desktop word-processing package, then you should be able to master what is involved.
Additional updates to the site that you need us to do, searching for content or amending functionality after the site is launched, may be chargeable at the prevailing hourly rate. The content on the site is your own responsibility and we are not responsible for how well it fares in search engine results, although we will use Google’s webmaster guidance to ensure no major optimisation errors are introduced at the design stage. You agree to adhere to standard practice for UK-based hosting in terms of validity of content and acceptable use policies.
Training and Coaching
If we are to provide a training session in using WordPress either in person or remotely, we will aim to cover all the points we have agreed in advance and after completing a training needs analysis. Please be aware that it may not be possible to cover other areas not previously agreed due to operational pressures and time constraints.
We will show you how to add content, images, and use any plug-ins that we have agreed to install. Enhancements to the Website throughout the course of the maintenance contract will be considered but may be subject to an additional charge depending on what is involved.
You must guarantee to us that any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork that you provide for inclusion in a web site are either owned by you or that you have permission to use them including a licence as required.
- When your final payment is received, copyright is automatically assigned as follows:
- You own the graphics and other visual elements created for you for this project.
- You will receive links to backup files and you are responsible for keeping backup copies.
- We may also keep backup copies of your files, but you shouldn’t rely on this possibility.
- You also own the text content, photographs and other data you provide unless someone else owns them (such as a site template or plugin creator).
- Some of the generic code or other general material on your site may be specially created for us and you are permitted to use it on this website, but you agree that we may re-use it on sites for other customers.
Full payment for designs is not normally requested until completion. However, if any up-front costs are involved (e.g., templates, licenses, images or domain names) an invoice will be raised and is to be paid before work can begin.
A summary of expected costs will be included in our scoping document and before starting any work on your Website. In the event of any additional costs arising (e.g., due to specification changes or unforeseen circumstances) we’ll let you know in advance and propose some alternative options if necessary.
All invoices are due on receipt. Annual renewal costs cannot be paid in instalments or on a pro-rata basis. Refunds for unused hosting periods cannot be given, except in the case of a serious failure of the hosting provider and subject to that hosting company’s refund policy. If you are using your own hosting facilities, then you should review their own terms with regards cancellation.
Unpaid bills may accrue interest after 15 days and non-payment after 30 days may result in your website being disabled until such time as cleared funds are received.
Our services are provided in good faith but we can’t guarantee that the functions contained in any web page templates or in a completed website will always be error-free. Therefore, we can’t be liable to you or any third party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate the website and any other web pages, even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages.
If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions under English law.
We have created SME websites since 2004 and rarely has there ever been a need to sign a formal contract since they have been built for friends and their personal recommendations.
However, your email confirming that you require our services for a website and/or social media project assumes you have read these terms of service which is also linked with every estimate issued. Acceptance of these terms will be in accordance with its stated stipulations.
In the event of any change in those published terms during the contracted period, they will only be effective from the renewal date and will be clearly advised prior to the renewal of same.
If you are selling or closing your business please advise us as early as possible so we can make the necessary transitional or winding-down arrangements. Please don’t assume that the Website can be transferred to a new business owner at the drop of a hat as they may have specific needs. They will need to be made aware of these terms of operation. If you are transferring a website to us from another provider, or require us to transfer a site away, we will do all we can to ensure a smooth transition but actions taken (or not taken) by the other parties involved may hinder this move.
If you have any concerns or questions at any time, regarding any of the services we offer, please use our ‘Contact Us’ form by clicking on the linked text or call us on the numbers displayed on that page to get in touch. We aim to respond to all emails by the next working day if not sooner.
This terms of service notice were last updated on 31st January 2020.