We have tried to keep these Terms of Service as straight forward as possible using plain English.
‘We’ or ‘us’ means Castus.
‘You’ or ‘Client’ means the client.
‘In writing’ means email.
‘Bespoke’ projects mean websites built from scratch and editable through a CMS such as Joomla! or Wordpress.
‘Maintenance’ means any paid or billable updates or changes to an existing website or system.
‘Standard Hourly Rate’ is the fee billed per hour of work done/quoted. You can find this in your proposal or by asking your project manager.
’Start Date’ is the date a project formally begins, outlined in section 2.
‘Completion Date’ means the date a project or task is considered complete for billing purposes, outlined in section 2.
‘Scope’ means the extent of services we will provide for an agreed fee, described in section 4.
’Statement of Works’ is a document that we produce that defines the Scope of a given Castus project. It’s usually produced as the result of a sales and planning process. Described in section 4.
A ‘Proposal’ is the sales document that we produce that briefly outlines the project and provides cost information. All Proposals are subject to these Terms of Service. Described in section 4.
‘Sign-Off’ means the final approval of designs or plans, described in full in section 5.
‘Variation Order’ means out-of-scope work, billable according to the procedure described in section 6.
‘Client Acceptance Tests’ means the process of acceptance testing done by the Client described in section 17.
'Standard Office Hours’ means the times our offices are open for business, described in section 21.
2a. Key Bespoke Project Dates
A project Start Date is the date a project is formally agreed. For this we use either the date we raise the first invoice for a project, or the date a project agreement or contract is signed, whichever comes first.
The Completion Date is the date a project is considered complete for billing purposes. The final project invoice can be raised on or after this date. A website qualifies as complete and the Completion Date reached if any of the following criteria are met:-
- A site successfully passes Client Acceptance Tests.
- A site is put live in any form or used for any commercial purposes.
- Two weeks elapses from the day Client Acceptance Tests begin.
2b. Key Maintenance Task Dates
The Completion Date is the date a Maintenance task is considered complete for billing purposes. Any remaining invoices relating to a task can be raised on or after this date. A task qualifies as complete and the Completion Date reached if any of the following criteria are met:-
- A task is approved by the client, either verbally or in writing.
- Any part of the task is put live in any form or used for any commercial purposes.
- Two weeks elapses from when Castus inform the client that the task is ready for them to review.
3. Standard Hourly Rate
Our Standard Hourly Rate is the fee charged to the Client per hour of work. Our Standard Hourly Rate will be stated in your Proposal.
4. Project Scope
During a website sales and planning process many different options, functionalities and ideas for a website are discussed. The Statement of Works acts as the full and final record of what’s included in the project Scope. Only the things described in the Statement of Works are included in the project Scope. Anything that is not described in the Statement of Works is not included in the project Scope.
The Statement of Works supersedes all other discussions, emails and documentation. So if you feel a feature, function or idea for your website should be included in your Statement of Works but is missing, it’s very important that you bring it to our attention as soon as possible, importantly, before the initial project invoice is raised. When brought to our attention we will either add it to the Statement of Works (and adjust the project cost and deadline if necessary), or we will explain why the item was omitted. Anything that you don’t bring to our attention before an initial invoice is raised will not be included in the project Scope and will therefore not be deliverable within the project fee.
Unless agreed otherwise and specified in your Statement of Works, it's your responsibility to provide all website content, including all text and images, for all website and design projects.
When going through a sales process with us we will also produce a Proposal. This is a document that provides a top-level description of Statement of Works and cost details including an itemised cost breakdown and a project total. ‘Additional Features' may be listed in a separate price table in the Proposal, these are optional extras and are not included in the total cost.
Castus Proposals are valid for up to 30 days, where possible we will honour Proposals beyond this but this cannot be guaranteed.
5. Sign-Off Process
By Sign-Off we mean your acceptance and approval of designs or plans, required at various stages throughout a project.
For all Bespoke web projects we produce a set of wireframes - basic illustrations of all page layouts required for a given project. These wireframes are used to plan layouts and to act as a visual representation of the Statement of Works, so all on-page functionality will be represented in the wireframes. When we feel the wireframes are complete we will ask you to sign them off in writing (email is fine). By providing Sign-Off you confirm that the assets in question are correct and have your approval. Changes to Signed-Off plans/artwork may be billable as a Variation Order.
We will also ask you to Sign-Off all web page designs for a given Bespoke project. Sign-Off is required one page design at a time, Signing-Off each page before we’re obliged to move onto the next, and so on. We do not place limits upon the number of design revisions and variations that we will allow during an ongoing (pre Sign-Off) design process. We will continue to revise all designs until you are completely happy with them. Once Sign-Off has been given however, further design changes may, at our discretion, be billable as Variation Orders.
If Sign-Off of any page designs or plans is delayed for any reason, it may delay the project Completion Date.
6. Variation Orders
Sometimes during a project, Clients request work that is not included in the project Scope, or request a change to an already Signed-off element of an ongoing project. Examples of this include adding new features or functionality, extending or amending functionality, adding new web pages, design changes (post Signoff), changing page layouts (post Signoff). In these circumstance we will always try to accommodate the request for no additional fee. However, If the change in question causes an increase in the project workload for Castus, it will be treated as a billable Variation Order.
You will be informed by a member of the Castus team if any request falls in this category.
Variation Orders are quoted on an individual, fixed price basis according to our Standard Hourly Rate. We will provide you with a quote for the additional works and require written confirmation (by email) of your acceptance of our quote before we can book it in to the programme of works for the project.
Variation Orders can delay the scheduled Completion Date of a project, and will be added to the final project invoice for billing.
Unless requested otherwise we will use fonts from various sources, some may require a paid subscription or a licence fee, the cost of which will be passed on to the Client. If you require us to only use free font options, please inform us during a sales process. Failure to do this could mean that we have to change the fonts used in your design, altering the appearance of your site.
8. Holding Page
Included in the Scope of all Bespoke projects is the initial setup and use of our standard holding page template (for use before your new website goes live), if you would like to see an example of this just let us know. Any design, layout or content changes to this template will be billable according to our Variation Order process.
Unless contracted otherwise, Castus reserve the right to show all work in our marketing materials including on our website.
Unless agreed otherwise in advance, we put a text link in the footer of all Castus websites linking to ‘www.castus.co.uk'.
Our standard payment terms for all Bespoke projects are 50% upfront (this is required for us to book the project into our programme of works diary), and 50% on the project Completion Date. Alternative payment terms are possible but must be agreed in writing in advance.
Maintenance payment terms can vary. In general Maintenance is billed 100% upon completion, but larger Maintenance tasks may be billed 50% upfront and 50% upon completion. We will inform you before any work begins if your Maintenance task requires 50/50 billing.
12. Overdue Payment
If payment is not received by the invoice due date we reserve the right to claim further charges in line with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1998 as amended and supplemented by the Late Payment Of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002, which will be added from the invoice due date at 8% plus The Bank of England base rate.
Until full payment is received Castus retain full ownership of all code and designs that we produce.
13. Non-Payment Procedure
If payment for any service is overdue, Castus may suspend the Client account and all services provided, including, at our discretion, the removal of the website(s) from the internet. In these circumstances, a fee may be required to re-publish the site.
You can cancel a project at any time and for any reason by informing us in writing. At our discretion we may cancel a project at any time if any invoice goes unpaid, if anyone from your organisation is abusive towards a Castus staff member, or if all reasonable attempts to contact you go unanswered for 28 days or more.
In the event of a cancelation, any design or development work that’s been completed will be payable. We record all time spent on all projects, these records are used to determine costs in the event of cancelations. If a deposit has already been paid, a refund will be given for the difference if the deposit is greater than the balance due. If the balance due is greater than the deposit, an invoice will be raised for the difference.
If you go out of business or into liquidation, we will cancel any remaining agreed works and invoice for any work completed.
15. Creative Assets
Castus retains ownership of all unused creative assets from a project or design exercise.
We own all designs and code that we produce. After a project fee is paid in full these Terms of Service grant you a limited license to use the Signed-Off design on one website on one domain name. You are not permitted to resell, or use a design on more than one website or domain without our prior agreement.
17. Content Population
We find that the process of populating a website is the best way to learn how to use a content management system (CMS), it’s for this reason we recommend that you populate your own new site as part of your CMS training. As standard we include 4 hours of content population with each project, this time is best used in a consultancy capacity, offering support and guidance. Unless additional time was included within our project Proposal or Statement of Works, time spent beyond these standard 4 hours may be billable as a Variation Order. If you do require us to undertake additional content population for you it’s best if you inform us before the project Start Date, and we will factor additional time into our Proposal.
For each project we provide a one-to-one training session on how to use your CMS, and for all Bespoke projects we will supply you with a CMS Manual with written instructions on how to use your CMS.
18. Client Acceptance Tests
At the end of a project or maintenance task, after our own internal testing procedures, a two week period of Client Acceptance Tests take place. This is for you to perform your own testing and to determine if the Statement of Works has been delivered, in the case of a Bespoke project, or if the maintenance task brief has been met. During this stage, if you identify anything that is not working as it should be you must inform us in writing, providing full details of the issue, the web browser and device type used. We will then ensure that everything works as per the Statement of Works, or task brief.
When all issues raised have been resolved the site is deemed to have passed its Client Acceptance Tests.
19. Website Launch
We will never put your website live without direct instruction to do so from you. It’s your responsibility to check that the site is functioning correctly before use. The process of putting a website live can take up to 2 days, so you should factor this in to any timeframes you are working with.
In order to ensure sufficient support is available to manage the launch of your website and resolve any problems that can occur during a launch process, we advise that website launches are scheduled to take place on the morning of a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday providing the following day is a standard UK working day.
20. Post-Launch Support
We will always try to provide a quick and efficient service when dealing with post-launch bugs or errors. If you notify us of any bugs or errors with relevant details (a description of the issue, the URL of the page in question, the browser and device used) in writing we will correct issues at the earliest opportunity. Included in the Scope of all projects is a 3 month period (after the launch of the website) of bug and error fixing on our supported browsers and devices (described below). After this 3 month period has elapsed, we are no longer obliged to provide bug and error fixes free of charge, we may do so but this is done at our discretion.
At any stage of a project we are not obliged to fix any bugs or errors that we determine are a result of moving the website to any 3rd party hosting environment.
We are not obliged to provide support for software, hardware, browser or legislation updates that may be released after the project Start Date.
21. Project Deadlines
We will always try our best to meet all deadlines, and we take a transparent and honest approach to project management which means we will always let you know if a situation arrises where a deadline is in danger of being missed. We cannot be held accountable and are not liable for any damages, losses, costs incurred, loss of earning, compensation or claims of any kind due to any missed deadlines.
22. Standard Office Hours
Our Standard Office Hours are Monday to friday, 8:30am to 12:30pm, and 1:30pm to 5pm, excluding UK Bank Holidays.
23. Out-Of-Hours Support
All work done outside of our Standard Office Hours may, at our discretion, be billed at 150% of our Standard Hourly Rate.
Any issues with your website or project that become apparent outside of our Standard Office Hours should be sent by email with full details (a description of the issue, the URL of the page in question, the browser and device used) to your project manager. Any issues that are critical to the immediate running of your business operations and cannot wait until office hours resume should be emailed, including as much detail as possible (a description of the issue, the URL of the page in question, the browser and device used), to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try our best to resolve issues of this nature outside of our Standard Office Hours but our ability to do this depends on staff availability outside work, and therefore cannot be guaranteed.
24. Warranty and Liability
We provide websites on an ‘as is’ basis and make no warranties. Errors and bugs can exist in any project, we can’t guarantee that a website’s functions will be uninterrupted and error free, but we do look after our customers as per our ‘Post-Launch Support’ terms described above. We are not liable for any claims, losses, loss of business, costs incurred or compensation resulting from the use or miss-use of any files produced or edited by Castus.
Illnesses can happen, we are not liable for any halt in services due to illness. In the event of Castus illnesses we will always try to rearrange our internal resources in order to offset any lost time, but we can’t guarantee that this will always be possible.
We are not liable for any consequences or financial losses that may result in any way from the services provided by Castus.
By using any of the files or designs produced by us, you assume full responsibility for ensuring that they are all functioning correctly. This means that we cannot be held accountable for any claims, losses, costs or damages resulting from the use of any files or designs produced by us.
During the course of a project, if any design, page, feature or function etc. is not acheivable within the time quoted by us, we will always look for an alternative that fulfills the same basic functional requirement and does not exceed the original quoted time. We are not obliged to implement anything beyond the nearest available and most convenient solution. If an alternative cannot be found, we are not obliged to deliver a solution that will exceed our quoted time, and instead will offer to subtract the cost of the feature in question from the project cost, or bill the additional time as a Variation Order.
We cannot offer any guarantee or warranty against any features or functionality that utilise 3rd party software, APIs, or integrations of any kind. These are outside of our control and any maintenance they require will be billed.
If you or a 3rd party make edits to the website that result in errors or issues, time spent fixing these issues will be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your site is compliant with all laws, legislations, software releases and web standards. Any changes required to make your site compliant with these may at our discretion be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate. We cannot be held accountable or liable in any way for your website’s failure to comply with any laws or legislation.
25. Supported Browsers and Devices
We make every effort to make sure that all Castus websites work correctly on all major devices and browsers. Unless stated otherwise in your Proposal, we currently test on the following devices / operating systems, and browsers. These are subject to change:-
Desktop PC / Windows 10
iMac / OSX 10.8.5 - macOS 10.12.x
MacBook Pro / OSX 10.8.5
iPad / iOS 9.3.5
iPhone 7 / iOS 10
Android Smartphone / Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
Android tablet Chrome functionality will be covered by device emulation using the Windows version of Chrome.
Compatibility issues, bugs and errors on versions of software, hardware or browsers, released after the Start Date of a given project will not be included in the Scope of that project, and will therefore be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate. If any browsers or versions of browsers receive less than a 2% share of visitors it will not be supported. Percentage of visitor share will be determined from real-world Google analytics data from the site in question, provided the site in question has Google analytics in place and receives enough traffic for statistical validity. If analytics is not in place, or Castus determine that the volume of traffic is not sufficient we will defer to data from a 3rd party source of our choosing.
We use a 3rd party provider to host all Castus websites. That 3rd party takes regular secure backups of all websites hosted with us. However, we cannot guarantee the integrity of these backups.
We offer 1 year free website hosting with all Bespoke projects. This begins on the project Start Date.
27. SEO & Search Engine Rankings
We're not an SEO company. Your SEO/Google Rankings are your responsibility. We will always do our best to provide good advice when it comes to SEO, but we can accept no responsibility or liability, if anything we do causes any change to your website's position in the search engines.
28. These Terms of Service
You can find these Terms of Service at http://www.castus.co.uk/information/terms-of-service
By accepting a Castus quotation or Proposal, by making a payment to us or signing any agreement with us, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and accept these terms of service as binding.