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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) & Web Design Terms and Conditions aka Service Agreement

The following Terms and Conditions document is a legal agreement between Riaan Wessels hereafter “the developer”  and the “client” for the purposes of website design or development and/or hosting and/or SEO. These terms and conditions set forth the provisions under which the client may use the services supplied. The developer is a web designer offering the Client WordPress websites using the Divi builder, hosted by a third party, also offering SEO services for a monthly retainer as set out below.

General

The developer creates WordPress websites using the Divi Theme, hosted on a dedicated server maintained by Xneelo. The developer populates the website with the content provided by the client. The initial invoice shall cover the first year of hosting. At the end of eleven (11) months, the hosting and domain name must be renewed. The use of the website is subject to continued payment of the annual hosting fee, which may be increased by the developer at its discretion. The annual fee shall include a .co.za domain name, an email address, and a Divi/WordPress web page. 

Notwithstanding any other provision contained herein, the client shall remain liable for hosting fees regardless of whether the client utilizes the hosting services solely for email purposes or maintains a website. The presence or absence of a website shall not affect the client’s obligation to pay hosting fees. Such fees shall be due and payable for any utilization of the hosting services, whether for email or for a website, or for both. In the event of the client’s failure to pay hosting fees on the date due, the developer shall be entitled to redirect the client’s domain to another domain of the developer’s choosing until such time as the client renews the domain registration. If the client fails to make payment by the initial due date, the developer shall not renew the client’s domain name registration. As a result, the client shall lose the website, all its contents, and all emails. Riaan Wessels shall not be liable for any loss resulting from the client’s failure to pay the annual hosting fee. Any additional software, pages, blog posts, or functionality shall not be included in the annual fee.

SEO services provided via retainer are prepaid only. The retainer fee shall be paid upfront and shall be non-refundable. The retainer fee shall cover a certain number of hours or services per month. Any additional hours or services needed beyond the retainer shall be billed at the agreed-upon hourly rate. The client can held be responsible for providing all necessary content and assets for the website or SEO work. The client should approve all work before it is launched or made live. The developer has the right to terminate the retainer agreement if the client does not adhere to the terms and conditions.

The developer reserves the right to utilize funds saved from Google AdWords campaigns to enhance the topical authority of a website by creating additional content. Such content, when created in accordance with the laws and regulations pertaining to SEO, can serve to increase the visibility and ranking of the website or web page in search engine results. This is accomplished by providing high-quality, relevant, and legally compliant content that is useful to users and relevant to the keywords for which they are searching. By increasing the topical authority of the website, the developer can improve the website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results, making it more likely that users will find the website when searching for relevant keywords.

An hourly rate will be charged for extra pages and blog posts as well as installing new software or plugins in addition to the actual price of the software or plugin itself. Software or plugins desired by the client will be paid up front by the client. Software is provided by 3rd parties. Neither the client nor the developer have any ownership of these plugins or themes (i.e. software). Sourcing, resizing and cropping of free online images and creating content will be charged at an hourly rate. The developer will carry out work only for clients who are 18 years of age or above.

Whilst every endeavour will be made to ensure that the website and any scripts or programs are free of errors, the developer cannot accept responsibility for any losses incurred due to malfunction of the website and/or plugins or applications or any associated part of it. Non payment could result in a suspension of the website and its emails until payment is up to date. Failure to pay the annual fee will result in a permanent deletion of the website and its emails.

Should the client want to transfer to another host, an admin fee will be charged. The domain name will be registered under the name and email provided by the client which ensures they retain the ability to transfer their domain name and the website in the event of non-payment or for any other reason. However, the facilitation from the developer will incur a fee.  The client understands that all software and plugins provided by the developer is not owned by the developer and the responsibility to pay annual subscription fees to the related companies who own these licensed plugins and software is transferred to the client should they transfer their domain name to a different host.

Added to that the client has no legal claim to insist that the developer continue any subscription to any plugin or software on their behalf if not hosted by the developers new choice of hosting company. The responsibility of transferring the domain, with its emails and the website will be born by the new web designer or hosting company or both. The developer does not have any control over the process and will not be held accountable to any errors during a transfer process.

All emails older than 6 months will be deleted from the server. Please ensure you save important information that was emailed to you, on your own server or pc. The developer will create an email address for the Client. However, the Client is solely responsible for setting up the email address on their computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. The Developer shall not be held liable for any loss incurred as a result of the email address not working properly. The Client is responsible for ensuring that they use the IMAP protocol and not the POP3 protocol when setting up their email address. The Developer will assist the Client if requested in setting up the email address on a device. The Developer shall not be liable for any damages arising out of or in connection with the use of the Service. This includes, but is not limited to, any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, loss of profits, loss of data, or loss of use, whether in action of contract, negligence, or other tortious action. If any provision of these Terms is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck and the remaining provisions shall be enforced. By using the Service, the Client agrees to be bound by these Terms. If the Client does not agree to these Terms, they may not use the Service. Although IMAP should be used in all cases, the Xneelo server cannot host your junkmail nor act as your filing system. Delete emails that you dont need and keep files on your pc of important or sensitive information as Riaan Wessels will purge the server every 6 months of all old emails. Riaan Wessels will not be held liable for any issues or losses incurred as a result of emails that are older than 6 months being deleted from the server. 

The developer is not liable for any copyright infringements caused by content, photos, images, or other materials submitted by the client. The client must have sufficient proof of ownership or permission to use copyrighted material before submitting it to the developer. We reserve the right to refuse any material which violates a third party’s copyright unless prior written authorization is provided.

The developer will not be liable for any costs incurred, compensation or loss of earnings due to the unavailability of the site, its servers, software or any material provided by its agents. Hosting (provided by Xneelo), plugins, software, WordPress etc updates, upgrades or development changes are not under the purview of the developer and therefore cannot take responsibility for any losses incurred by the use of any software provided by the developer in the website of the client. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure products are problem free and accurate, the internet is by its very nature subject to radical changes and any losses incurred as a result to changes in the Content Management System, feature enhancing software, hosting and even the internet itself is not the responsibility of the developer.

The client may access the WordPress website,however, the developer takes no responsibility for any issues with the website and its performance thereafter. Should the client be given access to their WordPress website, all responsibility of the websites functions fall on the client. Any errors in the website, whether created by the client or not, becomes the clients respobsibility. The developer will assist in troubleshooting to try establish the causes of the website errors and will charge a fee for doing so.

The client accepts and agrees to any changes, modifications or amendments made to the terms and conditions after agreeing to the original terms. The client acknowledges that they are responsible for reviewing any such updates and agree to abide by them. The developer reserves the right to make reasonable changes, modifications or amendments to the website’s terms and conditions for the purpose of limiting its liability. The payment of an invoice is considered to be binding acceptance of any updates, modifications or amendments made to the terms and conditions. No refunds will be accommodated whatsoever.

Retainer clients are added to various third party platforms in order to monitor website traffic, improve the SEO of the website and the speed of the website. Non payment of the retainer will result in the developer removing the client from these platforms. Any loss of income or reduction of traffic to the website is not the responsibility of the developer. This also applies to prepaid retainer clients. As a rule, the developer only offers prepaid retainer options and therefore the client is not contractually bound, however, the developer only offers SEO services, with all associated software platforms, to clients who continue to pay the retainer. Website monitoring, speed and SEO enhancement are directly reliant on prompt payment of the retainer.

Our SEO services include keyword research, website audit and optimization, content optimization, on-page SEO implementation, link building, and monthly reporting. We will use best practices to grow your organic search engine rankings in an ethical and sustainable way. However, due to the unpredictability of search engine algorithms, we cannot guarantee certain results or specific rankings. We disclaim any responsibility for losses associated with these changes in ranking or other fluctuations in organic search visibility.
Our Google Ads services include account setup, keyword research, ad copywriting and optimization, campaign management and monitoring, and monthly reporting. We will use best practices to optimize your ads and campaigns for maximum performance; however, due to the unpredictability of search engine algorithms, we cannot guarantee certain results or specific rankings. We disclaim any responsibility for losses associated with changes in click-through rate, cost per click fluctuations or other fluctuations in ad performance.

Website Hosting

Whilst the developer offers hosting of websites via Xneelo, no guarantees can be made as to the availability or interruption of this service by the developer and therefore cannot accept liability for losses caused by the unavailability, malfunction or interruption of this service. Emails older than six months will be deleted from the Xneelo server. Please ensure that you save all important data emailed to you on your own server or pc.

Setting up emails is not part of the service provided by the developer. Although the developer assists in setting up emails on mobile phones, computers and tablets, this responsibility lies with the Client. The developer reserves the right to refuse to handle in any way, material which may be deemed offensive, illegal or in any way controversial, and also to terminate the hosting service should the necessity arise. If a cancelled service is to be reinstated at the client’s request, a setup fee will be payable before any such reinstatement and any data lost as a result of the cancellation will not necessarily be restored.

Setting up emails is not part of the service provided by the developer. Although the developer assists in setting up emails on mobile phones, computers and tablets, this responsibility lies with the Client. The developer reserves the right to refuse to handle in any way, material which may be deemed offensive, illegal or in any way controversial, and also to terminate the hosting service should the necessity arise. If a cancelled service is to be reinstated at the client’s request, a setup fee will be payable before any such reinstatement and any data lost as a result of the cancellation will not necessarily be restored.

Permissions & Copyright

Without agreement, ownership of designs and all code is with the developer. These terms of use grant a non-exclusive limited license so that the client can use the design on one website on one domain name only. The client is not permitted to use a design for more than one website without prior written agreement between the client and the developer.

The client agrees that resale or distribution of the completed files is forbidden unless prior written agreement is made between the client and the developer. The client hereby agrees that all media and content made available to the developer for use in the project are either owned by the client or used with full permission of the original authors. The client agrees to hold harmless, protect and defend the developer from any claim or suit that may arise as a result of using the supplied media and content.

The client agrees that the developer may include development credits and links within any code the developer designs, builds or amends. If the developer designs a website for a client, then the client agrees that the developer may include a development credit and link displayed on the client’s website. If the developer builds or amends a website for a client, then the client agrees that the developer may include a development credit and link displayed on the client’s web page.

The client agrees that the developer reserves the right to include any work done for the client in a portfolio of work. The client agrees to abide by the terms of any third party software or media included within any work done for the client. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, Google maps, Media under the Creative Commons license, RSS feeds, Open Source GPL Software etc.

Malware and Viruses Disclaimer

Riaan Wessels provides web design services with the utmost diligence and security. However, he cannot guarantee the complete immunity of your website from malware, viruses, or other malicious activities. It is the responsibility of the website owner to take necessary precautions, such as implementing security measures and regularly updating software, to protect against potential threats.

Riaan Wessels shall not be held liable for any damages, losses, or disruptions arising from malware, viruses, or other security breaches on the website, including but not limited to data loss, financial losses, or reputational damage. It is strongly recommended that website owners invest in robust cybersecurity measures and keep their website’s software and plugins up to date to minimize the risk of security incidents.

By engaging Riaan Wessels for web design services, you acknowledge and accept that Riaan Wessels is not responsible for any malware or virus-related issues that may occur on the website following its design and launch.

Material

The developer reserves the right to refuse to handle: Any media that is unlawful or inappropriate. Any media that contains a virus or hostile program. Any media that constitutes harassment, racism, violence, obscenity, harmful intent or spamming. Any media that constitutes a criminal offence, or infringes privacy or copyright.

Domain Names & Hosting

The developer can, at its own discretion, but is not obliged to, offer domain name registration and hosting via a third party service. The developer is not obligated to renew hosting nor the annual domain registration fee. The client agrees that registration of a domain name does not provide endorsement of the right to use the name. The developer holds no liability and the client hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the developer from any claim resulting from the client’s registration of a domain name. The client agrees to take all legal responsibility for use of third party domain name and hosting services and supply truthful details to the third party services.

Any support relating to the domain name, hosting and email services is between the client and the third party service. Payment for domain name and hosting services is to be made immediately on receipt of an invoice. Failure to comply with the payment terms may result in the client’s domain name becoming available to another party and/or the website and email services becoming unavailable. The developer reserves the right without notice to cancel, reject or refuse work with domain names or hosting services without reason for such rejection or refusal.

The client agrees to be liable for their use of the domain name, hosting and email services with the third party and hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the developer from any claim resulting from the client’s publication of material and use of the domain name, hosting and email services. The client agrees to take full responsibility for all usage of the domain name, hosting and email services and to fully abide by the terms and conditions set out by the third party for such services.

Payment of Accounts

In all cases, website hosting fees and any costs incurred by the developer on behalf of the client are payable immediately and are non-refundable. It is the policy of the developer that any outstanding accounts for additional design work carried out by the developer or his affiliates are required to be paid in full immediately unless by prior arrangement. If accounts are not settled or the developer has not been contacted regarding the delay, access to the related website may be denied.

Fees relating to web hosting or domain names must be paid prior to the expiration date of the said service. If the fees remain unpaid at the time of expiration, the developer reserves the right to cancel said service and any data held by said service will be removed. If a cancelled service is to be reinstated at the client’s request, a setup fee will be payable before any such reinstatement and any data lost as a result of the cancellation will not necessarily be restored. The developer reserves the right to request full payment before the release of files, design, domain names or hosting services.

Liability & Warranty Disclaimer

The developer provides websites and the contents thereof on an ‘as is’ basis and makes no warranties with regard to the site and its contents, or fitness of services offered for a particular purpose. The developer cannot guarantee the functionality or operations of websites or that it will be uninterrupted or error free, nor does it warrant that the contents are current, accurate or complete.

The client agrees that the developer is not liable for any bugs, performance issues or failure of the CMS software as the CMS is open-source software distributed under the GPL (“GNU General Public License”) and is maintained and developed by a community of thousands of users and developers. Any bugs, performance issues or failure with the software will be directed to the CMS Development community.

The developer endeavours to provide a website within given delivery time scales to the best of its ability. However, the client agrees that the developer is not liable for any claims, losses, costs incurred or compensation due to any failure to carry out services within a given delivery time scale. The client agrees that the developer is not liable for any failure to carry out services for reasons beyond its control, including but not limited to acts of God, telecommunication problems, software failure, hardware failure, third party interference, Government, emergency on a major scale or any social disturbance of extreme nature such as industrial strike, riot, terrorism and war or any act or omission of any third party services.

The developer is not liable for any consequences or financial losses such as, but not limited to, loss of business, profit, revenue, contract, data or potential savings, relating to services provided. Whilst every effort is made to make sure the website is error free, the developer cannot guarantee that the display or functionality of the web design or the website will be uninterrupted or error free. The developer shall have no liability to the client or any third parties for any damages, including but not limited to claims, losses, lost profits, lost savings, or other incidental, consequential, or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate these web pages or website, even if the developer has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

There are sometimes laws and taxes that affect Internet e-commerce. The client agrees that it is their responsibility to comply with such laws and will hold harmless, protect, and defend the developer and its subcontractors from any claim, suit, penalty, tax, or tariff arising from the client’s exercise of Internet e-commerce. The developer may from time to time recommend to the client that updates are needed to their site, including but not limited to new legislation compliance, software compatibility and web standards.

The developer reserves the right to quote for any updates as separate work. The client agrees that the developer is not liable for any failure to inform or implement these updates to their site. The client agrees that it shall defend, indemnify, save and hold the developer harmless from any and all demands, liabilities, costs, losses and claims arising from omission to inform or implement these updates.

Indemnification

The client agrees to use all developer services and facilities at their own risk and agrees to defend, indemnify, save and hold the developer harmless from any and all demands, liabilities, costs, losses and claims, including but not limited to legal fees against the developer or its associates that may arise directly or indirectly from any service provided or agreed to be provided or any product or service sold by the client or its third parties. The client agrees that this indemnification extends to all aspects of the project, including but not limited to website content and choice of domain name.

The client also agrees to indemnify, hold harmless and defend, the developer against any liabilities arising out of injury to property or person caused by any product or service sold by the client or any service provided or agreed to be provided or by third parties, including but not limited to infringement of proprietary rights, misinformation, infringement of copyright, delivery of defective services or products that are harmful to any company, person, business, or organisation.

Third-Party Website Access Authorization

By granting admin access to the website, it is acknowledged that any troubleshooting, error correction, or modifications carried out are done in good faith to maintain the site’s functionality. An hourly rate will apply, to be paid by the 3rd party. However, the party providing admin access (The Developer) shall not be held liable for any unforeseen issues or consequences arising from the use of said access. Both parties agree to cooperate in resolving any concerns promptly and professionally.

Non-Disclosure

The developer and any third party associates agree that, unless directed by the client, it will not at any time during or after the term of this agreement disclose any confidential information. The client agrees that it will not convey any confidential information about the developer to another party, unless directed by the developer.

Design Credit

A link to https://www.riaanwessels.co.za may appear in small type at the bottom of the Client’s website.

Complaints Procedure

Informal Procedure

Anyone who experiences a problem with their web service provided by developer should raise the matter directly by phone call or WhatsApp messaging, giving sufficient information to locate the material (such as an URL) and clearly outlining the grounds for complaint. Any attempts to complain about the developer on any public platform including social media platforms without following the above agreed procedure will be liable to legal action. The developer will communicate with the individual responsible for the material in question with a view to resolving the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant.

Formal Procedure

The formal complaints procedure should only be used where the complainant feels that the nature of the complaint is too serious to be dealt with informally, or where a satisfactory conclusion has not been reached after following the informal procedure.
A formal complaint should be made in writing to the developer, who will acknowledge receipt and ensure that the matter is looked into as soon as possible. An initial response to any complaint can be expected within seven days of its receipt; a full and considered response to the complaint should be completed within 30 days and any subsequent remedy implemented with the minimum of delay.
Any attempts to complain about the developer on any public platform including social media platforms without following the above agreed procedure will be liable to legal action.
These Terms and Conditions supersede all previous representations, understandings or agreements.

This Terms of Service Agreement (the “Agreement”) is the final, complete and exclusive agreement of the parties with respect to its subject matter, and supersedes all prior understandings or agreements. No party shall be held to any obligation other than those explicitly set forth in this Agreement. In addition, if any part of this Agreement is deemed unenforceable or invalid, that portion shall be limited or eliminated so as not to affect the enforceability or validity of the remaining portions.

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