When hiring a freelance developer such as myself, it’s important to set expectations so that everyone knows what is involved.

Initial consultation

For prospective clients I offer a free initial consultation to discuss your needs and whether I am an appropriate person to help. This lasts up to 30 minutes and can take place via phone or on a remote platform (Zoom, Skype etc.). I don’t attend in-person meetings for the initial consultation due to the travel time involved.

This is the only free service I offer – everything else is charged at an hourly rate (or a daily rate if you prefer), with a minimum charge of 2.5 hours, or a fixed project fee.

Terms of Business Agreement

Clients must sign my Terms of Business Agreement before I commence work.

Payment

Payment must be made in full via electronic bank transfer within 14 days of the invoice issue date. I do not accept cards, cheques, cash, PayPal etc. All invoices are in sterling (GBP) and must be paid in that currency. I am not registered for VAT.

Client locations

I can work with clients in the following locations:

  • United Kingdom
  • Channel Islands
  • Isle of Man

I can also work with international firms provided that you have a subsidiary in one of the above areas which I can contract with and send invoices to.

Working with other developers

I’m happy to work with other developers of any level/experience. Some of my clients rely on me for all their development requirements, but I also work with in-house and external developers.

Working for other clients

I have clients who I work for regularly and I ask this is taken into account when setting expectations on response times. I don’t oversell my time, and I always answer my phone/email if it’s an emergency (within working hours), but if two or more clients have emergencies at the same time I operate on a first-reported, first-served basis. I don’t discuss any of my clients with other clients (other than the public information on my website), and I may work simultaneously for clients in the same industry or who consider themselves to be competitors.

Working hours

My working hours are 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday (UK time). I don’t offer support outside of those hours and my work email and phone are switched off. The only exception is work agreed in advance which cannot be carried out during working hours – such as moving a production site to a new server – for which I charge double my hourly rate.

If you need support outside of working hours, I can recommend hosting providers which offer this service.

Replying to emails

I have my emails open during working hours, and when an email comes in I briefly glance at it to see if it is urgent (e.g. a server has gone down). If the email is urgent I drop what I’m doing and reply, otherwise I reply to all outstanding emails in batches – usually twice a day. This means if you send a non-urgent email (which accounts for nearly all emails) then I will usually reply by the end of the next working day.

Documentation

I keep all my documentation in Google Docs, with a separate folder for each project that I share with at least one person at the client. This ensures that you can pick up where I left off if I am unavailable for an extended period.

Time off

If I am taking pre-planned time off, I will let you know in advance. If we have a regular working arrangement, I will either spread that time out into the weeks prior/following the time off or reduce my invoice for that month by a pro-rata amount. I usually take 4-5 weeks off each year, and I can usually give a month’s notice.

Remote working

I’m based in Greater Manchester and usually work from home, as this means I have everything I need to do my job effectively. I am able and willing to attend meetings within Greater Manchester if required. I charge for my travel time at my standard rates and all expenses are re-charged at cost.

Security and data protection

All my machines and backup drives have full disk encryption with a long passphrase that only I know. I’m registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller with reference: ZA352994.

Insurance

I have professional indemnity insurance and can provide a copy of my insurance certificate on request.

Third party services

Often clients will need third party services such as website hosting and email. I always set these up to be billed to the client directly, as this ensures continuity if I am unavailable.

Unless I advise you otherwise, I do not earn commission on any of the services I recommend.