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Why ThinkSEM Is the Right Choice For Us (And Maybe For You, Too!)

October 20, 2014

Choosing a website developer is a critically important decision for almost any business. Recently, we went through a process where we interviewed a number of website developers and chose ThinkLegal, a division of ThinkSEM. We are more than happy that we picked ThinkLegal!

From start to finish, the team at ThinkLegal was easy to work with, knowledgeable and experienced. ThinkLegal completed projects on time and with no cost overrun.  When we had questions, they had answers.

We held ThinkLegal to the standards that we recommend to our clients regarding the legal protections to ask for when hiring a website developer. Whenever you are buying something, it is important to understand what you are purchasing. With technology, the details of the purchase are often set out in an Exhibit and are typically called “Deliverables”.

One of our key recommendations to our clients is to understand what you are purchasing. Ask the questions: are the Deliverables clearly defined, and do I understand what I am buying? With ThinkLegal, the Deliverables were clearly defined and the ThinkLegal team was happy to answer any questions that we had.

Understanding the nature of the intellectual property is critical. If your website is built on a propriety platform, then you may be forced to stay with the website developer for hosting as well as fixes and improvements, even if you want to change providers. In our case, ThinkLegal built our website using WordPress, which is one of the most standard platforms around. We could move our website to a different company to host it if we wanted to, but we are choosing to stay with ThinkLegal due to their excellent service.

Another recommendation that we give to our procurement clients is to own the product for which you are paying. With a website development project, if you are working with a third party as an independent contractor, under the Work-For-Hire doctrine, the copyright will vest upon creation with the website developer, not your company.  It is reasonable for the developer to protect their pre-existing work, so sometimes the ownership issue is nuanced with a license to your company to use the developer’s intellectual property along with the intellectual property that you will own as a result of the website build. We recommend that our clients insist upon having clear language in the website development agreements that all copyrights that arise through the work of the developer will vest upon creation with your company, not the developer. ThinkLegal’s standard approach assigns ownership rights to their clients, while remaining extremely flexible on this issue, which we greatly appreciated.

Finally, whenever you enter into a contract it is important to have the ability to terminate the agreement if you think that it would be in the best interest of your company to do so. A website developer that is trying to keep your company on as a client for hosting may offer a 12 month (or longer) hosting agreement. This can tie your business to a service provider for longer than you may want to work with them. ThinkLegal offered to host our site without a long-term commitment, which was perfect for our business needs.

In all, website builds can be notoriously stressful, might be full of cost overruns, can take much longer than anticipated, and can be a major distraction from your business. Picking a quality service provider is often the most critical decision to make when creating or improving your website. We love working with ThinkSEM and think you will, too.

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