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there has been lots of talk about "SEO guarantees" and the like, this may give you a feel for what YOU are obligated to do in your part of the agreement and satisfying expectation from clients. You may not want to "guarantee" anything, purely because that means you are creating a risk for yourself ........ and a PR0 on google would never help any of your guarantees! (and it could happen at any time)
I havent went F/T with any web design, but when I do, I will be using a contract. It is a very fickle market to work in from what I have seen. Example : You create a great new dynamic site replacing some crusty old HTML site they had.....only for the client to up roots and host it in their own ignorant way :)
If you do use a contract, just use it to mark boundaries and NOT guarantees IMHO :)
Many people here can offer a more experienced response
Hope this helps,
Whenever we take on a contract, we do a full systems specs and add it on to a contract, we found that it's the only way to convice people to pay for the last minute changes that ocurred to them ;) Spec out the project, get the client to sign it, and goodby problems! It is also worth noting that our contract contains financial terms and penalties, etc.
At the end of the day, a contract isn't worth that much in court (at least in Spain :( ), but it's always worth writing one that covers all the angles, just in case of dispute. You'd be amazed by how many disputes can be solved by that magical phrase: "You never asked for that and it's in the contract!"