This is a checklist that is useful to ensure a company has completed all of the proper
steps before entering into a web hosting agreement. This checklist includes preliminary
matters, responsibilities of the host, responsibilities of the client, copyright act
compliance, term and termination, hosting fees, and the warranties of the host. This
checklist should be used by small businesses or other entities that have not entered into
a web hosting agreement before and want to ensure they are undertaking proper
WEBSITE HOSTING AGREEMENT [CHECKLIST]
The general purpose of this Web Hosting Agreement (hereinafter the “Hosting
Agreement”) is _________.
II. PRELIMINARY MATTERS
Matters generally contained in the opening paragraph and in the Preamble to the Hosting
a. Be certain to accurately describe the parties. Are the parties corporations,
individuals, partnerships, or other entities? It is important that the parties with the
rights to the relative products and pages be the actual parties to the Hosting
Agreement. Who owns the copyrights? Make sure all parties with rights who are
affected are made parties to the Hosting Agreement.
b. Describe the purpose for entering into the Hosting Agreement.
c. Generally describe the services to be provided by the host, such as locating the web
site on the host’s server and making it available to Internet users.
d. Describe the general business of the pages to be hosted. What is the scope of each
e. Identify the URL locations of the various pages.
III. RESPONSIBILITIES OF HOST
a. Hosting Services
i. How much server space is being made available? This may tie into pricing of
monthly hosting fee. Attach the schedule of fees by allocated disc space to the
ii. Is there a dedicated bandwidth requirement? How much bandwidth is
iii. Is there a requirement that the server be a certain type? (e.g., UNIX, etc.)
iv. Is there a warranty that server software will be kept up to date?
v. If web design is also included in services under the Hosting Agreement or a
separate agreement, is there a copyright license tied to continued hosting?
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vi. Is there a warranty regarding the minimum hosting speed? Is T1 required?
vii. Is there a limit on T1 and/or bandwidth sharing?
viii. Are there standards for permitted downtime of the server? Is periodic
maintenance and backup downtime provided therefore? Are there required
response times if a server problem arises?
ix. What are the required hours of operation and customer support hours?
x. Are mirror sites required/permitted? If so, what server can they be on?
xi. What are backup responsibilities? How frequent? Where must backups be
xii. Does client have FTP access, secured or otherwise? Is host liability limited?
What policies and procedures apply of client has FTP access? Must client
notify host of new material on server?
xiii. Can owner access the site to make changes? Is access secure, password
xiv. Are Email Accounts included? How many? Are they Web based?
b. Other Services
Generally include these in a separate agreement. Things to note: Is performance
and payment under any separate agreement(s) tied to the Hosting Agreement? Does
default under one trigger default under any or all others? Can default under design,
marketing, etc. be used as a defense to paying for the Hosting Agreement? Other
services may include:
i. Web Development
ii. Email Accounts
iii. Search Engine Placement
iv. Monitoring and Reporting
vi. E-Commerce Solutions
vii. Credit Card/Mercha