Although there is also some unavoidable standardized legalese at various places in the document which our attorney required, in this document we try to write everything in plain English. To do this, we frequently use terms like “we” and “you.” “We,” “us,” “our,” and “the Company” means Sweet Tea Marketing, a corporation registered in the State of North Carolina, USA. “You,” “your,” “Customer” or “Client” in this document is you, a customer of Sweet Tea Marketing.
Current Hourly Rate
Throughout this document, reference is made to our current hourly rate. This rate is defined as our hourly rate that is in place at the time a service is requested, not at the time this agreement is signed. We will provide you with our current hourly rate upon request.
Availability and Communication
We are available via email Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Fridays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Eastern time. Our normal response time is one business day, though our response time may vary. We do not work on weekends or holidays. Clients with current website maintenance services receive priority response times.
Email is the primary means of communication accepted for our work together. We do not communicate via mobile phone, text message, social media, or instant/private messaging (like Facebook Messenger) to communicate since we cannot track these requests as a team.
Website Maintenance Service
Our Website Maintenance includes Backups, Software Updates, Database Clean-up, and Proactive Monitoring.
Your website’s files and database will be backed up automatically each day. This backup is stored in our secure cloud data vault where we will retain the 90 most recent backups of your site.
- Software Updates
Each week, we will apply available updates for the WordPress core software, your theme files, and your plugin files. We perform these updates for the items that appear in the “Updates” area of your WordPress dashboard. We also watch WordPress industry security news and will proactively perform these updates more or less frequently based on vulnerabilities and / or incompatibilities. NOTE: We will be unable to update premium plugins or themes with expired licenses. We’ll do our best to notify you of expiries, but it is your responsibility to renew them. (See below for further details on premium plugins and themes.)
- Database Clean-up
Each week we will delete spam messages, delete post revisions, and run a database optimization.
- Proactive Monitoring
We will proactively monitor your website for downtime, security vulnerabilities (such as insecure plugins, malware or site blacklisting), performance deterioration, broken links, and SEO tracking of up to 100 keywords (keywords must be provided by you). You will be notified immediately of urgent issues. Minor issues will be indicated on your monthly report.
Should your site become compromised by a hack or if your site becomes inoperable because of user error, we will restore a backup for you.
- If the restorations are the result of a hack, there is no limit to the number of restorations we will perform for you under this service at no additional cost to you.
- If the restorations are due to user error, we will perform a maximum of 2 restorations in any 30-day period at no additional cost to you. Additional user error-related restorations will be performed at our current hourly rate with a one-hour minimum.
Premium (Paid) Plugins and Themes
“Premium” plugins and themes are those that require the payment of a recurring license fee to maintain access to ongoing software updates.
If your website uses premium themes and/or plugins, the responsibility is yours for maintaining the appropriate licensing to ensure the availability of updates. We will advise you of the themes and/or plugins for which you will need to maintain licensing and assist you as needed in the process of obtaining them.
WE CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR PROBLEMS SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO HACKS, INOPERABILITY OR INTERCOMPATIBILITY THAT ARISE FROM PREMIUM PLUGINS WHICH ARE OUT OF DATE AND YOU CHOOSE NOT TO LICENSE.
BONUS: Some premium plugins and themes are included in your maintenance plan at no additional cost. Please inquire for the current list of plugins available to you. Any of the available plugins/themes you choose to have installed on your website will be kept licensed and up-to-date as long as you are an active subscriber to our Website Maintenance Services.
Updates are always tested for compatibility. In the case of any issues or breakage, one hour of troubleshooting and repair are included per month. We will then consult with you regarding recommended next steps.
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO INFORM US IF YOUR SITE IS EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS AND NEEDS ATTENTION.
Payment and Cancellation for Website Maintenance Services
Automatic payment for Website Maintenance Services will be drafted monthly based on the date of your signup. Each payment is for the following month.
You may cancel website maintenance services with a 14-day notice. WE DO NOT OFFER REFUNDS ON WEBSITE MAINTENANCE SERVICES.
IF YOU ELECT TO DISCONTINUE WEBSITE MAINTENANCE SERVICES, THE TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY IS YOURS FOR PERFORMING BACKUPS AND KEEPING ALL COMPONENTS OF YOUR WEBSITE BACKED UP, SECURED, AND UPDATED.
SWEET TEA WEBSITE MAINTENANCE SERVICE DOES NOT INCLUDE WEBSITE HOSTING.
While we do not include hosting services in our Website Maintenance Service, we DO offer hosting plans and would be happy to bundle them in to one monthly payment for your convenience.
Changing Web Hosts
- If you desire to migrate your website to another (non-Sweet Tea) web host, we will provide to you a backup created using an industry standard WordPress backup system at a cost of $125.
- If you sign up for a Sweet Tea hosting account, we will perform the website migration for you at no cost.
Late Payment and Collections Policy
Subscribing to our Website Maintenance Service authorizes Sweet Tea to charge your credit card each month for the agreed upon rate. In the event of a failed payment, you will be granted a 1 week grace period to update your credit card details. Any delays in payment beyond 1 week will result in a 20% late fee.
If payment is 30 days late, all services will be suspended and a re-start fee of $75 will be assessed to resume maintenance on your website(s).
Your Responsibilities in Website Security
We employ basic WordPress security techniques when building your website. However, studies have shown that one of the most common ways that hackers gain access to your website is through keylogging programs installed on the infected computers of users. You agree to protect any computer that will log into the website by:
- Installing and maintaining updated security software
- Using the most up-to-date version of your preferred web browser
- Keeping the operating system patched with recommended updates
- Keeping versions of other installed software up to date if they are installed.
You also agree to use a strong password (as shown by the WordPress password indicator) for any account you use to log in and edit your website, and that this password will only be used on your website. We recommend the use of a password manager so that you have strong unique passwords for every site you access.
From time to time, our clients might employ a third party (such as but not limited to a Search Engine Optimization professional, social media professional, or content writer) whose services involve modifications to the website. WE CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORK OF A THIRD PARTY. Should our services be necessary due to any work performed by a third party, these services are billable at our current hourly rate.
OUR WEBSITE MAINTENANCE PLANS DO NOT COVER WORK NECESSARY DUE TO ACTIONS PERFORMED BY A THIRD PARTY. SHOULD OUR SERVICES BE NECESSARY DUE TO ANY WORK PERFORMED BY A THIRD PARTY, THESE SERVICES ARE BILLABLE AT OUR CURRENT HOURLY RATE.
Occasionally, your website will send email when certain events occur such as the completion of a contact form, sale of a product, update/reset of a user’s password, etc. These emails that are automatically generated by the WordPress system are often flagged as spam (or not delivered at all) by email providers like Google/Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo and others.
SINCE WE CANNOT CONTROL THE RECEIPT OF EMAIL, WE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY EMAILS THAT WERE NOT DELIVERED TO THE CLIENT FOR ANY REASON.
IT IS THE CLIENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO REGULARLY CHECK SPAM FOLDERS AND WEBSITE FORM AND ORDER INTERFACES FOR ANY NOTIFICATIONS THAT WERE NOT DELIVERED TO THE CLIENT’S INBOX.
WE DO NOT PROVIDE OR SUPPORT EMAIL SERVICE TO CLIENTS. We recommend consulting with an IT Professional about implementing third party services such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365.
Registering a domain name for your website and paying the accompanying annual registration fee is your responsibility. We can assist in the process of registration and connecting your domain name to the website if you desire. You can purchase your domain name for multiple years, or renew it annually at your discretion.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the credit card the domain registrar has on file for your domain registration is current for rebilling.
WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SUSPENSION OR LOSS OF DOMAIN NAMES BECAUSE YOUR CARD COULD NOT BE BILLED OR FOR ANY OTHER REASON. Work needed as a result of domain expiration is billable at our current hourly rate.
Website Accessibility and Compliance
If laws require that your website is accessible to users with disabilities, or if you desire for it to be, it is your responsibility to inform us of this requirement.
If your website or any associated data must meet compliance requirements of any kind for any entity, organization, or regulatory body (such as but not limited to HIPAA, FERPA, etc.), it is your responsibility to inform us of the specific compliance requirements involved.
WE DO NOT GUARANTEE TO MEET ANY COMPLIANCE FOR ACCESSIBILITY OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS UNLESS WE HAVE EXPLICITLY AGREED IN WRITING TO DO SO.
Disclosure to Law Enforcement
We will disclose information about our clients to law enforcement agencies without further consent or notification to the client upon lawful request from such agencies. We will cooperate fully with the legal requests of law enforcement agencies.
The Client agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Company, its subsidiaries, contractors, employees and affiliates and each of their respective directors, officers, employees, shareholders and agents (each an “Indemnified Party”) against any losses, claims, damages, liabilities, penalties, actions, proceedings, judgments, or any and all costs thereof (collectively, “Losses”) to which an Indemnified Party may become subject and which Losses arise out of, or relate to the Agreement, Client’s use of the Services, breach of any confidentiality obligation or any alleged infringement of any trademark, copyright, patent or other intellectual property right and will reimburse an Indemnified Party for all legal and other expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by such Indemnified Party, in connection with investigating, defending, or settling any Loss, whether or not in connection with pending or threatened litigation in which such Indemnified Party is a party.
Choice of Law and Forum
This Agreement, and any related Statements of Work, shall be construed in accordance with, and governed by, the laws of the State of NC without regards to Conflict of Law principles.
In the event of any dispute or disagreement with respect to the meaning, effect or interpretation of this Agreement or in the event of a claimed breach of this Agreement, the parties hereto agree that such dispute shall be determined through mediation. The parties will mutually select a mediator and share the cost of mediation equally. Unless otherwise mutually agreed, the location of the mediation will be in Lincoln County, NC. The parties agree to cooperate fully with the mediator in good faith in order to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the dispute.
If the dispute is not resolved within 60 days after it is referred to the mediator, either party has the option to litigate the dispute in a court of law located in Lincoln County, NC.
Refusal or Discontinuation of Service
We reserve the right to refuse, restrict or terminate service to any client for any reason.
Disclaimer of Warranty
We will perform our work in accordance with good industry practices and at the standard expected from a suitably qualified person with relevant experience. We cannot guarantee that our work will be error-free and so we cannot be liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages, even if you’ve advised us of them.
THE COMPANY HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, NON- INFRINGEMENT AND FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE FOREGOING DOES NOT AFFECT ANY WARRANTIES WHICH CANNOT BE EXCLUDED OR LIMITED UNDER APPLICABLE LAW.
WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE CAUSED BY A DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE ATTACK, VIRUSES OR OTHER TECHNOLOGICALLY HARMFUL MATERIAL THAT MAY INFECT SERVER EQUIPMENT, COMPUTER PROGRAMS, DATA OR OTHER PROPRIETARY MATERIAL.
Limitation of Damages or Liability
IN NO EVENT WILL THE COLLECTIVE LIABILITY OF THE COMPANY, ITS AFFILIATES AND ITS LICENSORS, SERVICE PROVIDERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, UNDER ANY LEGAL THEORY, FOR HARM CAUSED BY OR RELATED TO THE CUSTOMER'S SERVICES OR INABILITY TO UTILIZE THE SERVICES, INCLUDING ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PERSONAL INJURY, PAIN AND SUFFERING, EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, LOSS OF REVENUE, LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS OR ANTICIPATED SAVINGS, LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF GOODWILL, LOSS OF DATA, AND WHETHER CAUSED BY TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), BREACH OF CONTRACT OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF FORESEEABLE.
THE FOREGOING DOES NOT AFFECT ANY LIABILITY WHICH CANNOT BE EXCLUDED OR LIMITED UNDER APPLICABLE LAW.
Notwithstanding anything else in this Master Services Agreement, the maximum aggregate liability of THE COMPANY any of its employees, agents, contractors or affiliates, under any theory of law should not exceed the amount of fees it has collected on the customer’s account in the last six months.
No part of this Agreement will be affected if any other part of it is held unenforceable or invalid.
The headings in this Agreement are inserted for convenience only and are not a part of this Agreement.
This Agreement, and any Proposals of Service attached, constitute the entire agreement and understanding of the parties with respect to the transactions contemplated hereby and supersedes any and all prior agreements and understandings relating to the subject matter hereof. This Agreement may not be waived, assigned, extended, amended, supplemented or modified orally, but only by a written instrument signed by the party against whom enforcement of any such waiver, assignment, extension, amendment, supplement or modification is sought.
This Agreement may not be changed or modified except in writing signed by the parties.
The parties acknowledge and agree that they have read, understood and have actively negotiated the terms of this Agreement, participated in its drafting and have been represented by legal counsel. Therefore, this Agreement shall not be deemed to be the product of either party and shall not be enforced or interpreted any more stringently or strictly against either party.
Neither the Company nor the Client may assign this Agreement without the prior consent of the other.
Please initial at the bottom of each page and sign below signifying that you have read, understood, and agreed to these Terms of Service