Code and Layout ownership after handoff


Upon handoff to a client can I retain ownership to the code/layout of the project if I include this in a contract? Is there a way of safeguarding this?

Ideally a client owns code/layout. If you really want to retain ownership of the code just make it really clear in your quotation that the source code is not included. The only way to safeguard yourself is to not share it to your client. If you are using Webflow, that means keeping the site in your account and only give the client Editor access.

Layout on the other hand can be easily replicated/copied without you (ever) knowing. But, I believe you technically own copyright of the layout once you have published it.

Yeah I was just wondering about the best practices for this.

I am currently researching into freelance contracts more as I want to improve my current one. In doing this I noticed a lot of people clearly state that the website is in full ownership to the client once they complete the hand-off. However, the HTML, CSS code etc. remains owned by the designer/developer and that they are only licensing the code to the client for use only on that project.

I just found this interesting and was wondering if it can be applied to Webflow sites after hand-off.

That is true, the end product is owned by the client because that’s what they paid for.

For non-webflow/non-platform projects, we separate source code as it’s own optional item. If they don’t decide to include it then we’ll be hosting them and keeping them after the project/campaign ends.

For webflow/shopify projects however, we are not fussy about the ownership since the whole point of using these no code platform is so that the client can eventually take over. Some cases do require us to specify whether or not they’ll receive the source code.