As a paid contractor, my primary job is to learn what you want your website to be and to then to build it that way. Like the contractor that built your home, you’re not expected to continue paying her or him while you live there – and I’m no different. There was a time that website designers, like software developers, maintained IP (intellectual property) rights to everything they created. Some websmiths still work this way – but I don’t.
In the simplest of terms, the output of any or all of the product that I produce for you while under contract to you will always be your property. And you will always have the “keys” to that property, in the form of a username and password to access the back-end of the site. All of the artwork, graphics, written copy, and design aspects of the website I create will be yours forever, regardless of whether we may contract to have me provide you with further maintenance and support services.
Of course, many of the graphic components I may use in your website – a photo, for example – may originate from you. In accepting such media, I am under the total assumption that you have the rights to use that media in the website. Many people believe that literally any graphic that’s posted on the internet is fair game to appropriate and use. This is not true. In fact, many copyright holders of media regularly comb the web for unauthorized copies of their intellectual property and are happy to sue you for improper use. Google’s “search by image” function – easily accessible through Google’s main search page – will effortlessly find an image on the web that appears to be (or is!) the same as a target image. It’s almost scary how accurate it is! Learn how to do it here.