When a web designer makes a website, they usually put a small writing at the bottom. It usually says something like "Made by Joe Whatever". Let's say I paid Joe for the website design he made.

Now, can I make changes to that website? I mean, Joe signed himself on that page and if I change something and that change drastically reduces the quality of the website, Joe would take the blame.

  • 4
    What's the license agreement say?
    – Ryan
    Oct 7 '14 at 17:12
  • 2
    If you own the site and all the content, he just styled it, you're free to make whatever changes you'd like. You paid him for the initial look and implementation, now his job is over so there is no relevance Oct 7 '14 at 17:35
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    If you don't know or can't find that in any sort of documentation, ask Joe.
    – Joonas
    Oct 7 '14 at 18:43
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    @ZachSaucier - That's not entirely true. The design and content can have separate copyright and notification requirements; removing the designer''s notification may mean that you are no longer entitled to use the rest of the design (it becomes an unauthorized derivative work). It depends on the agreement you have with the designer — did you actually purchase the moral rights in the design, or are you just licensing it (as you might with a general-purpose template)? Oct 9 '14 at 8:16
  • I agree with @ZachSaucier. If you own the site.. You can edit the content if you want to. But if you don't have know how to do that, you must give it again to the Designer you hired.
    – Srija Nair
    Oct 2 '15 at 12:12

First off, it sounds like you probably didn't have a written contract.

Based on that assumption, I further speculate that you probably had a verbal agreement.

Now, if the agreement was specifically "give me a reduced rate and you can put your name on the website", then no you should run any changes past him, and work out a different agreement if he doesn't want his name on it after your changes.

If the verbal agreement was simply "make me a website for £X amount" then change whatever you like, and as a courtesy notify him of the changes and offer to remove his name if he is unhappy with the changes.

I think though, that in the second scenario you have no obligation to notify him of the changes or remove his name.

However, if there is a written agreement it should be in there.

Personally, I'd remove the name if allowed as it likely adds nothing to the purpose of the website.


I think there is some information missing in this question. I think you should clarify "paid". You may own the content but the development should be credited. Some sites are credited such as "Designed By: Joe Blow and Developed By: Friday". You should consult with the terms, if there is one when you purchased the site. If this is a built theme you purchased from somewhere there may be a clause that outlines if you have to leave X in the footer.

On the realm of can you make changes, it depends on what you agreed to. Some themes, if you purchased one, will try to require you to buy different rights to the template but as stated, I think this question is lacking in information.

Typically if you are happy with the site I would provide credit where it is due but if you are worried about it you could always implement a humans.txt


The issue mentioned here like "Made by this and that". WE usually have this statement in agreement for the web-design or development that client must have to show developers/designer's name in footer of website just as a trademark. But there can be an agreement which clearly describe about no developers information. So, if you own the page, and you didn't signed the agreement like mentioned terms then obviously you have authority to change anything. If you can't change by yourself you can get website design, redesign or development services from a third party to do this task.

Hope you understand what I said.

  • 1
    Welcome Robin! While this answer is largely valid and helpful, the self promotional links make it read a lot like spam. Self-promotion is fine in your user profile. However, you should refrain from self promotion in your answers. If promotion in answers were allowed then every question would end up being nothing but self promotion advertising.
    – Scott
    Oct 9 '14 at 0:23

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