Trust is always important in business. When there's a large knowledge gap between you and your supplier, the importance of trust is even greater.

People who pay for web sites and web apps often have a low level of expertise compared to the people they’re buying from. They just don’t know what questions to ask or how to find an ethical company.

That is what we’re trying to help sort out.

How should a web professional conduct themselves in business? As a purchaser of these services, what should you ask and what should you know?

Widelines is a set of guidelines for ethical behaviour that some web companies and freelancers are prepared to put their name to.

The aim is to help educate clients, improve communication and reduce disagreements.

People who operate below acceptable levels will know that they are doing that because of the clear list of expectations in the guidelines. Clients can notify the association of any gaps in performance, and the association will investigate.

People who meet the guidelines will be included in our directory and will able to use that for marketing advantage.

Widelines is intended for multinationals and freelancers. It covers web developers, web designers and search marketing professionals.

The guidelines do not prescribe any particular technology or price levels. They’re about standards, ethics and relationships. In a complex area, we think they’re good starting points.

Widelines was written by interested web professionals. It has been adopted by the Australian Web Industry Association; members have been given the option of publicly subscribing to the guidelines.