If it's time for a new website or redesign, this is an exciting time for your business! Intuitive, attractive, easy-to-use websites are a must for reaching current and potential customers, converting leads, and ensuring satisfaction throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey. The first step along your website journey, though, is writing an RFP for web design. Why is this so important - and how do you do it?
Why Write an RFP for Web Design?
Design agencies use your RFP - or request for proposal - to assess your project and provide you with a comprehensive proposal.
We’ll talk about what information to include in a moment, but for now, remember that your RFP needs to speak clearly and concisely to agencies. They receive a lot of these documents, and they use them to evaluate not only the project but how it will be to work with you and whether or not it will be a good fit. Think of it like your chance to make a great first impression (and, of course, the agency will have to make their own great first impression when they respond. It’s a reciprocal relationship).
You can find a request for proposal example online; in fact, you can find a thousand. This can be confusing, so let’s cut through the clutter. Be sure to include the following:
10 items to include when writing a Web Design RFP: An infographic
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10 items to include when writing a Web Design RFP: Explained
1. Introduction / Project Summary
Agencies need to know - and quickly - whether a project is a good fit and worth their time. Start by articulating the reason for submitting your RFP and what you hope to accomplish with your new website/redesign. If there are issues or challenges with your current site (dated design, difficult to navigate), mention these here. Also include a projected budget.
2. Overview of Your Company
Introduce your company. Give agencies a taste of who you are, what you do, and why. Limit this to a paragraph or two.
3. Description of Your Audience
Agencies need to know for whom they are designing a website because success boils down to user experience and functionality. Tell them a bit about your target audience and the type of people who will be (and should be) visiting your site.
4. Website Goals & Objectives
What do you want your site to do for your company? Explain your primary objective (e.g. increase sales ready leads), as well as any secondary and tertiary goals (e.g. educate investors, establish thought leadership).
5. Current Website Challenges
In the introduction, you mentioned issueswith your current site. Dive a little deeper: tell agencies what works and what doesn’t. Be specific.
5. Functionality Requirements
What is most important to you in terms of functionality? Again, specificity matters so agencies can draw up an accurate proposal and price your project.
6. Items on Your Wish List
After you discuss your must-haves, move on to your “nice to haves.” These may not be mission-critical but can add to user experience. By separating the list from core requirements, you can make more strategic budget decisions.
7. Ecommerce Components
If you need eCommerce functionality, provide agencies with product quantity, as well as projected short- and long-term growth. Your platform needs to be able to scale to your needs.
8. Total Budget / Payment Schedule
While you touched on budget in the intro section, be more detailed here. You may want to explain a payment schedule, for example, or issues around fiscal years.
9. Proposal Requirements
What do you need agencies to include in their RFP responses? This ensures that you can compare apples to apples when you receive multiple proposals.
10. RFP & Project Timeline
When do you need a response, and when can agencies expect to hear back from you? Also include realistic start and launch dates.
When writing an RFP for web design, it is critical that you are honest, straight-forward, and clear. Eliminate any extraneous information, while being sure to capture the details that agencies need to know. If you hate your current website or it performs like a relic, tell them. If you like certain functionalities or have budget limitations, tell them. You are looking for a partner, and the best way to establish an effective working relationship is to start with a foundation of honesty and transparency.
THAT Agency makes it easy to request a proposal; simply complete this form and we’ll start crafting a proposal that makes sense for your company and goals. We are committed to making a fantastic first impression! But, beyond that, we will help you design a website that moves your business forward.