How to Write Request for Proposal for a Web Design Project

When you search for a contractor for some service or work, it is recommended to prepare a RFP (Request for Proposal). Its complexity depends on the complexity of the task to be performed. When it comes to creating a website design, a detailed RFP is more than a half of the success. It should be substantial and comprehensible for the web development company to precisely meet your expectations. In this article, we will inform you about RFP, issues it should cover, and its main goals.  

What is Request for Proposal?

Web development is a complicated process where simple estimation of the cost of works and materials is not enough. It may require multiple changes before the end result is achieved. From this perspective, RFP is exactly what can make this process easier. It is an inquiry that defines the timeframe and cost of your project. When you write a web design RFP, try to make it as detailed and clear as possible to the extent the web design company is able to calculate the cost accurately. The more detailed customer’s Request for Proposal is, the more understanding he/she gains on the outcome and expectations of a project.  

Why Request for Proposal?

There is also an inquiry called Technical Description (TD) that contains all in-depth information about the project. The obvious question is – why should I double the work? Therefore, many people say that RFP is a waste of time as it is non-specific and too general. Okay. Say, you’ve prepared a standard website development inquiry (4-5 sentences containing some general demands, expected timeframe, and budget) and sent out to a few web design companies. Then, the web design companies start to contact you for details. Each Skype call takes an average of a half an hour of your time. Moreover, each company gets different data as each of them ask different questions. As a result, after dozens of messages being read and dozens of calls, you finally get several offers that vary drastically in terms of timeframe and cost. How can you know which offer is better if all web design companies get different set of data=different end product? A thorough Request for Proposal allows your potential contractors get the same information. An hour spent on writing a detailed RFP saves hours you waste on Skype calls and short messages with explanations. In addition, when writing RFP, you dive deeper into the project, and your criteria and demands become more standardized, structured, and clear. TD vs RFP   Both TD and RFP should be as detailed as possible. At the same time, they serve different purposes. TD’s are documents concluded with particular companies after the contract is signed, while RFP’s are drawn up at a project’s early stage. RFP’s are meant to inquire rather than describe.  

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When preparing your website RFP, answer the following questions:

  • Do you need a mobile version?
  • Do you have a domain name/hosting?
  • Can you provide any textual content/visuals?
  • Do you have a company style? (fonts, colors, logo)


How to Write RFP Step-by-Step

1.Figure out exactly what you want For example, should your web design studio follow all your instructions or you want them to take the initiative. In any case, you should state it clearly in a web design RFP.2.Determine target audience 2.Describe who are those people, their age, gender, profession, education, etc. 3.State your project’s goals Any website has a purpose. In this section, you should not focus on ideas related to website’s chapters, color, or design. Focus solely on your business goals and how you plan to achieve them. 4.Search for Reference Websites Describe what are your reference websites (add screenshots) and what you like about each of them. It will give the web design studio your idea of web design taste. 5.Provide analysis of your current site Use the following standpoints:

  • Performance (business image, conversion rate)
  • Functionality (tools, structure)
  • Design (is it flat, too simple, or outdated?)

List all the above issues in your web design RFP and provide details on how you want your web design agency to address them. 6.Explain what functions you want them to add For example, feedback tools (callback, online help, contact form), payment options (Bitcoin, credit cards, PayPal, etc), social sharing buttons (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). 7.Define the structure of your website If possible, present a sketch on the hierarchy of pages and structure, or explain it in detail. 8.Responsibility Decide what content you will require from the web design company, and which one you can provide.This point is necessary to understand the complexity and range of task.  

Take into account that if you don’t specify something to be performed – it will not be performed. Even if you really expect it to be performed. That is why polish your Request for Proposal to the extent that even a child can understand it.