First things first, let's talk about what an RFP is. An RFP is a request for proposal. When companies and organizations have an IT problem that they need a solution for, they will post an RFP looking for potential vendors to meet said IT needs. RFPs will typically include some background information on the organization and what type of business they are conducting. They will also contain a description of what solution they are looking for, and a statement of work describing what services will be required. Finally, they will end with directions on how to submit a proposal.
With that in mind, let's look at what you should be including in your website development RFP. The truth of the matter is that web design agencies frequently receive all kinds of proposals, and they are more likely to respond to ones with clear and concise specifications.
To ensure you have a knockout RFP, there are several key sections that need to be included:
- There should always be an introduction to the company and its background. This opening statement can include items like what your company does, why it needs a new website, and what sort of work you are looking for.
- You should always list your budget in your RFP. This easily allows vendors to decide if its a project they can take on or not. For anyone new to the website world, things can seem a little daunting when deciding what to budget for. We recommend checking out Clutch, where you can search for agencies and read up on their reviews. Project descriptions and budgets are often mentioned, which can give you a starting point for your own budget!
- Your RFP should also include expected delivery dates and timelines. This should be a realistic timeline, and should accommodate for the review and approval process. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will your website! Make sure you account for revision time.
- The next step is to identify any challenges you are currently having with your website. Maybe the current site is too confusing to navigate, or maybe the tone doesn’t quite match that of your brand. This will show the vendors what problems need to be solved in order for the new website to work for you.
- Perhaps the most important part of the whole RFP is to include your goals for the website. Maybe you want more traffic on certain pages, or a better presentation that fits with your brand. This is the part where you can write what you hope to achieve with this website redo.
- Next, you should consider who your users are. Are they people who understand the tech world? Are they people who need bigger font sizes and simple to use features? This can help the website developer develop something that fits your users needs, and helps them consider the specific user experience.
- Other key information for your RFP includes what your current web presence looks like, and some examples of what you hope to see in your future site. Perhaps you’ve found a website you love, and you want to mimic some of these designs. Finally, you should always finish off with how vendors can submit their responses to your proposal.
One important thing to keep in mind while writing your RFP is to keep it simple! You don’t need to include fancy words or data that confuses the reader. Presenting vendors with facts and a detailed yet simple outline of what you are looking for makes things easier for everyone. There are several templates online, and these can help you find something that works for you and your brand. So take a deep breath, grab some coffee, and get started on your RFP. You got this.