If you’re an entrepreneur or CMO, you run a startup, or you’re in charge of the marketing department for your business, you could eventually be tasked with writing an RFP for website design.

Having an RFP with well-defined goals, good organization, clear expectations, and a splash of personality will help you bag the right agency for your next project. It’ll also increase your chances of making that project a smashing success.

Today, we’ll walk through how to write an RFP, specifically for a website design or redesign project.

What Exactly is an RFP Anyway?

Let’s start at the very beginning – a very good place to start.

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that gives an overview of your project. Once an agency receives your RFP, they will have the opportunity to respond with a proposal that outlines their solution for your website design project, including the scope of work, a quote, and a projected timeline. You can send one RFP out to multiple agencies to compare various quotes and offers.

An RFP is your first impression on your future partner, so make sure you put in the time and effort to make it a good one!

What Should I Include in My RFP for Website Design?

Here are the critical components of a structured request for proposal. Follow this format, and your project will be off to a great start.

1. Overview & Background

The overview section is where you get to introduce yourself and share a little about your company’s culture and core beliefs. Summarize who you are, what your company does, your history, and what products or services you offer. Also describe who you serve – your target audience or ideal customer.

Next, briefly explain why you’re submitting an RFP in the first place. Outline your pain points and why you need a redesign or new website (you’ll go into more detail later).

2. Challenges

Try to be as honest and upfront in this section as possible. What’s wrong with your current website? Why do you want to build a new one? Be as clear as you can. Maybe you’ve had some of your clients complain about their online experience. Or it could just be time to level up to your competitors.

3. Goals

Your goals, or core objectives, are the heart of your RFP. They’re the whole reason you’re going to all the trouble of writing the thing! So be authentic. How do you hope to solve the problems you just outlined in the previous section? What’re your most important objectives? Do you want to increase sales? Attract more traffic to your site? Engage people longer? Revamp your business brand?

The 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report discovered that most B2B marketers use content marketing to successfully achieve goals like creating brand awareness, building credibility and trust with their audience, and educating their followers. Nurturing long-term relationships with customers and generating revenue are also essential goals businesses must aim for to continue growing successfully. Consider adding goals like these to your RFP at the get-go.

4. Project Scope

Your project scope is where you should get a little more specific. Here are some standard features you may consider including:

  • Brand identity
  • Graphic design
  • Development (front end or back end)
  • Site architecture
  • Content strategy
  • Lead generation
  • Analytics
  • SEO
  • Keyword analysis
  • Video
  • Photography
  • Copywriting
  • Quality assurance
  • Content migration
  • Redirecting old URLs
  • Project management
  • UX/UI testing
  • Blog
  • Security
  • Maintenance and hosting
  • Customer service
  • Additional features

5. Sitemap

Including your sitemap will give design agencies an overview of all the pages and resources on your current website and how to navigate them. From there, they can pinpoint dead ends, problem areas, and how to create a better user experience.

6. Timeline

Your timeline should include any essential deadlines you have for your project. Include the date you’d like for the entire website to be complete, plus any significant milestones along the way.

7. Additional Functionality

What technical aspects will your website require? Do you have a content management system? Email marketing integrations? Ecommerce functions? List those here.

8. Budget

Give agencies a range of what you’re willing to spend on your project. This will help you set clear expectations from the start to narrow down your pool of potential partners. You can negotiate the budget later on, but having an idea will help avoid wasted time on both ends. You won’t attract agencies who are too costly for you or too small to handle your needs.

9. Examples

Including some website URLs of other websites you love is always a great idea when working with a designer. Think about design, functionality, flow, and what you like about the experience of exploring the websites you choose. Include a few of your top competitors as well, so your designer can see into your industry.

10. Vendor Criteria and Instructions

If you have any requirements (such as capabilities, experience level, budget, etc.) for your vendors, add them here. Also include instructions on how to best follow up with you. Where should they send their proposal? Who should they address it to? If there are any other important details you’d like for them to include, list those as well.

Ready to Send Us Your Web Design RFP?

If you’re ready to dive into your website design project, we’d love to hear from you! You can even skip the RFP if you think we’d be a good fit.

Book a web design consultation with us today!