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How to write a perfect website design request for proposal?

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Are you just starting to build your own company or are you considering rebranding?

The Internet is a great place to grow your business. Providing high quality products and top-notch services is vital, but you also need an interesting website to catch the attention of a potential client.

It should be the best source of information about your company and products that you offer. Remember that anyone can visit it, regardless of where they live. A good website can boost your recognizability and attract new clients.

Building it yourself can be very time-consuming and challenging. You might stumble upon errors which will take you hours to fix – if not days. During the website downtime customers will be unable to contact you or buy any of your products! That’s why it’s better to trust the specialists and create a well-organized website design request for proposal (RFP).

What is an RFP?

It is a powerful tool which allows you to buy the services you want. It serves as a formal invitation for companies to participate in a bidding process. Whoever wins provides you with a specific product or service.

To create a well-written website design request for proposal you should describe, in detail, what needs to be done and list the exact criteria for bid selection. The best way to go about it is to use a template and adjust it to your requirements. This way you’ll know that this document is tailored for your industry and current needs.

The RFP tasks are related to creating or transforming a website, usually for business transactions or customer service.

While creating a website redesign RFP, you should provide the contractors with as much information as possible. Try to include your needs, expectations, and formal requirements. This way companies will be able to decide whether they can provide you with said services.

How to write a good RFP?

The RFP has to be detailed and well-structured, otherwise you might lose potential collaborations. Companies might not want to participate in the bidding process or misinterpret the requirements. Remember that it’s one of the first documents related to your brand that they will encounter. Sloppy drafting, misused abbreviations or information gaps might reflect poorly on the company.

Use these 4 steps to prepare an aesthetically pleasing and clear RFP for website design services.

  1. Identify the exact goals and scope of the contract.

Start by answering the following questions:

  • Are you launching new products?
  • Are you changing your target customer base?
  • Do you need a new page?
  • Are you looking for a website redesign?

Remember that every business is a little different. Try to categorize yours:

  •         What kind of customers will visit your page?
  •         How much time will they spend on it?
  •         What will be their goals?

Probably you also have a specific purpose for which you need the website. Align your vision with actual statistics, such as sales volumes or estimated revenues. For example, if you’re trading books, estimate how many volumes per month you want to sell. If the webpage is to be used as a forum for teachers, estimate how many users will appear on it daily.

Now close your eyes and think about where you want to be with this project in the foreseeable future – a year from now.

  •         Has the site increased your sales?
  •         Was it aimed at improving the image of your brand?
  •         Maybe it boosted the popularity of your company?

Think about it carefully. Later include these unique ideas in your document. Remember that a well-written RFP will boost your chances of receiving great offers. If you add precise information, companies will know right away if they are interested in working with you – moreover, they will be able to choose the right tools. Defining clear project goals is a crucial step in the RFP, and it’s also a topic we covered extensively in our article on planning a website project.

  1. Describe your current situation.

You don’t have to provide your history or revenue. Focus on the most vital data, such as the firm specification, types of customers buying your products and sales volumes.

Take a moment to do a short analysis:

  •         How would you describe your average customer?
  •         How do they perceive you?
  •         What is your target group?
  •         Are you an owner of a large company or a small family business?

Think about your niche. Is there anything that makes your business stand out?

These pieces of information are an excellent starting point for creating an outline of your new website. If you are rebranding your store and want to redesign the already existing page, use the gathered data to build a new business strategy. You will also need a website redesign project plan.

  1. Outline your expectations.

In case you already have a website, try to describe what is wrong with it. Does it allow for easy communication with your clients? Is it hard to read or loads slowly? Write everything down.

List all the things that you’d like to have on your page. Start from the bigger picture like design and functionality. Should it be colorful and exciting? Maybe you need some eye-catching buttons for elderly shoppers?

You should decide on what’s the main purpose of your website. Is it to sell new products? To educate new customers? To promote your brand? If you’re going to run a site with an e-commerce component, provide information related to sales volume and anticipated short and long-term growth.

  1. Be specific.

Raw data might not be appealing, but it allows for a smooth workflow between you and your service providers. Don’t worry about your readers’ enthusiasm – if they manage to skim through the first 3 points, they certainly will read the whole document. To receive the best web design services, your RFP has to include some details.

Answer the following questions:

  •           How should the bidding companies contact you?
  •           How much time do they have to prepare proposals?
  •           What is your budget range for (re)designing the website?
  •           What are the deadlines and requirements for the submission of proposals?

Clear terms of engagement will improve communication. Moreover, you will be able to select the best candidates fairly.

Website design request for proposal – what are the major DOs and DON’Ts?

Documents are great tools. However, if they are poorly written, they don’t allow for a proper interaction with real people. Therefore, sometimes you can misunderstand their content or miss an important piece of information.

Because of that, always remember to:

  •         Adjust an RFP to your needs.

General queries are not very useful. Website designing companies won’t try to partner with you if they don’t understand what you need.

  •         Think carefully about your goals.

If you’re unable to express your needs, you won’t find proper companies to work with. Create your RFP  based on templates with an easy-to-read structure. If you have just started growing your business, get familiar with the language specific to your industry.

  •         Be open to new solutions.

It’s always good to include a few sentences about your openness to new ideas and technologies – you might be presented with an easy to implement solution. If a company representative sees that you are not stubbornly holding on to what you think is the best, they will be eager to introduce you to new and more efficient tools.

On the other hand, certain behaviors should be avoided at all costs, to make the future cooperation easier.

  •         Don’t narrow down your scope of interest too much.

If you’re planning to sell baby clothes, consider some other options for the future. After some time, you might want to sell clothing for adults or teenagers as well. Then, perhaps, your clients will appreciate the ability to contact a consultant or return goods without any issues. Take this into account when (re)designing your website.

  •         Don’t bury the contractor under piles of disorganized information.

Highlight the most vital elements. Try to use synonyms and paraphrase your thoughts. Don’t forget to summarize your requirements. It will make your RFP clear and easy to read.

  •         Don’t be stubborn.

You should be the one to establish the price range, estimated goals and assign the list of responsibilities to the contractor. On the other hand, you negotiate with a real human being who can tell you whether what you want can be done in the price range that you provided them with. It’s better to pay more for a great service than to save $100 and receive a mediocre product.

Take a look at our web design RFP samples!

Creating an RFP for a website design and development can be challenging. Have a look at our samples!

Example 1. An RFP for a company that needs a redesign of their website.

Dear Sir or Madam, 

We are a family-owned company that manufactures unique toys for children – most of them are handmade. We specialize in wooden blocks and cloth dolls.

 Next year, we would like to introduce a new series of wooden animals and jigsaw puzzles. So far, we have been retailing products exclusively in our store while using our website as a trivia blog. In the future, we want to sell mainly online.

 Our website is aesthetically pleasing and convenient but cannot be used for sales. We want to have it redesigned and adapted for new challenges. It has to be primarily a space for purchases.

 Our most frequent customers are parents and grandparents of children over the age of 12.

 Additionally, we want to include tabs with detailed information about products and discounts. We would love to leave some links to the blog posts. 

 We want customers to feel like they are Christmas shopping at the mall: cheerful, relaxed, and well-cared-for. We are a small company, so we know some of them personally.

 We are committed to redesigning our current website. Yet, we would like to keep the old content. We will not add new quizzes or fun facts, but we are attached to the already-existing ones.

After some calculations, we established our sales target for the future. Currently, we sell about 30 products per month. By the end of the next year, we want to bring that number up to 100 products.

As for the detailed information:

– We have to create some space for direct communication with a customer. We are open to new solutions, such as redirecting conversations to email or messenger.

– We would like to have our website redesigned quickly (by the end of the year), so please send your offers within two weeks.

– We can offer $X,000.00 for the finished project.

Join our team and help us build our dream website!

Example 2. An RFP for a hair salon without a website.


 I have been running my hair salon for the last ten years. Until recently, my clients were older people, but now I primarily cater to clients in the age range between twenty and forty. That is why I need a simple and functional website.

It needs to be easy to use and load quickly. Clients must be certain within a few seconds that they are in love with my hair salon!

I employ two people. Together, we serve several to a dozen clients a day. Usually, bookings come with a week or two weeks’ notice. We specialize in modern, colorful hairstyles. I import revolutionary dyes that last twice as long on hair as the regular ones. 

I want to receive a simple website with pictures of our latest haircuts and a calendar with available appointments. Additionally, the site should have our address and a map showing how to get to the studio (we have no parking spaces). 

I am committed to promoting the studio, especially among younger people. I also want to advertise new hair coloring methods.

Kindly send your website proposals to me within a month. I want the project to be as detailed as possible, with suggested placement of the photographs – I rely on your experience in this matter.

I can spend up to $X,000.00, paid in two installments. Please contact me via the phone number provided, preferably in the afternoon.

I hope to hear from you soon! 

Example 3. A website design request for proposal for a large company that sells shoes

To whom it may concern,

We are looking for a company that will design a new website for us.

We have been selling shoes and leather goods in Poland and other European countries for the last twenty years. We do have our own webpage. However, it is associated with products from the middle price range.

Next season, we are introducing professional sports shoes. Thus, new customers and new product categories await us. Moreover, we need to build a different way of communication. 

We look forward to increasing our annual revenue by 15% (within two years) and attracting new clients. Our high-quality sneakers will be rather expensive. Therefore, the website must look luxurious and work without any glitches. It can be minimalistic.

The page should include links to our other products. We also need space for descriptions of each type of footwear. Additionally, we are going to post dozens of pictures from photo shoots.

Please contact us at the phone number or e-mail address at the bottom of the document. 

We look forward to receiving offers for 14 business days. Prepare a simple visualization. We also require a presentation on how to link the new website with the already-existing one. The price is negotiable, depending on the scope and duration of our cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

A big company.

We hope that you liked our web design RFP samples! Do not forget to study them carefully and adapt them to your needs! Don’t forget that many ready website design RFP templates are available online. You can access them through online articles and seminars.

You have perfected your RFP. What happens next?

You can post the finished document on your current website or send it to the IT companies you want to work with. Direct contact will result in more responses. Your engagement is as important as the RFP itself.

When that’s done, you have to wait for responses. Later, you should select and contact companies that suit your needs. Then move on to phone/video calls or in-person meetings.  After choosing the perfect contractor, determine all the details. This way, both parties will understand the terms of the agreement. Lastly, try to get all the arrangements down on paper, especially before working with a new company.

When talking with potential contractors, show open-mindedness to the proposed solutions and willingness for further collaboration. Remember, that you are not obligated to hire them!

Keep in mind that they’ve spent time and resources to create an ideal proposal for your company. Save their proposals for reference – you might want their help in the future.

How to find the best website building companies?

Now you know how to write an RFP for website design.

If you want top-notch, intuitive solutions, use proven custom website design services provided by Nopio – an international company that creates new websites and redesigns the old ones.

If you’re looking for complex support we’re here for you!

We can also prepare your dream logo and support you with branding services. With us, you will create a functional and coherent platform tailored for your unique needs.

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