In 2020 you can't do without a website. It advocates brand, promotes products, establishes a close connection with the target audience, and, most importantly, offers a reliable platform for realizing various marketing strategies. If you want your business to thrive, then you certainly need a website.

Creating a marketing website is not rocket science. Numerous solutions that can be handled even by non-tech-savvy people let you do this. However, if you want your website design to satisfy both sides (your company and your audience), you need one of the best website agencies.

Professional website design companies are perfectly aware of how to address your issue effectively. Their multitalented teams create not only an online presentation of your brand but a real team-player that works towards overall success. All you need to do is send your request to them in a standardized form, widely known as a web design rfp.

What is Website Design RFP?


RFP, an acronym for a request for proposal, came to the world of website design from the business sector. Huge companies, organizations, and even governments use them in search of the perfect vendor that will complete their particular task in time.

Much like the traditional RFP, web design rfp is the document that provides details about the project. It describes the task, clarifies goals, and sets expectations. Vendors use them to assess the scope of work, timeline, and budget to provide a proposed solution specific for the task.

Although, in general, every selection of web design agency requires calls and live sessions with candidates, still website design rfp lies in the heart of this decision-making process, providing a solid framework for both sides.

Pros of Using RFP for Web Design

Writing web design rfp is highly recommended. The deal is it has some valid advantages such as
• It breaks down and optimizes a complex project.
• It shows an overall image of what it takes to bring your idea to life.
• It offers various perspectives on solving the problem.
• It helps to discover new vendors that may be of help for future projects.
• It offers an equal playing field eliminating chances of bias.
• It ensures that the web design company meets project requirements and deadlines.
• It helps to get the most cost-effective solution.
Last but not least, it ensures a transparent partnership and the right working conditions for both sides.

Image credits: Scott Graham

The Essentials of Web Design RFP


Creating a high-quality marketing website for your company is like building a brand identity. It is a complex task that requires you to provide thorough information about your company, goals, target market, and expectations. To find the best web design agency and get an actual result from this collaboration, you need to write a well-structured website design rfp that covers all the essentials.
Let's consider the basics of typical web design rfp.

Introduction

The first-ever section in your website design rfp should be the introduction.
The introduction is a concise overview of your project: it is just a summary of your company and your task. To nail it, include such vital things as

• Information about your Company;
• The ideology of your company;
• The most prominent features of the brand;
• Your best quality;
• Personality;
• Leading service or product;
• The primary goal of website design;
• Reason for submitting your RFP.

The rule of thumb, like any summary, your introduction should be short, sweet, and straight to the point. Although every brand deserves a whole story to be told, nevertheless, remember that you have an entire web design rfp with numerous sections to shed light on your company to a full extent. Therefore, stick to a compact, capsule approach and use several phrases to introduce your company to the potential vendor.

Company Background

An organization's background helps the agency provide a solution that fits the brand and its target market. Here, you need to uncover four main things:

• Company background. Are your company old and well-established, or are you a young startup?
• The business sector you are working in. You can even provide your potential web design company with a list of competitors so that its team gets some inspiration and decides how to separate your marketing website from the crowd.
• Target market. All critical elements of website design - such as functionality, user experience, visuals, and even content - depend on your target audience's needs. Therefore, be specific here and tell your future web design company what segment of the crowd you are aiming at.
• Finally, tell them about yourself. Who are you? Are you a decision-maker, ideologist, investor, or just a middleman who addresses this issue on behalf of the company?

website design RFP preparation process
Image credits: LYCS Architecture

Core Objectives

Core objectives are all about problem recognition, setting expectations, and determining goals. To nail this section, ask yourself two main questions:
First, what problems you and your users face? Be honest and describe all issues that the current website is experiencing. Also, pinpoint features that you do not like, or maybe your users do not find useful. Be specific about the complaints your website regularly gets. If you are up to creating a new website, then you can omit this section.

Second, what do you want to accomplish with your new website? Compile a list of all goals you want to achieve:

• Increase traffic;
• Generate leads;
• Promote products;
• Build trust in your brand;
• Educate people;
• Provide information;
• Entertain the audience;
• Raise money for a noble cause;
• Raise awareness;
• Advocate brand.

Do not be afraid to list them all. However, do not shower all of them on the web design agency. When your list of everything you want to achieve with the new website is ready, you need to set priorities. Choose one or two primary goals and focus the vendor's attention on them. List other goals as secondary ones. Specify these goals as ones that will have a specific budget and timeline.

Deliverables

While core objectives are about goals, deliverables are about structure and functionality. It is the most significant section in website design rfp. Therefore, take your time and think through each point.

First and foremost, ask yourself, what specific services are you looking for? Obviously, you want to create or revamp your website. However, do not rush into conclusions since you may require some other services as well.

For example, you may need an illustrator who will create a series of drawings to support statements visually. The human and whimsical illustrations are a huge trend these days; therefore, you may want to give your website a modern touch.
You may also need a photographer who will take photos of your team or company inside. Not only do these pictures enrich the website with visual content, but they also help to build trust and make your brand closer to the target market.

Alternatively, you may need a video production to add a short video to the homepage's hero area. If you have a digital store or SaaS website then you may want to impress potential clients with exciting video presentations of products or services.

You may also need usability specialists. Not only will they create a comfortable user experience, but they will also present your goods in a way that boosts conversions.

Finally, yet importantly, you may also need a specialist in the accessibility sphere. The latter is a burning issue these days. Whatever business sector you are in, your website should deliver content to a wide range of people, including those who use AT.

As you can see, website design creation implies the involvement of not only website designers and website developers but a sterling web design agency with a multitalented team.

Therefore, with your new website design, expect such deliverables as
• UX/UI Planning;
• Graphic Design;
• Frontend development;
• Backend development;
• Usability;
• Accessibility;
• Content Management System, in case you want to use WordPress or another framework to power the website;
• Quality Assurance and Testing;
• Project Management.

Along with these, you should expect:
• Design that may come in PSD or AI file;
• A wireframe that will outline all the elements of the future Design;
• Graphical assets like icons, pictograms, illustrations, patterns, textures, backgrounds;
• Visual assets.

On top of that, you may find useful, such services as
• On-site SEO analyze;
• Content strategy;
• PPC Campaigns;
• Copywriting/Content;
• Training;
• Visual Identity;
• Marketing;
• Video Production;
• Photography;
• Ongoing maintenance and support.

website design process
Image credits: Eftakher Alam

Sitemap

Being a simple table of contents, sitemap plays a crucial role in a website's success. The deal is it tells search engines like Google what pages and files are essential.  The web crawlers get this information and help your company occupy a higher position in the search. Therefore, it should not be taken lightly.

How to make this section flawless?

First, define a scope of information that you want to show on your website. Divide it into logical divisions. Determine whether these divisions need a sterling page, or maybe they will sit perfectly inside one page, like the landing page.

Second, draw up a list of pages that you want to have on your website. For example. The regular website has such pages as
• Homepage,
• About the company,
• Team,
• Services,
• Contact,
• Clients,
• Testimonials,
• Shop,
• Blog,
• Privacy Policy,
• Copyrights,
• and of course, Sitemap.

Third, consider how your users will navigate. What pages are crucial for them and what pages should be one click away from the homepage. It is here where you need a helping hand from user experience specialists. They will help you to define the most critical information for the target market and make it easily reachable.

Finally, choose what pages you want to show as primary navigation and what pages can be displayed in a footer's secondary menu.

This section will help build great user experience and provide web designers with vital information on how many custom web page designs create and how to link them together in order to form a single space.

Functional Requirements

Along with an informative structure, you need to provide the agency with technical requirements. It is that part of the document where you need to list all your desirable website's functions. For instance, your new website design may have
• content management system,
• security tools,
• SEO tools,
• social media integration,
• CRM integration,
• eCommerce module,
• subscription form,
• payment,
• store locator,
• interactive map,
• search,
• advanced filter for products,
• registration system,
• login form,
• community,
• module for displaying data from external sources,
• API, etc.

The list can go on and on. However, what you need to do is to specify what functions are indispensable for your website, and what functions are optional.

Timeline

You can't run any business without setting milestones and meeting deadlines. Creating a website design is no exception. The timeline is crucial. Therefore, it should be specified and featured right on the top of the web design rfp.

First and foremost, specify the exact day you want your website design to go live by setting the website project launch goal.

Second, let vendors know when they will hear back on their responses.

Third, notify about all the critical milestones such as new product launch, ad campaign, an annual conference, etc.

Finally, do not set unrealistic deadlines. The deal is each work, especially the complex one, requires time to be completed. If you want your marketing design to be flawless on every level, be ready to spend some time waiting. Of course, you can ask to finish your project ASAP; however, note that every rush project is prone to mistakes and requires twice as much money as the regular one. Therefore, stick to realistic deadlines.

sticker board for website project
Image credits: Airfocus

Budget

The budget dictates rules for everything in website design creation. Every aspect depends on it. Based on your scope, objectives, functionality requirements, deadline, and of course, the financial plan, the website design agency will create a correct proposal. Therefore, in your website design rfp, you need to define what you're willing to pay.

Before deciding on the budget, bear in mind several important things:
First, decide what your top priority is? Whether you want to have the least-expensive solution, cost-effective solution, or you want to bring your idea to life, and money's no object.

Second, decide what services are additional, preferable, or required later. For instance, maintenance and PPC campaigns can be listed as other services that are needed later. List these expenses as annual recurring budget.

Third, decide what you want to get in return for your money. After all, creating a website is an investment; therefore, you need to establish goals for ROI.

Finally, tell the vendor about your payment schedule or fiscal year limitations.
These main points help create an overall picture that gives vendors a solid base for outlining their proposal.

Proposal Requirements

To create a safe environment for both sides and ensure that everything is fair and square, you need to explain web design company selection criteria. Outline what responding vendors should do to create a standardized response. Depending on your company and goal, you may have your measures. However, bear in mind that these requirements should be widely-acknowledged. Do not make this process hard.

Contact Information

Last but not least. Include contact information. Agencies should know where to send their proposal and who to ask questions.

Checklist

To sum up, everything said above, we have created a checklist that will help to write web design rfp and do not miss a thing. Use it as a structure sample.

Introduction
• Who you are
• What is your personality
• What are your main Service/Product

Company Overview
• Company Background
• Business Sector
• Target market

Core Objectives
• Problems your current website have
• Problems your users face on your website
• Goals for your new website

Deliverables

Sitemap
• Mandatory Pages
• Optional Pages

Functional Requirements
• Mandatory Functionalities
• Optional Functionalities

Timeline (should be included on the top)

Budget (should be included on the top)

Proposal Requirements

Contact Information

How to Choose the Best Web Design Company

If you set the right expectations and provide thorough information on each matter, you will likely get an in-depth project-appropriate proposal. However, you should not fall for the first-ever respondent. It is time to choose the best candidate.
First and foremost, do your research on Google and social media to fetch some testimonials and commentaries about the web design company.

Second, when you get your response, consider such things about website design company as

• sphere of expertise,
• experience,
• capabilities,
• portfolio,
• relevant projects and most recent projects,
• credits,
• graphics and visual assets that are going to be used,
• plugins and third-party solutions that are going to be used,
• design,
• CMS,
• budget,
• deadline.

Third, conduct pre-emptive Q&A with all the vendors to define the best strategy and the most comfortable partnership.

Fourth, check whether agencies use licensed graphical assets, visual assets, and development tools.

Finally, make sure your web design agency is perfectly aware of all current laws and know how to make your website meet all the requirements.

web design team meeting
image credits: Austin Distel

Last-minute Advice on Website Design RFP

To get a specific proposal that will meet your expectations and budget, you need to
• Assess your project with honesty.
• Make the outline simple, well-structured, and optimized.
• Get straight to the point.
• Eschew overly professional language and technical jargon.
• Ask open-ended questions.
• Be open to recommendations.
• Be transparent.

Conclusion

Submitting your web design RFP to multiple web design agencies is standard practice. Everyone hunts for better deal and better partnership. That is no surprise whatsoever. Therefore, use this to your advantage.

Create the well-structured and facts-based document that will give web design company a solid base to build on. Always put your heart and soul into it. The more informative, thorough, and transparent your web design rfp is, the better result you get.  Stick to our guide and use our checklist to find the best web design agency for your next project.