No matter your industry, the importance of a website cannot be emphasized enough. From SEO and traffic, to sales and conversion rates, your website design affects your entire internet presence. When it comes time to redesign or create a new website, who you decide to lead the effort is a critical decision. But how do you start the process? We recommend having a real, human conversation with your potential agency, but if you’re looking for another option, your first step is creating a website design RFP (Request For Proposal).
We receive RFP’s for website design often and have seen them all; from the lengthy and confusing, to the articulate and focused. An RFP should be framed as the start of a conversation; aiming to build a strong relationship with your agency and understanding the value of what they will provide. The best RFP’s are clear about project goals, desired functionality, and deadlines. Follow these guidelines to write the most kick-ass website design RFP ever.
In a short paragraph, describe why you are issuing an RFP and what you are looking for. This will be the first thing agencies look for to verify that your needs match their skills. Will it be a complete website redesign, or, an update?
Introduce your company with one or two paragraphs. Give enough information so that those who have never heard of you will get a sense of your business; allowing agencies to see how the project fits into your entire organization’s workflows.
What goals do you want to reach with your new website? Note that your goal should not be what you want the website to do, in terms of functionality, but instead, focus on your desired outcome from the project. Example: Increase customer leads generated by your website from 1,000/month to 2,000/month by September 1, 2019.
Who are you trying to reach with your website? Include demographic information, and problems that your website can resolve for your audience. Agencies evolve these users into user personas, which will later on be used to create content strategy and a custom user experience.
Everyone knows your current website isn’t perfect, but, you will want to explain the basics of your current site. What elements are working, and what is your biggest pain point?
Detail the functionality that you’ll need for your new website, being as specific as possible. Some functionality examples include: Responsive design, ability to edit key pages through a content management system, or an events calendar with a registration system.
List out and detail any functionality that is essential to the project being a success. Example: Does the website need to be built in a specific CMS like WordPress or Drupal? Why?
Let everyone know when you want the project to be complete and if there’s something that is driving that date, such as a product launch.
Many clients are hesitant to provide a budget upfront. However, sharing this information will help agencies provide better design recommendations, ultimately saving a huge amount of time. Agencies that are outside your price point can excuse themselves, while others that are a good fit have the freedom to suggest solutions to achieve more of your goals.
State when you will need responses from agencies. Include when they’ll be hearing back if they’re a finalist, list any follow-up meetings, and state when you expect to make a final decision.
Now that you’ve bared your entire soul, this is where you can ask potential agencies anything in order to make an informed decision.
By following these guidelines for creating a successful RFP, we’re positive that you’ll generate promising proposals. Good luck, and be sure to send a copy our way (or give us a call)! Just contact us here.