A new, corporate website is a big investment, and one that will likely play a key part in your company’s marketing strategy, and perhaps even your operational processes.
Therefore, it is important to take the time to carefully research and plan for your new website. Putting together an RFP allows you to think about, document, and refine your company’s specific requirements for your new website.
At the minimum, an RFP states your requirements, your budget, and your timeline. However, to help web development agencies understand exactly what you’re looking to achieve, we have created a list of key points for you to consider including in your next web RFP.
Here is where you introduce your organisation. It only needs to be a couple of paragraphs covering what you do, an overview of your product / service, your market (B2B, B2C, or both), your USP/s, your main competitor/s, and your target audience.
This helps agencies to join the dots between your commercial operations and your technical requirements.
Current Website - The Pain Points?
This isn’t a compulsory request, but it does help if you provide an insight into the issues you’re facing with your current site, whether it’s performance, technical and/or usability related. Examples may include: -
New Website - Key Purposes
Here is where you identify the key purposes and objectives for the new website: -
Some websites are just brochure websites for marketing / informational purposes; however, most websites incorporate some form of functionality.
Functionality can range from the simple (enquiry forms, newsletter sign-ups) to the complex (data integrations, booking capabilities). We ask that you detail any functionality you require. We have included some popular examples below to help you: -
Content Management System
Do you have a preference for Content Management System (CMS)? If you do, it is important you state this in your RFP because different web development agencies are likely to specialise in specific technologies and CMS platforms. (Here at CSI Media, we work with Umbraco, Sitecore, and multiple e-commerce platforms.)
If you don’t have a preference, that’s fine too. A lot of web development agencies work with multiple CMS platforms, and can help match you with the best CMS for your requirements.
Here at CSI Media, our new websites are compatible with the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. However, occasionally, clients request compatibility with another browser.
This really needs to be specified at this point because it is not a simple ‘add-on’, and often requires especially-written HTML. (It can add substantial costs to the build and testing phases, so we advise you carefully review your user base.)
Are there any further add-ons that you require any support with? For example: -
(Please note, some agencies may not provide these services.)
Even if you only have a ballpark figure at this point, it really helps if you can share your budget in the RFP. Communicating your budget will save you a lot of time and effort in dealing with agencies that are above your budget.
Furthermore, if an agency’s estimate is slightly above your budget, they can help you to prioritise the deliverables, and put together a plan to deliver any non-essential functionality in a later phase.
Finally, it’s important to distinguish between your budget for the initial web design and development, and ongoing maintenance, hosting, and continuous improvements.
The date that you’re planning to launch your new website is important.
Please note, if you’re looking for an agency to design and develop a custom website (as opposed to an off-the-shelf-template), your new solution isn’t going to be delivered within a month.
The leading web development agencies follow a thorough, iterative process that starts with requirements gathering, and moves through to design, HTML, development, testing (internal and UAT) and, finally, deployment.
(Here at CSI Media, we occasionally receive RFPs stating ‘6 weeks’ or ‘within one month’, and we sadly have to turn down the opportunity to participate. We will always be honest and provide you with a realistic delivery date.)
What information do you need to help you decide?
You will want an agency to detail the deliverables for your new website. You may also want them to detail their approach / processes to the project. The project cost and projected timeline are probably important factors too, but what other information would you like to help you make a decision?
Make clear any deadlines that agencies need to meet, including intention to respond, Q&A deadlines, and proposal submission.
Looking to Submit Your Next Website RFP?
To submit an RFP for your next corporate website, please forward it to email@example.com