How to Create a Corporate Website RFP

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.

Website RFP

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.

 

Overview

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: -

  • Website is looking outdated from an aesthetic point of view, and is in need of a refresh
  • Failure to communicate the product/service offering clearly
  • UI is disorganised and the user flow is inefficient
  • Broken or missing functionality
  • Content Management System (CMS) is archaic and makes managing content cumbersome
  • The website is slow and ponderous
  • Lack of ability to track and capture marketing leads
  • Poor SEO performance
  • Lack of responsiveness / mobile optimisation

 

New Website - Key Purposes

Here is where you identify the key purposes and objectives for the new website: -

  • Does the website act as a sales and lead generation tool? Is it for educational purposes? Or does it help to facilitate a key operational function, for example, booking?
  • What actions do you want/need users to perform on your website, for example, find out further information, make an enquiry, book an appointment, order samples, etc?
  • What’s the sitemap / structure of your website, what pages will you require, and what do you envisage the user flow to be?
  • What are you looking to achieve from a design perspective? Have you seen any web designs that you like (whether it’s a competitor’s website or a site in an entirely different sector?)

 

Functionality

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: -

  • Do you require any integrations, for example, with Salesforce? Google Maps? MailChimp? Or perhaps you require integration with a bespoke solution?
  • Do you need a membership area for users to register and log in, perhaps to enter a members’ portal area?
  • Does your website need e-commerce functionality (for users to buy products and services) and, if so, what associated functionality do you require?
  • Do you (or the users) need the ability to download and/or upload documentation?
  • Will users benefit from personalisation?

 

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 UmbracoSitecore, 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.

 

Browser Compatibility

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.)

 

Additional Extras

Are there any further add-ons that you require any support with? For example: -

  • CMS training
  • Brand development
  • SEO support
  • Hosting support

(Please note, some agencies may not provide these services.)

 

Budget

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.

 

Launch Date

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.)

 

Selection Criteria

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?

  • Accreditations
  • Previous experience / case studies
  • References

 

Proposal Deadlines

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 enquiries@csimedia.net

Therefore, it is important to take the time to carefully

Therefore, it is important to take the time to carefully