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Web Design RFP – Why & How to Make One (with Simple Template)

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Updated January 30, 2018
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Web Design RFP Template - Simple

Web Design RFP – Why & How to Make One (with Simple Template)


Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

Web Design RFP Template - Simple

Do you know you don’t have to create a Web Design RFP?

Many times what I’ll suggest to companies in this situation – is instead of creating an RFP, consider really honing in on the relationship you want to create with a couple key partners based on the work they’ve completed recently and give some realistic numbers to those partners about what you’d like to spend.

If you go to a couple or more companies whose work you really like, and who seem like they could have a soid relationship with your company – you might find this is better for the basis of your web design project than a Web Design RFP.

Why you may want to create a Web Design RFP

If your project is part of a non-profit, a larger organization that requires RFP’s, or you’re just totally unfamiliar with the landscape and pricing of the web design market – you may want to consider creating an RFP – or ‘Request for Proposal’.

This allows companies to be able to inspect the main things about your project that will effect pricing, and decide amongst themselves if they want to make a bid, and what the functional requirements of the project are.

What do you need in your Web Design RFP

Many Web Design RFP articles online – make this more complicated than it needs to be.

I’ll be honest, if I saw a web design RFP that some of these companies suggest – long-winded, and bulky to the point of obscuring the main, most crucial details – I’d be wary of responding to it.

That’s why I suggest you keep your RFP to a couple pages max with only the absolute most important details. Details such as:

  • A brief version of your company’s story and market position.
  • The main things your company does better than competitors.
  • Any in-depth functionality you’re aware that the site will need.
  • Any visual requirements – are their brand guidelines etc?
  • The pages you want to include – basic idea.
  • The main actions you want people to take on the site (contact form? purchase? donation?)

What Not to include in your Web Design RFP

If you want to attract web design companies that truly want to partner with you, and not just have you dictate every detail – I strongly suggest not including wireframes, rigid requirements without collaboration, and especially not pre-defined designs. If a web design company requests any of these things – I would strongly consider finding a different company, as it is a red flag. If a web design RFP is sound, it just needs to draw out the basics – the strategy, and in-depth work that should go into the wireframing and design of the solution should come from the experts you’re hiring – not you.

Why to not make your Web Design RFP more Complicated?

There’s something to be said about trusting the company you’re hiring to do the work, since it’s not your main field of expertise.

Your job is to be the person who communicates the brand story, some of the key value propositions of the company, and collaborate with the web design company on the brand voice as it manifests itself in the site. A complicated RFP can get in the way of these things and may end up with an ill-conceived project.

Focus on relationship and fit – then focus on functional requirements and deliverables.

Not the other way around.

The functional requirements are absolutely crucial, but sometimes it’s best to start forming what those are in a discussion with the provider you choose rather than bringing everything perfectly formed to them…

– that is, if you are truly working with experts.

Experts want to be involved in the process, including concepting and functionality.

Imagine you started working with a luxury home builder, and when you called them up they said – “do you have the blueprints ready?” How insane would that be?

The same goes for companies who want wireframes or a crystal clear idea of what you want your website to be structured like. You should rely on their collaboration, if you truly find the kind of partner that’s worth a long-term relationship for your digital marketing efforts. That is what online marketing takes these days – a commitment to the long-term success of your company online.

So enter the Web Design RFP process with a long-term, relationship focused strategy and you will find the right partner!

Here’s a simplified RFP Template:

Download the Web Design RFP Template for Free

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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