An RFP (request for proposal) is a public announcement that provides details on an upcoming project. By announcing it, companies can solicit bids from contractors like web developers, which helps them find the perfect partner for their project.
In addition to helping companies and government agencies connect with potential service providers, there are numerous benefits to issuing an RFP.
For one, it encourages competitive pricing and ensures that companies receive the best services for their budget. It also promotes transparency and helps companies hold their vendors accountable during the development process.
To find the best partner for your web development project, here’s what you need to include in your RFP.
What to Include in Your Web Dev RFP
The project overview introduces the project and vital information that web developers need to decide whether it’s worth responding to your RFP. This should summarize the background and purpose of your project, like why your company is planning to build a website and the services you need.
More importantly, it should outline some basic information about the RFP review process. For instance, you should include when you expect to review proposals, when you will select a provider and the project duration.
Some web development companies won’t be able to work on your project simply because they have other projects they will be working on simultaneously. This will save both you and them time by weeding them out early.
The clearer and more concise your project overview is, the more likely they will be to read through the rest of your RFP and submit a proposal.
Company Background Information
This section should introduce your company and what you do. The information you provide here can help potential partners determine whether or not they’re interested (and have the required experience) to deliver the final product you’re looking for. Be sure to include:
- An explanation of your products and services
- The primary audience for your website
- Description of your current website (if applicable)
- Target market/audience
- Market trends
- Competitors & their websites
- Your business leaders/ who will be selecting a vendor
Hopefully, this section will capture the interest of web developers familiar with your industry and target audience.
Your project goals focus on the big picture: what do you want to accomplish by building a website? Are you hoping to increase online sales? Generate leads? Is it an informational website you will use to support marketing efforts?
This information ensures that web developers understand your end goal and submit a proposal that reflects that. Otherwise, you may spend time fielding proposals that could be better.
Scope of Work
The scope of work is arguably the most important part of the RFP. This section should clearly outline project deliverables and requirements. This includes what features and functionality need to be included on the website, what programming languages you’re looking to use, any APIs or third-party integrations, design requirements, and more.
The more information you can provide in this section, the better. These details help development companies determine how they will approach the project and ensure they can allocate enough resources to your project. If you already have designs for the website, be sure to include them.
In addition to informing potential partners what the project is all about for their proposal, this also sets clear expectations and prevents miscommunication later on in your partnership. This can easily be referred to later to help keep web developers accountable or if there is confusion about a specific deliverable.
Additional Reading, ‘Why a Scope of Work is Essential to Finding the Right Service Provider.’
At this stage of the project, you may not know what milestones you need to hit or how long the project will take. However, you should still mention a general timeline, especially if other projects rely on launching your new website.
For instance, retail companies hoping to launch an e-commerce website may want to get it up and running before Black Friday to get the most out of their holiday sales.
When potential web development partners respond to the RFP, ensure they include a more detailed timeline in their proposal. This can help you evaluate if they can deliver on time.
Just as importantly, make sure to include information about when you expect applicants to submit their proposals and when you will be making your final decisions on who to hire.
Again, the budget section of your RFP doesn’t need to be super detailed, but it does need to be realistic for your requirements. Developing a website can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several hundred thousand dollars. Although, most companies releasing an RFP for web development plan to spend significantly.
The total cost of building a website varies depending on the complexity of the website, the website size, design, and more. For instance, adding features like AI-based chatbots, shopping cart functions, and a content management system (CMS) can increase the cost significantly.
Be sure to do your research ahead of time to get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to develop the website of your dreams. If it falls outside your budget, you may need to prioritize certain features to keep costs low.
Learn more about how much it costs to build a website and what factors influence price in Clutch’s ‘Web Development Pricing Guide.’
Point of Contact
Make sure to provide contact information for project leads. Be sure to include email addresses and phone numbers for all team members involved.
This section clarifies how you want to communicate and manage the project throughout your partnership. You can identify any project management software, like Asana or Basecamp, that you want to maintain communication and establish a regular meeting cadence.
Communication is key for a successful partnership, and how you establish channels early can set the tone for the whole project.
To establish transparency, consider adding information on the criteria you will use to evaluate proposals. Think of this as a rubric for those applying — they can refer to this section to make sure they highlight the most important part of their proposals.
This can include the evaluation criteria, the weight and importance of each part, and how you will score each item.
Additionally, developing selection criteria early on will ensure that you and your team evaluate all proposals fairly. By assessing each proposal equally, you’ll be more likely to choose a web development partner that is the best fit for the project.
Choosing The Best Web Development Company for Your Project
Once you’ve released your RFP, you only need to wait for submissions. Then, narrow down your list and interview potential web developers for your project.
RFPs attract more competitive offers from top companies. The information they provide will help you choose a web development company that has the expertise, skills, and resources needed to deliver a final product that meets your needs.