A Comprehensive Guide To Creating Your Website Design RFP [+ Free Template]

A Comprehensive Guide To Creating Your Website Design RFP [+ Free Template]
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: April 21, 2022
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There are more than 79,000 web design companies in the United States alone.

When you have a web design project, the best way to narrow down your options and choose the right agency for your project is through a website design request for proposal (RFP).

If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place!

Here, we’ll share everything you need to know about a website design RFP, from how to create one to how to send your RFP to prospective agencies and evaluate submissions.

We also provide a free, downloadable web design RFP template that you can use for your project.

Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here

What Is A Website Design Request For Proposal?

A website design request for proposal (RFP) is a document that includes a detailed outline of your new website’s requirements, project scope, goals, timeline and budget.

In addition to website design, an RFP can also focus on:

How To Structure Your Website Design RFP In 9 Steps

So how exactly do you create a website design RFP? We’ve broken the process down into nine simple steps:

1. Introduce Your Company

The RFP process starts by writing a short introduction about your brand.

This includes a short “about” section of your company, why you need a new website design and a brief outline of what the project will cover.

Keep this section short and direct to avoid overwhelming potential vendors — agencies receive 150 RFPs per year, on average!

2. State Your Budget

Your budget is an important part of the RFP, because it allows vendors to determine whether they can provide the scope of work within the desired budget and respond accordingly.

Your web design cost will depend on three main factors: the expertise of the team members who will work on your project, the agency’s hourly rate and if you will choose a custom or template website approach.

You can also read blog posts, online forums, or client reviews that mention project budgets to better understand how much your web design project should cost.

3. Specify Your Project’s Timeframe And Deadlines

Providing a realistic timeframe and expected launch date for your website design project allows vendors to determine whether they can complete the project by the desired deadline.

Ultimately, a timeframe sets a clear direction for tasks to be completed and keeps everyone involved in the project on the same page.

Ensure that your timeframe also includes hours for reviewing, revisions and approval.

Here are the different deadlines that are important to note on your RFP:

  • RFP Release Date: State your web design RFP’s release date for vendors to see how recent your RFP request is.
  • Response Deadline: Place a cutoff date on your web design RFP to notify vendors when you expect to receive an RFP response from them.
  • Vendor Selection Date: Put a date on your RFP for when vendors should expect a reply from you about your decision.
  • Project Kickoff: Add a date to your RFP for when vendors and their teams should expect to start working on your web design project.
  • Desired Launch Goal Date: Set a realistic date on when you would want your web design project to launch. Typically, a website project can take up to 14 to 18 weeks to complete, depending on its complexity.

4. Define Your Goals

Whether you want to increase sales or educate potential customers about your brand and offering, defining your project goals emphasizes your required design services and the scope of your project.

List your primary goal and secondary goals as needed.

Your web design goals might include:

  • Generate more qualified leads
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve your online presence
  • Improve engagement with existing and potential customers

5. Provide Website Examples and Inspiration

Get visual and list examples of websites you like to help paint a better picture of how you’d like your website to turn out.

List around five websites that you like, including their specific URLs and the features that you like about them.

You can also list your competitor’s websites to show vendors what your competitive landscape looks like.

6. Define Your Target Audience

Before designing your website, it’s important to define your target audience.

Your website should address your target audience’s needs and expectations to increase engagement and conversions.

Ensure vendors know who your target audience is by adding user personas and your target audience’s demographics to your request for proposal.

Include details about your target audience, such as purchasing habits or preferred content.

7. Include Your Web Design Wish List

Illustrate your ideal website by including “must-have” web design features along with features that would be nice to have, if possible within the allotted time frame and budget.

These features might include:

  • Visible contact details
  • Sticky navigation
  • On-brand color palette, typography and visuals
  • Engaging and relevant content
  • SEO strategy
  • Social proof such as client testimonials or media mentions
  • Live chat
  • “About Us” page

8. Set Your Criteria for Vendor Selection

In this section of your RFP, explain the criteria you’ll use when selecting your vendor.

Your criteria for vendor selection might include agency expertise, years of experience, portfolio, capabilities and relevant projects.

Clearly stating your selection criteria will help you weed out agencies that are unable to offer everything you’re looking for.

9. Detail Your RFP Submission Requirements

Outline the requirements you expect from responding vendors who want to take on your web design project and detail how they should send their response (usually via email).

Typical details you should request from vendors include:

  • Agency name, email, address, website and contact details
  • Company’s years of experience, size of the team, certifications and awards
  • Approximate hours and timeline of the project from start to finish
  • Client references
  • Five of their best, relevant projects that include links to each case study
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Website Design RFP vs. Website Redesign RFP

Let’s differentiate website design RFP from website redesign RFP.

A website design RFP is a document that specifies goals and requirements for a website for your brand.

On the other hand, a website redesign RFP is a document that outlines the existing challenges of your website and the extent to which your website should change.

Website areas for improvement might include content, format, structure and navigation.

Why Is A Website Design RFP Important?

Now that we’ve talked about its meaning, let’s dive into an RFP’s importance.

A web design RFP enables you to reach out to multiple agencies at once and allows you to review vendor submissions to find the agency that’s the perfect match for your website design project.

When Should You Create A Website Design RFP?

Now you know the importance of a website design RFP, but when should you create one?

It’s time to create a web design RFP when your project:

  • Involves a complex scope
  • Requires factual data
  • Needs a proposal from a qualified agency

How To Send Your Website Design RFP To Agencies

Now that you know how to structure your website design RFP, the search for your agency is on.

There are several different ways you can send out your website design RFP:

  • Publish it on your website: Build a landing page that includes every detail related to your web design project that will serve as a reference page for potential vendors. Position your RFP as a downloadable file.
  • Showcase it on the RFP Database: The RFP Database is a website portal that allows you to display your website project to different vendors. To display your RFP on the site, simply create an account, click the “Add an RFP” link and fill out the short form.
  • Search for agencies on Google: Web design agencies that come up first on search engine result pages (SERPs) are likely knowledgeable about search engine optimization. Does the agency implement SEO best practices such as using an optimized title tag, headers and meta description? Do they rank well for keywords? If SEO is a crucial factor for your web design project, find an agency that optimizes their own site, first and foremost, but using SEO best practices.
  • Ask for recommendations: Ask other companies about their experiences with outsourcing a web design agency and see if it worked for them. Once you get positive feedback about their experience, you can invite the agency to bid on your website design project.

Website Design RFP Template

Website design RFP template is useful for creating your own request for proposal from scratch, because it already contains all the essential fields and questions that just need filling out by the agency.

You can also download your copy of a free website design RFP template to the right on this page.

Here is an example of what a well-rounded RFP template for website design should contain:

Introduction/Company Background

A statement with a brief description of why your company needs to have a new website, and what the overall project will entail.

Budget

Timeline & Deadlines

  • RFP Release Date
  • Response Deadline
  • Vendor Selection
  • Project Kickoff
  • Desired Launch Goal Date

Main Challenges

Goals and Objectives

Clearly illustrate the goals for a website project (boosted sales, more visitors, better visibility, improved branding, etc.)

Target Audience

Website Requirements

  • Brand identity – do you need style guides? new logo?
  • Content strategy – do you need help?
  • Site architecture – what sections should there be, how are they organized?
  • SEO Keyword Analysis – is being found in Google important?
  • SEO Copywriting – do you have copywriters that will write your website content or need help?
  • 301 re-directs of old URL’s – do you plan on changing domains? this is needed to not lose SEO rankings, unless your website is a start up.

Proposal Submission Instructions

  • Name, address, email, phone, website
  • # of years in operation
  • Top clients and when (date) they partnered
  • 4-6 client references
  • 3-5 top relevant projects, who worked on each project, link to case study or website URL
  • # of individuals (approx.) that will work on the website project, their roles & responsibilities
  • Team size, bios, years of experience for each, their role, awards/ certifications
  • Any additional resources required for support (ex: sub-contractors)
  • # of hours and general timeline from start to completion (approx.)
  • Project management approach
  • General overview of website build process end-to-end

Top Agencies to Send Your Website Design RFPs to in 2022

Statistics show that 38% of online users leave a website with an unattractive layout, while 48% judge a business's credibility based on website design as the primary consideration. These data justify adequate investment in a professionally-designed website.

While choosing the best website design agency to work with for your project may take time, you don’t have to look further. Here’s our top pick for the web design company to help realize your vision for your site.

1. Protection Advertising LLC

  • Location: 337 Delaware Dr, Westerville, Ohio 43081, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $99/hr
  • Expertise: Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing, SEO, White Label PPC, SEM, Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook Ads

Driven by the values of honesty and personalization, Protection Advertising provides services at reasonable costs.

The Ohio-based agency uses efficient marketing systems that add the most value to businesses, helping them thrive and achieve their goals. Having worked with notable brands like Spring Green, Sears, and ApiJect, they have a proven track record of delivering remarkable output that continues to attract and retain clients.

With Protection Advertising, you are guaranteed that every dollar spent is worthwhile.

2. ForeFront Web

  • Location: 7155 Post Road, Dublin, Ohio 43016, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $125/hr
  • Expertise: Branding, Web Design, eCommerce Web Design, Website Development...

ForeFront Web is a digital marketing agency offering web design and development, paid search (PPC), organic and local SEO, content marketing and a full digital marketing suite of services for their clients around the world.

Taking pride in being we a proactive web development firm, ForeFront Web keeps their finger on the pulse of all the latest trends in all areas that they cover while ensuring best practices are always met and adjusted to their clients' changing markets needs.

Their clients include Honda of America, Orthopedic One and Columbus Recreation and Parks.

3. PBB-design studio

  • Location: Stryyska str, Lviv, 79000, Ukraine
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Web Design, eCommerce Development, Website Development, eCommerce Marketing... 

PBB-design studio is engaged in the development of websites since 2005 and also offers their customers a variety of services that ensure the creation of a first-class resource for their company.

One of the main goals of any website is to make a profit. The agency's websites are a tool that will work steadily and actively contribute to the growth of any business, while applying any trends and innovations in web design. Each of our projects is tailor-made to ensure the uniqueness of their clients' brands.

PBB-design studio's clients include Symbiotyka cardio clinic, West heat-innovation company and DomKrit real estate in Crete.

4. SemiDot Infotech

  • Location: 3024 Washington Street, Boulder, Colorado 80304, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $20
  • Expertise: Web Design, eCommerce Development, Website Development, Mobile App Development...

SemiDot Infotech is a web and mobile app development company. They provide services to a worldwide clientele with the team including experienced and professional developers and designers who have rich knowledge of different technologies and tools.

The agency is able to deliver a broad range of development services including mobile app development, web development, full-stack development, and Blockchain development along with diverse solutions such as on-demand, ready-to-use, white-label & customized ones crafted for the specific requirements of enterprises.

Their clients come from numerous industries including healthcare, food, medical, education, automobile, eCommerce, Fintech, real estate, media & entertainment, travel, and more.

5. The Rojas Group (TRGLV, Inc)

  • Location: 2620 Regatta Drive, Suite 102-141, Las Vegas, Nevada 89128, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $150
  • Expertise: Web Design, Branding, Print Design, Digital Marketing...

At The Rojas Group, they enjoy working with clients to help bring their projects to life. They listen to their customers' goals and objectives and work with them to create an online presence that includes creating or updating your website and improving their visibility online, based on specific budget and needs.

They recognize that each business is different, each client requires different strategies. The Rojas Group takes your goals and budget in mind when they work with you to create a plan that fits both.

The Rojas Group clients include Chic la Vie Med Spa, Lakeside Village Las Vegas, The Heritage Downtown and Lakeside Business Suites.

6. Nexus Software Systems

  • Location: US Route 1, Weston, Maine 04424, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $75
  • Expertise: Web Design, B2B Website Design, Small Business Website Design, eCommerce Web Design...

Providing services that their customers can always rely on, Nexus Software Systems is a software development company founded in 1985. They have been the technical "brains" behind many successful businesses.

With more than 10,000 successful software development projects delivered, they know what works and how to make it work for any client. To help their client's business growth and to help them achieve business objectives, they offer cost-effective solutions that enhance any business' offrring. 

Nexus' clients include Visa, eBay, UPS and Microsoft.

7. SPEC INDIA

  • Location: "SPEC HOUSE" Parth Complex, Near Swastik Cross Roads, Navarangpura, Ahmedabad, 380009, India
  • Average Hourly Rate: $25
  • Expertise: Web Design, eCommerce Development, WordPress Website Design, Wearable Tech...

SPEC INDIA is a certified software solutions and services company providing accelerated and cost-effective enterprise software development solutions to a large portfolio of customers across the globe. They serve a niche global clientele which includes Fortune 100 companies, budding startups, and SMEs.

Their key highlights include multi-location implementation, end-to-end delivery with 360-degree support, universal presence in over 35+ countries, 250+ resources, 1000+ projects, 55000+ person-hours. The agency's services and solutions are widely implemented in a wide range of industry domains like Sales & Distribution, Retail & FMCG, Shipping & Logistics, Education, Healthcare, Digital Media & Advertisement and others.

8. Louis Websdale

  • Location: Flat 16, Holly House Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood, CM15 9BP, United Kingdom
  • Average Hourly Rate: $25
  • Expertise: Web Design, Financial Services Web Design, Small Business Website Design, Responsive Website Design...

Louis Websdale started their web design business at the start of 2021 with the world turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of 2021, he has been helping business owners, both big and small, get their message, products and services out there through web design.

Louis offers website design, speed optimisation, SSL certificates, hosting and SEO services. With all of these services, he makes sure that his clients are never alone in the process.

Louis Websdale's clients include 24 fingers, Myra McHale, Kobika Dance and Guida Accountancy.

9. InGenious Guru

  • Location: 2369 Spicer Dr, Beavercreek, Beavercreek, Ohio 45431, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $20
  • Expertise: Website Development, B2B Digital Marketing, SEO, Digital Advertising...

To enhance and boost their clients' business online, InGeniuos Guru provides a variety of services, including Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Video Marketing, Web development, and Video Marketing.

Their professional web designers will also create a unique logo for any startup. With InGenious Guru functional strategies, any company can increase their rank in search engines. They offer useful solutions for all business needs and requirements. 

InGeniuos Guru clients include BlackCamels, Zawadi and VouchersTree.

10. ESimplified Inc.

  • Location: 1815 Ironstone Manor, Suite 16B, Pickering, L1W 3W9, Canada
  • Average Hourly Rate: $90/hr
  • Expertise: 360° Digital Services, Web Design, eCommerce Development, Mobile App Development, Website Development...

ESimplified is a family-owned and operated web design company in Toronto. As embodied in the name, the agency offers simple and transparent internet solutions with measurable results. Their affordable, high-quality services have enabled them to establish long-term relationships with businesses across the country.

Their technical expertise allows them to harness the latest technologies in delivering projects on web design, B2B/B2C app development, and eCommerce development. They also provide SEO, PPC, and social media marketing services.

ESimplified has worked with clients in eCommerce, health, finance, restaurant, and education sectors, among many others.

11. Spark Creative

  • Location: 28039 Scott Rd., Suite D281, Murrieta, California 92563, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $125/hr
  • Expertise: Branding, Logo Design, Web Design, Responsive Website Design, Website Development.

Spark Creative is a South California-based agency that turns your vision into a reality of business growth and success. From strategy and design to development, launch, and analysis — the agency features a streamlined, collaborative, and fun process that helps brands grow online.

Spark Creative comprises experts that can create and optimize your website while providing the assistance and tools you need to keep growing. Notably, they offer analytics to track the project’s results and performance.

They have produced visually stunning websites for businesses in aviation, travel, health, cosmetics, advertising, and more.

12. Techies India Inc.

  • Location: SCF 12 C, Level 2 & 3, Sivia Complex, B - Block, Sarabha Nagar, Punjab, Ludhiana, 141001, India
  • Average Hourly Rate: $60/hr
  • Expertise: Web Design, eCommerce Development, Mobile App Development, Ruby on Rails, Magento Development, Shopify...

Techies India Inc. has been in the business since 2006, helping companies cut through the noise and save huge on development and marketing. They take the time to communicate and understand your needs so you can reach your goals and increase sales with less stress.

The company has partnered with top eCommerce platforms to provide better experiences. They are a certified Adobe Solution Partner, BigCommerce Partner, Magento Certified Developers, Google Partner, and Facebook Certified.

Aside from web design, Techies India offers SEO and digital marketing services. Their clients include Lamy, Shield Republic, Lion Legion, and Saddleman.

13. Techna Digital

  • Location: 3116 NW Lakeridge Drive, Vancouver, Washington 98662, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $35/hr
  • Expertise: Web Design, WordPress Web Design, Digital Marketing, SEO, PPC, Content Marketing.

This dynamic digital marketing agency began as Doug Williams and Associates before it was rebranded as Techna Digital Marketing in 2020.

Numbers speak volumes, and when it comes to their work, there's a lot to be said. They have 20 years of experience under their belt — with over 200 websites helped, 25,000+ generated leads, and $12 million revenue generated for clients. The company is the Titan Business Awards Gold Winner in 2022.

Techna Digital Marketing caters to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the US, with custom-tailored, competitively priced services. Apart from website design and management, they offer content marketing, PPC, and SEO.

14. Visual Goodness

  • Location: 477 Madison Ave, 6th Floor, New York City, New York 10022, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Digital Strategy, Creative, Responsive Website Design, eCommerce Development, Salesforce, WordPress development...

Whatever the size of your business and needs, Visual Goodness has the experience and expertise to craft the right solutions for you. They are a creative production studio specializing in visuals and experiences, well-furnished with awards, including IAC Awards and The Webby Awards.

Visual Goodness can develop custom websites, whether a simple micro-site or a fully integrated and automated eCommerce website. Their development services include site maintenance, landing pages, experiences, marketing technology platform recommendations, and social media management.

Their recent clients include Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann Worldgroup, and Real Chemistry.

Wrapping Up On Website Design RFP

A website design RFP outlines the important details of your project so you can find a qualified agency that’s the perfect fit for your website design.

To recap, your website design RFP should include your:

  • Company background
  • Budget range
  • Project timeframe and deadlines
  • Website goals
  • Website examples and inspiration
  • Target audience
  • Website must-haves
  • Criteria for vendor selection
  • Submission requirements

Once your detailed RFP is created, it’s time to send it out!

Position it as a downloadable file on your website, showcase it on the RFP database, search for agencies on Google or ask around for recommendations.

Once the submissions are in, weed through the responses, shortlist several agencies, conduct interviews and partner with the best agency for the job.

Get connected with the right website design agency for your project.
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