Planning a New Website? Seven Tips for a Successful Request for Proposal (RFP)

Nov 23, 2020 | Digital

On average, companies redesign their website every two-and-a-half years. A lot can happen in two years. Companies grow and business objectives change, Google adopts new search standards, mobile updates demand more on your site and technology continues to advance at rapid pace. It’s time for a refresh or even an overhaul, but where do you begin?

Request for Proposal

Posting a request for proposal (RFP) for your website redesign project is a great way to understand your options and see what agencies or other digital service vendors are out there. Not only can you identify potential partners for a website refresh, but you will establish contacts for future marketing projects.

Vetting your potential website marketing partner for quality, experience and proven performance is an important part of the process. So, let’s talk about how to create an effective RFP to get the site you dreamed of and the partner who will make it happen.

How to Write a Website RFP

As with any RFP project, the breakdown your goals, target audiences and performance outcomes are consistent. These basic steps provide detailed information about your company and project, which not only help you pinpoint your needs and think through your project, but also help website experts respond appropriately to your exact needs.

The following is a recommended list of information you should include in your RFP: 

  1. Company Introduction

Providing background on your company will allow potential partners to gain an understanding of what services will best suit your needs. Be specific on what is driving your organization to explore this project. For example, you could write “Company A is seeking an agency partner to update and maintain our website at Our current website lacks SEO compatibilities and needs PayPal integration. Company A is a leading public service organization aimed at providing affordable education to all children.”

  1. Budget

A budget will influence which digital marketing partners will submit proposals on the project and what services they can include. Include the number of webpages and even a sample navigation, if you will need ecommerce integration, SEO support beyond standard requirements or any out of the normal design elements, like new photography or video support.

  1. Timeline

Knowing when a project needs to be completed is important to choosing a vendor and ensuring they have the capabilities and capacity to finish the project on time. Deadlines should include opportunities to ask questions, agency selection, project kickoff and the desired completion date.

  1. Challenges and Goals

Convey challenges and goals for the specific website project will allow the interested partners to offer solutions within their proposals and help you narrow your selection.

Consider what conversions or outcomes you expect to achieve with the new website. Examples may include selling more product, generating appointments or inquiries, conveying the company’s services or simply creating a website that is an affirmation of expertise among key decision-makers. 

  1. Audience

Knowing the target audience can impact the scope of work, including website features to ensure a user-friendly experience that is supportive of your digital goals. Similar to the company introduction, knowing the industry and target audience will help decide between vendors as their previous experience or knowledge about a specific demographic will help you meet deliverables.

  1. Website Requirements

Detailing the project scope is the most important aspect of an RFP. Companies submitting proposals want to know the specific requirements of the project and what is important to you. Answering simple questions about your current hosting platform, search engine optimization (SEO) compatibilities, key pages or information you want to be integrated on your website (ecommerce, blogs, customer service interactions, PayPal or Stripe links, etc.) will paint a clearer picture of your specific needs.

Other essentials should include:

  • Content management system preference (CMS), if any
  • Who will write copy for the site (you or the selected partner)?
  • Aesthetic design requirements
  • Social media integrations
  • Third-party software platform integrations
  • ADA compliance
  • Analytics and performance tracking
  • Hosting support
  1. Submission Instructions

It is important to be clear where you want proposal submissions to be sent. Include an email address and phone number for questions and/or a direct link if you want the submission to be uploaded. Be specific about file types and sizes to ensure all submissions can be opened and received.

Be clear with deadlines for questions and the formal submission. It is also recommended to include your timeline for partner selection or required presentations.

Writing and receiving RFPs doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as the important information is included, then you can be sure that proposal submissions will be received. Now, go write your website RFP and have peace of mind that agencies are waiting to bid on your project.

Ready to create your new website RFP?

Download our template here and get writing.


Start writing your RFP today, with the help from your pals at Gavin. You’ll have them on their feet clapping in no time!


Need help writing your RFP?

Gavin is a full-service branding and communications agency with expertise in digital and ecommerce, having built more than 250 websites. For more information on how we can help your company or if you are sending new business requests, please contact us at [email protected].

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