When you are creating a website design request for proposal (RFP), you have to ensure that crucial information doesn’t slip through the cracks. While we recommend avoiding RFPs, sometimes it is out of your power and is required by your organization. If that’s the case, then here are four essential things to include in your RFP to ensure your website project meets your organization’s needs in the timeliest manner.
Tips for Your Website RFP
You want to consider the following things to ensure your website RFP properly expresses your desires and goals.
1. Make sure to set goals
Your RFP should contain your website’s purpose and what goals you want to achieve with your site. When you start off by setting goals, then the rest of the information in your RFP will tie back to them. This will allow for the other points in your RFP, like your sitemap, design, and technology, to be centered around these goals.
Having more than one goal for your website is fine, but make sure you prioritize them according to their level of importance. You should have a primary, overall goal and then secondary, complementary goals.
A nonprofit’s primary website goal could be to generate more online donations. Meanwhile, its secondary website goal is to educate website visitors about their cause. This secondary goal complements the primary goal because when the website visitors are educated about the cause, then they would be more likely to donate which is the primary goal.
2. Make sure to identify your audience
Your RFP needs to clearly state the target audience(s) or donor personas your website should reach. When you identify your target audience, you are providing important, implicit details on how your website needs to be designed or structured. Website accessibility accommodations are important to think about when describing your audience. Make sure that your website design accommodates all users.
If you don’t have any donor personas or target audiences, our donor persona resources can help:
If you target audience ranges from college students to young professionals, then your design should be more sophisticated and modern than a website targeted towards an older generation. This means that factors such as font choice, color scheme, and navigation rely heavily on your target audiences and personas.
3. Take website maintenance into consideration
In your RFP, you need to define who will be updating and maintaining specific parts of the website after it is launched. Determine whether or not you have the capabilities to make structural changes to the website internally or if you need to invest in an external service provider to make any necessary changes or updates.
Taking your website maintenance into consideration can affect which website platform you end up choosing.
4. Take your budget and timeline into consideration
Be sure to set a realistic timeline and budget that allows you to achieve your primary goal. You may find through the RFP responses that it’s not possible to incorporate every aspect you wanted in the initial website launch. And that’s okay! By truthfully laying out your budget and timeline, you can create attainable phases for you to add on to your website in the future.
Make sure that the initial phase that you propose meets your primary goal.
These 4 factors are often left out of RFPs even though they’re essential to your website. Overall, it is important to only add things to your website design RFP that you know your website will need to be successful.
Don’t get stuck on the technical details, that’s why you are hiring a website expert in the first place. If they aren’t providing a solution that meets industry standards and best practices while attaining your goals, then you should avoid working with them period.
That being said, if creating a website isn’t in your wheelhouse and your organization isn’t required to go through the process, then we suggest skipping website RFPs altogether.