Simple RFP Advice For A Business Website
So you’ve decided it’s time to update your business Website. This time you want to do it right. Last time you spent way too much money. It took way too long to build, and you just weren’t happy with the results.
This time you decided you are going to create a Website Request For Proposal (RFP), and send it to a couple dozen Web design companies.
Now you just need the RFP. That’s easy. Search Google for “Website design RFP examples“. You’ll get dozens, if not hundreds of examples you can download for free.
Easy breezy. Just download one of those suckers, put your company name on it, put a respond by date, and send it off to a dozen or so Web companies. What could be easier. Just wait for the replies to come rolling in.
If you do it this way, I can tell you three bad things are going to happen.
- Only about 2 or 3 companies will respond.
- The RFP’s will be incomplete, and full of “contingency/exception” statements.
- The price quotes you do get will range between $1,000 to $25,000.
You’re truly at this point, no better off than when you started the RFP process.
As a Kansas City Web design company, that’s worked with business owners for the last 11 years, I can honestly say there is a better way to develop a Website RFP.
Here it is…..
Create a requirements document with simple questions on it that “YOU” the business owner understand. Not a document full of stuff that only the Web design company understands. It’s your businesses Website, don’t ask for things that only the Web company will understand.
What you are looking to do is establish a relationship with a
Web design company that you can trust.
Certainly price is important, but this is going to be a company that will be your Internet partner for the next 3 to 5 years. Work up-front, to create an easy to understand relationship document.
So for your next RFP, throw away all those Internet example documents, and create a simple Word document with the following items and questions. Each answer will tell you something about the Web design company, and their ability to work with your company in a trusted manner. Each answer should be NON-TECHNICAL and simple to understand.
- RFP Respond by date.
- How many full time staff does your company have? (This really speaks to the company’s ability to support you for years to come. Don’t pick a company with just 1 or 2 full-time employees. People do need to go on vacation or leave for better jobs.)
- Will I 100 percent, own everything about my Website? (Don’t let them say they’ll give you a copy if need be.)
- If I decide to part ways with your company, will I have to move my Website somewhere else? (If the relationship ends, your Website should stay up and running in your name, in the same location. Never put your company in the position that “YOU” have to move the Website. Let them leave, but the Website stays in the same place in your name.)
- What software are you going to use to build my Website with? (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal are the three most used tools out there. If your Web company goes away, you don’t want to be stuck with some odd Website software that no one else knows how to use.)
- Will I be able to maintain the “content” on my Website by myself?
- Will I be able to add more pages to the Website by myself?
- Can I just send you changes to my Website if I don’t want to do them myself? What will that cost?
- If you’ve done Website’s like my business, can you provide some examples of those?
- If you haven’t done Website’s like my business, can you provide some examples of those that represent how my site might look.
- Please provide three other business “owner” references.
- It is/is not, important that my Website show up well in a Google search – SEO?
- I want my mobile Website visitors to have a unique experience on their phones. Will this be a separate design effort? Will this be a separate development cost?
- I need my Website to do these things (list all that are specific to your business Website needs. For example – Take donations, event calendar, eCommerce, show multiple locations, pages that only my employees can see, etc)
- Based on your understanding of my company’s Website needs, please provide the following cost estimates:
- Monthly Hosting Cost
- Computer Website Development Cost
- Mobile Website Development Cost
- SEO Costs (if applicable)
- Ongoing Website Content Change Costs
- SSL Certificate Cost
- Any Other Costs
That’s it. That’s all that’s needed in an RFP for a new Website or Website redesign project.
Each answer should be NON-TECHNICAL and simple to understand.
Make it simple for you the business owner to understand. If the Web design company is worth their salt, they will be able to communicate with your company in a way that makes you feel comfortable with them and you can trust them for years to come.
KC Web Specialists, would be proud to be your partner in the development of a Website RFP for your business. Yes, we might lose out to another Web design company by helping you create a simple to understand RFP, but at least we would feel like you got the right information you needed to make a decision. Please reach out to us at your convenience if you would like to discuss next steps.
(913) 489-7866 or firstname.lastname@example.org