a piece of paper and a pencil on a table next to coffee

writing an rfp

April 14, 2016

written by
Greg Ciro Tornincasa

When you’re looking for a firm/studio/agency/freelancer to build your website, you will save time if you’re prepared with at least a basic set of requirements. A request for proposal, or RFP, is a standard document used to outline those requirements. Not only does this document help organize the process, it makes you a good client. Ambiguity is one of a designer’s worst nightmares, it’s almost as bad as being told “my daughter could have done that”.

Let’s go over the basic set of questions you should know before you start the bidding process. We’re going to put in some of our standard procedures here at 300FeetOut to give you an idea what you should expect from any reputable agency.

1. Your name and contact information.

2. Why you want a website design/redesign. Making sure everyone knows the 3 main goals for your new website, listed out in order of importance, is an important part of keeping everyone’s focus on outcome. Typically it’s because you want to update the tech and have it better reflect your business goals and/or who you are. And you should know why you want a new site before starting anything.

3. What’s your timeline? At 300FeetOut, a typical design + build takes 16 to 20 weeks. The more bells and whistles, the longer it takes.

4. What is your budget? Websites can cost anywhere from $15,000 for a basic starter model and go up rapidly depending on your needs. Do you need a Honda, or want a Tesla?

5. Do you have a brand (logo, etc.) already? Do you want to use it or are you trying to update your brand’s presence? This will add both cost and time to any project.


Next, we think about the types of features you want your site to have when it launches. What do you want your website to do?

1. Does it need ecommerce- are you selling something?

2. Does your website require compliance of any sort?  300FeetOut always creates a production (that means live) and stand alone development site for updates.  We implement cloudflare for backups, speed, and security like https.

3. Do you need your website to be responsive? Mobile, desktop, and tablet views are the most common. You can also develop an adaptive site, however that increases the technical complication. We always build responsive websites so that people can access your URL from both desktops and mobile devices. This does add time to the process because now three viewports need review instead of just one; but if you’re planning on competing in today’s marketplace, you have to be available wherever your clients are…and they are everywhere. There are Search Engine Optimization implications as well but that’s a topic for another post.

4. Do you need a content management system (CMS)? This allows you to control the content on your site without constantly asking your web agency to make changes. 300FeetOut only builds on a CMS platform because we want you to be in control of your marketing. Not only does it offer you, the client, control. But it makes changes to the site quicker for the agency as well, if they continue to maintain the site updates on retainer.

5. Do you know what needs to be included? Forms, booking engines, downloads, 360 videos, etc.

6. How big do you imagine your site to be? A sitemap will be created during the strategy phase of your project but knowing if you have a 20 page site versus 200 pages will make a substantial difference.


Websites can be built by a multitude of different methods. Designers can choose a template to flow your content into or they can create and design a website tailored to you and your needs. 300FeetOut prefers to discover who you are and create designs tailored to your business needs, goals, and personal esthetics. While a designer and a developer are integral to building a site, there are many others involved to consider as well:

1. Do you have photography or do you need to locate a photographer?

2. Do you have a content plan? A copywriter or an editor?

3. Do you need search engine optimization? If you’re expecting to be found on Google without paying for ads, you’ll need SEO.

4. Adwords and PPC. The fastest way to get found on a search engine is to pay for placement. You can also potentially benefit from remarketing and banner ads.

5. Do you have a social media plan? Making sure your message is located where your clients are to be found is important.


A few miscellaneous things you should find out about your agency during the selection process will help manage your expectations.

1. How many rounds of revisions are included? The standard at 300FeetOut is to allow two rounds of feedback for every major deliverable.

2. How do they handle third party costs? Do they mark them up?

3. How will the deliverables be handed over? There are tax implications for physical deliverables and you want to make sure you stay within the lines.

4. How will they handle scope creep? That’s usually something to prepare for because every project can always be improved upon during the course of implementation.

5. Make sure you check their references, you want to insure a good partnership.

6. How will they communicate with you? What type of project management can you expect? Our project management system is available to you online so you can review your messages, timeline, notes, goals, and project at any time. We send out weekly updates, have status calls, and make sure you understand every step of our process while we work with you. For a personal touch, we include a human project manager as well.


At 300FeetOut, we build our websites to our own personal set of standards. We’ve developed these practices to make sure that you not only get the best possible product but one that will stand up to the test of time (or at least until the technology requires us to make updates).

Although there are many more questions you can include in your RFP, this should give you a running start.


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