So you’ve come to the conclusion you need a website! Whether the thing that will enchant you the most is a brand new responsive website or an upgrade of your current one, Clearly Presentable has put together a list of bullet points to help you prepare an RFP (Request for Proposal).
Having gone through this process more than once myself, I know the initial resistance that can emerge when taking on any new project. But taking the time to thoroughly evaluate where you are NOW and what you really NEED before your initial consultation will create a much clearer lens through which both you and your web development team can focus.
Please use this list as a guide to help get the dust bunnies of confusion cleared away and your creative and technical juices flowing. In the event you find yourself with a sense of confusion after reading through this list, there is no need to worry! You always have the option to pay a retainer fee after which we can arrange a sequence of 1:1 phone conversations to discuss your specific needs, define expectations and develop a plan that will get your web seedling thriving and growing.
Break out the trowels and garden hoes… let’s get growing!
Evaluating the soil
Describe your organization in a few sentences. Include your vision, history, and what kind of customers or businesses you are targeting.
- What is driving your decision to obtain web design services? Get specific.
- What services do you provide? List all of them.
- Who is your ideal client? Do you have multiple types of clients.. if so list and describe all of them.
- What will happened if you don’t have a new website or have your current site redesigned?
- What do you want to happen as a result of creating a new website?
- What sets your organization apart for your potential clients/customers?
- What problems do your potential customers have that your organization solves?
Branding – Pick a flower!
In the vast garden of the internet, what kind of flower would you like your website to be?
- Do you have a logo for your company? If so, are you happy with it?
- Do you have a slogan or tagline which defines the benefits of your business?
- Is there a color scheme or design approach you would like to have implemented in your forthcoming site?
- Is there a color scheme or design approach your customers would like you to use? Note any differences in the answer to this and the previous question.
Define your scope
Please provide a what types of features or functionality you’d like to have included in your website. If you already have a website, providing a list of what you like and don’t like about it can be immensely helpful.
- Approximately how many pages will your site have?
- Do you need an image gallery, video or other multimedia content?
- Do you plan to sell items on your website? If so, what kind and how many items?
- Will you be providing all of your written content or will you need help creating it?
- Will you need help setting up your social media channels (ie: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)?
- Will you need assistance with working these channels once they are established?
- Will you map out your own site architecture (navigational structure) or would you prefer this to be a collaborative process?
- Are you clear about your business and its services? Do you have clarity surrounding your marketing strategy?
- Are you marketing to local customers or to a nationwide audience?
- Are you interested in acquiring help with search engine optimization (SEO)?
Dandelions or orchids – what is your budget?
Asking how much as website will cost is similar to inquiring about the price of a house. It’s important to know that although we aren’t trying to crack the DNA code in web development, creating and strategizing an clear and effective web presence takes time and attention to detail. If you’ve gone the route of trying to DIY, you’re probably already familiar with the effort involved with customizing a theme to make it just right, or choosing the right WordPress theme to begin with. The more customized your solution is, the higher your budget needs to be. If you have a set budget, it never hurts to let us know up front so we can deliver the best return on your investment.
Which gardens do you admire most?
Help us understand what enchants you most.
Provide a list of 5 websites you admire and let us know what makes you want to hang out and smell their flowers. Provide samples of websites you find ineffective too. Sometimes, identifying what you don’t like helps clarify and target what you do.
Content creation and upkeep – who will be the gardener?
HINT: Blogging is one of the best ways to improve online visibility and search engine optimization, and WordPress leads the pack with SEO-rich features.
- Do you wish to have direct access to manage and update your website on your own with a content management system such as WordPress?
- Where will your website content come from? Is it ready to publish now on your website, or will you need copywriting and social media services?
- Are you ready, willing and able to commit to creating content on a regular basis for your blog?
- Are you DEVOTED to your business and truly enjoy sharing your unique way of doing business and services with the world?
Don’t forget to pollinate! – getting the word out!
- How do you feel about social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter? Please include links to your Facebook page, YouTube Channel and Twitter feed if you have them.
- Where is your Google ranking now? Where would you like it to be via SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
- When your prospective clients/customers Google for your services, what keywords and phrases would they use?
Name your season – turn around time
How fast do you need it? Websites take time and consideration and rushing the process to meet a specific event date is usually not the best approach if your long term goal is a well thought out web presence which is an authentic representation of your True business Self. With that said, if you have your content ready to roll, are highly motivated and have a clear vision of what you want, let us know your delivery date and we’ll deliver the very best site in the time frame given to us.
Hosting & Domains – where does your garden grow?
- Have you already secured a hosting service? If not, we can provide you with recommendations for the perfect hosting plan.
- Have you purchased a domain name for your business? We can help you make an informed decision with regard to choosing an effective URL for your company.
Seeds for thought
Finally, include any questions you might have or additional ideas or thoughts that don’t fit into our predefined categories. You never know what amazing things your thoughts might spark!
Are there any specific requirements you have with regard to receiving an estimate from Clearly Presentable? Be sure to include this in your request.
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of information a web designer needs from a prospective client in order to get a conversation going. Most firms offer free 20-30 minute consultations, and if you want to get the most out of that time, it’s best to be fully prepared prior to picking up the phone.
If you’d like to schedule a consult with Clearly Presentable, please fill out our Web Design questionnaire now. Click here to get started!