For every business, sticking to a company standard is one of the best ways to maintain quality control over the web design. The same goes for outsourced projects. In this article, we’ll discuss why your company should have a list of requirements for every RFP response.
Just so we’re all on the same page, RFP responses are responses to a Request for Proposal (RFPs). In simple terms, RFPs are “announcements” that a business is opening a project to contractors. Potential contractors can then respond with their proposals.
Points of Consideration
The thing is, not all proposals are made equal. Defining your company’s requirements for web design is one way to quickly and effectively find the right contractor. In this way, you can be sure you’re off to a better start with any potential partnership.
You might also find that your RFP generates a ton of responses. One thing we can guarantee you is that, without a set of rules, the process will take you a lot of time. That, and you’ll lack a guarantee for the bidder’s performance.
The same goes for WordPress websites as well. With WordPress sites, contractors should be able to give you something that you and your team can work on after the project.
Imagine paying for a site redesign and not being able to make your own alterations! This brings us to the topic at hand.
To help you set some rules, we’ve compiled a few key points to let you know what you should keep an eye on. Here are 10 Web Design Requirements for RFP Response:
This requirement should be easy to understand. Each proposal should have a stated budget along with a breakdown of possible expenses.
From here, it’ll be your job to check if the list of expenses makes sense. These could range from operational expenses to administrative expenses.
Some things you would expect to see here are:
- Stock photo fees
- Domain fees
- Paid plugins
- Logistical expenses
- Hosting fees
Keep in mind that throughout this project, this list could change. That’s why a detailed report is always necessary. It shows that the contractor is diligent and practical in their planning.
Be strict on this. After all, these will be your expenses in the future. You’ll want to make sure that you won’t be spending on anything that you don’t approve.
2. Project Strategy
Any contractor worth their salt should have this portion hashed out. Any proposal you receive should have a stated plan-of-action.
For your part, you should be able to follow the procedures listed in their proposal.
The project strategy will dictate the workflow of the upcoming project. This will also show you the time frame determined by the contractor.
Any details that you might be uncomfortable with should be open for discussion here. This might be with the time frame or with the overall strategy. The point is that the contractor should be willing to listen to you.
Read through this carefully. This may not be the full, concrete plan but this can give you an idea of how the contractor plans to approach the project. It also depends on the product – for example, if the RFP is for eCommerce, make sure you are informed on the industry.
3. Project KPIs
Another requirement to watch out for are the KPIs determined by the contractor. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are determined prior to the project’s implementation.
For web design, KPIs function as metrics for you to keep under review. These will tell you just how well the site is serving the needs of the users.
Some examples of KPIs are:
- Newsletter subscribers in a period
- Site visits
- Conversion rate
- Site page “likes” and “shares”
Any decent contractor should be able to formulate KPIs from your RFP–and that’s because your RFP should include details on the project’s needs and requirements.
In that sense, the contractor should already know what to offer you and your team.
4. Content Proposal and Management
As with most other web design projects, this step tends to be the most subjective. This is why it’s important that you get an idea of the kind of content the contractor plans to use for your site. Much better to understand this sooner than later!
This is a must-see for a variety of reasons. The SEO aspect of your page, for one thing, will be affected by what they plan to use.
One other thing to keep in mind is whether their plans coincide with your branding. This is crucial. What if the contractor’s plans are off?
This is why a lot of people choose to go for proposal automation. This way, at least, they can define strict guidelines that the content should follow.
5. Tools for the Project
What kind of software are they planning to use? Aside from WordPress, of course. That’s another question you should have answered right away.
This affects you mainly after implementation. For the most part, this will determine how ready your team is to take things over after the project is completed.
Ensure that whatever software the contractor uses is accessible to your team. If not, it’d be best if you can find out if you’ll still need it after the implementation.
Another way to look at this is through legalities. Remember what we said about sticking to a standard? This is another avenue to consider at this point. You wouldn’t want any issues from pirated software being used on your site.
6. Scope and Limitations
It’d be a real mess if you were expecting the contractor to do more than he expected. Likewise, it would also be confusing if they did more than you expected.
This might mean a bigger bill in the long run. That or not enough of the work was done. Each proposal should clearly state exactly what they plan to work on and to what extent.
For example, say they’re talking about redesigning your home page. Up to what point will they redesign? Will it just be the layout or the content as well?
Both parties should know all the details. For your part, be sure to state your needs on your RFP.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is one of the best ways to make sure your site reaches your target audience. You’ll want to establish early on that the contractor understands this.
It should be clear from the proposal what actions they’ll be taking. From here, your team can figure out whether their plans are SEO-friendly or otherwise.
This may seem like a small detail now, but you’d be surprised. SEO is much more effective if done from the ground up. On that note, the contractor should be able to integrate SEO-practices during the project.
8. User Training
Remember what we said about the project turnover? This point supports that. For large overhaul projects, you’ll want to be sure that the contractor is taking some time to train your team.
That’s because, with large site overhauls, you’ll find a lot of things have changed.
You don’t want to waste time having your team relearn everything. This is doubly true for projects which entail the use of new software or hardware.
Let’s say you’re an e-commerce type of business. Your contractor introduces your team to an iPad POS system that should make you more efficient. It’d be best if the contractor themselves can train you with the mobile POS before the implementation.
9. Maintenance Plan
The project’s completion is not determined by the implementation. You’ll know how good the contractor is by seeing how much effort they put in after the site handoff.
How involved is the contractor in the project post-implementation? What a lot of people forget is that sites require maintenance. This means actively troubleshooting site components.
Proposals should cover some sort of maintenance period. This serves as your guarantee that they’ll be taking part in making sure the new design works as it should.
It’s not like you can expect your team to know everything right away. Confirm with contractors the level of maintenance they’ll be providing as well as the length of the period.
All consumers appreciate some form of warranty. For us, it is a requirement. Ensure that the proposal includes a warranty period in case anything fails or needs troubleshooting.
Consider the expenses you have waiting for you. Outsourcing the job alone can set you back quite a bit. For that, a warranty will at least give you some assurance.
Professional jobs, no matter the quality, have the risk of failing. Just last May, Google’s Core Update caused a lot of sites to lose rank. Many of these sites were professionally designed and developed.
Alternatively, the contractor might have made a mistake with one of your pages. Don’t leave it to chance. It’s better to have that agreement on “paper.” With this kind of project, you’ll need to take each step seriously.
The bottom line here is, the details will always be important. Never mind that they might be repetitive or tedious. The fact of the matter is, this is your site we’re talking about.
Be firm on your requirements. Remember that this whole thing started as a Request for Proposal. Reserve the right to say “No” to any submission that doesn’t meet your requirements and objectives or simply doesn’t feel right.