Guidelines for Writing a Request for Proposal (RFP)

June 25, 2010


A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a crucial stage of the client/supplier relationship. Guidelines for an RFP are becoming common practice in the world of web-related technologies. An RFP aids in establishing a line of communication and can clarify needs and requirements of your project. I have compiled this document to assist you in creating an RFP that will adequately represent and address your needs.

An RFP should define your needs, it does not need to be a document that is laced with technical jargon that web professionals alone understand. It is my job to translate your needs into best-solution specifications. Tell me what you want in plain English, however clear that picture may be. Try to lay out budgetary limitations and time constraints in this initial RFP. This helps to ensure that the proposal I present is an accurate one that responds to your RFP and lets me know up front whether we can be of assistance or not.

One last consideration is that your RFP should contain specific criteria concerning eligibility of potential developers (i.e., Respondents must have been in business for no less than 3 years). This is a courtesy, proposals take a great deal of thought and time to prepare. Please state this clearly in the initial RFP. This will ensure that neither your time, nor the respondents is wasted.

Recommended structure and checklist

  1. Overview
    A plain English description of what the project will entail. This can be summarized in a paragraph or two.
  2. Company/Organization Profile
    Tell us about your organization or business. This will assist Sticky Wicket Designs in visualizing the context of your project. Knowledge and examples of any existing branding and similar projects - successful or otherwise - help to establish your organization in our eyes.
  3. Intended Audience
    A description of the audience for your product/project. Is it specifically geared towards a certain industry? Demographics, consumers, professional community or special interest group?
  4. Similar Websites
    Are there any examples of sites or products that are out there already that appeal to you or capture the essence of what you wish to achieve? Show me what you like, we'll ask you all the necessary questions to sort out 'Why' or 'What' it is that appeals to you.
  5. Samples
    Any samples of content or merchandise that you wish to present through your website will be most helpful in capturing the complete picture.
  6. Technical Requirements
    A good time to communicate any technical issues that pertain to this product. Platform compatibilities and eCommerce should be addressed here. Does it need to reside on your own web server? Do you already have hosting services in place? If you are not sure what these may be I will work with you to best determine these issues.
  7. Front-End Requirements
    If there are any design specifications or branding requirements that must be met, any documentation that can be provided will be extremely helpful in keeping a proposal on track.
  8. Budget and Time Requirements
    This is one of the most important aspects of any RFP. This allows Sticky Wicket Designs to adequately address your needs to the appropriate scale with a custom tailored proposal.

Final product

You can send us your electronic RFP via e-mail or send me a hard copy through the mail. If you want to attach it to an e-mail, make it a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file.

Send it to us at  or mail it to us in Canada.

Sticky Wicket Designs
Attn. Gregory Prosser
1185 3rd Avenue
Prince George, BC   V2L 3E4
t. 250.561.8761