What You Need To Know Before Requesting a Website Proposal

So you're about to request a website proposal from a web design company. Great! But have you prepared yourself? Do you have a clear idea of what you want from this new website of yours? Allow us to briefly walk you through a typical website proposal. This should give you an idea of what it contains and, most importantly, what will be required from you, the prospective customer.

What A Website Proposal Contains

A proposal for a new website outlines what the site will do, what it will look like, how it will work, how it will be hosted and maintained, when it will be delivered and how much it will cost. 


Everything you want to do on the web can usually be accomplished in a number of different ways, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, most website proposals start off by telling you how the developers will code your site. A variety of methods is possible, and some will be better suited for your project than others. Some common methods for creating websites and/or managing content include HTML5, XHTML, PHP, CSS3, JavaScript, Ajax, Drupal and Joomla. Note that full website solutions combine different methods.

Content and functionality.

All websites revolve around content and interaction with that content (functionality). A website proposal describes in detail the structure of the site and explains what you and your visitors will be able to do there. Some firms will also talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) here.

Hosting and maintenance.

A website is useless if it doesn't have hosting and if it's not properly maintained. For this reason, the website proposal will have sections on the hosting, maintenance and support requirements you can reasonably expect.

Time and price.

Lastly, the proposal will include a time estimate for the completion of the project (along with potential milestones and project stages) and a price estimate. At this stage, there is usually still room for negotiation and additional or different services may still be added via updates to the proposal or via a fixed change or update procedure. 

What You Need To Bring To The Table

As you can see from the above description, a website proposal contains a lot of information. As there is no way for a web design company to guess what you want, it's up to you to tell them. The negotiation and communication process that precedes a request for a website proposal is usually pretty straightforward and a good design firm will make it very clear what kind of info they need from you.

However, if this is your first time dealing with a designer, this is roughly what most design and development companies will expect from you:

  • General information about your company, your products and services, your values and your corporate culture. Some basic info about your current website (if you have one).     
  • Contact information of the people who are leading the website (re)development project.     
  • When you want the site to be up and running.     
  • Your vision for your new website. How does it tie in to your corporate strategy and how will it help you achieve your goals?     
  • A short profile of your target audience.     
  • As much specific information as you can give.
    For example: the amount of pages, the style of the menu, where the written and visual content will come from and specific features like blogs, mobile integration, calendars, galleries, shopping carts and forums. Some examples of sites that may serve as inspiration for yours can be very helpful as well.     
  • Maintenance, support and hosting preferences.     
  • Your budget for this project. Note that a good design firm won't necessarily spend the entire budget. It functions more as a way to help the firm plan ahead and explain to you what's possible within the budgetary constraints.

A request need not be longwinded or complicated. Rather, it should give the design company a clear idea of exactly what it is that you want. If you're still confused, we urge you to just contact the firm. Most of them will be happy to guide you through the process. 

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