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Website Proposals 101: What to Look For

… And What to Look Out For!

A custom-built website is a vital investment for any business or nonprofit looking to project a modern, professional brand image in today’s marketplace. But, choosing a web designer to work with is a big decision – so, it pays to evaluate your options.

One crucial step in the process? Taking the time to evaluate website proposals from competing designers. Part sales pitch, part roadmap, a website proposal is key to any web designer’s efforts to earn your business, and it’s essential reading for prospective clients looking for insight into the web development workflow.

Wondering what to look for as you review competing proposals? Let’s start with the basics. Broadly, you can expect a website proposal to include…

A quick summary of the client’s background, their reasons for wanting a new website, and their expectations for the site in terms of design and functionality.
An in-depth project scope, estimated timetable for the project, and any specific recommendations for a content management system.
A bit of background on the designer or agency – an overview of their capabilities; details on their overall methodology and design philosophy; and some examples of past work.
An itemized quote for the site build, and a thorough overview of terms and conditions.

Now, let’s look at some red flags you’ll want to watch out for when evaluating a website proposal…

The proposal is too short, lacks substance, or omits key details
A designer or agency who takes their work seriously – and takes your project seriously – will present you with a comprehensive, well-articulated proposal that demonstrates an understanding of your needs and a solid strategy for success. Length isn’t everything, of course, but if a proposal is light on substance or glosses over important details, it shows a lack of professionalism, and it’s a sign that the designer isn’t giving your project the respect and consideration it deserves.

There’s something fishy about the quote
A professional website proposal should have a detailed, itemized quote that lists all one-time project costs, along with any recurring or ongoing costs such as hosting, SEO, or security updates. There should be no surprises here if you’re working with a credible web pro – you should know exactly what you’re going to pay before you sign off on the project. If the price seems unusually low, or if the designer is being cagey about any recurring fees, proceed with caution!

There are hidden surprises in the terms and conditions
Be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions before signing off on a proposal. This section should clearly outline key info such as the terms of payment, any extra charges, and who’s responsible for site maintenance and security. Another crucial detail you’ll find here: who owns the website once it launches. (Hint: it should be you!) Again, beware lowball pricing – if the price seems too low, be on the lookout for nasty surprises lurking in the fine print.

In today’s competitive marketplace, there’s no substitute for a professional, custom-built website. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your web presence and you’d like to learn more about Rosie’s Creative and our results-driven, client-focused approach to web design and development – contact us today! Remember, with Rosie’s Creative, your first consultation is always free!

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