How to Objectively Evaluate Website Proposals
Continued from 'How to Choose the Best Web Designer.' When you have received proposals from different web development companies, you should schedule a meeting with each web developer to discuss the proposal in detail. This will give you the opportunity to examine and explore all aspects of this company and the proposal. As everyone’s proposal will vary in levels of detail, price and style, you may find it difficult to compare proposals side by side. The following list is a starting point that will help you evaluate different proposals; for a comprehensive list, please download the Web Developer Scorecard below.
Scoring the Proposal
Score each proposal on a scale from 0 to 10 (0 being the worst, and 10 being the best) for each of the following criteria:
- Does the proposal accurately, clearly and completely identify your business objectives? Did the vendor fully understand your requirements and address issues effectively?
- Do the outlined goals address your website objectives? Don’t settle for goals just to “increase your sales.” Seek goals that are specific with an appropriate timeframe.
- Does the proposal address all the points and requirements listed in your RFP? Is this a well-constructed, informative and impressive response to your request for proposal?
- Does the proposal give you confidence that the web developer understands your business and your industry adequately to successfully market and sell your products or services to your customers?
Web Developer Rating
- Overall, how do you rate the web developer’s marketing and sales skills based on the proposal/presentation, examples provided and the effectiveness of their own website?
- How do you rate the web developer’s design and creative skills based on what they have demonstrated: their presentation, examples provided and their own website?
- How do you rate the web developer’s technical skills based on the demonstrated understanding of technical issues, examples of work and their own website?
Proposed Project Plan and Services
- Does the proposal explain the project flow, steps or methodology the web developer is employing for your project? Does it appear complete, and does it make sense? (Agile vs. Waterfall Website Project Management Methodologies describes the different project flow approaches.)
- Does the proposal include all the services that are essential to your website? Criteria to consider include hosting, mobile support, video production, etc.
- Does the proposal indicate who specifically will work on your project? Does it appear to be a complete team with all the skill sets required by your project? Will the vendor assign a dedicated account executive or a project manager? Have you met that person?
- Are the quote and payment terms within the parameters of your budget? Read How Much Should a Website Cost before making this assessment.
- Do they explain what is included in the quote and why they believe it’s necessary? Does it provide a full breakdown with no combined budget items? Pay attention, not only to the initial quote for the project, but also to the hourly rate, which will come into play for additional work outside of the original contract.
After evaluating each of the proposals using this approach you should reach a final score for each web developer. This will allow you to objectively compare vendors side by side to make your final selection. Remember: the list above addresses only some of the items you should consider. Download the Web Developer Scorecard below for a complete list of our recommended evaluation criteria.