How to Write a Web App RFP | Download Free RFP Template
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In the new digital world, many businesses need a web app to promote their product & services to targeted audiences. To develop a web app for your business, you need to hire a web development company. Before hiring, the first document required is a request for proposal (RFP).  A web app RFP is a formal document that has details about a web app project. It is used to collect bids from multiple vendors to determine whether they are the right fit for your project or not. A great RFP describes the tasks clearly, clarifies the goal of the project, explains the criteria of vendor selection, and has details like functionality, deadlines, and contact information. A well-written RFP also helps vendors to receive more accurate information regarding the web app project and decide if they want to bid or not.

Benefits of Web App RFP:

  • It helps both client and vendor to establish a clear understanding of project requirements.
  • It offers equal opportunity for each participant.
  • It helps to get a cost-effective solution.
  • It assures a transparent partnership between both client and vendor.
  • It also helps you to discover new vendors who can be used for future projects.

While writing a web app RFP, keep in mind that RFP is not only about asking questions from development companies, it is also about communicating about your projects and requirements. It’s not just that the client will pick the vendor, through RFP, vendors can also decide if they want to work with the client or not.

Web App Vs Website

This RFP is for a Web App not for a Website Development. A Web app is a web based application, where users can login and perform certain functions. Website is a public facing website that a user visits to get the information. Web Apps are developed using web programming languages like PHP, .NET, JAVA, Javascript, Ruby on Rails. Public facing websites are generally developed using CMS systems like WordPress, Drupal, Wix, Joomla and other popular CMS platforms. 

How to Structure a Great Web App RFP

A Web APP RFP should have these sections

1. About the organization

Here you can describe your organization, your mission and goals. 

2. About the project

Here you can provide a high level overview of the project including objectives, scope, challenges, and how the application will facilitate the users. Describe application capabilities, values, and importance for organizations. How it will change and improve your existing operations.

3. Audience of web app

Describe the demography of the audience who would be the users of the web app. Identify and list all the users and their access level.

4. Scope of the project

  • Discovery and Design: Describe if the vendor is supposed to create detailed wireframes and visual designs.
  • Web App: Describe the technologies you want to use to develop the web app.
  • Backend and Admin Development: Describe if the vendor has to build a backend for the application or if you would provide the backend. Describe if the vendor has to build an Admin Panel for the web app that will manage the content of the app.
  • Post Production Support:Describe if you require a vendor to provide Post Production Support.

5. Technical requirements

In this section you should mention the technical requirements of different components of the scope like Design, Web App and Admin. This helps vendors to easily understand the scope.

A. Discovery and design

Describe if the client will provide the written requirements or requirements will be written by the vendor. Describe if the vendor has to create the detailed wireframes of the application or if the wireframes will be provided by the web app development company. Here, you can also decide the number of screens required in the web app. Describe web app design preference. You can provide color options, layout, icons, and navigation style. 

B. Web app requirements

This is the most important section and you may want to cover all aspects of your web app requirements. You can write a list of required features and functions, technology consideration, method for building a web app, support for a number of platforms and third-party integrations (connecting app with SMS gateway, payment gateway, and external device to collect data). Describe if you want to view analytics and web app usage (user activity, sessions, userbase).  

Here you can also describe if the web app has to be developed in a number of phases and breakdown features and functions to be implemented in each phase. This is necessary to prepare a structured business plan and monitor web app development progress along with customer feedback. 

C. Hosting requirements

Describe which web hosting you need to host your web application.

D. Reference web app

Share the reference web application link for frontend design and functionality.

E. Third party integration requirement

Mention the third party integration you need in the web app (connecting web app with SMS gateway, payment gateway, APIs for data pulling)?

F. Backend and admin panel requirements

Describe if you need a web based administrative panel to edit/update or delete the content and media of the web application. Describe what items you want to add in the web app, how often you will update the content/pages of the web app. Describe if you want to monitor user accounts, user posts and block their account/post. Describe admin user roles and their permission level to make necessary updates in web apps. 

G. Support and maintenance required

Each and every project needs support from the technical team, you need to describe what level of support and maintenance you need initially. Also, you need to mention if you require continuous enhancements as well.

6. Project timeline

You describe when you plan to start the project and when you expect the web app to be launched. Your expected timeline may not match with the timeline required to build the quality solution, however, your timeline expectations will give some idea to the vendor and they can align their proposed timeline to your expected timeline. You should also state how flexible you are with the timeline. You should ask vendor to show the timeline for following phases separately:

  • Describe the timeline for the design phase. 
  • Describe the timelines for the development phase.

7. Budget

If you have a budget range already planned, you can mention that in the budget section. If you don’t have any idea, you can mention that you are looking for vendors to come up with the best budget quotes. You should ask the vendor to breakdown the budget by various components of the scope.

8. Proposal timeline

Describe how quickly you want to complete Project discovery and requirement gathering sessions. Once you send requirements to web app development vendors, mention how soon you want them to provide feedback with a set of questions and suggestions. Then a pre-planned timeline to receive quotations from web app development teams. 

9. Proposal format

In this section you can describe what you are looking to see in the proposal. It could be any of these topics or any other topic.

  • Company Overview
  • Past Performance
  • Proposed solution and team 
  • Proposed methodology  
  • Cost Estimation and Timeline to complete the project
  • Demonstration of Design and Development Process  
  • Client Reference

10. Evaluation criteria

We have prepared an evaluation criterion for vendors to fulfill our requirements. See the table below to complete and respond at the best level.

TasksSelection Percentage
Proposal Submission10 %
Work Experience20%
Cost & Timeline to complete the project30%
Presentation20%
Project Staff & Client Reference10%
Proposed Solution & Support10%

If you would like to download the word format of the Web App RFP, you can download from here.  In this blog, we have included essential sections that should go in the RFP. You can include more sections if needed for your organization. 

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    Piyush Jain

    Piyush Jain is the CEO and Founder of Simpalm. He leads the business and engineering team to build the mobile and web product solution for clients. He loves to write thought leadership articles on IoT, Mobile, Blockchain, BigData, Web and other software technologies.