A guide to writing RFP for web application

RFP (Request for Proposal) serves as the guiding document that outlines the company’s requirements and objectives. RFP is written when you are searching for developers for a website or application. It is a structured document that presents what the company or individual needs from developers. It wants them to propose solutions, strategies, and costs.

For example, a web application RFP includes goals for your new web application, defines core functionalities, talks about your project budget, and more in detail. Request for Proposal for web application should include all the crucial information properly so developers or company can understand your requirements immediately.

Well-crafted RFP is an initial step for a web app development company to build a successful project. The document acts as a blueprint, explaining the project scope. We will talk about RFP in detail in this blog. After reading the blog you will be able to understand what an RFP is, how to write it, the types of RFPs, and the benefits of writing an RFP.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

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What is an RFP for a web application?

Many people search what is a website RFP when they feel a requirement for a website for their business. An RFP in web application development is a formal document that outlines a company’s requirements, project scopes, and objectives when seeking proposals from developers. It is like a guide for vendors to understand and bid on the project.

By clearly defining the parameters like anticipated timelines, technical needs, and desired features, and describing the requirements of the project, the document ensures that both, the company and the vendor can understand the project’s goals effectively.

RFP serves as a communication tool, allowing businesses to convey their vision and expectations clearly. Potential vendors can accurately understand the requirements of a web app development company. It enables them to work on the project without confusion and make fewer mistakes.

The proposal should align with the company’s needs. Many consulting services for web startups help in understanding. If companies want, they can compare proposals based on standardized criteria. A well-structured RFP empowers businesses to make informed decisions when selecting the best companies and developers.

Types of website RFPs

RFP is of different types. These types are commonly used to get web development projects. Have a look at the types of website RFPs below.

  1. Open RFP
  2. Closed RFP
  3. Competitive RFP
  4. Sole source RFP
  5. Two-stage RFP

Scroll down to read about the types of website RFPs in the space below.

  • Open RFP: An open RFP is a document that invites many vendors to submit their proposals. An open RFP is important when the Buyer can explore various options. It is typically posted on public platforms, websites, or government portals, inviting submissions from a wide array of vendors. This type of RFP encourages a broader pool of proposals. It fosters competition and provides diverse solutions for the web development project.
  • Closed RFP: A closed RFP is a solicitation document directed to a limited list of pre-selected vendors. RFP is sent to a selected group of pre-qualified vendors. If the buyer has potential vendors, this type of RFP is the best for them. This type of RFP often outlines project requirements while allowing flexibility for vendors to propose unique and inventive solutions. It stimulates a competitive environment among vendors.
  • Competitive RFP: A competitive RFP in web application development invites vendors to propose creative and innovative solutions. But it sticks to specific parameters while doing so. As the name implies, It provides a competitive atmosphere where vendors strive to present unique and inventive proposals within the predefined project guidelines.This approach inspires vendors to differentiate themselves by offering innovative ideas that align with the project requirements and objectives. This section is important to understand the competitors of a web app development company.

Also read: What are the Best sites to hire web developers?

  • Sole source RFP: If a buyer wants a particular vendor and sends an invitation only to that vendor to submit a proposal, a single-source RFP is used. This type of RFP targets only particular vendors recognized for their specialization in the services required. Unlike other RFPs that welcome proposals from multiple vendors, this type talks about a single vendor or selects a few who possess unique expertise.They look for the capability in the vendor that aligns with the project needs. It streamlines the selection process by targeting vendors with a proven track record of distinct skill set that aligns closely with the project requirements.
  • Two-stage RFP: This type of RFP starts with a shortlisting phase where potential vendors submit preliminary proposals showcasing their qualifications and capabilities. After evaluation selected participants move to the second stage where they submit a more detailed and comprehensive proposal. It is crucial for a website design RFP.It streamlines the selection process by narrowing down potential candidates before investing extensive time and resources in detailed proposals. It ensures that only the most promising vendors go to the final stage. Many offshore software development companies follow this process.

Benefits of web app RFP

RFP offers various benefits that’s why many companies and vendors rely on it. The benefits are as follows.

  1. Clarity in Requirements: RFP clears all the requirements of the project. It ensures all stakeholders and a web app development company understand the expectations.
  2. Vendor Alignment: It helps in finding vendors whose expertise matches project needs.
  3. Risk Mitigation: Request for Proposal minimizes misunderstandings and miscommunications by clearly outlining project details.
  4. Competitive Bidding: RFP encourages competitive pricing and innovative solutions from vendors.
  5. Standardized Evaluation: Includes some consistent rules to cItheck and compare proposals.
  6. Quality Control: It ensures the chosen vendor aligns with the project quality standards and timelines.
  7. Efficient Procurement: RFP streamlines the vendor selection process. It saves time and resources. Developers can use the best web technologies to build a robust and scalable web application when they understand the requirements accurately.

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Difference between Web App and Website

Before you move ahead, it is crucial to understand the difference between Web App and Website so that you can keep the confusion at bay.


  • Website is informational or content-based. mostly it provides static content to visitors.
  • Website offers limited user interaction and mostly involves navigation through pages and consuming content.
  • It is accessed through a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
  • A website typically requires an active internet connection to access content.
  • It can have static pages with fixed content or dynamic pages that update content regularly.

Examples of website types: Blogs, Company Websites, New Sites, Portfolios

Web App:

  • A web app provides functionalities and services beyond just consuming information or content. It offers interactivity and task completion.
  • Since it is dynamic and offers higher functionalities, users can perform various tasks or operations within the app. They are called progressive web apps.
  • Web apps often include complex features such as user accounts, databases, real-time updates, and personalized experiences.
  • Some web apps have functionalities that work offline, allowing users to access certain features without an internet connection.
  • A web app is similar to a website as you can access it through web browsers.

Examples of Web Apps: Online banking platforms, project management tools, and Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

How to write an RFP for a web application?

Writing an RFP for a web application includes several steps. Since all the details are mentioned in the document, a thorough description of each point is crucial to make you understand the Request for proposal for a web application.

  1. Introduction
  2. Project Overview
  3. Technical Requirements
  4. Functional Requirements
  5. Design and User experience
  6. Timeline and Deliverables
  7. Budget and Payment Terms
  8. Proposal Submission Details
  9. Evaluation Criteria
  10. Legal and Compliance Requirements
  11. Questions and Clarifications

Knowing all the points in detail is crucial to understanding and writing a proper RFP for a web application. Have a look at the descriptions in the space below.

  1. Introduction:

    An Introduction in an RFP serves as a concise yet informative section that introduces your organization and sets the context for the project. Structure the “Introduction” based on the below points.

    • Organization Overview: Briefly describe your organization, including its name, industry, size, and core activities. Now highlight your organization’s mission, values, and any unique aspects that define its identity. It helps a web app development company to work on the project without any doubt.
    • Goals and Objectives: Write about the broader goals and objectives of your organization related to the project. For example, if your organization aims to enhance user engagement or streamline internal processes with the help of a web application, mention those goals.
    • Purpose of the web application: Clearly explain why your organization needs the web application. Clearly explain the problem that your system or product going to solve, the opportunities it aims to seize, or the specific objectives it aims to achieve. Focus on how the application aligns with your organization’s overall goals and objectives.
  2. Project Overview:

    In this section, you have to write about the objectives of the web application project. Outline the problem that the web app will solve. You must also define the scope, including features, functionalities, and expected outcomes.

    Focus on the below points for writing a concise and clear project overview.

    • Context and Objectives: Provide a brief background or context for the project. Describe why this web app project is crucial for your business. Talk about challenges, needs, or market trends that accelerate its development.Clearly mention the specific objectives or goals the web application intends to achieve. It could improve user experience, and efficiency, expand market reach, and more.
    • Problem Statement or Opportunity: Analyze the scope of your project and talk about the specific challenges or issues the web application intends to address. Mention the pain points or downsides in the current system.If the project is an opportunity-driven initiative, highlight the market opportunities, user needs, and business advantages the web app aims to achieve.
    • Scope: Talk about the functionalities, features, and capabilities expected from the web application. It includes specific modules, user roles, data management, integration, and many other functionalities.Describe the possible outcomes or deliverables once the web application is developed. This might include improved efficiency, enhanced user engagement, and accurate processes.
  3. Technical Requirements:

    Technical requirements provide details about the specific technical specifications and expectations for the development of the web application. Here is the breakdown of this section.

    • Platforms and technologies: Write about the platform suitable for the web application and reasons why this is the best for this system. Mention specific hosting preferences and requirements. Whether it is cloud-based hosting, dedicated servers, or specific hosting providers.
    • Programming languages and frameworks: List the required programming languages and frameworks, or technologies for building the web application. For example, if you prefer using JavaScript, PHP, Python, or any specific framework like React, Angular, or Django.Specify any integrations needed in the existing systems, databases, or third-party services. Look for the Best database for your web application. It can include CRM integrations, payment gateways, APIs, and social media integrations. Now focus on performance, security, scalability, and accessibility.Define any performance-related requirements such as loadtimes, responsiveness, and specific performance issues. Highlight security measures important for data protection, encryption, user authentication, and compliance with security standards.

      Mention scalability requirements to accommodate potential growth or increased user loads in the future. Clearly mention what you want on the web application and ensure it is usable by individuals with disabilities.

  4. Functional Requirements:

    You must have understood by reading the name that this section is about writing functions of web apps. It defined specific features, functionalities, and capabilities expected from the web application. Here are the points to write in your RFP for a web application.

    • Required features and functionalities: Again you have to mention the features and functionalities you want on the web app. It includes user authentication (Login/Registration), user roles and permissions, content management system, reporting, search functionality, etc.
    • Prioritization and categorization: Briefly talk about each required function and present its purpose and expected functionality. Differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have functionalities. Highlight important features that are crucial for the essential functioning of the web application.
    • User experience: Write about the additional features that are not necessary but would enhance user experience. Mention the features that ensure the web app is intuitive, easy to navigate, and related to accessibility standards for users.
    • Custom requirements: If there are any unique or specialized features required, clearly mention them. For example, if an app needs to support specific languages, currencies, or regional preferences, mention those requirements. Read about the custom software solutions for enterprises for more detail.
  5. Design and User Experience:

    The design and user-experience section within the RFP or Request for Proposal presents content related to visuals and the beautiful and intuitive look of the web page.

    • Desired look and feel of the Interface: Describe the visual style for the web application. It includes color scheme, typography, imagery, and any specific design elements that align with your brand identity or user preferences. Specify the desired user interface elements, navigation bar, forms, icons, etc. Write the content focusing on their placement and functionality within the app.
    • User experience: Describe the user journey and interaction flow within the web application. Mention the ease of use, intuitive navigation, and user-friendly experience you want to give your users. If possible, include wireframes, mockups, and design samples that illustrate your design preferences.
    • Accessibility: Who can use your web and who can’t specify it? How accessible is your application so that even disabled people can also use it? Talk about the positive side of the app that makes it available to most people in the world. Check out some web design trends to develop an innovative web app.Highlight a need for responsive designs that ensure the web application functions seamlessly across devices and screen sizes (Desktops, Tablets, and Mobiles).
  6. Timeline and Deliverables:

    This section of the RFP for web applications sets the schedule, milestones, and expected outcomes for the web application project. Here are the points related to this section that you must mention in your Request for Proposal.

    • Project Timeline: Outline the project’s key milestones, such as design approval, development phases, testing, and final delivery. Specify the deadline for each milestone or phase. Provide an estimated timeline for the entire project from initiation to completion. Don’t forget to highlight the start and end dates.
    • Expected Deliverables: Clearly define the deliverables expected at each project phase. Talk about the design drafts, development prototypes, beta versions, and final deployment. Mention the quality standards for each deliverable to ensure they meet your organization’s expectations.
    • Review and approval process: Describe, how the project will be reviewed. Specify who will be involved in the review process, how feedback will be collected, and standards for revision. Describe how approval will take place at each stage. Ensure a smooth workflow and clear communication between your organization and the vendor.
  7. Budget and Payment Terms:

    As the name implies, this section addresses financial aspects associated with web applications. I have divided this section into small parts so that you can write an RFP for a web application effectively and easily.

    • Budget Range: Clearly specify the budget range allocated for the project. By reading it, the vendor can understand, whether it’s a fixed budget or a flexible range. If there are any limitations or cost-sensitive issues, mention them to guide potential vendors in their proposal submissions.
    • Payment Terms: Define the payment terms, including the payment schedule, milestones, and amounts. For example, payments are based on your project phases, they can be milestone-based. Specify the payment methods and any specific invoicing or billing requirements.
    • Flexibility: Discuss the flexibility in the budget or payment terms. Often due to new requirements, many changes occur in the project. Talk about as many possibilities as possible.
  8. Proposal Submission Details:

    This section of writing an RFP for a web application outlines the requirements for vendors to submit proposals. I have broken down the section for your convenience.

    • Submission instructions: Mention the proposal submission deadline. Highlight the exact date and time by which vendors should submit their proposals. Mention the preferred format for proposals like digital submissions via email.
    • Contact information: Provide the name, title, and contact details of the person who vendors and reach out for any queries and clarifications related to the RFP. Specify the preferred mode of communication (email, Phone, etc) and available hours for inquiries.
    • Additional requirements: Mention any additional documents and certifications vendors need to include along with their proposals. Include company profile, Past project portfolios, references, or legal documents. By doing so, potential vendors can understand how to submit the proposal.
  9. Evaluation Criteria:

    This section defines the specific parameters against the submitted proposal that will be assessed and compared.

    You can effectively understand this section with the help of a table.

    Evaluation Criteria Percentage
    Technical expertise 30%
    Compliance and alignment 25%
    Cost and budget 20%
    Timeline and project management 15%
    Quality standards 5%
    References and client feedback 5%

    The table shows the weightage assigned to each evaluation criterion. These percentages indicate the relative importance or priority assigned to different aspects when checking proposals for a web application. Well, this is not fixed adjustments can be made according to the specific project requirements.

  10. Legal and Compliance Requirements:

    You should be prepared for everything, so also consider legal and compliance requirements for your web application project. In this section, you will have to talk about legal, regulatory, and confidentiality aspects.

    • Legal and regulatory considerations: Specify any licensing agreements or intellectual property rights related to the project. Outline the ownership of the developed software, codes, and proprietary technology. Research and find any legal or regulatory frameworks that the web application must adhere to. They can be data protection laws, accessibility standards, or industry-specific regulations.
    • Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement: Define your expectations about confidentiality regarding sensitive project information, data, or proprietary processes. Specify how vendors should handle and safeguard confidential information. Include requirements for vendors to sign NDAs to protect your organization’s confidential data and curb unauthorized access.Talk about Vendor responsibilities in case of breaches, data loss, or software malfunctions. Clarify clauses, write which part would be liable for legal costs, damages, or claims.
    • Contractual terms and conditions: Define the terms and conditions leading to the contractual agreement between your organization and the selected vendor. Describe, in case of dispute how to deal with the situation. Potential vendors should be aware of their legal obligations in case of conflicts or disagreements.
  11. Questions and Clarifications:

    In this section of the RFP for a web application, you will learn about how to facilitate communication between your organization and potential vendors.

    • Contact information: Specify the name and job title of the contact person who can address queries related to the RFP. Provide email addresses, phone numbers, and any other preferred communication channel for vendors to reach out for inquiries.
    • Communication guidelines: Mention the expected timeframe within which the contact person will respond to queries and requests for clarification. Mention the working hours or availability of the contact person for efficient communication.
    • Instructions for inquiries: Specify whether vendors should communicate inquiries via email, phone calls, or any other designated method. Encourage vendors to reference specific sections or numbers within the RFP.
    • Deadline for inquiries: Define a specific timeframe during which vendors can submit their queries and seek clarifications. So, by providing a clear point of contact and communication guidelines, this section enables potential vendors to seek necessary clarifications. You can also ask doubts related to the cost of developing a web app.By providing a clear point of contact and communication guidelines, vendors will not get confused about who to contact for specific doubts.


Though writing an RFP for web application can be a tedious and time-consuming process, it is inevitable for producing impeccable software solutions. Follow the steps from “Introduction” to “Questions clarification” mentioned in the blog. It will help you write a clear, detailed, and concise Request For Proposal. Experts at Technource help businesses and individuals make informed decisions about web app development and other different types of software solutions. In case of any doubt, you can reach out to experts over call.

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Saikat Ghosh working as a Business & HR head at mobile app development company, Technource. He is an Electrical engineer by education and studied management from IIM, Calcutta. He has worked last 23 years in client-facing roles like Marketing, Sales, and Support. He loves to work with on-demand app development, Marketing & Sales strategies, brainstorm new ideas, and learn from people. When he is off from his regular job, he works for his theatre group.

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