Don’t you just hate presales? Writing a web design proposal or website proposal can often be tedious, monotonous and feel like a waste of valuable productive time. That’s why we’ve prepared this list, so you can choose your preferred web design proposal template and start winning more business!
Proposals are that one thing which you have to do right, otherwise, you’ll be in serious problems within a few weeks. Yet it feels like such a nag.
The trouble is this: you might go through a heck of a lot of work, only to lose the proposal. So, wouldn’t you rather be working on a project rather than doing “presales”?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could write a winning website proposal every single time?
That’s what we’ve got lined up for you in this article. We have a few tips and tricks which will guide you step by step to drawing up the ideal website proposal for any kind of client.
Let’s dig right in.
Because at BeeWits we enjoy making your life easier, we’ve found the best web design proposal template(s) (In Word, Pdf format, IDML (In Design ML) and Apple pages and created a nice download of 15 proposal template options ready for use.
- Website Proposal Template (Download)
- Click Here to Download Website Proposal Templates *
- Website Proposal Tools
- How to write a proposal designed for winning
- 1. Design a beautiful document
- 2. Research the client and tailor the tone of voice
- 3. Define the problem which you will solve
- 4. Define how your website proposal will provide a solution
- 5. Provide Mockups
- 6. Have a section specifically about mobile/handheld devices
- 7. Create a Smart Timeline for delivering your website proposal
- 8. Your proposal needs clear pricing information
- 9. What your client wants and needs
- 10. Define the next steps
- 11. Create a website proposal summary
- 12. Create with a full proposal outline
- 13. Learn and Repeat
- 14. Finishing touches
- Are you a web designer?
- Web Design Proposal Template Downloads
- Click Here to Download Proposal Templates *
Website Proposal Template (Download)
These are the items that you will find in the web design proposal template bundle:
- Generic Website Proposal Template in Word
- Project Proposal Template for Freelance Web Designers from Jacob C. Myers (Word)
- Project Proposal Template for Freelance Web Designers from Jacob C. Myers (PDF)
- Project Proposal Template for Freelance Web Designers from Jacob C. Myers (Pages format)
- Ultimate Web Design Proposal Kit from BidSketch
- Website Proposal Template (Word)
- Website Proposal Template (PDF)
- Website Proposal Template (Pages)
- eCommerce Web Design Proposal Template (Word)
- eCommerce Web Design Proposal Template (IDML)
- eCommerce Web Design Proposal Template (Pages)
- Redesign Web Proposal Template (Word)
- Redesign Web Proposal Template (IDML)
- Redesign Web Proposal Template (Pages)
- Website Proposal Worksheet (PDF)
Download the design proposal template bundle, see which is most suitable for you, customize it to your needs and you’re ready to start sending website design proposals!
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Website Proposal Tools
Generate your proposal with BeeWits’ free tool
At BeeWits, we enjoy writing free tools that make our (and your) job easier. Website proposals take a lot of time and effort, to be done correctly, so we figured out a way how to simplify it.
We simply created a website proposal tool, which is based on the templates we’ve discussed here. You just need to enter your own custom info and BOOM – you’re done!
More importantly, you can log in to keep the template saved for the next proposal.
Click here to access the tool now: https://www.beewits.com/web-design-proposal-tool/
Alternative tool: BetterProposals
Because we don’t like being biased and because we strongly believe in giving our readers the choice to make their own informed decisions, we’ve partnered with a SaaS startup that offers templates to create design proposals – it’s literally completely done for you.
Have a look at BetterProposals here.
Project Management Software Finder
One of the most important investments you can make to improve your website proposal process is to subscribe to project management software for your agency. Most of these tools have a proposal process in place that you can use to create an effective proposal.
We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to a tailored-made report with project management software finder, depending on your own requirements. Just run through the steps below (should take less than a minute) and you’ll get a shortlist with the best project management software products that fit your business.
How to write a proposal designed for winning
The fundamental rule in writing a winner is to follow a structure that ultimately, works. You’ll need to avoid the stereotypical website proposal template that companies keep seeing over and over again.
9/10 times these do not work because they do not stand out.
Besides providing a proposal, whose aim is to clarify and establish the roles and goals of the given project – your actual document should contain the stuff that will make you clearly stand out from the crowd.
Whilst the actual website proposal is valuable to the client and you should take your time with it, it’s going to make much more an impact if it is designed to stand out. Make sure you dedicate enough time to it, rather than just be quick to tick it off your to-do list.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps you should definitely include in your next website design proposal.
1. Design a beautiful document
Since one of the main skills required for creating a new site is excellent design: your proposal needs to showcase your design services and be designed to look amazing. Besides writing the actual content, you should assign design time on the proposal such that, it looks stunning.
The final version you send to the prospective client needs to be designed. It needs to be a perfect example of your skills in graphic design.
Rather than just sending out a quick Word document, with your logo in the header, if you actually take the time to design the final document, you’re bound to make an immediate visual impact that is going to set the right tone – a positive one.
A professional proposals’ tool such as our partners – BetterProposals – goes a long way towards creating a beautifully designed document to present to your client. If you don’t use a tool, make sure you dedicate enough time to makes this a design project and come up with something such as the below.
(This is an example of a proposal by Switch – the agency behind BeeWits).
2. Research the client and tailor the tone of voice
This is your opportunity to sell yourself as well as your work. The prospective client probably has other designers lined up so it’s crucial you hit the nail on the head.
So before you even start drafting your ideas, research your client meticulously.
Spare no detail, you need to know what brand you’re representing to do your work well. There’s no room for shortcuts here.
Once you’ve done your research, your website proposal should appeal to your client’s specific needs.
- Use specific examples that will work for them. Do not use generic sweeping statements which will get lost in conversation.
- Use bold ideas to confirm your interest in representing the company. Besides giving the client what they asked for, go above and beyond and suggest new and better ways of getting their message across using your website proposal.
- Demonstrate very clearly how well you understand the client and most importantly their brand. This is the impetus of looking for a web designer and for requiring additional help after all.
For example, rather than saying, “We will use communications and copy to suit your audience”, use a specific example, “We will create a video which shows how your tailor-made smartphone plans are designed to bring parents closer to their kids” if you’re pitching a website proposal to a telecoms supplier.
If you’re creating a site for a plumber’s business, you can explain how you will feature testimonials from satisfied clients that are thrilled with the fast response times and whatever else their sellings points are.
It is also in your best interest to study their request for proposal (if they have issued one). RFPs generally include background on the issuing organisation and its lines of business, a set of specifications that describe the sought-after solution, and evaluation criteria that disclose how the submissions will be graded.
RFPs may also include a statement of work, which describes the tasks to be performed by the winning bidder and a timeline for providing deliverables.
Our web design client questionnaire is actually an excellent way of understanding your future client.
You have a few options:
- You can either send them the questionnaire before you submit the proposal (if you have a good working relationship with them),
- You can get on the phone with them and walk them through the questionnaire and note how they respond to each question
- Finally, you can “emulate” and figure out what the client would say if they had to fill in the questionnaire here.
Download the questionnaire below and use it as your guide light.
3. Define the problem which you will solve
The problem statement must be plainly identified at the start of the design process.
Understanding the core predicament of a client’s current status will allow you to distinguish your own goals and responsibilities. Fair warning, the client might not feel comfortable discussing the reason their previous website has failed to achieve the desired goals.
This is your moment to shed some positivity and introduce reasons why this time, it won’t fail.
Primary issues to consider in defining the problem of the web strategy might include;
- Is this client looking to develop a new eCommerce website that has a better user experience? Maybe they want better conversion optimization?
- Are they looking to improve or refresh their online presence?
- Do they want to take their company in a brand new direction?
- Do they have a new product which they want to sell?
- Are they selling more/different services/products?
Secondary problems may include;
- Are they looking to get more sales? (Who doesn’t? :-))
- Do they want to increase their mailing list subscribers?
- Do they want to create a better synergy between their website and social media presence?
- Are they looking to get more traffic? Better organic rankings through a better user experience?
- Is there a specific traffic channel they want to invest in more than others?
- Do they know where they want to invest or do they need guidance from the web designer/agency?
This step will define how the rest of your document will unfold and it’s for this reason that you must be thorough in understanding what was unsuccessful, to be able to find a solution to suit the client.
4. Define how your website proposal will provide a solution
With the central issues surrounding the website proposal established you can proceed to the actual solution.
You need to draw a balance between explaining how you’re going to solve their problem whilst linking the solution to how you will be an integral part of their success.
Provide clear ways of how building a site will boost their sales and provide that much-needed facelift they have been looking for. Connect the conversations that the client is probably already having internally with your new ideas and solutions.
For example, if your client is looking to improve their online presence you can suggest:
- Adding blog posts on an ongoing basis and suggest a blog calendar,
- Invest in PPC (Google Search or Display Ads, Facebook Ads) and suggest ideas, keywords, and audiences that will probably work based on your experience. Allay any fears of too much spend by suggesting how you can optimize their PPC campaigns, and limit them to a monthly budget
- Pay close attention to SEO, explain how your site will be structured for SEO
- Embrace new technologies such as HTTPS and HTTP/2, structured data markup or schema,
- Think of mobile-first in your designs as Google and Facebook keep driving towards a mobile-first world
- Show them that you’ll keep page loading speed in mind
For example, good, targeted social media campaigns can amplify the voice of the brand or business, and your client is looking to create a better synergy between their business and social media presence it’s important to suggest a way forward for this.
You can use text such as the following in your proposal:
Over the past few years, Social Media has evolved into an incredibly useful set of communication tools that can be used to express your company values and beliefs, and keep clients tuned to the purpose of the brand.
Remember to offer your target audience a measured amount of transparency. Social media allows you to reveal the personality and purpose of your brand and simultaneously develop a level of trust with your customers. What’s more, you’ll see the results of your actions immediately.
It’s common that service providers do not connect the proposed (website) solution to the clear-cut business benefits, the things that at the end of the day your clients value and appreciate the most. These are aspects to keep in mind no matter the industry you will be working for in the future.
In constantly reverting back to the business benefits while defining your website design choices, the client will more likely choose you as their web designer.
Dedicate a few paragraphs to your solutions in the proposal, to answering any future questions the client will definitely get back to you with. Be concise but extensive in your list of solutions, it will draw a clearer picture in your client’s head.
Reference your previous work before the client asks you to, back up everything with examples. This a good time to mention all of the design services you provide, for example; if you offer hosting, logo design or even support and maintenance plans.
5. Provide Mockups
Mockups are incredibly effective when it comes to pitching and communicating with a client to communicate with them directly on the website or result you expect to produce for them.
This is because the client will already be able to visualize the end result, even before committing to working with you.
If you use a product such as ProjectHuddle to mockup and comment on the pages directly, your client is much more likely to have a clearer picture of what the end-result would look like and is much more likely to commit and close the sale.
Also, if you commit to using such a tool when the project is given the go-ahead, the client will feel that they will have direct input and a good line of communication with you, putting their mind at rest on a number of concerns.
6. Have a section specifically about mobile/handheld devices
Once we’re talking about creating a concept which stands out, there is one very clear way of standing out from the crowd.
Create ideas centered around how your eventual designs and deliverables will cater for mobiles/tablets and other handheld devices.
With more and more time spent online happening on devices, it is your responsibility to show your client how you can create a solution that caters for a specific mobile user experience.
Rather than just having a website that is responsive, you need to guide the client towards having a website that creates an experience that is designed from the get-go for a smartphone or designed for a tablet.
Although this may be a pricier option, selling this the right way can really work in your favour.
This is particularly useful if the client is in the eCommerce space, or has a number of products which need to be shown.
There are many innovative ways to design a website around the functionality of a device. For example, swiping, creating specific photos to fit exactly within the space of a screen (rather than trying to squeeze too much into the space), or specific calls-to-action which apply for mobile. For example, given that the younger generations are more prone to get in touch via Messengers rather than calling, you could suggest changing CTAs to “Text us on WhatsApp” or “Get in touch on Facebook”.
If you are able to show your client how content for smartphones can be an integral part of their digital marketing and sales strategy, you will be setting yourself up for a win.
7. Create a Smart Timeline for delivering your website proposal
Once we’re ready from the actual content of our proposed ideas, it’s time to define the schedule of delivery.
So the next step will be to produce a timeline for the client.
By keeping the client constantly in the loop, you will give them what they need but might not have asked for. So create specific touchpoints where you will ask for feedback from the client, or where the client will be somewhat involved in the decision making.
Of course, for your own sake, make sure you take into account
- further client/industry research,
- creating of website and page wireframes,
- sitemap designs,
- initial designs + design revisions,
- web development of designs or other necessary coding,
- setup of CMS and configuration,
- testing (specify which browsers and which devices)
- client testing and setup
These are all phases where client input will probably be necessary so make sure you clearly show this on your proposed timeline. This will keep your client in the loop and give them a clear breakdown of all the work that THEY need to be doing.
Where necessary, create gaps for the client to take their time to respond.
Make sure that the timeline in your proposal is easy to read and that all times are based on approximations.
8. Your proposal needs clear pricing information
The price tag.
This is one of the places where web design proposals are won or (more frequently) lost.
So let’s start with our top essential tip: before you make your final submission, ask your client what their budget is. This might be daunting, you might feel like you’re overstepping your bounds or that this is simply information that is not typically shared.
Having the client’s budget before you make a proposal is a win-win situation. The reality is this, your client already has a budget in mind. They know what they are prepared to pay for their next website. They’d obviously rather pay less (than more) but they have a figure already.
Now, if you don’t know that figure, you’re taking a gamble. Literally, you are gambling – you are spending a bunch of money (your precious time) and hoping that you hit the spot. You are picking a number, and hoping that this number is in the range that the client was expecting. You might be lucky and come close to this number.
More often than not, though, you’re either going to overshoot and rule yourself out or underprice the work, leaving plenty of money on the table, and maybe not including certain necessary stuff for fear of inflating the price.
So ask the client for the magic number and then work with it.
Now, once you’ve got the client’s budget, your fees need to be presented in a way that suits your client. It’s in your interest that the client pays and agrees to your terms, so you must present the information in small bite-size portions.
Too much information at once will work against you.
Because let’s face it, which one looks more attractive?
Website Design Proposal for www.example.com : $3,020.76
which of course is telling the client nothing of value to them or which shows the amount of work you’re going to put into the site
Of course, the fee that is broken down makes much more sense, because the client can understand where the final number is coming from.
(Want a web design quotation like the one above? This is our free tool to generate web design and other quotations. There’s also our partners at BetterProposals.io who have developed a tool that can generate proposals based on templates in literally minutes.)
So let’s discuss this in a few more details.
- Break things down into very specific items, it will put the client more at ease.
- List the estimated hours necessary to complete the task and how you came to the specific conclusion of the cost, the client will surely feel more comfortable with the full transparency.
- Place all the information the client needs to know in a grid, which is legible and easy to process. This can be referred to as the fee summary.
- Keep in mind that your end goal is to fix the client’s problems and in your fee summary you should draw out the list as ‘Create custom website’ and ‘Ensure the website is visible in search results’ rather than ‘WordPress’ installation’ and ‘SEO Audit’.
- Steer clear of the over technical jargon, stick to the basics.
- You might also want to add a fee installment payment system whereby the client has the option to pay for the web design services at separate times rather than one big chunk. This will also help you create a timetable that will aid you to organise your work and keep the client in the loop.
It is beneficial to the client to be able to flip through the proposal at your first meeting and have any of their questions regarding the price and any fees answered immediately.
9. What your client wants and needs
The quintessence of your work is a happy client. The website proposal is for their brand, therefore it’s crucial that you keep a few things in mind that could quickly escape any of us as we get carried away by our work and we might take for granted.
Firstly the client needs access to YOU, so make sure that you have given the client all of your contact information. More than that, you should make them feel comfortable to email you or call with any queries or questions that may arise whenever they need – so make yourself completely accessible/available.
It’s a good idea to mark down a phone meeting to discuss any questions or concerns after the first meeting.
Keep in mind that the client (just like you) wants to make more money. If they feel you understand this it will make your job a lot easier. Know their motivation and the driving force behind the revamp or custom site or simply the need for building a website in the first place.
Assure the client that you will provide customer support and maintain the website throughout the process. Also, try and not overcomplicate the small details, keep things simple and build up slowly as you proceed if need be.
Even though the client’s intentions are to make more money, this, in turn, does not mean that they willing to spend any amount of money. Show the client that you’re not taking them for a ride and be resourceful and economical in your proposal.
10. Define the next steps
At this point, all your cards are on the table, so this where you inform the client what needs to happen to get the ball rolling.
We’re going to take a page right out of web design, and take it offline. We want to create a Call to Action because this is what the human mind expects. If you present the next logical step to the client, they are more likely to bite.
This gives the potential client the right platform to move forward if he decides to choose your services.
Use phrases such as ‘Contact us at 000-000-000 to accept the proposal discussed and amend any changes as necessary‘. You can literally create a call to action button with the Contact us number, so that if there is an internal discussion meeting, they know they can get in touch at that point in time.
(If you get that call, you need to make yourself available – no matter what).
You can also suggest the next parts, such as meeting to sign the website design contract and finally a meeting to kick-off the project and discuss the way forward.
Incidentally, if you actually need a web design contract, know that we’ve got your back 😉 Download our pack of essential web design contracts below.
11. Create a website proposal summary
Above we have discussed what should be included in your web strategy proposal, primarily
- client needs
- recommended solution
- fee summary
- next steps
The proposal summary should amount to around 2 pages, what’s important is that the problem statement, problem solution, and pricing information are clearly outlined in your summary.
12. Create with a full proposal outline
This proposal is slightly longer and includes the:
- Goals and objectives
- Recommended solution
- Fee summary
- Fee schedule
- Estimated project schedule
- Next steps
- Terms and conditions
Add-ons such as the legal information should be attached here. If the client agrees on the day of the meeting he should sign the contract there and then, it will save you both time and you can begin your work.
13. Learn and Repeat
The above might seems like a ton of work. And yes, it is.
However, it’s your first proposal which will be the most difficult. The proposal for your next potential customer after that will be much easier. Make sure you incorporate any lessons learned into your next proposal.
14. Finishing touches
Consider adding your own personal flair and make your website design proposal stand out. Create a refined design and use it in your header and footer of your proposal. Use your design elements to a minimum, you want to flaunt your creative ability but not overdo it and make the client feel bombarded and discouraged from your content.
Proofread your work (by a different person than the writer) and use spell check. You would be surprised by the tricks your mind plays on you after you’ve spent some time working on the same document, and how “blind” you become to certain things.
Do not recycle text as prospective clients will fish it out and this will make them feel as though their brand is not authentic enough for your work. Even worse, forgetting to change the name of a client from a previous proposal, will kill your chances of winning a proposal
Make sure to structure the proposal in the most persuasive way possible, keep this in mind and you’ll be on your way to digital success.
Are you a web designer?
As a design agency ourselves, we’re always looking for better tools that we can use to help us with our website projects. One of the many tools which we find very useful for us is Divi from Elegant Themes – it is our go-to tool, when we need to get something done quickly, with a tool we’ve grown to love and rely on.
In particular, we find that we get significant value from their Lifetime Access plan. This is because, with this plan, you get access to Divi updates and support FOREVER, while being able to use it on an unlimited number of websites.
Elegant Themes have been nice enough to partner with us and offer a 10% offer on this plan to BeeWits readers. Click below to get access to this today.
Below is one of the layouts (Divi everywhere), a layout for an agency being customized using the front-end builder.
Web Design Proposal Template Downloads
As we normally do with these types of articles, we like to make it a bit easier for you by starting you off on the right footing. What we’ve done is researched and found the best web design proposal template and bundled them up into one download which you can get right here.
Here’s what we have in our bundle of web design project samples
- One based on Noam Design’s web design proposal template
- This Web Design Proposal Template from Web Design law covers all of the legal aspects
- Nusii Web Design Proposal Template
- BidSketch Web Design Proposal Template
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We’ll keep adding stuff to the bundle as we find even better samples and templates to include.
If you are already in a position where you need to generate tens or even hundreds of proposals, a more professional tool might be a better option for you – we would recommend you have a look at BetterProposals – a proposal software tool we’ve tried, tested and loved.
Whether you find yourself feeling overwhelmed in drawing up your ideas or you need to follow a few simple steps, this comprehensive list will ensure that you cover everything just in time for your next meeting. Our list for creating winning website proposals is probably something you should refer to often. It will certainly provide you with design services business and your client with a remarkable end result through a reliable framework that will help you in writing a winning web design proposal every time.